Dear SAHMs, never regret your decision to choose family

They say that time flies by when you’re having a good time and I can’t agree more. I counted the months I’ve been a stay home mum, and it’s been a grand 17 months.

It certainly doesn’t feel that long.

2018 was a sabbatical year of rest where I focused on both physical and emotional healing after two surgeries. Once I came out of the woods in March this year, I dabbled with freelance work from home which gave me the flexibility of time so that I can be home with Sophie

I’m often met with choruses like,

“You’re so lucky to be home with your child.”

“I wish I can stop work like you.”

“If only my husband will allow me to stop working.”

I know that not everyone gets to have a choice to stop working and it’s something that I never take for granted. Or perhaps for you, it was more of not having a choice.

Kids who kept getting sick. Parents or in-laws who can’t help with the kids. Long waiting list for infantcare or childcare centres. Spouses who preferred you to be the main caregiver for the children.

Even though stay home mums are the envy of many working women, there is also a lot we had to give up to be home with our kids.

What Stay Home Mums Give Up

We gave up security.

The financial security of having two paychecks, not worrying about savings or having to tighten our purse strings. Going from dual income to single income means that we have to be extra prudent with our money so that we can still save and provide for ourselves, our kids an our parents.

The security of the future because in this day and age, no one is ever indispensable in the workplace. Whenever there are news about retrenchment, economy slowing down and recession, I say a prayer for my husband as the sole breadwinner.

We gave up advancements.

When I chose to stop work, I know that this move will be be a dent to my career advancement. While my peers were climbing up the corporate ladder, I took myself out of the rat race altogether.

We gave up community.

Ask any stay home mum, and most will tell you that it can be lonely being at home with the kids. Even though I make time to meet up with friends when my daughter is in school, the only voices I hear in a good part of the day are mine and my kid.

No regrets as a Stay Home Mum

But despite it all, I never have any regrets being a stay home mum because I know I am only needed for a season. My child will get older and her day will get busier and longer in school. And by then I will know that it’s time for me to return to the workforce.

I believe that money can be earned later, but there is only a window of time when our kids are most open to us before they hit their teens. A time when they are looking for a safe zone in their parents and I want to be around when she’s searching for answers. I want to be around when she needs comfort.

I’ll raise both hands up and admit that I don’t qualify as a domestic goddess. In fact, my mum would shake her head at me since I’m no where near her standard of what it means to be a traditional housewife. But cooking and cleaning is not what I signed up for. The house meets decent living standards but it is no magazine styled home. Meals are simple as I’m just not into cooking anything fancy.

In fact, I had to correct my grandma when she said that Sophie is going to be an A- student with me coaching her. I may coach her, but her exam results is all on her.

Dear mamas, I know there are days that get you down. Day when you feel defeated seeing all the toys on the floor staring back at you, the mountain of laundry to tackle, kids rolling around on the floor because you said no.

But all these will pass.

If you’ve made a choice to be a stay home mum, embrace that choice and all that comes with it. Never regret your decision to choose family. The kids will only be young for a while and before you know it, they have outgrown your lap.

You don’t have to be a perfect mum, just be a present mum. You are exactly where you need to be in this motherhood journey now.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about parenting.

 

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Loving our children unconditionally

Wanna hear a joke from Sophie?

What did the triangle say to the circle?
.

.

.

You’re pointless 🤣😂😁

 

💖Love letters to Sophie💖

You cracked me up with yet another joke and I thought to myself how I adore this playful side to you. You are our constant reminder to always look on the bright side of life, particularly the fun side.

There are also testing days when you challenge my authority to prove you have a mind of your own and no longer a child. Where your persistent whys as a babe have been replaced with why nots. When you are snappy and frustrate me with your angsty tweenage responses.

Loving all of you

But I want you to know that I still love all of you. Not just parts of you that are lovable but also the unlovable bits because even till today, I’m still a work-in-progress myself. And who’s to say that not what makes who you are too?

Loving our children unconditionally is a mama’s super power but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It just means I need to rely less on myself and more on God who first loved us so unconditionally.

 

It’s been on my mind to pen a book for Sophie.

A book to contain my love letters to her. A book that will also encourage other mums in their personal parenting journey as we can be so hard on ourselves.

Starting the first step is always the hardest but here goes the first letter 🙂

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts where I share my heart about parenting.

