Memoirs of a Budget Mum

Mother to five, parent in progress and occasional kitchenista cookerella

Tag: relationships

Enroute to Happiness: How we are coping with PSLE

We’re merely two months away from PSLE, the major high stakes national exam  in this country for primary schoolers. Concerned ones have been asking how we are coping and it seems like a concern: It’s a first for both of us: first time candidate, first time mother-of-candidate. It all seems like a big deal with quake-sized trepidations but… we’re glad that we’re managing.

  

We’re managing to shrug off the stress and the pressure cooker environment.

We’re managing to prioritize our relationships above the results.

We’re managing to keep our eyes on long term goals and not invest our all on a short term sprint.

We’re learning it’s important to pace, and enjoy the ride.

We’re managing our expectations of what it means to be successful and that it’s more than a t-score.

We’re managing to find our security in our faith rather than our fight.

The best part?

We’re managing to relate deeper and build into our collective memories as mother and daughter.

Spending a sizable chunk of our time talking and communicating is pivotal. There are crazy homeschooling days when our “home room” breaks out in spontaneous conversations about anything and everything! Sometimes there’s just so much to be done, but we just talk.

It is an absolute delight when the 11year old comes to me when she’s stressed or in need of a break and she goes on and on for 2-3 hours at a time, sharing what’s on her heart.

I confess it’s nerve wrecking at times when I’m in mumzilla-mode and think of how she could otherwise be using time more effectively scribbling on some practice paper or burrowed deep in a book somewhere. I’m thankful though that there’s a glitch in me that ensures I snap out of that faulty thinking.

When our children have that much to say…we should count it an absolute privilege to listen. We learn so much about them when we do: their encounters with friends through the week, their lofty ambitions and nagging anxieties, their perspective of life, their reactions to people and random situations, their hum-tune of the week & admiration of Megan Trainor.

Over the months, I’ve listened to her spiel memorized lines from my Baby Blues comic stash that she’s read from cover to cover, over and over. She artfully throws out choice quotes which so resemble my stay-home mum struggles that we both crack up and laugh our socks off. Laughing at ourselves is so important in times like these.

 

She has time to draw, which is priceless. All her random sketches, I don’t take them at all for granted. Every single one, an expression of who she is, and what she’s like at a single moment in time. She’s expressed her keenness in graphic design. It’s what I aspired towards when I was her age. Life comes a full circle, doesn’t it?

Whatever the future holds, I have faith she’ll find her way. If I may distill some thoughts on parenting a tween through this:

– Always welcome your children. When they want to talk, listen. Not listen while scrolling on your handphone, listen with your heart.

– Refrain from judging and over-evaluating. Many times they know what their offense is, but they need the moral courage to do what’s right. Knowing you’re on their side goes a long way.

– Pace them in their journey. It’s always a comfort for them to know they have you near. Stretch them with warm-ups. Be a running partner at times. Otherwise, cheer from the sidelines.

With the incessant demands of today’s pressure cooker society, these are happy gifts we can’t buy but can give freely to our children. They are, an open heart, an attentive mind, a willingness to connect. Top that with an ice cream, and we’re en route to happiness and happy children!

The little things matter. Everyday I become more and more mindful of the little things in our lives and how utterly significant they can be.

Face it, we all don’t have it all together and there are no perfect families. But when we begin to accept that it’s all ok and that we grow better and closer each day into togetherness and acceptance of one another, we stop making a big deal of the big things and start to treasure the little ones:

We notice what is present rather than what is absent.

We tune our hearts to leap at little growths and improvements. Efforts don’t need to be staggering before we take notice!

We see every missed step or failure as a potential for growth and impending victory.

Taking time to remember the little things that captured my day teaches my heart to be thankful and contented:

1. A warm cup of fennel tea made thoughtfully by the hubby to ease my indigestion.

2. Enjoying the innocence of the 4yo recounting her wide-eyed introduction to penguins, flamingos and snow owls.

3. Admiring these two cute feet pictured in the photo below and the memories that come with them.

4. A threatening storm and son’s quick offer and dash out to bring in all the clothes! I can nap in peace nowadays because of his watchfulness!

5. Seeing my 12yo find some headway over some geometry sums after an afternoon of hard work

6. Learning to work as a tag team: the 4yo had a pee accident on the carpet. We, the parents, swept the carpet up for a wash and scrub, 12yo swooped in to take the baby off us, 7yo took her wet and crying sister in for a bath, and 10yo rearranged the toys and vacuumed the room. Within 15minutes, everyone was happy and having dinner.

The little things are the big things after all, and help me get through my day with much love!

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