Working mums, you are doing your child good

Ask any working mum and they’ll tell you that the one thing they struggle with the most is mummy’s guilt. And if that’s not enough, we also have to juggle the demands of work and family and wonder where’s the work-life balance that we’re promised.

But thanks to a new study by Harvard, we working mums can finally shake off the guilt and stop beating ourselves up about working outside the home.

 

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Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time.

 

According to the findings from Harvard Business School, daughters of employed mothers are more likely to join the workforce. And across 24 countries, 69 per cent of women with a working mother were employed. And not only that, daughters of working mothers go on to earn marginally higher wages and more likely to be leaders in their professional lives.

And mums with boys, you’ll be happy to know that boys raised by working mothers are more likely to spend extra time caring for family members and doing household chores than the sons of mothers who were at home full-time.

The Reactions

Not surprising,after I shared this news on my FB page, I received quite a response, mainly from stay-home mums that the study must be taken with a pinch of salt. In their defence, it’s hardly about whether the children had working mums or not, but rather how much time these mums spend with their children, how the mums raised their kids and the values that’s being imparted.

I do not disagree with them and agree that such studies can be skewed depending on the questions are asked, the way the result are sliced and diced and finally how they want to present the findings.

But personally, it’s refreshing to read something that suggests that working mums are not neglecting our kids when we make the decision to work. And I can take heart that my daughter IS going to turn out fine even though I’m a working mum who can’t spend as much time with her as I wish. And to cite this study, I am more than just helping my family economically and myself professionally, I am also helping our child in the long haul.

Then again, who’s to say that I will keep working. After all, I may take a career break, change to working part-time or maybe even become a SAHM in the future. After all, a family evolves and so some of these arrangements evolve along the way as well.

While it is challenging balancing work and family, it can be done with understanding bosses and colleagues, a supportive spouse as well as a positive mindset that it’s possible.

 

So husbands, remember to thank your wife when you get home today because as she’s working, she’s raising a new generation of modern men who can roll their sleeves up to help in their chores as well as independent and career minded ladies.

And mums – let’s not be too hard on ourselves. After all, we are being a positive role model to our kids whether you know it or not.

 

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Dad and Mum in the Picture

Earlier this week, I saw this article, Why I Always Ask for Photos of Just the Two of Us,  shared on my Facebook Page.

As I read the article, I can so relate to it as pictures of just me and my husband is so rare. I’m pretty sure, I’m not alone in this as most mums will have a gallizon photos of their kids, them and their kids, their husband and their kids and of course lots of family photos but where are the photos of dad and mum alone in the picture?

So I went through the photos that I took this year and it turns out that I do have some photos of us, but they really just count as far and few between.

What’s the big deal about taking photos together?

How about changing up the question and ask why do you have so many photos of your kids instead? Sure, they’re cute and adorable, they grow up fast, you want to capture their fast step, their first word, their first concert in school. After all, these are all moments to be celebrated. But why shouldn’t it be the same for your and your husband as well?

You may not be able to capture a shared moment between you and your spouse like what you do for your kids, but let’s not forget about your own mum and dad moments too.

As a memory keeper, the photos of us is one thing, but it’s also the story behind the photos that I hold dear to my heart.

Some days, I like to just scroll through my photos and test my hubby with questions like, do you remember where we took this? Do you remembered what happened when we took this. And these have inadvertently became conversations starters since the topic is not about the kids. And honestly, don’t we need more of such conversations to remember that we are first husband and wife before we are parents?

Dad and Mum in the Picture

So here’s a few of our photos sans Sophie!

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This was taken on the spur after our recent wedding anniversary celebration, where Sophie was not invited. Photos in the night are always a bad idea with dim lighting and blurred images, but we figured we gotta have some memories of our anniversary celebration, dinner at Mortons no less, a surprise that Alexis pulled off so well since he wasn’t even a steak lover.

So clicked and it captured our intoxicated expressions after dinner! And surprise, surprise our selfie actually turned out looking more than just decent.

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Like most parents, we don’t spend as much time doing things together. So when Alexis accompanied for the Music Run which came to Singapore earlier this year,. we made sure we snapped photos to show Sophie that we’re still pretty cool parents.

And for us, it’s also a reminder to keep healthy, have fun and have a good time.

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if your kids are older and you’re confident of handing them your camera or mobile phone, get them to snap photos of the both of you too!

Be prepared for some  hits and misses and in some cases, there could be more misses than hits like you see in the pictures above and below. But that does make for real moments and rather funny ones too.

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Photo credits to my budding photographer :)

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While we are not the sort who will display our affections openly, we feel it’s important that Sophie sees Daddy and Mummy as a loving couple who can go through tough times together. I’m not talking about faking it in front of the kids, but rather that it’s so natural for us to hold hands or hug or kiss or even take a photo together.

Marriage is worth celebrating

The fact is, parenting and marriage have it’s fair share of challenges and it something that we don’t take for granted. Like every couple, we have our disagreements, petty quarrels and arguments. Times when we don’t see eye to eye on matters either big or small.

