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Keeping The Love Alive: 3 Perspectives

Keeping the sparks fly in a relationship/marriage takes intentional effort and sincerity. Hear from three incredible ladies on our team as they share their experiences.

How do you overcome obstacles together?

Grace: When conflict arises, there is one principle that grounds us again and again: We are on the same team. It’s never about me vs. you, but about how we’re able to get through this together. I have learned to be quick to stop judging and always willing to listen. If I listen carefully to his perspective, I am able to understand his thoughts better. This is how we navigate obstacles and challenges within marriage.

Shan: No marriage is perfect and how you navigate through the lowest points of your journey together will truly test your relationship. Patience and understanding are essential. We need to understand that each person will have their own perspective on things, and how you communicate and listen to one another will help you overcome obstacles. 

Bin Bin: Disagreements are part of a healthy relationship as long as done in a respectful manner. Always take the time to see things from their perspective, communicate your feelings and needs (don’t expect your partner to read your mind), agree to disagree, take a time out if necessary and don’t go to bed angry!

 

How do you make things exciting in marriage? 

Grace: We love spending time doing fun activities together. Not every activity needs to be adventurous (though we’ve done skydiving before!), but it should be something different that you are willing to explore together. It could be café hopping, watching a movie from a different location (a bathtub, perhaps?), or taking a walk around a park in a previously unexplored part of town.

Shan: Be spontaneous! Not everything has to be planned. Be willing to try new experiences as a couple. 

Bin Bin: Be intentional and take action. Don’t wait for things to happen to you, make the things you want happen for yourselves. 

 

What is your most memorable date night? 

Grace: A surprise overnight camping trip to Bagan Lalang Beach!

Shan: I wanted to surprise my husband for his birthday. So I told him we were going for a business pitch with some clients (even prepared a proposal for him to take a look at). When we got to the hotel lobby the concierge gave him a note to say there was no meeting but a surprise dinner date instead. After the meal, we went down to the car park and in the trunk of the car, he found a packed bag for a surprise staycation. 

Bin Bin: 4 months into our relationship, I had a work trip to Europe. I asked Lih Xiang if he wanted me to extend the trip and travel somewhere together. We ended up booking tickets to Spain. It was really spontaneous and looking back, kind of crazy as it was a new relationship! But I suppose sometimes the craziest things work out for the best. It was definitely a crash course in getting to know your partner. 

 

If you could give one piece of advice to couples out there, what would it be?

Grace: Relationships take time to build. It is the accumulation of many little decisions that we make daily. In the same vein, broken relationships didn’t happen overnight. They are an accumulation of many years of wrong choices, cracks that were ignored, and voices that weren’t heard. Choose wisely what you accumulate and what you need to discard.

Shan: Pick your battles! Remember to cherish and affirm one another while making time to grow your relationship.

Bin Bin: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn to let the unimportant things go. Don’t take your partner for granted and make time for each other (especially after you have had kids!).

 

About us

Grace has been on this journey called marriage for 17 years, together with her husband, Alex, and two children. Other than photographing families, she loves helping couples improve their relationships and reach their family goals through coaching. 

Shan has been in a relationship for the past 22 years, of which being married 12 years. She has two kids and looks forward to spontaneous moments and weekly date nights with her husband, Segar. 

Bin Bin met her husband, Lih Xiang while diving in the Philippines. They have been married for 6 years, recently welcomed their first child and look forward to more adventures around the world (diaper bag now in hand).

 

Reflections on 1 Year of Motherhood

I recall writing about my journey toward parenting in one of my earliest Stories blog posts, just over a year ago. I can still remember how I was feeling back then—everything from anxiety to eagerness, but most of all, so much uncertainty. Becoming a mother is like applying for a job for which you have no experience and expecting to perform on day one. 

