declutter-poster

I have been out of action from my blog for 2 months! The main reason for my absence on the blog is because I was stuck in migration of my blog to self-hosted WP… Finally!! While I thought it could be as simple as giving my password to the Bluehost support and have them do for me while I sit back, I was flabbergasted to know I had to do it myself. I am an IT idiot for your information and struggled much with the migration of 2000 media files (this huge number surprised me!) Anyway, while I thought with the eventual migration, I could relax and that’s it, but the next step was to design my own blog theme. That took another 3-4 weeks and several sleepless nights. Oh, I lost my momentum many times and stop-start-stop-start till I could no longer bear the itch of writing and decided to get the blog up first and tweak it along. So, pardon me if you see the tweaks here and there each time you check in my blog. And if you do see any broken links, please help me by giving me a shout on it!

Many things happened in this period too. I quit my job of 11 years…. but no no, in case you think I have realized my SAHM dream. As fate has it for me, a job opportunity came knocking on my door. So, I passed interviews and am starting a new out of comfort zone venture to a new role and new industry. I pray for good colleagues, good boss and enjoyable challenges.

While I am busy with job transition, blog migration, I am resuming my tuition teacher role to my elder kids. I realize that I perform best when I have an overflowing plate. I just cannot sit back, relax and DO NOTHING. So in the midst of all these changes, I am also looking into ways of decluttering our house, and indulging in more hobbies.

Decluttering

A good friend said to me that many people profit out of buying and selling their lived-in houses when what a house should be, is a home which your children grow up in and contains precious childhood memories. I can’t agree more. Perhaps, investment should be done only on extra properties and not the primary property. As we shall be staying in our lovely home for good, I had better declutter things and make it as minimalist, simple and cosy as can be. It is not easy to declutter and re-decorate when the house is in such a lived-in condition.  I have started throwing things I thought I would use but never. Whenever I sieve through the bags and boxes of pre-loved stuff, I would ponder over an item on my hand, pause for a few seconds and ask myself questions like:

  • Will I ever use this again?
  • How long haven’t I touched this thing?
  • Is it worth keeping for memento?
  • Do I have many of such items in the house?
  • Can I live without this item?
  • Has this item passed its days of honour?

Besides throwing things, I am putting simple decorations around the house. Similar to my blog theme tweaking, I am taking really small steps to turning our home to a cosy and eye-pleasing one that is easy to maintain. That is my target and will take months to achieve. It is also to pave way for helperless way of living in the future. I will need a home declutter plan to start with.

“Controlled” Kiasu Mum

As much as I pride myself as a laid-back mum, I can no longer be as laid-back as I used to be, not when my girl is in P5 this year, a year where she learns 80% of the entire PSLE syllabus. The reason that I am pulling up my own socks as a “tuition teacher” to my girl is the hope that she can get into a good school, not elite school, but a good school where peers are motivated to study, a good school with higher chances that peers come from a nuclear family, lesser bullies, peers with lesser disciplinary problems, you get what I mean. This concern is very real. Peers are more important to teens at the secondary school age and it is easy for them to fall into the creaks if we are not careful. I don’t believe so much that every secondary school is a good school, sorry, but not at this moment.

A couple of weeks back, I had a good chat with a few fellow mummies and Meiling from Universal Scribbles shared her experience with us on the PSLE preparation. She is selfless in sharing resources that her son is using and we gained lots from her sharing. She has similar thoughts as I do regarding entry to a good secondary school. As much as I do not believe in mugging for the examinations and do not believe that academics means the world, the thought of getting into a less than good school with disapproving peers worry me too much to be hands-off. So, I am going to be a “controlled” kiasu mum from now on to ensure all academic basics are reinforced. As my children do not have tuition classes of any kind, they will still have plenty of time for a balance share of play. So, by being “controlled”, I am leaving them room for a breather. As for whether they will enjoy PSLE year, unless PSLE is scrapped off totally, no kid at P6 will enjoy any bit of it anyway. And I do not think I can make PSLE year any enjoyable for my children too. Since it is so “un-enjoyable”, a big part of my role is to moderate the stress off my girl and, myself. Either I end up blogging lesser closer to PSLE, or I blog more to destress. Stay tune to my woes! (Some good PSLE blog posts from other cool mum bloggers are here and here!)

Hobbies and learning new things

To destress during the preparation for PSLE is to engage in healthy hobbies. My girl does craft work and enjoys lots of outdoor play during her free time. My boy reads, plays Weiqi by himself, plays my handphone games (if I am at home) and goes for outdoor play during his free time too. For me, I am happily reading one book after the other and into my 9th and 10th book together at this moment. Here are the books that I have read this year:

1) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
2) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
3) It’s Easy To Cry by Subhas Anandan
4) Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph
5) 最美的一课 by 杨红樱
6) Charlotte’s Web by E. B White
7) Your Time-starved Marriage by Les and Leslie Parrott
8) When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us by Jane Adams
9) It’s OK to Go Up The Slide by Heather Shumaker
10) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Besides reading, I am running and brisk walking to keep my body and mind healthy to run the household. I am also much motivated by our group of Racy Mamas and more mums are joining us for this common interest. Sometimes we need like-minded friends to push us along. It is wonderful to have these friends.

Slowing Down

Whenever I walk too fast or hurry the kids along, I am reminded by my kids on why I am rushing like this. Often times, it is the kids who reminded me to slow down. I like being led by my youngest. Our one on one time are usually on my off days or Sunday mornings. I like to stay half a step behind him and let him lead the pace. When he stops to marvel at an earthworm, I stop. When he strolls, I stroll. When he walks backwards, I do the same. When he hops, I hop. It is wonderful to have unhurried moments like these. What’s the hurry anyway?

So, each time I hurry my pace, I would remind myself to WALK SLOWLY.  I really have lots to learn from the young ones.

I am glad that the blog is finally up again. I certainly miss writing and sharing my thoughts here. I miss the interactions with readers too! Do leave me some ideas on decluttering and your take on PSLE preparation or experience! I would love to hear your thoughts!