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Sophie trying to get into the photo

But at the end of the day, we ask ourselves if we’re headed in the same direction for our family and the answer is always yes. So we lay down our pride and come to pray together for wisdom to do it better than yesterday.

And like what I learnt over the weekend, we all need visual reminders of what we want more of and don’t you agree we need to treasure our spouses and spend more time with them too.


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So go ahead and take out your cameras or mobile phones and take a photo of you and your partner (no kids allowed). And just for fun, do add the hashtag #dadandmuminthepicture.

And whoever said that your photos must be one that looks wonderful and nice? I think the real and authentic photos tells the most story and after all life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Hope to see your photos soon :) 

 

 

 

SG50 Celebration at Pan Pacific Singapore

As busy city folks, an overseas vacation is always something to look to with extended family time to bond and recharge. But as parents, we sometimes return from a trip more tired than when we first left especially if it’s one where the itinerary is over-scheduled, don’t you agree?

So our next best alternative? A staycation why of course.

When we arrived at the hotel lobby of Pan Pacific Singapore, we were wowed by its transformation after their most extensive refurbishment in its 25-year history. The revitalised lobby is a class of its own with contemporary and modern interior.

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Although the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the city, just a door step away from Marina Square shopping mall, stepping into the hotel evoked a sense of tranquility where guests can look forward to a relaxing getaway.

You can’t miss these rustic cabanas with perfect symmetry that spread across the hotel lobby that offers privacy and comfort as you lounge and relax.

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We were ushered into our room, the Harbour Studio on the 31st floor, that had a panorama view of the Marina Bay. The suite was stylish designed with separate living areas for work and rest.

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The fruity family checks into Pan Pacific Singapore!

Within the room, they have a workspace with a generous area and an ergonomic Herman Miler desk chair that meets the needs of discerning guests. And for those who needs to stay connected, the hotel offers wireless internet access at no extra charge.

After settling in, I helped ourselves to a delicious brew from the in-room Nespresso coffee machine before hitting the pool. After all that’s what staycations are all about, sleep, watch TV, swim, eat and hit repeat mode.

 

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Coffee anytime with the Nespresso coffee machine

Sophie got so  excited when she saw the bath tub since she was sorely disappointed when we went for staycation at another hotel that didn’t have it. Notice how strategically it is placed so that you will not miss your favourite TV program when taking a bath. Pan Pacific Staycaion 02

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Since it was close to tea time after we checked in, I headed to the Pacific Club located on the 38th floor, a privilege that came with our stay in the Harbour Suite.

This exclusive 24-hour club offers guests an unrivaled club experience where champagne breakfast, afternoon tea from 3-5pm and sunset cocktail and canapés from 6-8pm are served while enjoying the breath-taking 360-degree view of the Marina Bay, Singapore Flyer, city skyline and South China Sea.

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Lucky for me, Alexis

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Having tea with a view of the Padang that’s slowing shaping up for NDP!

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Breakfast at the Pacific Club on the second day

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Besides the impressive food and view at the Pacific club, what floored me was the impeccable service that I experienced from every staff. I couldn’t help but overhear how some of the conversations they had with the guests some of whom were returning guests and the warmth and sincerity in their interactions with them.

They were knowledge in the places of interest that Singapore had to offer and even shared their personal stories of how they came to work in Pan Pacific and it really displayed a genuine
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New and innovative dining concepts promise to bring guests through a diverse culinary journey throughout the stay in Pan Pacific. That includes their signature Cantonese restaurant — Hai Tien Lo, international dining — Edge, Atrium and Pacific Marketplace. Be sure to check out the 22-metre long bar within Atrium.

 

We enjoyed complimentary breakfast for two at the Edge is included in the SG50 Staycation promotion.

 

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Breakfast can be taken in the Pacific Club or at Edge the “food theatre” restaurant. Here, seven live food theatres present a la minute cuisine, which includes a culinary tour of Singapore, the region and Pacific Rim.

After breakfast, head out to many of the attractions that are within short walking distance from the hotel such as Gardens by the Bay, MBS or Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay. Great if you can coincide your stay to take in a show!

Pan Pacific SG50 Staycation (Available on weekends until 29 December 2015)

. Priced from $258 it incudes:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • $50 hotel credit per night of stay
  • 20% savings for dinner at Atrium, Edge, Hai Tien Lo, Keyaki and Pacific Marketplace
  • Complimentary Internet access.
Here is another reason to go for a staycation
Celebrate the magical year when Singapore turns 50 with a rejuvenating experience at Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore. Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore offer all Singaporeans and local residents a memorable SG50 staycation.
Book now and indulge in complimentary breakfast for two and daily cumulative credit of SGD50, which can be used across hotel-operated dining and wellness facilities. Be spoilt by the impressive array of dining options and refresh your senses with a revitalising spa treatment.

Preparing for Primary One – Choosing the Right School

In less than a month, it will be our turn to make that all important decision on the primary school for Sophie. It’s going to be another major milestone for her, a place where she will receive her first formal education to start her on a lifelong journey of learning. By now, parents who need to enroll their kids who are born in 2009, would already have some school pr schools in mind as the registration opens in less than a month away in July 2015. More details on MOE website here.

