Having a baby is one of life’s most wonderful experiences, and indeed for many parents, it is probably also singularly, the most wonderful life changing moment in their lives together as a couple. The traditional confinement month, that is, the first 4 weeks, or 28 days that the parents and baby spend together is indeed an important foundation that allows parents and baby to bond and adjust to their new lives together. Many parents rely on the age-old wisdom of their own parents as well as parenting and baby “experts” like confinement nannies and midwives. We are pleased to share with you today, the stories of two new mummies, Adelin W. and L.C. Yeo on how their confinement journeys. Adelin had her mum help her with her confinement month, and L.C. relied on the services of an experienced confinement nanny.
"Oh wow! Congratulations! You are expecting!"
These sweet words are the start of a nine-month flurry of activities, from setting up baby’s new room, telling the family the good news, deciding on the baby shower, finding out how to eat well during pregnancy, if you should sign up to baby Mozart classes, and perhaps even pregnancy yoga, breathing classes, reading books about parenting, and names, what name should you be calling baby, oh, wait, you don’t even know the baby’s gender yet. And what about the delivery? Where should you deliver, in a traditional hospital, or how about an all natural water birth, should you stick to your current gynae? So many things to do and so little time!
One of the frequent laments that I hear about modern life, is what happens when your carefully planned, amazingly well-balanced routine of caregiving for your family gets disrupted when your helper takes her (well-deserved) annual break back to her home country. Yes, Aunty Evelynne, has earned her break, and her family in the Philippines must be so happy to see her after an 11 months gap, but for many busy working moms, that 4 weeks that Aunty is away, could present a huge challenge to managing work, with family and home commitments.
Not to fret! CaregiverAsia is here with its band of freelancing, all stars, home cleaners! A busy lawyer, Regina See, engaged the services of Caregiver Zhangxiao on the CaregiverAsia website and shared her story.
作为一名39岁的成年女性来说，我既要在来之不易的工作中大展拳脚，又想兼顾家庭陪伴孩子一起成长。于是我经常问自己，如何才能在二者之间取得平衡？ 女性真的可以同时拥有成功事业与健康家庭么？ 同大多数新加坡人一样，我的职业生涯开始得很普通。我最初在一家银行工作，随后去了一家美国公司，最后做了政府公职。在经过几次出国外派后，我感受到了工作的美妙以及事业带来的满足感，没有任何事情能让我放弃这份满足。但同时，我与丈夫已经结婚10年，我们开始想要孩子了。就是在那一刻我们开始真正思考生活。长期以来，我们俩都是高强度地工作、经常出差、极其想要取得一番成就，而生孩子就意味着这一切都将改变。这份清单是我们在经过自我尝试、或与同伴交流及对他人观察后总结出可以替代全职工作的一些备选工作，你会选择哪一条呢？
Life's Little Intervention
One of the most eye-opening things I have done for myself, in recent years, was to go for counseling. Like many of us who have not been initiated into the world of counseling and coaching, we might have some pre-conceived notion of what counseling is, the types of people who actually go for counseling and why they need counseling. Like the many people in Singapore who sees a counselor, I ended up seeing mine, through an intervention. A common thread that runs through many when they see a counselor for the first time, is that they are going through a negative, distressing or generally demoralising place in their lives. Sometimes, their family and friends would intervene and seek counseling help for the person. Sometimes, the workplace might intervene and seek counseling or coaching therapy for the person.
In my case however, it was life that intervened. I was at the top of my game, I had a great career with wonderful prospects; a loving family who supports me in what ever I do; and great friends who would stand by me whenever I need people to laugh and cry with. However, I felt a little empty and misunderstood. I was bored. And perhaps, I was misunderstood because I myself had lost sight of what kind of person I wanted to be, and what kind of life I wanted to have.
Many of us who have been in an unplanned medical situation have found ourselves left with little or no choices when it comes to arranging for caregiving options. Here at Caregiver Asia, we receive many such calls from panicked and I would say, rather heartbrokened, careseekers who are desperately looking for options for their loved ones on short notice. In the last month, we have helped new moms with nannies to replace helpers who had to leave on short notice; we have assisted daughters with nurse aides to look after their moms after surgical procedures; we have worked with families looking for palliative relief for their loved ones. One common thread that we saw in many of these cases, were that careseekers were looking urgently for help, many requiring help within the next 12 hours, and the other commonality, was the immense relief that had when they managed to reach us, even after office hours, for help.
“My Kids Eat 3 Bananas A Day Each!”
That sure caught our attention at CaregiverAsia when our friend, Ellen, lamented to Charlotte, our favourite nutritionist, on her predicament. Surely, that can’t be healthy, but what did our nutritionist say? The following is the actual exchange between Ellen and Charlotte.
Charlotte’s assessment was surprising for us, and indeed, it does underscore the importance of understanding what is healthy eating through pure unadulterated nutritional science:
C: “Are they large or small bananas?”
E: “Medium sized ones.”
C: “Are your kids active?”
E: “Yes! They are very active!”
C: “Then that is actually fine. Bananas are very good for supplying energy as they are high-energy fruits. Even if you eat a lot of bananas, it’s ok as long as you burn them off. The good thing about bananas is that they are high in potassium, so they are very good for kids and everyone in general… especially if you have high blood pressure! The potassium in bananas will help lower blood pressure.
- So, according to nutritional science, it IS ok to have 3 bananas a day!
All About Rachel
Rachel is an all-Singaporean, all-heart, girl-next-door type of sweetheart, who is every girl's dream best friend, and every guy's dream girl. She loves her braised beancurds, and cooks up one mean Korean ramyeon, but at the same time, she's also a lover of french cheeses, and French-Bali escapades. Rachel is 39 (but passes off easily as someone in her early 30s), works at a really cool public agency (yes, it exists!) and is an avid reader and swimmer. She is married to Eric who is French, and together, they live with Rachel's father, Uncle Yeong, who is a widower living with cancer, and the family is renovating their apartment now. As you can see, Rachel leads a pretty high octane life, and she’s constantly running around for her work and family. It's actually already tiring for me to write all these out, imagine having to live it!
Food Week at Caregiver Asia Kicks Off with Some Sound Advice from a Nutritionist, and a Brilliant Delicious Recipe for all to Try!
Charlotte de Drouas eats pulp. In fact, she eats all sorts of pulp. Pulp from a Pineapple, pulp from an Apple, even Carrot pulp from the bottom of the juicer. Charlotte's philosophy is to "Eat Natural, Eat Well, & Waste No Food". Simplicity, inventiveness and mindfulness: this is why we are so enamoured with our Caregiver of the Week. Charlotte the Nutritionist!