Making Self-care A Priority

Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Sim

Making Self-care A Priority

Part 4 of a 4-part Inspirational Mums Series

By Melissa Sim | 31 May 2021

This is the last of a 4-part series by Focus on the Family Singapore to shine the spotlight on mums, and the different ways they express love to their families and juggle this thing called life.

Let’s hear from Melissa Sim, a stay-home mum to 2 young boys.

Before Lester and I got married, we talked a lot about what it’d look like when we have kids. Both of us grew up with stay-home mums so we wanted to give our sons, Caleb, 3 and Daniel, 1, the same experience.

Living on a single income has its financial challenges, but we have learnt to be content with what we have. As a SAHM who loves being creative, it means finding joy in upcycling boxes to become a race car for the boys, finding recipes for homemade play dough and learning to make pizza from scratch.

It also means instilling responsibility in the boys to care for their belongings and to help out around the house.

Often when I meet up with friends and we take turns to share updates, my working friends would talk about their latest projects and promotions. I find myself giving updates about the kids but with relatively little to talk about myself.

I'm still learning to unravel this area of my identity from the kids - so that when they are older and have their own lives, I do not find myself at a loss. Likewise, I know my identity cannot be tied to their achievements.

We have supportive parents who often help with their grandchildren, so I’m grateful. However, a large part of the responsibilities of running the household day-to-day falls upon my shoulders.

Because of this, I find it hard to say yes to high commitment, long-term projects. For a period of time, I felt I was unable to contribute meaningfully in church or in the community. I found myself saying no, citing the children's needs as priority.

Now with the encouragement of my husband and support of my parents and in-laws, I find it easier to say yes to smaller, short-term projects that fill me up. This has really boosted my confidence and self-worth.

I’m also making self-care a priority. And that comes in the form of me-time or meeting up with friends.

I am a baking enthusiast so when I get pockets of time to bake, it is often a win-win situation for everyone in the family. I often joke that I am running a test-kitchen for future cafe and bakehouse ventures.

So mums, while the kids are young and need plenty of care now, there will come a time that they gain their independence so let’s not revolve our lives solely around the kids. Let’s make every effort to care for ourselves, our marriage and our friendships now.

© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.


Read other stories in this series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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