But how does one decide on the RIGHT school for your kids when we have over 180 primary schools to choose from?

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Choosing the Right School

Alma Mater

As a ex-convent girl, I considered sending Sophie to my alma mater as I had many fond memories of my school days being in an all-girls school. The school I came from provided a good foundation both in terms of academics and gave me opportunities to peruse my interests from drama, to arts and netball. And of course, it also groomed girls to become young ladies, something that you don’t get out from a co-ed school. But hubby felt that the school was too far away especially when we have ,options much closer to our home.

Distance

After speaking to friends with primary school going kids, we concluded that distance to school and time taken to travel will be one of our top priorities when choosing a primary school for Sophie. After all, the shorter the distance to school from home means that a shorter travelling time and more time to sleep and rest.

When I was doing Parent Volunteer in the school that we decided, I observed that the school bus would arrive at 6:45am. I can’t even imagine how early these kids have to be up to catch their school bus in the mornings, 5 days a week for almost 40 weeks in a year.

I used to live just across my primary school and I remembered how convenient it was to simply walk to school or even just head home for a nice warm lunch prepared by mum before ECA started in the afternoons.

So while I still bore hopes of sending Sophie to my old school, I agreed that one closest to uswould be more ideal since it was also a reputable school in our neighbourhood. And that’s how we ended up applying to be parent volunteers in the primary school.

School’s Values and Vision

For us, we believe that the primary school going-years are not only the important years for Sophie to gain knowledge, but also one to develop her character to be an all-rounder. And while it may be tough to suss out if the schools really live by the values and vision that they have on their website, it would be useful to speak to parents whose children attend the school. You can do so by visiting forums such as Kiasu Parents, where parents are eager to share information about the school.

But be warned, as you may get overwhelmed by the overloading of information and start hyperventilating because the parents who are active on the forum truly live up to be kiasu parents in every way possible.

As we volunteered in the school that we chose, we had a glimpse of how the principal and teachers interacted with the students during various events like sports day, volunteer trips, festive celebrations and we did get a good sense that they do instill good values like being respectful, honesty, diligence, resilience, just to name a few.

I remembered during sports day when I was present as a parent volunteer, the principal addressed the students and reminded them to display sportsmanship. To cheer loudly for their own home and win with dignity and unity. But if they lose, to lose with grace and be happy for those who win. And he ended by reminding everyone to give high fives to their neighbour and wish each other good luck.

CCAs

CCAs will be an integral part of your child’s primary school. And it’s important that kids get the opportunity to develop their interest, allowing them to play to their strengths besides excelling academically.

From their CCAs, kids can also pick up important life skills, such as building their confidence, tenacity and perseverance, that will help them to be adaptable and maybe even pick up new skills.

Parent Volunteer

When I shared that I applied to be a parent volunteer in the school that we’re planning to enroll Sophie, a common question I get from friends is, so does doing PV gives us a guaranteed place in the school. Unfortunately, the answer is no. But I would like to think that it gives us better chance since we do live within 1km, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed and praying hard it doesn’t come to naught.

Of course, there are other considerations like affiliations by religious groups, churches, clans as well as serving as in grass roots that would put you in Phase 2B as well. To learn more about each phase, you can read up on this link from MOE.

 

So what are some factors you consider when deciding on the school to enroll our child in? Wishing you all the best for the primary one registration!

 

Other mums share their experience here

 

Father’s Day Card – Dad, You’re So Cool!

Father Day falls on 21st June this year. So on the blog, I’m sharing a Father’s Day card idea that’s for all the cool dads out there.

It’s not quite Summer here in our part of the world, after all all we get here in Singapore is Summerrific weather besides the rain. Anyway this idea was inspired after I saw it on Pebble’s Instagram account here since it’s Summer over in the US.

Dad, You’re So Cool!

To make the popsicle, I got my ice cream stick and a coloured card stock paper (3 inch by 4 inch) which I folded in half and attached the ice cream stick.

For extra details, I punched some stars to make them look like sprinkles and added dotted lines to the edge to make it stand out.

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I used complimenting card stock and put them together with washi tape (as always) and used alpha stickers since my handwriting is atrocious.

The finishing touch was a speech bubble wooden tag that I bought  from Typo and it really helped to brings out the message.

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Dad you’re so cool

I’m planning to make a few more popsicles where Sophie can pen messages on why she thinks daddy is cool at the back and place them in a mason jar so that Alexis can always read them from his little darling.

 

On a totally random note, I really adore the variety pack of wooden tags from Typo where there are 12 designs with 6 of each to choose from. The designs are super cute and adorable and favourite have got to he the donuts and slice of watermelon. These would make perfect embellishments for more cards or craft projects too.

There are other sets at Typo and I just discovered that Bugis Junction has a huge Typo on level 1 too!

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Hope you like this card idea and gives you some inspiration to celebrate the cool dude in your life!

 

 

To all the amazing dads, Happy Father’s Day!