Thursday, February 26, 2009

Going Uphill or Down?

Today, my mood is as gloomy as the sky outside ...

I sometimes wonder how some SAHMs can manage their housework, cook and homeschool their kids, and still spend quality time with them.

I am no super-mom. There is so much to do, endless work, that I don't even have time to myself till the kids are in bed at night. On good days, I can laugh at their mischief to make myself happier. I can be in control of my frustrations and anger. On bad days, I just feel like quitting.

I thought the days of sleepless nights would be over once the kids are older. That is not the case. Even now, they will wake up in the middle of the night occasionally to go to the toilet, or whine for their blanket. After a couple of nights being disturbed by the kids, I will be "trained" to wake up every other hour at night. This is so even though the kids are not disturbing me. Each morning, I will be awake by 530am. Don't ask me why so, as I do not know either. There are days when I wake up in the morning and don't feel like doing anything at all. Is it possible? No. There's packing of lunch boxes to be done, preparation of breakfast, waking the kids (and hubby) up, and getting the kids ready for school. All to be done in an hour or so. I find that after the morning rush, and after walking the kids to school, I just don't feel like eating breakfast or lunch. Sometimes, I skip dinner. My mom used to tell me : After cooking the meals, I just don't feel hungry anymore!
Now I understood what she meant.

Then there's the home-schooling part. The teaching method in Math in the States is different from that in Singapore. Teaching concept is good, but practice is important too. Sometimes, my elder boy would forget what he had learnt in school, and couldn't do the exercises I gave him at home. But after going through the concept, he would recall and while doing the exercises, made a couple of careless mistakes. At the rate at which he is learning and doing his exercises, I think there is a chance he may fail the tests when back in Singapore .... so slow and careless. Teaching him is not easy either. Somehow children think that ... if you are not his teacher, you should not teach him. I am no "kiasu" parent. I would try to do some work with them on weekends, for an hour or so. It could be Chinese, or explaining Math problems which he couldn't understand in school. Or try to follow the Singapore Math Curriculum, so that he doesn't lag too much in work when we go back to Singapore. But I find it really draining and trying to get work done with the kids. I would face much protest from them, or I would be too tired or rushed (cooking etc) to really want to sit down with them. I would just let the weekend go by without any work done. Sometimes for two or three weeks. Nothing done. Maybe I am not a good teacher. Maybe I am not a patient teacher. I used to take pride in being able to get my naughty students to attend extra lessons willingly, but now, I am having a tough time getting my own kids to do some (minimal) work.

It's an uphill task, or am I am going downhill?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Have you ever been so caught up with "work" that you "deviate" from the goal you have in mind? Well, I do ... recently, I get so caught up with housework, preparing meals and worrying about the kids' schoolwork, that I forget my aim for wanting to be a SAHM ....

My mom was a working mom, I had fond memories of time spent with her on her off days. I remembered I would run all the way home from the lift, and happy to see the door opened, and her in the kitchen cooking. I remembered dragging my feet home from school when her leave was over. It was no fun going back to an empty house. I was a "Latchkey Kid". I would warm up my dinner, do my homework, and study for tests/exams. Mom and Dad would be home after my dinner, just before my bedtime. Well, that situation kind of instilled some self discipline in me, but deep inside, I had always wished that she could be home to spend more time with me, even if it meant scolding me for not doing my homework.

I guess by becoming a SAHM, I am fullfilling my childhood wish of wanting mom to stay home. It has been six years since I become a SAHM.
It was an amazing journey so far; a journey filled with joy, frustrations, and tears. Seeing my boys' first smile, first step, hearing his first words ... it was all so fulfilling. Dealing with my boys' tantrums and whining ... it was draining and tiring.

My two boys have a age difference of 1 1/2 years.
When they were younger, they both required my attention constantly. Like when I carried the younger one, then one plus, the older one would want to be carried too. Cooking and cleaning the house were almost near impossible, as most of my time was spend looking after them.
Now that they are older, they are able to find things to occupy themselves.
I realised I am able to do more, in terms of cleaning the house, and cooking. As a result, I sometimes get so caught up with housework, that I forget to spend some quality time with them. I also realised, after reading a friend's blog, that I should adopt a more "unhurried" attitude. I am also reminded of why I want to be SAHM. Thanks, PY, for sending me your blog address.

So for the new year, I will remind myself to ...

  • Be more patient with the kids.
  • Be more "unhurried" = leading to more patience.
  • Be more "detached" of my own emotions when handling their emotions.
  • Be more generous when spending time with my boys : to say more OKs to my boys when they invite me to play with them .. the number of times I join them is far less than the number of times I say "not free now".

And to give the boys ...
more hugs, more smiles, more compliments!

.... a time to reflect, a time to pick up from where I stopped ....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bak Kwa!

I'm sure most people will agree with me ... Chinese New Year is not complete without Bak Kwa! It's like Mid-Autumn Festival is not complete without carrying lanterns and eating mooncakes. Since we can't find/buy any Bak Kwa in the woods, I will have to find a way to make some!

I got the recipe from Lily's Blog.
Thank you Aunty, for the wonderful recipe!

1 kg Ground Pork
11/2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
11/2 tbsp
Soy Sauce
1 cup
1/8 tsp
5-Spiced Powder
1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp
White pepper (I use only 1/4 tsp)
1 tbsp
2 tbsp
Rose Wine (I use Shaoxing Wine)

  • Season pork with marinade for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 175F.
  • Oil the underside of a baking sheet.
  • Spread a portion of the seasoned pork, as thinly as possible, over the baking sheet.
  • I cover the underside of the baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the pork on the parchment paper instead.
  • You can also put the pork, spread thinly on asheet of parchment paper, onto a baking tray/grilling pan to bake. Some fluid may be released while baking, and the tray is good for containing the fluid. You don't want the fluid to drip onto your heating element in the oven.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or till the pork is firm to the touch.
  • Adjust the temperature or time, depending on your oven.
  • The pork is not supposed to be browned when done. Just firm.
  • Remove from oven, and let cool.
  • Cut into pieces.
  • The meat is now ready for Grilling (using broiler), or to be wrapped in foil and freeze!
  • For grilling, brush a little honey onto the pieces of baked pork.
  • Broil for a couple of minutes, and turn the pieces over.
  • Do not leave the pieces of pork under the broiler for too long or they will be burnt.

I am really grateful to this kind lady. She is very generous and shares many asian recipes in her blog. Without her recipe and step by step explanation, I will not be able to make any Bak Kwa for this new year. The boys were very excited. They kept coming into the kitchen and asked if the Bak Kwa were ready, ha ha. They had it as their snack that night, and I packed some for their lunchboxes the next day.

We received an envelope containing some Chinese New Year decorations in our mailbox during the first week of Chinese New Year. It was from Hubby's friend. The kids were excited as their papa opened the envelope containing the decorations.

The lantern does make the house look more festive =)
... and ... I am looking forward to Spring!

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