Fast forward one year later, and I’ve survived! There’s no denying it: motherhood is HARD, and no book you read can adequately prepare you for it. But amidst the challenges and the exhaustion, you will also experience joy, unwavering love, and the realisation that you are more capable than you realised.

Here are some personal reflections on my journey since then, as well as some things I wish I could have told myself a year ago.

1. You Will Be So, So Tired (But You’ll Get Through It!)

Everyone warns you about the sleep deprivation, and while every mother knows it’s inevitable, it’s one thing to know about it and another to experience it. In the first few months, I wondered if I would ever sleep again. There would be days when I was in a literal daze of moving in between periods of being not really awake and not really asleep. A friend told me this: “It gets better.” And it will, whether it’s your body adjusting to the lack of sleep or your baby establishing a sleep schedule. Even if it initially seems nearly impossible, a day will come when you will sleep through the night once more.

2. Everyone’s Just Winging It

It may seem like you’re the only one who’s lost in figuring out how to be a mom, but trust me, everyone else is just figuring it out as they go along as well. No one is born knowing how to parent. And while there may be guidance books and “how-to” articles, no child is the same, and you are a unique individual with your own needs and ideals. The path you will walk on this journey is something you will carve out on your own. You can learn from others, but, like with lots of things in life, you can’t fully plan for it; you just have to figure it out for yourself—as you go.

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Capturing My Journey Towards Parenthood

 Photo from Bin Bin

I’ve never really considered myself to be a very maternal person. In fact, there was a time in my youth where I wasn’t even sure if I wanted kids.

What changed? It could merely be the passage of time and the perspective gained along with it, or finding the right partner to parent with. Whichever it was, since making that decision to have children, it’s been such a journey of self discovery for me and my husband and I’ve realised that this is such a precious time that only happens once in our lives.

Below are the moments in the journey towards parenthood that I now look back on and savour. If I could go back in time, I would have done more to document this experience – especially taking many more photographs!

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Reflections of the Year 2020 by Grace

I never expected 2020 to turn out the way it did. The Wawasan 2020 vision I had as a teenager was quite different to what I realised this year, but if there’s one word to describe the year that went passed, it is gratefulness. We launch into 2021, going into our 13th year of business. We’re going to be ‘teenagers’…no longer the child we were when we first started out in 2008.

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Tips for Planning Children’s Parties

When I was growing up, I remember the most epic birthday party I had was when I was 8. Growing up in Malacca in the 80s, it wasn’t really common to have major parties for children my age, but my parents had organized my birthday at the new McDonald’s restaurant (the one and only in Malacca at that time!). It was totally memorable for me, especially since my mom baked a gorgeous cake for me, and my friends and I packed into the walk-in freezer to see how long we could stand the cold. I am grateful to my parents for organizing such a party for me.

Now that I have children of own and with the growing influence of Pinterest, DIY groups on Facebook etc, I feel a little ‘pressured’ to do something fun. So a few years ago when my daughter turned 5 and my son turned 3, I organised 2 parties – a unicorn party for my 5 year old and a fireman party for my 3 year old. It was quite fun doing some of the DIY stuff on my own, but unlike my mother, I can only bake instant cakes from those pre-mixes in the supermarket. (Needless to say, I didn’t bake these cakes).

It was a little stressful, but after all that organising, here are some tips to share with other mums who intend to plan their own child’s birthday parties.

1. If you are not good at something, hire someone to do it.

I realised that I was putting additional stress on myself in making some of the decorations myself. I went shopping for goody bags, was busy sorting out the guest list, planning food, AND thinking of how to keep everything under budget. Unless you are the kind of mum who truly enjoys this process, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress is to hire someone to do things for you. There are many great decorators / stylists who are great at what they do! (For my son’s 1st birthday, I had an Up themed party and hired Moments). For his 3rd year party, all I did was call the local fire station, do a site visit, and then let the firemen entertain the kids! (You need to give a donation to hold the party at the local fire station. Some fire stations do not allow parties)

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