At the end of the day, we all love our kids.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Nian and I have been together for more than 7 years and married for 5. When we first got married, everyone asked us, "How's married life?"

Which, to be honest, wasn't any much different because we spend majority of our time at work and during evenings, we basically spent our time having dinner, watching TV and sleep. There really wasn't many things we could quarrel about!

I feel that Nian and I are great as partners because we compliment each other very well? It is as simple as how I am talkative and he is more quiet, so we didn't need to out-talk one another.

Other days, I am more quick-tempered, while he is generally more mellow, so he calms me down when I ovary-act. (Geddit? Damn those hormones sometimes) But of course, sometimes my quick temper prevents him from being taken advantage of, which he claims that my temper isn't all THAT bad, haha!

While things stay majorly the same, it also became very different when Dylan came about.

As a mother, I realised I am very, very soft-hearted when it comes to dealing with these kids, especially when they are very young! It's like I would punish and scold them when I am really mad at them, my heart always softens when they break out into their heartbreaking cries.

Nian likes to teach them independence while I tend to baby them a lot. Take bedtime, for example. I remember when Dylan was merely 6 months old when we tried to "sleep-train" him. Basically, we would train him to put himself to sleep gradually and independently.

Previously, I have always nursed Dylan until he falls asleep, then I would replace my boobs with the pacifier, and then gingerly tip-toe out of the room, ninja-style. The problem came when I had to start working and while I was away, Dylan couldn't fall asleep AT ALL! He would be in such a hysterical state, crying non-stop for hourssss until he got so tired, he concussed.

So it came a time where my usually easy-going hubby put his foot down and declared, "We cannot let Dylan sleep with you around anymore. He has to do it himself."

Can you imagine?!

A puny little 6-month-old who could barely crawl or sit properly, trying to put himself to bed? Wouldn't he feel so lonely, so unloved? All he wanted was his mummy to be with him!

I think that was the first huge argument Nian and I had. He came up with this:

Dylan's Sleep Training Plan
To put Dylan to bed at the same time every single day. For the first day, we will let him cry for 1 minute, and then we will go in and soothe him. As soon as he is settled, we would leave the room and let try to let him fall asleep by himself. If he cries, repeat the cycle.

So the first day, we started off with letting him "cry-it-out" for a minute. I couldn't take it when I hear him cry, and wanted to go in to pacify him. Nian refused to let me go in! Some days, I sit on the sofa crying with him as we extended the time to two minutes and three minutes.

My guilt hit me like a lorry every time he finally puts himself to bed after crying. That peaceful sleeping face didn't come without at least 15 minutes of crying, every single day, for at least a week.

I hated this training plan and I was very, very mad with Nian for letting him go through that.

Now, at 3 years old, Dylan is more independent than ever. From that successful sleep training session (which took slightly over a week), Dylan could fall asleep by himself. He didn't need me to be sleeping beside him before he drifts off to sleep, leaving me time to fuss over Alexis if necessary. He also didn't need to cry bloody murder when I work at night, which makes me more relaxed and less agitated.

In the past, I would rush home as soon as I finish hosting. I would be exhausted from work, Nian would be tired and irritated from Dylan's incessant cries... and Dylan would feel tired and sad because mommy wasn't around. It was just a lot of negativity around us and I was so close to giving up hosting events altogether until he was older.

When I look back at this journey, I feel that Nian wants the best out of Dylan too? It's like while I baby him to make him feel loved and cared for, Nian went an entirely different approach to teach him "the hard way", which was really painful in the beginning, but very beneficial in the long run.

I guess this is how it is, right?

There are simply so many methods to get one thing done.


On a more recent note, you know how people always say kids go through Terrible Twos? Well, Dylan doesn't go through that at all last year, but this 'difficult phase' came a bit later this year... I call it the Terrifying Three.

What in the world is the Terrifying Three?

For one, I think Dylan is undergoing some mixed emotions of sorts? It's like one moment he would be this super angel who would do anything you ask him to, from bringing the clothes to the washing machine, to helping his sister take her diapers, to tidying up his play room... he would be 120% cooperative!

And then out of nowhere, THIS HAPPENS:


Here's a classic example that is still fresh in my mind:

A couple of days ago, I promised Dylan that he would get to watch his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse IF he finishes his dinner quick. Long story short, he didn't, and by the time he was done, I was angry and annoyed and so, I decided I would take away his cartoon-privilege.

So I told him that he wouldn't be able to watch his cartoons.

He broke out wailing and refused to stop. Usually, our conversation goes like this during a meltdown:

Me: "Do you know why you can't watch the cartoon, Dylan?"
Dy: "Yes. Because I didn't eat well."

And usually, he understands it this way and accepts his punishment. But this incident was different. Right after he gave his explanation, he retorted, "But I can still watch the TV because I WANT TO! Mummy cannot say no. Only Dylan can say no."

