The Joys of Parenthood
"My newborn opening her eyes at hearing my voice; my child hugging me when I come home from work; my son receiving a sports medal in school... These are just some of the joys I've experienced over the years. My first three kids were all born one year apart, so it was quite tough on me. I was very lucky to have the support of two sets of grandmothers plus my mother. My advice to working moms is to get support, be it from your parents or in-laws. Older folks may have their own views on parenting, but don't make that a big issue. As long as your child is well looked after and loved, that is good enough."
- Elaine Chua, mother of four
"One of my greatest joys is seeing my kids become their own persons. After years of telling them what they should do, like showing respect to elders and sharing their possessions, I can finally see that my words haven't fallen on deaf ears! When it comes to parenting, don't sweat the small stuff. For instance, I have two children who will eat almost anything; one hates veggies (I have to subtly mix it with his food) and yet another who only eats when she wants. I let her be. When she is hungry, she will eat."
- Kim Wee, mother of four
"The best part about parenting? Being able to care for and nurture an individual, watching her grow, and in doing so, we as her parents have learnt to be better people. After all, we have to set an example for our child! The fun part is seeing bits of yourself in your children. By observing them, we understand ourselves better."
- M K Siau, mother of two
"Being able to share milestone moments with my daughter has got to be the greatest joy of parenthood. Watching her realise, at that precise moment, what she's just achieved, brings me sheer joy and pride. My tip for parents is to consciously incorporate learning moments in your daily activities with your child. For example, my daughter enjoyed walking up and down short flight of steps - she felt a sense of accomplishment at being able to ascend and descend without falling over. I turned those stair-walking sessions into a 'learning-to-count' lesson. She quickly grasped the concept of numbers and associated numbers with quantity as opposed to mere rote counting."
- G de Souza, mother of one
"My biggest joy is watching this tiny baby grow. To experience daily the innocent hugs, smiles, loud infectious laughter and heart-wrenching tears. The kid who questions, explores, trusts, struggles and triumphs over simple things that I take for granted. Being involved in her growth is my greatest joy because I feel like I'm growing, too!"
- Shahrul Noentil, mother of one
"Watching the amazing way children develop... walking, talking, singing. With three children, you can watch how they interact withh each other. When they smile and laugh, they light up your world. Children have a more straightforward and simplistic view of life and parents can perhaps learn from that, too. The hardest part about being a parent is reorganising your life to fit with a child's rhythm. But you can overcome it by having a schedule, being very organised and seeking help from extended family."
- Victoria Quek, mother of three
"The other day, we were at a crowded fair when my son suddenly grabbed me and said, 'Mama, I want to listen to your heartbeat.' That melted my heart because he remembered; I once told him that when he was a baby, he used to lie on my chest and listen to my heartbeat. So, we found a seat and had a 30-second cuddle. It made us both smile and feel loved. The hardest part about being parents is realising we are no longer living for ourselves and that every action affects someone completely reliant on us. It's stressful but our family handles it with humour, prayer and accepting that we can only try our best!"
- Stella Leo, mother of one
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