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more parenting posts updates. You can also follow me Instagram @ajugglingmom for more parenting and motherhood posts

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Kuai San Dian Xin – $1.30 Dim Sum opens 24-hours

Kuai San Dian Xin $1.30 点心 at 555 Ang Mo Kio

Located at Blk 555 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Kuai San Dian Xin ($1.30 点心) is a 24-hour Dim Sum coffeeshop store that prides itself in selling incredibly priced dim sum at $1.30! I learnt about this gem after it was featured in Eatbook. and brought Sophie and my mum there for lunch yesterday.

My mum who’s the queen of bargain was super impressed that I’ve reached auntie level like her in scouting out a good deal. She even pointed out the online coverage by food bloggers, Miss Tam Chiak and Seth Lui.

The 24 hour outlet at AMK is their 3rd location and you can also find them at Woodlands and Jurong East. Good for you Westies!

 

 

 

When we got there at 1pm on a Thursday afternoon, there was a short queue of 5 people. I heard the queue gets pretty long on weekends, so be prepared to wait.

From a menu of 33 items, we ordered 10 dishes, totaling to only $13.10! What a steal!

I’m sure you want to know if they taste good and here are my recommendations.

 

Fried Prawn Dumpling – The prawn meat is pretty substantial given its price and they were fried to perfection! A dish I’ll surely reorder.

Char Siew Bao – very mild BBQ marinate for the mini-sized char siew baos. But hey, it’s always a hit with kids and Sophie got me to reorder this for her. There were also other buns like coffee, lotus paste and  custard baos.

Prawn Dumpling and Siew Mai – very good mouthful of prawn and meat respectively for these two dim sum staples.The meat and prawn filling were well seasoned but I find the skin of the prawn dumpling too chewy for my liking.

HK Style Char Siew Chee Cheong Fun – very decent amount of char siew rolled in silky soft chee cheong fun.

Chicken Glutinous Rice- The meat was well marinated with a piece of mushroom. Portion was big but the rice was lackluster in flavour.

Chicken Feet – I’m not a fan of this exotic delicacy but my mum said that it had the restaurant quality.

Wrapped Chicken– two pieces of nicely marinated chicken meat but a tad too dry. I had a hard time peeling the meat off the paper too.

Beacurd Skin Roll – this is another of my favourite as the skin was so crispy and the fillings were savory and juicy.

 

Even though, there were some misses the overall experience at $1.30 Dim Sum was pretty good. And for $1.30 per dish, it’s a bargain that all Singaporean foodies will love.

 

Kuai San Dian Xin $1.30 点心

Address: Blk 555 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Singapore 560555

Opening hours: 24 hours

Facebook: $1.30 Dim Sum

 

 

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Centrum for Women Multivitamins Review and Giveaway

As much as I buy the saying age is just a number, I’ll be better off wisening up by taking extra care of my body now that I’m approaching my 40s.

While it’s been proven that age reduces our metabolic rate and ability to absorb nutrients from our food, it is possible to keep ourselves in optimum health by making simple changes. Starting from what we eat.

 

Keep in optimum health by making small changes, starting from what we eat.

 

That’s why I’m been paying attention to my diet especially breakfast as it’s the first meal to power me through the day. Despite my best attempts to prepare healthy meals, there are days when this cooking mama hangs up her apron, because let’s get real, I’m no domestic goddess.

I enjoy dining out with friends because that’s when I get to indulge in happy food – the kind that’s big on taste but oftentimes unhealthy, like fried and spicy food. Otherwise, I simply grab what’s most convenient. Are they always the most wholesome and nutritious choices?

Not all the time.

But it’s hard to ignore the fact that my body is missing out on important vitamins and minerals.  The telltale signs? Brittle nails, hair loss, feeling tired and weaken immunity with more sniffles. Do I see you nodding in agreement too?

Food vs Supplement. Which is better?

So should you obtain your nutrients from your diet or supplements?

I’ll say, go with the best of both worlds. Getting your nutrients directly from food is no doubt the better option, but as we get older, our ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases.

Moreover, supplements are so convenient these days with so many choices available and they provide the recommended daily amount of vitamins needed in just one pill.  To supercharge my diet, I’ve been taking multivitamins to fill in my nutritional gaps.

Plugging nutritional gaps with Centrum for Women

Centrum for Women Multivitamins

Centrum for Women is a complete multivitamin with adjusted levels of vitamins and minerals to fill the specific nutritional gaps of women. How so?

Centrum for Women’s formula has more calcium, vitamin D and magnesium as well as over 20 other important vitamins and minerals to support the unique nutritional needs of women.

To make sure I never miss my daily dose of vitamins, I always pop it straight after breakfast.

