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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What kind of a parent do I want to be?

I guess since i had kaira this is a question that is always on my mind.  Of course I have sought to enlighten myself and broaden my perspective through books and of course prayers and seeking the Lord.

But many a times I find myself falling short. I find myself doing things that I know I should not. Saying things that hurt. And sometimes just trying to assert myself as a parent. 

Whilst I try my best, I find myself really needing te grace of God to help me. It is a humbling experience. I thank God for the many moments that I have had the opportunity to self-reflect and examine my heart and actions.  Although very often i fall back into old habits and undesirable behavior :(

I find myself modelling negative behaviour - most of the time subconsciously - based on my own experience as a child. Although there are times i catch myself and remind myself to choose NOT to be ......... Because its exactly the kind of behaviour I don't want to see in myself as a parent. 

I wished I had better role models. Maybe then I will not struggle so much. But this is my lot and I do not have a choice so I can only ask for the Lord's grace and wisdom. And  I should not put the blame on others - after all I am able to make a conscious choice and I have responsibility for that. 

Recently, due to some struggles and challenges I m going, I have been self reflecting once again. And one of the topics that have been on my mind is - what kind fo parent I don't want to be. I felt that I needed such markers. Of course I also know what kind of parent I WANT to be... But sometimes having negative markers put things in perspective. 

So here are some points to remind myself in future :

1) I do not want to be the kind of parent who impose on their children just so to be considerate to others. I have seen this before and totally cannot comprehend why people do such things??

2) I do not want to be a 'bo-chap' a parent. Not sure how to explain it in simple English ... Whilst its important to nurture independent kids, kids who can fend for themselves and who exercises good judgement, I  not going to let it to be an excuse to be less involved in my child's live. Even if I have to make sacrifices, I want to be tere for my child, especially during the growing years.  Of course i do not wish to be over protective of my child either. i guess there is a fine line to thread.  But i definitely do not want to be a parent who takes pride that their "live" didn't change with the arrival of kids and that the kids have to be the one who adjust to the parents lifestyle.   I don't see the logic in this as a child is a child with different needs at different stages and as the parent (who decided to bring the child to life) entrusted with nurturing the child -- adjustments/sacrifices in some form will be required.  When the child is ready to be an adult, i am sure he/she will embrace the adult lifestyle ... parents not needed (!) LOL.  So i'd rather treasure the phases where i can be more involved in my child's life, for there will come a time when i need to let go............

3) I don't want to be the kind parent who do not have the courage to face up to challenges, mistakes or other trying situations.  Who may choose to ignore the situation in the hope that it will pass and they do not have to address it.  Nor do i want to be like those who keep quiet, assuming that that's the way to keep peace in the family --  who condone and accept undesirable habits/behaviour in some -- to make up for some lack -- such that others may feel unjustified.  i remember entertaining this thought  -- that maybe it will be better for me if i am not so sensible, bright, "mature" .... then maybe it will be acceptable for me to exhibit immature behaviour and get away with it.  Why always be the sensible one??? especially when people do not appreciate it or reciprocate it, taking it for granted.

So these are 3 major negative markers i am grappling with now.  I hope there won't be more.  But if there is, i will blog about them so that i can remind myself in future.............

Friday, August 02, 2013

Another Milestone! ~~ Primary 1 registration

Beginning July is the "registration" season for those who are going to Primary 1 in 2014 - and that means little kaira!

Knowing how the system works and knowing the "stress" some parents go through to get their kids into their preferred school, i have always held the notion that i want it to be as non-event as possible.

So yes, i am not one who will parent volunteer to increase my chances, or join grassroots or change church membership or what have you.  even buying my apartment, we did not buy our apartment with the intention of "Targeting' the primary school nearby. Serious.  even if u don't believe it ;p heehee  i honestly felt that if i did any of these, i am simply perpetuating a system i don't believe in.

My plan was simple -- since hubbie's primary school is still around and we will have priority as alumnus in the registration process, simply register there and not be perturbed by all the balloting nonsense and what nots that accompany the later phases.

