Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your thoughts #1 ~ Outdoor Education

I have recently come to realise that I enjoy talking to people; I find it interesting to know a person and listen to their experiences. From food courts to the rink, I often end up exchanging a couple of words (in a nice way of course!) with absolute strangers. 

And it is through the course of chatting, I learnt so much from these lovely people who are kind enough to share their tips and thoughts with me. :) Hence I am starting this series amongst reviving some of my old ones. 

To kickstart this series, I had the chance to chat with Yvonne who works at one of our gardens as an Education Manager. She is also an ex educator having taught in both in an Elementary school and a Secondary School. Here's her thoughts on Outdoor Education! 

"I hope that parents will recognise the immense learning opportunities in nature that cannot be taught in the classroom or bought at a  shopping mall. Nature offers children the space to be curious, to question and explore. Think about it, how did you learn about “the birds and the bees”? 

I feel that parents should start getting their children interested and aware in the natural environment from young. This teaches them so many important values such as care and respect for plants and our biodiversity. If we want our future generation to be able to enjoy the Gardens and greenery we see today, we have to start them now! J"

~ Yvonne Chong

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mummyhood - No, I didn't lose my identity

Years ago, before I had Dumpling, my life was full of random and spontaneous moments and I exercised 5 days a week. Yup, 5 DAYS A WEEK. After work, I'd travel down to a Yoga studio which I was an active member of and would be powering through sessions of Hot Flow yoga.

On the occasional 'day off', (likely once to twice a week :p) I will be at one of the watering holes at Emerald Hill with some of my ex colleagues (whom I still keep in touch to this day) having a few glasses of drink before I call it a night.

Then mummyhood came along and it's begun to sound like some sort of a bad pick up line where you get excluded from catching up sessions as you are officially "in a different camp". It took me a while to get used to it, being responsible for someone else who is totally dependent on you for her needs. Coupled with having some issues with PND, it took a while before I could ease into mummyhood.

Frankly I did not have that "love at first sight" moment. This little new being and I worked really hard at getting to know each other and I often wondered then if there was something wrong with me, especially when I hear of how friends took to parenting like a duck to the water (yup, those were the actual words used). I had cabin fever and I felt just so 'small' during my confinement period (and for some subsequent months after being laid off as my ex company was bought over) and felt that I had no purpose in life other than to do diaper change and feeding. This mummyhood role was not an easy role for me, especially when I was used to being busy and handling 'bigger' issues being a Regional Marketing Manager for a listed company.

But bit by bit, I have grown to love my role as a mum. I no longer view it as 'small', instead I was awed by the fact that I have been tasked to take care of, grow and mold a person, who I hope and pray will grow up to be sensible and have the right values. And that's also how we grew organically to be a homeschooling duo.

It has been more than 5.5 years being a mum and gawd, it is to date, the most difficult role that I have ever been tasked with. In the past, I used to feel a bit of a sting when I had to forgo meeting up with friends or sending my apologies that I cannot meet for dinner dates (as I need to homeschool in the evenings). But over the past 2-3 years, I have come to terms with it. I guess during those early years, there was always a tiny doubt at the back of my mind if I have lost my identity - the fun-loving person who was always up for drinks and dinner dates with my friends and colleagues.

It took me a while to realise that I did not lose my identity but in fact, mummyhood added a different dimension to me as a person. I have never known that I am capable of loving another being as fiercely as I do, until I became a mum. Being a mum has made me a provider, a care giver, a healer, an educator, a believer and most importantly a giver. And it also made me the recipient of the sweetest moments and the wettest kisses. For that, I am blessed.

Someone once asked me how I felt when I turned 30. I didn't know and couldn't tell any difference then. (I delivered Dumpling just after I turned 31). But now I know. In my 20s I was discovering myself, trying to pursue my career and dreams. In my 30s, I have grown to be comfortable in my own skin, count a handful as close friends who understand me, stand by me and whom I can laugh with and confide in. I am also assured in my various roles - be it a daughter or a mum. I feel 'fuller', more complete and more certain as these facets come together to fulfill me. Instead of losing an identity, I have gained different facets for different 'seasons'. For that, I am thankful. So, here's a toast to all of you beautiful and giving mums out there - for all the tough and challenging moments, for being the greater being and for taking on this lifelong vocation ~ cheers!  

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram
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