Fellow mummy blogger June's post set me thinking last week when I first read it. Being a homeschooler and a working mum, it is truly enough to get me totally occupied. My day ends only when Dumpling retires for the night and by then, I would be totally 'shattered' and it would be around 11pm. That sorta set me thinking when fellow colleagues and friends jokingly said that I am a Super Mama.
This cannot be further from the truth. I learn to just cope and pace myself. Reflecting on how it has been for the past 4odd years, I think I can safely say these are my survival 'tips' and what keeps me 'centered'.
The right battle
I learnt to pick my battles to fight. There are certain obligations / socials which we sometimes have to fulfill but we do not attend all of them because of nap time routines, etc. With a kid at home, our apartment also looks more like a kindy with books and craft materials all over so I learnt to not be anal about such matters. There are days where Dumpling picks at her food and the greens and yes, I learnt to let that go too. If it has been an hour, we'd just clear the dining table though by then, I will usually be curbing my temper and doing a Lamaze breathing exercise in an attempt to not to lose my cool.
Ask for help
When I first thought of sending Dumpling for Chinese classes, I discussed this in depth with my in laws and my parents. Only after we got the A-OK and commitment from all sides, that's where we proceeded with our plans. On days when I teach, my in laws would kindly come by and meet Dumpling for breakfast. My mum also helps out in the afternoon after Dumpling finishes school and I have a helper who has been with us for a while so that helps as we have some common understanding of what her role and main duties and what our expectations are.
Truth is, I do not aim to excel in motherhood or peg myself in comparison to anyone. If I'd do that (and with my Type A personality), I would have been stressed out to the max! I simply cope with the best possible way that I can. I try not to go down the comparison route and just enjoy the ride. I try to stay focused on providing a good homeschool environment and education for Dumpling and continue to also focus on inculcating the right values. I also 'open myself up' to learning from the mums and members in my Homelearning group. As one blogger mum shared before, the focus is not on developing (for the lack of a better term) my child to be better than others but such that she is better today than yesterday; where we try and learn and attempt something new daily.
I pray for Grace and give thanks. Daily. When it gets a tad trying and overwhelming at times (especially when she is sick and I have had less than 10 hours of sleep in a total of 3 days and where I am still heading to work daily), it helps that I am able to release all these to a higher being. To my maker and creator. To someone who loves me despite my weaknesses and yet is willing to gift me a child. Not just any child but my child. A child whom He thinks is the best fit for me, who stretches me, tests me yet loves me unconditionally. A child who adds a different dimension to my being, a child who loves me despite the fact that I am not a Super Mama. Just plain 'ole Mama Sue.
And in her eyes and in her words, she is "very thankful to God for giving her Mama and Papa and for loving me." I cope by looking into her eyes and being at peace with myself as I see the bright love that shines in them. I cope by gathering strength in knowing that whatever that I do, Dumpling is secure in my love for her and feels that Mama Sue is the best mama for her.