Forty movies that might be too sensitive for kids

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It’s been a long while. Call it write’s block, call it being a working mom, call it underlying personal issues. Whatever they are, they sure made it impossible for me to focus on blogging. The combined complex issues just did it. It zapped me mentally, emotionally and physically.

Anyway, as we head towards the Christmas break, I hope to be able to revive my blog. Here’s one for starters – Forty movies parents should watch with their kids, and explain the salient features of the film. It might also be good to use the movie’s scenes as conversation topics with your kids. Read the rest of this entry

Give the best of you, Not what’s left of you

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“Give the best of you, Not what’s left of you”.

A Facebook friend shared this quotable quote sometime ago, and of course I “Liked” it, pondered upon it, and carried on browsing. Last week I had a meltdown with my son while doing homework. It was close to dinner time, and he is running late in terms of completing the tasks assigned for the following day. Naturally, I flipped. Dinner was late, in fact, husband who was famished ate summer by himself because he didn’t want to interfere nor interrupt what was going on in the study.

When tasks have been satisfactorily completed, dinner had been had, and everyone settled for night, I flopped exhausted, still feeling guilty with my flare up. I stared at the wide empty wall before me, asking myself, couldn’t I have not handled it any better? What happened my personal promise of not having any more of these flareups?

My husband, in his reassuring way said to me, “well, he has got to learn to focus better”. I rested for the night, and woke up the following day both my son and I with refreshed, forgiven and with renewed sense of energy to face what lies ahead.

Today, having taken a couple of days off (nice), I pondered on how things have been around the house since I started working three months ago. We as a family have managed the morning rush, signed up my son to school lunch and he seems to be eating his mid-day meals(!), and supper continues to be the time we all enjoy a nice meal and catch up on each other’s news.  So far, so good.

But how about my relationship with my son, my husband and sometime for myself? So far so good, too.  A few parties here and there, we even hosted a couple of family get-togethers. Then I remembered last week’s flare up. Not good.  This is when the above quotation came to mind.

At the end of the day, when after a hard day’s work, “give your child the best of you, not what’s left of you”. Wow!

I will certainly do. What a powerful reminder to me not to vent out my frustrations and battles on him, and especially not during homework time. I should be more encouraging let alone patient. I should now how to plan my time better for myself, and to train my son to do the same.

This is now my daily reminder –

“give your child the best of you, not what’s left of you”.

 

Happy parenting  ♥

Been Awhile

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I haven’t written for quite sometime. Writer’s block hits. Suddenly, nothing comes out of my mind, literally frozen. Perhaps because I have just been preoccupied. I have since May been fortunate to be employed part-time running a medium-sized NPO engaged with providing extended education to school leavers from underprivileged background. The organization provides classes to select students working on improving their marks in order to give them the opportunity to pass and qualify for tertiary education.

The working environment is different from what you would expect from your normal corporate setting. There are a lot of knots to unravel, the expectation levels are different from what I have been accustomed to in terms of quality of output from subordinates. But the achievement goals are different.

I work with interns. And I have almost forgotten how ruffled their discipline are at their age. That’s where my frustration usually lies. That’s where my actual challenge begins. My goal : to help mould these young hopefuls by providing training that will enable them to adapt and effectively perform in the corporate world.

In my couple of months or so with the organization, I have come to a few realizations. I have realized that there are flaws in the general office administration, and I am there to help fix them. I have realized that as in any organization, be it corporate or otherwise, personalities come into play. But I have also realized that I can’t just fire interns! Admittedly, I was very much affected by their inability to take up a task and “own” it. The listening skills are just not there, their educational knowledge are wanting that the quality of output is not what they should be. This state of disappointment soon became the a conversation piece over dinner.

I have hauled past memories of mentoring methods I have used throughout the expanse of my career, some thirty–five years of it, hoping to ignite some inspiration in me. “Come on, you can do it”, I cheer myself up. I think my problem is, because it has been awhile since my mentoring days, and because of my altered personal state, being married with a nine-year old who of course needs real mentoring, I am drained!

I wanted to go back working for a change of pace, apart from earning my own bucks, of course.  And yet, there I was finding myself having to explain tasks more than a few tasks. There I was finding myself teaching how to write sentences structured enough to make more sense. There I was playing  the mother-goose kind-of-thing.

And yet, and yet, I cannot just give up. Perhaps this is my calling. My new purpose. I woke up one morning in July, got to the office with a mission – to help those kids have a chance to make it to the corporate world. Deep sigh.

There were random thoughts in the past that I have considered – be a teacher or be a volunteer. Well, I know I cannot be either in their true sense. I do not possess copious amount of patience enough to sustain me through a teaching career; nor can I distance myself from the worries of others. So then perhaps, by being a mentor and role-model I can still be both in a parallel kind of way.

When I have accepted this realization that I have a new sense of purpose, I am inspired to carry out my daily work challenges. My husband reminded me that no matter where I work there will be challenges.

So, just not yet. Tomorrow is a new day, there are things to learn. Let’s give it a try.

 

 

Your old self or your new pseudonym?

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One of the early lessons I learned after being a mother is that of losing one’s personal identity. I recall one bright afternoon when I arrive at my child’s school to fetch, I surveyed the playground to spot my little one, when I felt little tugs on my side. A boy, pulling the left side of my shirt, said “Jaq’s mom, Jaq’s mom… he is hiding behind the tree”.  I knelt down and thanked him for helping me find Jaq and asked him if he could show me the way.

