• December 18, 2018
  • Blog

Taking Baby Steps To A Better Family Life

 

One peaceful night three years ago, I received the best gift of my life. A tiny, delicate bundle was delivered into my arms. As I looked down into her little face, the greatest joy filled my heart. My lovely daughter, Melody, was born. Then everything began to change.

 

As Melody grew, I knew the exhausting worries only a mother can know. I felt anxious, confused, depressed and frustrated. A swarm of emotions plagued my waking hours and loomed over me in restless sleep. Melody often fell sick, and I could not bear to leave her at home while I returned to the workforce. But the responsibility of providing for one’s family cannot simply be shrugged off.

 

In 2016, I found employment as a Training Executive in Morning Star Community Services. I struggled to balance taking care of my little girl and meeting the demands of the corporate world. Melody was seven months old when Morning Star sent me for their Common Sense Parenting® workshop. I attended my first parenting class, uncertain of what to expect. The trainer taught us practicable techniques, such as using effective praise and the ‘staying calm plan’. To my pleasant surprise, Melody responded positively to these methods, and I found myself regaining control of my emotions.

 

As our Training Department expanded, we began conducting more parenting workshops, like the evidence-based The Incredible Years® Parenting Programme. I jumped at the opportunity to attend, and it proved a right decision. I learned to better communicate with Melody and manage her tantrums. By spending just fifteen to twenty minutes every day on our ‘Special Time’, we formed a truly special bond. Now equipped with the right skills, I feel empowered as a parent— I am even coaching my husband at home. When we tuck Melody into bed for the night, we read her favourite book together: Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. Melody loves these moments and I treasure them in my heart.

 

Bear Counts Book
Bear Counts – Melody’s favourite book to read during Special Time with Jess.

 

Apart from learning from these workshops, working in Morning Star’s Training Department has rewarded me with great job satisfaction. One parent whom I had recommended our Common Sense Parenting® programme to, came back to thank me for referring her. She shared that our programme was more interactive and practical than other workshops she had attended before. This simple, kind gesture meant a lot to me. Thoughtful acts like this remind me that I, too, was once a struggling parent, before I joined this community of caring, family-minded colleagues and discovered the true joys of parenthood. I want to help other families rebuild and strengthen their relationships. Even though I have now left the Training Department and redeployed to the Student Care Services Department, I will still be able to impact families in my new course of work.

 

It has been a fulfilling two years working in Morning Star. I am ever grateful to the organisation for the skills I’ve gained on the job. It has allowed me to lead a better life in a truly happy family. I look forward to starting a new year of positive parenting and reaching out to families within Singapore’s community— especially new parents who are now where I’ve been before.

 

Jess Leong

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