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Teaching Children Good Manners : Not Easy!

1 April 2014 – 11:34 am |

The other day, a close relative – who has spent a few days with our family – said to me,
‘Your kids are very well-behaved.”
He was referring to what he saw.
My kids ate all on their …

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Home » Parenting, Pregnancy & Babyhood

Pregnancy : Going ahead with Planning for Baby #3, despite …

6 April 201127 Comments

[This photo was taken last week @ 30.5 weeks pregnant]

Now that I’m pregnant with #3, I do frequently get asked , ‘Have you guys always planned to have three kids?’

And to that, my answer would generally be, ‘Actually, we’ve always thought it’s nice to just have two kids in the family. After we had our 2nd kid, we frankly never thought of having another one.’

Well, the thing is … in the end, we DID have another child, a third one.

AND, it was a PLANNED pregnancy.

So, what’s happened in between? =)

[This actually was something that I wanted to share last year, ie. when we eventually decided to plan for baby #3, and was GIVEN almost immediately!]

Before I share ‘WHY we eventually went ahead with having baby #3′, I guess I should firstly share some things that made me feel NOT prepared to have a third child.

These were my main concerns :

> I’m already in a ‘comfortable zone’.
Anya and Vai are much bigger now and they’re able to do more things ‘on their own’. I can have more ‘me time’ and pursue ‘my own interests’ too now.

> Having a baby means starting from ‘zero’ again.
It means not sleeping well at night again because I’d be breastfeeding / changing diapers / attending to cries or discomforts. It also means bringing along a big bag full of baby stuff whenever I go out and about, AND pushing/lifting a pram again.

> I don’t wish to have even ‘less’ time with Anya and Vai.

> If there’re two kids, each parent can handle one kid. But, what if there are three kids??

> Having another child means extra financial responsibility, and really, we’re not sure we can cope with that.

> I (really) don’t want to have a live-in domestic helper staying with us (Many people said to me that if we had 3 kids, I MUST have a fulltime domestic helper to cope).

> I have donated / given away 95% of our baby-related stuff! I practically have NO baby things at home.

[Btw, if you went through something similar to mine, did you have these concerns too?]

When the thought of ‘perhaps God wanted to entrust us with ANOTHER child’ came, I was kind of in a state of ‘disbelief’.

I wanted to avoid such a thought. I was just NOT ready. In fact, I have NEVER thought of having THREE.

When Wilson and I had our chat however, he reminded me of something. He said, ‘We’ve seen through the years how God has never left us. HE supplies what we need. And, IF God wanted to entrust us with another one, and IF HE had a beautiful plan ahead of us with this additional member of the family, then how can we say no?’

Sigh. He’s right. How can I say no?

So in the end, I prayed and said,

‘God, if YOU really wanted to entrust us with another one, then please, PLEASE make our hearts, especially MINE, ready for this new adventure ahead. Because I know I’m NOT ready right now. I have such a little faith and I need YOU to help me be ready and prepared for this new task ahead.’

And you know what?

In about three to four days after THAT, I did feel ready! We BOTH felt ready! It was amazing!

[We prayed and had conversations with friends who've had three kids. I chatted with Anya and Vai and subtly asked questions - and saw their responses - on having another child in the family. The story of Ruth also encouraged me - she's someone who left her 'comfort zone', ventured into the 'unknown' and was in the end a blessing to many generations]

And I must say this: It was totally NOT because I felt capable, but because Wilson and I were ‘MADE prepared’ for this. This ‘change in our hearts and minds’ definitely was not from ‘ourselves’.

Here are some additional thoughts that eventually made us both feel READY to have another child.

> Each child brings joy to the family. It’s a blessing to have been entrusted with a child.

> Not everyone who tries to have a child CAN have a child. Every child is given, NOT made. AND, if God chooses to entrust us with a child (or more), HE will provide what we need. And most importantly, HE will also give us the necessary strength and capability to go through any kinds of challenges ahead. And even IF things get tough at times, we will learn to depend on HIM even more. It’s a blessing to have been able to learn about life and faith through life’s challenges.

> Every child is a blessing in his / her own way. There’s no need to worry about ‘tomorrow’, when we put our trust in Him, persevere and do ‘our part’ faithfully.

> When we sincerely are willing to teach / raise a child in God’s ways so that he/she can be a blessing to others in years to come, God WILL be with us. We’re not raising just ‘anybody’, we’re dealing with souls, and we’re raising people who have great potentials to make positive difference and influence to the family, to the community, to the world. And THAT is such an honourable task.

If you ask me, I’d say I KNOW that things will not be easy.

Things will not always be smooth sailing.

There’ll be ups and downs for sure.

And, I do have fears of the ‘unknown’ too. What will it be like later when #3 comes along? Can I cope? Can the two older kids adjust well? and so on.

But, I somehow KNOW that I’m in the process of being taught to put my faith in God. To ‘exercise’ my (small) faith. To depend on Him for strength, joy, patience and wisdom! I somehow know too that I’ll be shaped and changed in many ways along the way.

