Athena Kee- April Mama of The Month
Being a mother is never easy, it is a lot of hard work. Whether it is a natural birth or a cesarean, every mother is a great mother. After all, a natural delivery will require 10 centimetres of fully dilated cervix and a cesarean section requires a seven-layer abdominal opening. This month’s Mama of the Month, we invite the mother of 4 children, Athena Kee, who had all babies by C-Sec, to tell us her story of becoming a mother. Currently a supermom with a profession, Athena also helps her husband in his part-time business and is the company’s live broadcaster. She is indeed a busy mom!
4 caesarean sections, 4 bodily changes
Athena’s plan was to originally have two children, but due to God’s arrangement, she gave birth to 4 lovely babies instead. Of course, this is also because of her husband’s heartwarming relationship with children. Truth be told, she was worried about having babies by caesarean more than she should. It is known that in many cases, a mother is advised to only have 3 babies by caesarean. However, she was calmed by her doctor’s statement:
“Modern medicine and medical skills are more developed than it was before, so if a mother’s physical condition allows it, the mother can actually deliver more than 3 babies by caesarean.”
Caesarean comes with pros and cons. Athena noticed that her body did have some changes after her third child. After giving birth to her third child, she is more vulnerable to the cold, now she needs to wear socks to sleep at night, compared to her before physical condition, she found it easier to catch colds nowadays.
Raising children is like growing up again
Everyone was once a first-time parent, and it is impossible to raise children strictly according to the book, so how should new parents raise their children? There is no standard way to raise children as each child has different personalities, so it is impossible to educate them with only one set of parenting models.
After giving birth to her second child, Athena went to parent-child classes and learnt that children came to earth to test their parents. The process of raising children is like a mirror, they will either mimic their father or their mother’s character as they are the shadow of their parents.
If you don’t like any character of your child, the more you hate your own character. Adults can often reflect on their own words and deeds through their children’s words and deeds. In fact, parents can benefit a lot from this observation. She went on to say that her eldest daughter was very self-willed, Athena would often find herself not tolerating her daughter’s attitude and used beatings and scolding to teach her.
“But I will remember when I was willful as a child. If my parents were to be this way, I would be more rebellious.”
In addition, she found that using beating and scolding will only make the child obey for a short moment, and the behaviour will repeat soon. After gradually understanding her children’s attitude, she realised that it is best to use communication as a method of getting through her children, explaining and letting the children understand what is right and what is wrong makes them easier to accept advice and life lessons.
“In terms of parenting, behaviour and attitude are more important than grades and background.”
For Athena, she pays more attention to the character of her children, not their studies. Being good in studies doesn’t mean anything.
“Being good at reading doesn’t necessarily mean you will be rich when you grow up, and being rich does not mean success.”
It is also because of this that she pays more attention to the inner education of the child, hoping that the child will be strong and can go through every test in life so that they can brave through life with ease.
Treat boys and girls “equally”?
Athena frankly said that there is a slight difference between the way she treats her sons and daughters. She is more strict with the boys and more caring with the girls. As her first child is a son, she is more casual and will not hug or kiss the child as much, but after giving birth to her daughter and seeing the daughter act like a spoiled child, she naturally acts more gentle to the daughter and expresses her love for her. But later, after recalling that there seems to be a difference between the son and the daughter, reviewed back her ways. The son might be prone to feeling jealous by the huge difference in the treatment between him and his sister.
“Like, why does Mama love my sister more? So now I will hug and shower my son with more attention and love.”
Intergenerational childcare, in-laws and you
Most modern parents have very little time to take care of their children and naturally grandparents will step in to take care of their grandchildren. But there are some parenting clashes between the older generation and the current ways. Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren and Athena will always take the stricter role. She also stated that she felt incompetent and disapproved of the older generation’s way of coddling children, but she also understands the massive amount of love and care of her in-laws for their grandson. As it is rare for grandparents to get along and live with their grandson, Athena decided to relax her mind off overthinking.
Of course there are at times when she thinks that something is too much, she will communicate with her in-laws and let them understand that she needs to be strict and stick to her own parenting practices.
For example, she controls her children sugary intake by not giving him an excessive amount of sweets, but when she is not home, the grandparents will give sweets to the children, breaking her rules. Therefore, children will always go to their father or grandparents for treats and more, which makes her the bad cop in the family with her strictness.
Parent-child time together is more important than working long hours
Since her parents were divorced, she knew that what a child wanted most is the company of both parents, so she would rather work less and spend more time with her children because she did not want to repeat the regrets of yesteryear.
Due to the pandemic, family activities can only be done at home. Watching dramas and reading books together as a family, and fortunately they have a children’s swimming pool at home so the children can swim together and play at home.
“Although I still worry that because the children spent so much time at home, they will become friendless and develop social problems, unlike before, we can play with the neighbourhood children.”
Athena bluntly said that she doesn’t blame anyone.
“This may be the new normal, and there is a possibility that we will still be living like this in the future. As long as it comes, let it be.”