There were several other similar instances that followed and I became accustomed to be addressed as “Jaq’s mom”, my new ‘aka’.

Over the many months that followed my new ‘pseudonym’ hanged over my head. Admittedly, there were times when I questioned myself if I wanted to reclaim my old identity? That hard working corporate persona who slaves herself at work,  assuming responsibilities and taking on projects, inspired by that rush of adrenalin. Between the ups and downs of postpartum blues I craved for that high again.

When I finally landed my first job five years after giving birth, I was happy. Happy to have my own space, earn my own money, and driven once again by office responsibilities. Once again as during pre-marriage days,  ‘tunnel vision’ kicked in; I was focused and driven and determined to relive my days of glory. And because I was often rushing during drop-offs and fetching time, I no longer had the chance to interact with my son’s friends and therefore didn’t get to be called by my ‘pseudonym’. As months passed and I get more and more settled at work, I thought less and less about my ‘pseudonym” and felt more and more like my old self. Don’t get me wrong, I did not abandon my motherly role and responsibilities, I just embraced my working-mother image better.

Fast forward, now my son is almost 10 years old, the kids have grown and they now address me by my first name. Darn it! No, really, darn it! I don’t like it. Who the heck am I trying to fool? Admit, accept it, embrace it! I am Jaq’s mom. Knocked my head, slept and woke up with it. It’s tattooed on my chest, my forehead, my back.  And that while I continue to pursue my own passion and interests, my old-self is in fact the ‘pseudonym’ and my role as a mother takes the frontal seat. That the only reason I try to pursue and relive my days of glory, was because I want to provide even better opportunities for my child.

And that if presented a situation where I have to relinquish one of my title roles, no doubt I will keep that of being Jaq’s mom.

On occasion, I would notice some parents at school who seem to carry their own persona with them as they walk their kids to their classrooms.  In loud conversations one could not help but hear what they are up to for the day, obviously proud of what they do. But do they really have to do that in front of other kids and parents, especially by the classroom? Can’t they take their call in the privacy of their car? Hats off to parents who figuratively leave their coats by the school gate, and some even literally shedding them off, and as if in synchronized motion walk  their kids to their rooms and just naturally present themselves as a father or a mother.  I notice that with such parents, kids too are calm and unassuming.

At school, we are first and foremost a parent-  a mom or a dad.

For real, for good, till eternity – I am my son’s mother.  In fact just a few hours ago, when I tucked him to bed and gave him a long hug and showered his face with kisses, the title resonated on my head – I am Jaq’s mom and no one will take that title away from me, till eternity.  ♥

Eenie-meenie, miny moe – Do you let your kids decide?

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The other day I asked my son if he would like to come with me to do grocery shopping, and he said yes. I told him to get ready and that we were leaving in ten minutes. He immediately went to his room, showered and changed his clothes. When he joined me in the hallway, I noticed he had worn not only some smart-casual clothes but likewise had put on a jersey.

These days, my son has this thing about wearing smart-casuals and is slowly beginning to be conscious of how he presents himself. I have no problem about that as it is part of his self-development, i.e. good hygiene and grooming. However, when he had put on his jersey, and it was sunny at 27 degrees, I told he will get hot and sweaty. “Oh, I’m cold. I’d like to wear it”, he said.

Instead of being upset and insisting that he takes it off, I let him be. As early as now, at nine years old, I’d like him to learn not only to stick to his decision, but to likewise to face the consequence of his actions.

True enough,  about five minutes after arriving at the mall, he said he was hot and he decided to take it off. He was handing it to me to carry with, and I said, no he has to carry it.

Was I harsh? I don’t think so. I know I will eventually have to carry carry it or put it in my bag, but for a while I want him to carry it himself. Reason? I’d like him, for next time, learn to be more aware of the weather, learn how to judge the climate and decide what to wear afterwards. Read the rest of this entry

Reinspiration

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And just as I complained about being uninspired, WordPress posted –

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing

but in the midst of living.

Anais Nin

Thank you WordPress for re-inspiring me.

New Season, New Beginnings – what inspires you?

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Ha! I’m back. I haven’t posted for the past month or so. What with school holidays and spending much of that time just enjoying the break with my son. We went the the movies with his friends, I took him to hockey clinic and took him to have playdates. Other than those, we pretty much played it by ear.

I used the time of not rushing into the usual routine to arrange some cupboards and I found a treasure, i.e. a cupboard of my son’s old art works from playschool along with some photos, too. I still have one more cupboard to rearrange and I am to do that later in the week.

But one thing I did for myself during the break was to reflect and re-examine my goals and plans. You see my mind is always full of ideas but I have the tendency to be lost in oblivion sometimes.  Anyway, this is what I have decided, more like a belated list of New Year’s resolutions –

I have finally made up my mind, and I will go back working again, preferably part-time; full time if an irresistible job offer comes along.

I will put on hold my baking business because it takes so much of my being and at the moment I have a handful of personal items I need to take care of first which needs my utmost attention.

I will continue to explore other business possibilities; and stay in touch with my group of friends whose goals mimic mine – create a business.

I will continue writing posts for this blog. However, the school break and personal issues drained me.  So, that is the primary reason I haven’t written. I was uninspired.

I then wonder –

Has anyone of you experienced the same? Of losing inspiration and therefore unable to write? Care to share me your thoughts and how you overcome the situation?