Credit: FrameAngel, freedigitalphotos.net
My mom has just been diagnosed with dementia. I knew it in my heart even before the geriatrician announced his diagnosis. The signs were there – her poor memory, her inability to reason, and in recent times, her increased anxiety and (almost incessant) repetitive questioning. That last bit has been the hardest part to deal with.
At the moment, I am very blessed to have a good live-in helper. But her work contract is coming to an end soon and I am not confident that she will stay. If I’m in her position, I’ll choose to work elsewhere. It is one tough job.
So a thought that I have pushed away for a while is resurfacing: Should I send my mom to a nursing home?
While it seems common for people in the ‘West’ to live in a nursing home in their old age, the decision to send one’s parents to an old folks’ home in this part of the world is often imbued with moral implications.
Here, we are inculcated with the value of filial piety from young and children are expected to look after their parents in their old age. Sending one’s parents to a nursing home is often frowned upon as being unfilial.
A long time ago, I used to think the same way, too, that sending one’s parents to a nursing home is wrong. Back then, life was just black or white; grey was not accommodated. But after I graduated from university and started my first job as a medical social worker, it opened my eyes to the predicaments of caregiving and I realized my views had been too simplistic. Placing one’s parents in a home does not mean the children no longer love or care for their parents. Sometimes, it’s simply that the level of care required by the elderly person is beyond the children’s abilities to manage. (more…)
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my childhood, and as far as I can remember, it had been rather boring.
My parents were poor so we never went on any family holidays abroad. But that’s no excuse for not having some fun family activities. Yet, when I try recalling what we did as a family, my mind is often a blank. We did visit some places of interests but these were more treats than a regular feature. I suppose one of the reasons was that we were financially challenged and outings do cost money. The other reason, I thought, was that my dad’s job had been tough and the weekend was a time to catch some rest.
But we did have fun in small little ways.
I always remember how my dad would catch dragonflies (and another kind of insect which I never found out its name) for me and tie a thin little string on their tails and I would fly them as if they were kites (but we never killed them – we would always return them to nature). Or my dad would bring me to this theme park at night where I loved trying on clip earrings at one of the stalls. I was just a little girl then – probably not even in kindergarten yet!
But somehow, mom seemed often missing in the picture – I couldn’t remember why. She must have stayed home to catch up with house chores which she couldn’t do while looking after me during the day.
Now that I am a mother, I want to be different. (more…)
Moms are probably the busiest people on earth – from household chores, taking care of the kids, to our work, and juggling our other roles as wives, daughters and more. It’s no wonder many of us find that 24 hours a day is barely enough time.
But if we are to seriously think about it, is it really true that we don’t have enough time? Or are there, perhaps, changes we can make that will help us save time, create calmness in our lives and to even squeeze in some me-time every day?
One of the areas I’m working on this year is putting in place systems for my home and my work so that I can be more efficient and effective. Here are some things I am doing that I find are helping me to better manage my time and be more productive.
1. Plan in advance
Planning is probably one of the most basic rules of time management, but to be honest, I’ve never been disciplined enough. So this year, I’m making this a priority. This means to plan my days, weeks and even months in advance. Planning gives me clarity and helps me stay focused. (more…)
I have a dream. I believe all writers share this same dream – which is to someday publish their own book (all the better if it turns into a bestseller!).
But never in my imagination had I thought that this dream would materialize any time soon, at least not this year, not in the way it had happened.
It all started with a conversation with my friend. I can’t recall what we were talking about, but I casually mentioned to her that I hope to write a book on mompreneurship, a subject I’m passionate about.
To my surprise, she shared that a publisher had approached her to write about work life balance but given her commitments she didn’t feel she could take it up at that point (she’s founder of Mums@Work, a social enterprise in Singapore that helps moms find better balance between being moms and workers through flexi-work or starting their own business). Through my sharing, she saw the possibility of us working together and shortly after, an appointment with the publisher was set up. Things went well at the first meeting and soon we found ourselves signing an agreement with the publisher to work on the book. (more…)
My heart has been trudging through tough terrains lately because of some events that happened unexpectedly.
Tough as it may be, it’s going through this challenging time as a mom that has been harder to handle.
In the beginning, there were times when I just wanted to go away and be alone. Twice, I lost my temper at my son. But just as soon as I did that, guilt washed over me. I immediately apologised and held him tight in my arms, assuring him it wasn’t his fault.
This whole experience got me thinking about how I should deal with tough times as a mom. More importantly, how can I help my son to cope with challenges in life?
While I feel a need to be strong for my son’s sake, I don’t want to pretend that things are fine. After all, setbacks are a reality of life and even the little one experiences a bit of that once in a while – like when mommy and daddy refused to buy him a toy even though he was bawling his eyes out and his voice was turning hoarse from crying.
However, at two-and-a-half years-old, he is too young to understand what happened. Yet, I believe he can sense that I’m feeling down, and it probably affected him, as he did throw more tantrums than normal when I was riding out the emotional roller coaster.
But it’s never too early to start thinking. So I imagine the day when my son is old enough, and what I would say. (more…)