Yep, we are being taught to trust and see the wonderful works God can do in our lives, when we ourselves are ready to learn and put our trust in Him.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
Written by Ira P. Stanphill

I don’t know about tomorrow; I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from its sunshine for its skies may turn to gray.

I don’t worry o’er the future for I know what Jesus said;
And, today, I’ll walk beside Him for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand.
But, I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand!

27 Comments »

  • Key says:

    Thank you so much for your post. I just found out that I am pregnant with my 3rd and we were NOT planning it. Sadly, I actually started to think about abortion (I KNOW – Unbelievable, right?). We have 2 beautiful children and we are quite content and balanced at the moment and our plan for children was right on target but as they say “People plan, God laughs”. I am so glad we have decided NOT to go along with the abortion idea. We know this journey will be tough and difficult BUT I must remember that God has ALWAYS walked by my side. I have depended upon his strength many times through my life. I’m not going to stop now. Thanks again for your posts – I hope family life with 3 has been good :-)

    • Leonny says:

      Dear Key,

      Thank you for sharing.

      Agree with you how life often presents us with surprises, many of them may not coincide with what we plan out.
      But if you ask me, what I’ve experienced and am constantly learning is, God never fails to be with us, .. but we do need to always learn to depend on Him, to seek strength from Him all the time.

      And oh, if you ask me, the issue is not about having the 3 kids in the family, but it’s more about how we can overcome and sail through any challenges that come our way, and enjoy what we’ve been given.

      (plus we never know how this child no. 3 turns out decades later. He/she is entrusted in our care because there’s a bigger purpose which we may know and understand right now)

      And oh, life with three has been GREAT! =)
      Of course it has its ups and downs, but then … life with one and life with 2 kids has ups and downs too? =D

  • Karen Lee says:

    I admire your guts. I have 2 sons and thinking of having another daughter. But my hubby says 2 is enough. I am so eager to have a baby girl but what if the 3rd is a boy too? Well I could be like Zoe Tay, having 3 boys. Well, I have to wait till my second boys get a bit bigger. Cheerios.

  • KH says:

    Chanced upon your blog and totally love this post of yours. Ive struggled thru all those questions you have posted about having no3 and am happily expecting no 3 now. Agree that God will see us through and every child is a blessing in our lives.Amen!

    • Leonny says:

      Hi KH!

      Congratulations on your baby no. 3! Thanks for sharing your journey with me too … so encouraging to hear how the post spoke to you.

      PS: Labrielle, our baby no. 3, means ‘God is my Strength’, … indeed I learn to rely only on His strength daily … things are not always smooth and easy, but HE will give us the strength to go through everything. And in the end, I feel I”m the one who’s constantly learning actually …

      Jia yo, KH! =)

  • Leonny says:

    @Siska:

    Your case is a tough one, Sis … and unless we’re in your shoes, I don’t think we can totally understand how you feel.

    One thing I know for sure is, there’s a reason for everything, and I too am constantly reminded that no child in this world gets to choose which family he/she wishes to be born into. Just like how no child gets to choose ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘the kind of characters’ he wishes to have.

    Praying for God to reveal His wonderful plans and for God to give you that extra strength, patience and wisdom to go thru every challenge ya ..

  • Siska says:

    I know I should/must say that every child is a blessing from Above. That would be a ‘standard’ or a ‘cliche’. if anything should come out of my mouth, that should be the sentence. but at the moment, i feel that i am a hypocrite if I say that. I feel that JH is a curse to me. any decent mothers would start lecturing me and told me I shouldn’t say that. that’s not true. and yupp… heard it all. but still I can pretend everything is okay and tell everybody I know, JH is a blessing. and deep down I know my heart is denying it. Looking at the facts around JH doesn’t spell out b-l-e-s-s-i-g but rather it spells out c-u-r-s-e.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing out that a child is God’s given blessing. I’ll try my bestest to see it that way. As each day passed though, the more I’m convinced that he’s a curse.

  • Leonny says:

    @CT:

    Oh thanks for sharing the situation you’re facing (and faced in the earlier phase too). Really appreciate it.

    I know my hubby will support me too whenever he can, and I know THAT will greatly help me when coping with another little one later. I guess the challenge will come when he needs to be overseas for a few days every other week or so for work. But then again … I know I’ll see how God works wonders and gives us all the necessary strength. I haven’t seen it, but I’m learning to believe that it’ll happen, based on what HE has done for us and our family through all these years ..

    Thanks again CT … hope you all have a wonderful week ahead …

  • CT says:

    Our 3rd bb has juz turned 6mths. My older kids 6 & 4 respectively. I went through the same struggles as you and made the same prayer :) It’s amazing how God always prepare us one step at a time. Not too many steps again, but step by step we learn to follow and obey.

