5 January 2013, by Mandy Loh
Happy new year everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and here’s wishing you an awesome 2013 ahead!
This time of year tends to make one rather reflective, and recently I’ve been thinking back on the last 18 months since Cristan’s birth. I must say, we’ve really had a rocking good time so far!
What amuses me most is how Tim and I have been operating pretty much on-the-fly as parents! We honestly make it up as we go along, and somehow, things have fallen into place quite nicely. I think the only mental preparation we did while we were expecting, was agreeing on a parent-directed approach as our parenting philosophy. (In a nutshell, it means that we do not allow our child to become the centre of our universe.) This shared philosophy has served us really well in our day-to-day decision-making. For example, although we try to establish a fixed routine for Cristan to nap and go to bed at the same time every day, we’re not fanatical about it, and would be ok to shift the timings a little should circumstances require it. (Which was really useful when attending the many Christmas parties last month!)
As a mom, I never thought too long or hard about any major decisions until crunch-time. I still recall when Cristan turned 6 months old, I panicked when I realised I was totally clueless about how to introduce him to solid food. So I turned to Google, which led me to find out about baby-led weaning, and that was what we ended up doing. Now, a year later, I’m so proud that Cristan is happily feeding himself, and with proper cutlery too! He also has a very healthy attitude towards food, eating a wide variety of meats, vegetables and fruits, and meal-times are (mostly) a breeze. Of course, he’s still a toddler so he does act up at the dining table once in a while, but we’ll cut him some slack!
When Cristan turned one year old, I thought briefly about weaning him off the breast, but I figured there was no need to do so until he was ready to stop nursing. So hey, yet another decision easily made! To me, nursing is probably one of the most beautiful aspects of motherhood, and I’m happy to keep it going for as long as possible. It most certainly helps to calm the tantrums of the infamous “terrible twos”, which, despite the misleading term, actually starts at the age of one!
Currently, with Cristan being 18 months old, we’ve reached yet another decision-making point: when to start sending him to preschool. The thought had flitted across my mind several times in earlier months, but I had let it flit right on by without taking any action. However, fellow blogger and good friend, Yi Lin, has already enrolled Coco into a preschool, and she’s 2 months younger than Cristan! *Gasp* So I decided to get off my bum at last, and did some earnest research within the last few weeks.
Thankfully, we’re blessed to be staying in an area with many preschools nearby, and after checking out tons of mommy reviews online, we’ve more or less decided on a school within walking distance from our place, for a half-day programme, 3 times a week. We’re not in a hurry, so Cristan will probably only start sometime in the 2nd quarter of this year. There you go, yet another major decision done and dusted!
So friends, the point of this whole rambly entry really is, parenting ain’t as complicated as you think! You don’t need to do that much pre-planning, just take the plunge and work things out as you go along. It’s much more fun this way too!