Grand plan failed. All because MGS is located within 1km of our apartment which we bought last year.

i didn't think of sending kaira there because i know MGS is  popular school and it has a large alumni network which means that chances of balloting when we register in the later phase will be VERY HIGH. in fact, there has been balloting for those who stay within 1km of the school for the last few years....   there's also Pei Hwa - another popular school - and that school being co-ed - chances of getting in are even slimmer. I honestly didn't want to go through the stress of balloting and not knowing if we have a place.

however, as the registration day approached .... it seems so silly that there's a school (within 5-10 min walking distance) at our place that we don't want to apply for and yet send kaira to one that takes about 25mins by car (one way)!! even the alumni school admin told me that likely there will be no school bus service as our address is a little far from the school.

what a struggle.  i prayed very hard for God's wisdom and grace.  Seriously, what is a the right choice?

but to give up a "guaranteed" place in a rather good school to take a chance??? what if we get balloted out?  then we will be "stranded".

so, like what some traders say, take care of the downside and let the upside take care of itself!

i started thinking and researching on the options available to us should we decide to apply for MGS and yet do not get a place.  The end result is quite bleak - as there will be few schools left with vacancies.... but thank God there is a school not too far from our place that may have vacancies after P2C i.e. P2CS.  and so it boiled down to whether i was OK with kaira attending Bukit Timah Primary school which is 1-2km from our place.  From the past few years results, it seemed like the likelihood of us getting a place in P2CS (after P2C) is quite high -- so i can stop worrying about being posted a far away school and so forth.

I told hubbie -- let's apply for MGS only if we are able to acept that as the back-up. otherwise, we will just stick to his alumni. And so i went on the net trying to get information about the school and we drove to the school during its open house.  it looked quite promising honestly.  so much so i as toying with the idea that maybe instead of MGS (if it was too hot), maybe we can directly apply at BTPS since it's nearer than hubbie's school!!!

anywayz, back to the prayer closet.  O, how difficult it is to hear the Lord when our desires/emotions are all mixed in!! so difficult to calm our hearts, to surrender and be at peace.

as the registration day approaches, and after much prayers, i guess both of us felt that the "choice" was MGS.   and since we have prayed and asked for God's peace, we decided that instead of waiting till the last day of registration (which was 1 Aug), we will just go on the first day 30th July. call it exercising our faith or what have you.  i guess the point was since we have come to the decision and we are prepared to face the consequences, there is no need to delay and be swayed by circumstances.

so on the 29th Jul i went to withdraw Kaira from hubbie's alumni.  no turning back now !!! it was one of those moments for me -- am i doing the right thing????

Thank God the next day (which is the first day of P2C registration) when we went to MGS for registration, i felt alot more at peace.  in fact the numbers of the first and second day of registration was quite OK not too overwhelming but i did to try prep myself mentally to accept that there could be a frenzy on the last day and yup, it turned out that the afternoon of the last day was where alot of action took place.

i didn't think of going down to the school to check out the registration proceedings - so the last 2 hours in the afternoon was quite nail-biting as a friend messaged that he understood that there are MANY people in MGS doing last minute registrations. GULP.

surfed the online forum -- but there wasn't any "live" reporting too. so the last update i had was at 340pm : 31 singapore citizens within 1 km applying for 38 vacancies.  I couldn't wait for 430pm to come!!!!  to find out our fate !

geeez, so much for trying to keep myself out of the system -- so sucked into it!!!! aaaargh, total dislike!!

i managed to get through to the school @ 440pm.  when the school staff told me over the phone that there were 38 Singapore Citizens applying for 38 vacancies -- i couldn't believe it!!! so i asked him if it's confirmed that there's no balloting? and he said YES! ***PHEW** what a great relief!!! after i put down the phone i actually had a moment of doubt -- did he get the figures correct?  was there a mistake?   this was the result i want and yet i find it difficult to accept!!! hahahaha !! finally my daughter has a place in the school of our choice which is near our home!! Yipppppeeeee !!! but i kept wondering if he told me the correct stats??!?!! hahahah.

so now, i wait patiently for the official documentation to arrive :)

and once again, i want to say Thank you Lord Jesus for your grace and mercy!