    The most difficult / sad part for me is to see my kids missing out the usual fun, outing, oversea trips because our new bb is too small to go anywhere. Like you, we decided not to have any domestic helper. Thus, it was tiring for my husband as he has to take charge of the kids mostly, which all along has been my job. But, Husbands ARE amazing! thank God for husbands :)
    My kids have now more or less adjusted to our family routine of ‘fun and outings’. Relationship with father is definitely much closer than before! And we could never thank God enough for the new blessing and joy in our family. We, including the kids have learned more about loving and giving in the family now.
    take care!

  • Leonny says:

    @Angie:

    Yes, I too feel that as much as preparing the older siblings to welcome the new baby, it’ll still be ‘different’ when the 2 older kids actually have a baby in the house taking attention and time away from mommy etc … I’m praying and asking for more wisdom and patience from God to handle difficult situations that may arise later …

    Thanks for sharing btw, Angie … It’s heart-warming and encouraging to read such notes from others who share similar experiences and faith …

  • Angie says:

    It will take at lease 1-2 years for the older 2 kids to get used to the new sibling.Preparing them ,telling them that the bb is coming out is different when the older ones see the bb in person.I am a proud mother of three lovely,healthy children,my youngest is turning 4 this month,how time flies! I have a great helper who is God, the almighty creator. Rejoice always,pray without cheatingly,in everything give thanks;for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Leonny says:

    @Maja:

    With 3 to care for too, I’m sure you guys have seen (and experienced) it all too … how God will surely provide what we need and the strength needed to go through our days. For my case, it’s happening real soon … but looking back and seeing how God has never ever deserted us, … we should move forward with faith. I’m learning …

    Hope you guys are doing well yeah … Kapan bisa ketemuan lagi nih … Fei jg udah gedeee sekaliii :)

  • Maja says:

    It’s good when you had plan and got it right away. very opposite from my experience. but in the end, it’s gonna be the same story, which is God will always help. provide and take care of us. ! Miss you

  • Leonny says:

    @ch3ryl

    Thanks for dropping me a note on it too=)

    Have a nice week this week yeah …

  • ch3ryl says:

    Love this entry, thanks for sharing!

  • Leonny says:

    @Gab :

    Thanks for sharing the verse.

    And it’s now about ‘putting into practice’ what we know, what we’ve read and what we’ve heard …

    Have a great week ahead yeah …

  • Gab says:

    Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matt 6:26

  • Leonny says:

    @byihui:

    I guess, most of us are generally concerned ‘about the future’ (and I guess that’s why ‘fortune tellers’ are sought after by many?) … For my case, I’m in the process of learning to place everything in God’s hands and see how He works wonders in our lives.

    Thanks for leaving me a note on this and sharing too yeah!

  • byihui says:

    thank you leonnie! this is such a great and personal sharing! i agree with you whole-heartedly on your initial concerns and am glad for you that you took that effort (as an act of obedience) to seek God’s will for your family even when your heart was not willing at first.

    you have also included one of my fav hymns at the end – indeed, although we do not know tomorrow, we know who is in charge and who will hold our hands and walk us thru it all. how comforting and encouraging is that! :)

    pls continue to bless other parents and children thru your blog sharings!

  • Leonny says:

    Thanks Deb!

    And yes, I’m learning to hold on to His promises everyday, … that He’ll grant us the strength we need to go through all kinds of life’s experiences that HE allows to take place in our lives.

  • Deb says:

    Amen! That was such an open & honest sharing… May God grant you ALL that you need for the exciting journey ahead! :)

  • Leonny says:

    @xinhui:

    Thanks, Xinhui!

    And yep, God is good indeed.

  • xinhui says:

    your post is really uplifting! and especially the part whereby you mentioned that God is entrusting us with a soul and every child is given and not made!

    God is good.=)

  • Leonny says:

    @Fish:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts too with me (and for writing in for the 1st time :)

    About the baby chair, … thanks so much for thinking to offer it to me. Really appreciate your kind gesture. Just some weeks ago, a friend offered to pass her daughter’s baby chair though and I’ve said yes to her. So perhaps, your baby chair will later be used by your #3? :)

    (I have a feeling that God will show kindness to me through people around me and through blog readers … thanks again yeah)

    Hope you write in and share your thoughts more in future posts … =)

  • Fish says:

    Hi Hi

    I have been reading your blog quietly ;) and I am a mother of two boys (one is 4 and the other is 6), I am in the somehow the same situation as you as I always wonder if we should have the 3rd kid.

    Your struggles and concerns are all valid and I agree with them totally. But I am glad that you took that step of faith because by exercising your faith, it pleases God and i know that God will bless you and family manifolds.

    I am very encourage and thanks for sharing your thoughts so openly. I am always so encourage by your post, the way you do the simple things with children, the way you always wanted to be a better parents.

    I do have a high chair which is still in good condition and i still keep them for such a long long time cos I always wonder if I will have my 3rd kid ;) . Do let me know if you like to have it ;)

    Love, Fish

  • Leonny says:

    Thanks Vivian for leaving me an encouraging note too!

    Hope you have a nice week ahead …

  • Vivian Sia says:

    Very inspiring and thoughtful….

    May God’s wonderful blessings be upon you, your family and baby…

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