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Taking Care of Yourself

Do you feel that taking care of your children, husband, home and job is taking over your life? Do you feel overwhelmed? Stop! Take a breath, you are not alone. Here are some tips for busy mothers.

Super Mom

Not Enough Time

Do you sometimes feel you don't have enough time for yourself? First time mothers might feel overwhelmed, you have to figure out how this new being who just came into your life ticks, you are suffering from a lack of sleep, but you struggle on. Without family support, some women can easily fall into depression or post-natal blues.

Don't worry that you are not doing everything perfectly, or you aren't doing enough. I am here to share your burden and shorten your learning curve. Since before even getting pregnant for the first time, I have read so many books, talked to so many teachers and experienced mothers and finally been there and done it myself. I am here to help the newbie mommies out there.

Let me reassure you, Knowledge is Power. Motherhood is like nothing else you will ever experience. You will love someone else more than yourself, more than you can imagine and more than you thought possible. You are willing to die for this new being, this baby who didn't even exist just one year ago. You can carry him for hours till you lose all sensation in your limbs.

From the moment this new baby was put in your arms and the tears rushed to your eyes, a bond between mother and child was formed. This bond will grow stronger and stronger over time, it will be tested periodically, you will have to do everything for this new addition for quite a while.

Your job is to teach and guide your child through thick and thin. Your job is ironically to make yourself slowly redundant over the years until one day, he no longer needs you. He has become an independent person, able to strike out in the world on his own, his future bright and shiny before him.

If you haven't done this, your job is not complete. If you never accomplish this task, you have failed as a mother. Don't expect appreciation and gratitude from your husband and children, it became your job when you decided to have kids. If your hubby and kids shower you with their love and kisses, it's a bonus! Hug them back tightly and say you love them so much. YOU are the luckiest person on Earth at this moment.

The 3 Week Diet

Support Group

Form your own support group of moms (and dads too) to go on play dates and just keep abreast of what is going on around you, besides just focusing on your baby. It is useful to exchange information especially for your first child when you don't know what to expect even after reading all the books. Yeah, your child can experience this weird unheard of ailment...

With my first child who was born in October, a friend formed a group called 'Octobabes' for all the babies she knew born that month in 2003. We went for classes together and playdates in each other's homes, we even celebrated their collective 1st birthdays together, all 18 of them. Some of our Octobabes' siblings were also born in the same year. We are still friends, some of our kids are in the same primary school now and we still chat when we bump into each other.

Burnout

Yes, you and your child can actually suffer Burnout. You are the best judge of when enough is enough. Don't overdo things, I know it is tempting to sign your child up for so many interesting programmes which are available.

Reward yourself

Once in a while, you need to have a time-out and get away from the kids. Take the time to treat yourself to a spa or mani/pedicure, fix your hair or just veg out.

On a lighter note, watch this funny Ted.com video by Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editer-in-chief of The Huffington Post on the Power of a good night's sleep.

Stock up on all the essentials needed for your motherhood maternity needs and new baby at Mother & Baby Fairs which happen every month or so. You can also find lots of educational materials located all in one venue for convenience.

There is always a Book Fair going on somewhere in Singapore. Get books at steep discounts and there are sometimes even activities available to entertain the kids at the big fairs.

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My Journey from US size 0 to 8 & Back
(I sacrificed my body to science just for you, my dear blog readers)

After my 3rd kid, I was a size 6-8 (depending on my dinner). I really tried everything:

  • Exercise - 10-12 km jogs everyday
  • Eating Less - Isn't losing weight just 'Eating less & Moving more'?
  • Duramine Diet pills - I lost my appetite, became an insomniac but was totally pepped up with energy. All would have been well except you can't take this long term coz' it's bad for your internal organs & I was cranky as hell! (What do you expect with 3 -4 hours of sleep every night, I was getting delusional...)
  • Tummy patches from Korea - You can't use this everyday coz' in the Singapore heat, it gets itchy. The verdict is still out on this, I think I just got an extremely itchy & sweaty stomach, with a slight loss in belly fat.
  • Marie France Bodyline Slimming Treatments - I tried a cocktail of all their treatments (1 each at a promotional price). I did lose quite a bit of my weight gain from my pregnancies and most of my stomach fat (my problem area), but the pounds rushed right back after I stopped the program (Who can spend thousands of $$$ to maintain my post-treatment weight? Darn, aren't I supposed to be able to keep the weight off on a semi-permanent basis?).
  • Body wraps & 'Lipolysis' - OK, be careful of this. You can suffer so much water loss through sweat and dehydration that you actually feel dizzy & unwell. The inch loss and weight loss is imaginary as you will definitely need to drink water & Boom! It's baaaaccccck...
  • Indonesian Jamu massages - This was my first treatment & the massage was quite painful (1 hour's worth of 'No pain, no gain') & there appeared to be bruises on my tummy. The massage was supposed to 'soften' the hard crystallized fat in your belly!
  • Zaggora Hotpants - I loved these hotpants for running, you sweat like a pig under the wetsuit material of the hotpants and feel like you have accomplished a whole lot. I did get my amazing trim thighs!
  • 3 Week Diet - I am working on getting my tummy as flat as possible and maybe getting that line down the middle of your stomach if you are really in great shape for a woman. I am on a reasonable high protein-low carb diet plan (No Atkins diet for me!). By reasonable, I mean I eat like a normal person, no starvation required. In fact, I try to eat small meals 4 hourly, supplemented with Fish oil, Whey protein, CLA, Leucine, Greens+ Superfoods, Fat burners and plenty of water to clear the toxins from my body. (Work in progress - I will report back to you of the results)

My After weight loss picture was taken at the beginning of this year and I am 45 years old (2015). I am a US size 2-4 now. I don't think I will ever be a size 0 again in this lifetime & be able to slip on a dress without even unzipping it (like in the good ole days... never mind, there is always my next life.)

In case you think I have skinny Chinese genes, nope, my grandfather had pants 3 normal-sized guys could get into. My mother used to horrify me with stories of how my aunt's 20 inch waist before marriage became 20 inch thighs after her 4 kids. I was determined not to walk down that scary path of permanently being called 'Auntie' by all and sundry.

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    Oct 20, 16 10:41 PM

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