I’ve tried a few brands of multivitamins and I can tell you which never got repurchased because they leave such a horrible aftertaste that lingers. In fact, I was guilty of abandoning a newly opened bottle of multivitamins because it left me feeling so nausea that I wanted to gag each time I took it.

Naturally that was my top concern when I made the switch. I was so relieved that I didn’t face such problems when I switched to Centrum for Women multivitamins. The purple capsules are a comfortable size and I never have any difficulties swallowing them.

After taking them for half a month, I’m a happy and healthy convert.

Oh, and one noticeable change is how my brittle nails are looking so much healthier with no cracks. Which means I can finally do a manicure and not worry about damaging my nails.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to health, but Centrum can help with multivitamins that are specially created for women. If you haven’t found a go-to multivitamin, give Centrum for Women a try today. After all, it’s never too late to take care of your well-being.

You can purchase Centrum for Women multivitamins from major pharmacies and supermarkets in Singapore as well as online at Centrum or Pretty Healthy.

 

– WIN Centrum for Women + Centrum for Men – 

Thanks for my kind sponsor, I’ll be giving away a bottle of Centrum for Women and Centrum for Men to get you started on being healthier parents!

To participate, simply head to my Instagram account @ajugglingmom.

1. FOLLOW @ajugglingmom and @centrumsg.

2. LIKE this giveaway post after reading my review.

3. TAG 3 other friends to share this giveaway with them.

 

This giveaway is open only to those residing in Singapore and closes on 14 August 2019 23:59. You must complete Steps 1-3 to be eligible for the giveaway. All the best!

Take note:

  • Winners will be notified via email or direct message on IG.
  • This giveaway is only open to all readers residing in Singapore. This giveaway is by no means endorsed, administered or affiliated with Instagram.

 

This post is brought to you by Centrum.

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Yip Yew Chong LocoMole Heritage Mural Trail

 

Yip Yew Chong is no stranger to the Singapore street art scene. As a self-taught artist, Yew Chong has painted countless heritage murals depicting Singapore’s culture and heritage.

Many of his street art features vanishing trades from ma jies, to traders, puppet sellers to his most recent mural, Cantonese opera singers. We were privileged to hear the inspirations behind a few of his murals from Yip Yew Chong on the Heritage Mural Trail with LocoMole.

 

LocoMole Yip Yew Chong Street Art Trail in Chinatown

LocoMole is an experiential discovery mobile app with over 75 interactive self-guided trails around Singapore. This app allows users to immerse in Singapore’s heritage using storytelling, interactive games and augmented reality.

The latest self-guided heritage trail was done in collaboration with Yip Yew Chong, showcasing his murals in Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Everton Road. These were the murals we visited around Chinatown accompanied by the artist himself!

Yip Yew Chong LocoMole Heritage Mural Trail

Chinatown Heritage Mural Trail

1.”Mid-Autumn Festival 庆中秋”  

Mural location:  No. 83 Pagoda Street back alley, behind Lucky Chinatown

Created in September 2018

Mooncakes and lanterns are the main highlight of the Mid-Autumn Festival. I’m sure the animal shaped lanterns made of colourful cellophane paper bring back lots of childhood memories.

Yew Chong let us in on a mistake that he overlooked while painting this mural.

Can you spot it? The clue is found on the table of food.

While mooncakes, pomelos, tea and piggy-shaped biscuits are enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival, tang yuan are only served during Winter Solstice or 冬至.

Did you guess that correctly?

Yew Chong said that after he painted the kids playing with lanterns, someone told him that they looked like Yew Chong and his siblings. Yew Chong mischievously added that he used to play games such as attempting to put out one another’s candle flames and making ghostly faces with the flames shining from their jaws.

The superman lantern that resembles Yew Chong!

Use the Loco Mole app to get your very own AR lantern.

2. “My Chinatown Home”, 我家牛车水 

Mural location: 30 Smith Street.

Created in April 2019

 

This mural depicts Yip Yew Chong’s first home in Sago Lane, Chinatown. The attention to every detail on this long stretch of wall is astounding as he painted it based on his memories.

Yew Chong’s late grandmother sewing a patchwork blanket

He shared about how life was sharing the house with his family as well as other families who were co-tenants. He was asked why cats are always featured in his paintings and explained that many households kept cats as pets to keep the rats away.

Sophie immediately exclaimed, “Oh, that’s what Por Por used to tell me too!” I was so heartened to know that Sophie remembered the stories that my mum used to tell her of her youth.