Eventually, it came down to a point where he couldn't get me to turn on the TV for him, and neither would his daddy.

While we were on the same boat with this decision, our parenting method started to differ from here.

I tried to distract him with other things, I gave him a hug, and just like what I read from self-help books (Dummies Guide To Being A Good Mother lol), I acknowledged his sadness and anger and told him that he had to go through with his punishment as a result of him not eating well.

However, even though he cannot watch TV anymore, I asked him if he would like me to read him a storybook, or play some toys, or have a cup of jelly that I made.

Of course, Mr. Angry gave me a big fat no with every suggestion made.....

And then Mr. Easy Going Husband snapped. "I am going to send you to bed NOW. GO."

Can you imagine the situation?

I was trying to calm the 3-year-old down, while the hubby is pushing the punishment to Gear 4! Dylan was like climbing all over me, attempting to run away from the hubby while wanting me to hug him at the same time... it was a mayhem.

Thankfully, Nian realised that we were going nowhere using the tough method, so we switched gears and changed our strategy to a negotiation one.

"Will you go take your shower and then prepare for bed, if Daddy shows you this short video clip?" Nian asked.

Dylan nodded his head eagerly, seemingly to have completely forgotten what he was fighting so hard for just 10 seconds ago. And 30 minutes later, he was happy, showered and ready for bed. The entire fiasco was somehow... forgotten.

As you can see, even though Nian and I are great partners and we work well together, it is inevitable that we have different ways of dealing with our children at times.

Just like the previous posts we have written as part of Nestle's #NurtureYourChild project, we discuss over everything regarding our children. The first post was about how we would deal with children when they are upset, and the second discussion was about balancing between giving our children extra-curriculum classes or a carefree childhood. (A HUGE thank you to all parents who shared your opinions and experiences with us!!)

Sometimes, discussions are easy because we have the same point of view, and other times it escalates into arguments because we cannot come to a consensus. But one thing's for sure, we all love our children at the end of the day.

Just received this wonderfully made video by the crew from Nestlé Baby Club Singapore! I didn't cry or feel emotional during the interview but somehow, when I rewatch this, I started tearing LOL. I hope you enjoy this video and remember the key take away is... No matter how much a couple quarrel, you know deep in your hearts, it is because both of you love your children, albeit in a different way. <3 #NurtureYourChild (And thank goodness I had Annabelle Skin and The Clifford Clinic- NO MORE PIMPLES AND FRECKLES. Close up also don't have right!?) :D
Posted by lifestyle, fashion, parenting on Tuesday, 17 November 2015

What are some of the things you deal with differently from your spouse? Share them with me!

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  1. Lol on the "ovary-act"! Working with spouse in parenting is a long learning journey.

  2. We really should train our 3-year-old to sleep on his own. He wants us to tell him stories and sometimes it takes a long time. Sometimes you just need to let them cry.

  3. Very common to have same objective, but different paths.
    After so many years, we are still trying to agree to disagree.

    cheers, andy

  4. omg. this sounds EXACTLY like how it goes in our household. Good cop bad cop. And I am totally with you about softening the reproach or 'punishment' with a hug..etc. whilst hubby's all RAAAAWR, listen to me!! We are still working it out but it does seem like I am "winning" in this battle. So hopefully the kiddo and I don't kill each other during the school hols!

  5. I'm the disciplinarian in my household. My husband usually lets me handle the tantrums and setting rules and routines. But similar to Nian, he had snapped once or twice. Guess the mellowness has its limits too!

  6. Awwww! I love it that you gave him full marks plus two bonus points! What a beautiful video!

  7. We are hitting the terrible two phase and my girl is just 1.5 years! Gotta pick up a tip or two from you!!

  8. Hmm.. both my hubby and I took turns to be disciplinarian... I think we are on the same page when it comes to guiding our children. Of course if one gets overwhelm, the other has to take over. :)

  9. I am always against sleep training but am envious of kids that sleep on their own, but I also want to feel wanted by my babies. Such a dilemma. But I'm glad my hubby didn't make me do that. His way of dealing with the kids is very different. We quarreled more when the kids came about. But ultimately, we both love the kids a lot. It is a new phase where husband and wife get to know each other and try to work with each other evenmore! :)

    Vivien ( Beautiful Chaos )

  10. I love love love the video Nestle did for your family. So heartwarming and you are very photogenic Jac! Every child is different. With our elder girl, we had it easy, she was a rather easy going baby. Now with Buddy, our son, it's a whole new game. We've been married 16 years and still trying to come to a common ground on parenting. So jia you! :D

  11. Sometimes we disagree with each other's parenting reactions to situations too but we'll try to not argue about it in front of Lil Pumpkin. Must always try to have a united front!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka


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