Yew Chong and his siblings playing a game “aeroplane chess” in this part of the mural. Being kids, they often pretended they were superman and jumped off the bed to his mum’s dismay.

Mummy, do you want a candy too?

Are you old enough to know why there’s a cabinet hanging from the ceiling?

Here you can use the Locomole app to “open the door” and explore Yip Yew Chong’s home in 360 degrees in Augmented Reality.

3. “Cantonese Opera”

Mural location: Temple Street (gable wall of No.252 South Bridge Road).

Created in April 2019.

This vibrant mural depicting a Cantonese opera scene is strikingly remarkable!

As a boy, Yew Chong often followed his aunt to watch Cantonese operas. From there, the extravagant costumes, elaborate background and props caught his attention which went on to inspire his style of art.

He remembered how the opera was watched by people of all races and ages, so he made sure to add that in the mural.

On each side of the stage, there are mobile food stalls –one selling rojak by an Indian and another selling ice cream by a Chinese

Use the Locomole app and be a part of the opera troupe in Augmented Reality!

4. “Lion Dance Head Maker and the Window”

Mural location: Mohamed Ali Lane, Chinatown (on the side wall of House 227 South Bridge Road).

Created in October 2018.

This mural of a Lion Dance Head Maker Shop at Mohamed Ali Lane is based on the actual shop at No. 3 Ann Siang Hill in the 1980s.

The man that Yew Chong drew is Henry Ng, one of Singapore’s lion dance costume makers. Henry is one of the last full-timers, which makes him a custodian of this vanishing trade even though lion dance is very much a Chinese tradition for auspicious occasions.

 


Above on the second floor window are two ladies, an Indian and Chinese. In the past, it was common for families of different race and language to live under the same roof in the shophouses.

Using the LocoMole app, tap on the AR Scan and join a lion dance in Augmented Reality!

5. “Mamak Shop”

Mural location: Mohamed Ali Lane, Chinatown (on the side wall of House 227 South Bridge Road).

Created in October 2018.

A little further, you can find the ‘Mamak’ shop – a convenience store usually owned by early Indian immigrants.

Sophie was delighted to spot “treasures” like country erasers and lollipops in the Mamak shop. Pretty amazing how well-stocked a humble mamak shop can be back in those days.

6. “Paper Mask and Puppet Seller”

Mural location: Mohamed Ali Lane, Chinatown (on the side wall of House 227 South Bridge Road).

Created in October 2018.

The last mural is paper mask and puppet seller Mr Yeo Ban Kok. I must admit I’ve never heard of him before this trail.

I can imagine it must have be exhausting balancing so many colourful masks and puppets and hawkering them from his cart.

7.  Tong Heng Bakery

285 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058833

This 80-year-old brand Singapore heritage brand specialising in Chinese pastries was our last stop for the day and concluded our preview of LocoMole’s heritage mural trail.

With the LocoMole app, we could redeem a $4 discount from Tong Heng’s Double Blessings Pastry Set.

 

Review of LocoMole Heritage Mural Trail with a Discount Code

This self-guided heritage mural trail is a fun and interactive way to capture kids’ curiosity and deepen their appreciation for our history and culture. With the LocoMole app, you can easily find the murals around Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Everton Road mapped out without the hassle to plan it personally .

This is a history lesson with a difference for kids, as they get to learn interesting facts about each artwork be it a festival, trade or simply sights from the past in the palm of their hands with the brief write up on the app.

Sophie enjoyed the various AR activities at each spot. They were prefect opportunities for her to discover more about each artwork and their significance to our culture too.

Personally I feel the quality of the AR photos can be improved as the photos captured were grainy for us. The Yip Yew Chong heritage mural trail is priced at $9.98. You’ll also enjoy discounts at a few local dining outlets, like 1-for-1 all day breakfast set at Killiney,  $20 off Wholly Crab seafood bucket, and other.

Discount Code for LocoMole Heritage Mural Trail

This heritage street art trail makes an educational activity for families, so the good folks at LocoMole has extended a 50% discount for readers of A Juggling Mom blog until 31 December 2019.

To enjoy this discounted Yip Yew Chong trail, either click on the link to be directed online or download the Locomole app and key in the promo code, “golocalsusan”  and you can play tourist in your own city for the month of August with your family!

Check out their YouTube video and see how the app works here!

 

 

 

 

A Juggling Mom was invited to LocoMole’s Yip Yew Chong Street Art Trail to write this review. All opinions and photos are mine unless otherwise stated.

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