Unleashing Drama

I haven’t blogged in about three years, what the hell am I doing writing now? I was rereading my old entries and wondering why did I have to think so much about everything? Why? These days, my brain space is dedicated to thinking about how to squeeze in that quick 5 minute nap before the kids wake up.

So, what’s been up since I last blogged in 2018?

  1. I have two kids! TWO! Leia is turning three in September and Immanuel is three months. Life is crazy.
  2. PEMIMPIN GSL (formerly known as Global School Leaders Malaysia) is doing quite alright. We’re now a team of six people and we’ve worked with over 200 school leaders from all over Malaysia
  3. I’ve stopped drinking coffee. Can’t remember the last time I had a cup but reading my old blogs kinda makes me want to get a cup.
  4. I’m not that skinny anymore. Can’t fit them’ XS dresses..but an S. Hopefully I don’t become an M.
  5. Selvan and I are still married. Haha. In a world full of divorces, can’t take that for granted so I’m listing it out here as well.
  6. I’ve lost a few friends, made new ones..but still friends with Leroy. Can’t get rid of him.
  7. I don’t overthink as much as I used to do. I’m quite relaxed, except when it comes to work.
  8. Work is life. Life is work. Despite having two kids, I still work like crazy cause I love it.
  9. I am not the Tiger Mum you thought I would be. But, come on Leia..you’ve got to get the names of the continents right.
  10. I am still unsure if I should blog or not. How was I able to articulate everything I was thinking into blogs? Gah.

Will blogs come back now that we are in a time of crisis? I mean, people have a lot of time on their hands and reading small captions on instagram or instastory just won’t do it. I am calling it first that soon, everyone will be blogging again. Anyways, it’s 11.47pm and I’ve just completed some modules from an online course I’m doing. I plan to finish some work but got distracted writing this blog. I’ve a long day tomorrow, with meetings starting as early as 9.15am and the last one ending at 1pm. I wonder if I’ll have time to eat or will it be another day of random snacking.

Okay, I’m certain there are like five people reading this but I’m going to put it up on my Instagram and maybe, start writing again. Maybe la. Maybe. It’s not easy and I think I’ve lost touch on how to do it.

Slowly la.


I have a lot of ideals when it comes to raising children. Even before I was married and had Leia, I would think about the things I would want for my children. Strange, I know but you guys all know how much I love kids.

As for Leia, we’re determined to raise her in a supportive and loving environment with loads of books. I want to also inculcate some of the things that my parents used to do that helped shaped me to be the person I am today.

  1. Meals at the table. We would have family dinners at the table EVERY NIGHT. Everyone had to sit at their designated place and we’d chat about the day and have dinner. No phones (that time no phone also) or books at the table. It was a lovely way of us just developing a closer bond with each other.
  2. Prayers every night. Being raised a Christian, we said prayers every night before bedtime. We would sit in the hall and pray together, each of us saying what we hoped for and what we’re thankful for. For Leia, it might be a bit different because I’m Christian and Selvan is..you know, Selvan but we will still try to pray every night before bed.
  3. Reading. My mum made us love reading and taught us the most important lesson of reading for pleasure. We’d fill our holidays with books and we’d pick books over TV any day. Reading helped me in more ways than I can imagine and I hope to do the same for Leia. Friends will disappoint but your books will always be there.
  4. Confidence. When I was 5, my mum entered me in a story telling competition. I remember telling her that I cannot memorize a story and I’m too afraid to stand in front of the crowd and do it. She told me to go ahead and do it. And I did it. My parents cared about our academic achievement but were more excited about getting us involved in story telling competitions, choral speaking and debates. Today, I think it was more of these things that helped me rather than my academic achievement.

But, I must admit..in today’s world where we are so glued to our smartphones it’s hard to raise a baby that is not influenced with technology at all! Leia loves the phone and she loves making video calls to her grandma, my sister in UK, Constance and just about anyone who would like to video call her. We don’t let her watch videos or cartoons, except the rare occasion when she’s really unwell. I admit, the phone is the perfect management tool for babies. You turn on a video and they are silent for as long as YouTube autoplays. But, in the long run, you lose out. Your child would struggle with their fine motor skills and be addicted to the screen. So takpe, susah sekarang..senang kemudian.

Lastly, it’s nutrition. It is tempting and bloody easy to just buy some boxed cereal and feed your baby. I dread preparing her meal every night cause some nights, I just want to sleep. But, anything boxed contains loads of sugar and is just not good for the baby. So yes, I force myself to cook..no matter how simple it may be.

Susah gila raising anak ini kan?

With social media and the hours we spend on it, it’s so easy to compare our lives with the person next to us. And yes, we women are guilty of doing that all the time. I mean, take Selvan for example..he doesn’t have Instagram & is hardly on Facebook so he doesn’t know what an average husband/father is doing..so in his head, he’s a damn good father and husband. LOL. Whenever I share with him a post on instagram about something romantic someone has done for their significant other, he’ll laugh it off. Cis, tak dapat hint langsung.

Anyways, as women and especially now that I’m a mother & trying to run an organisation, it is SO EASY for me to look at other successful women and compare myself with them. How is it so easy for them while I’m struggling to get Leia to sleep or drink milk? How is it that their hair is STILL so pretty despite breastfeeding? Dude, I breastfeed for 20 minutes and nak tidur for the next 3 hours. Six months after giving birth, I think I’m still tired from the pushing during labour. I just don’t know how they are doing it.

One day, my wise sister told me a piece of gossip that forever changed how I looked at these successful women. She said, ‘Cheryl, she has three maids to take care of her 3 children.” Ahhh!! Maids, yes of course. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? See, nothing wrong with having maids but many times successful women don’t really share with us their support system that helps them to be successful. I hate it that they make it seem like they’ve done it by themselves and then make the rest of us feel bad. Cis.

Our support systems – a good husband, maids to take care of our kids, our parents – all of these people contribute towards us becoming who we are. I wouldn’t be able to do half the things I did today without the help of Selvan, my wonderful babysitter, my parents & my dear cleaner who comes and helps me with the house every two weeks. Honestly, I cannot do it. I acknowledge & understand that many people would not have the same privileges as I have..which is why I’m very wary of sharing any ‘success’ stories of being a full time working mum.

I wish, women would just be a bit more honest with how they became successful. Throughout the ‘Adiwiraku’ phase & when I was asked about how I could do it, I said that I had a supportive principal, a great collab & parents who were always there for me to help me. Our support system is important, why are we forgetting them? Even if we do mention them, it’s always that one forgettable random post no one cares about.

Having said all of this, I also want to acknowledge that there are many women who have made it without a great support system. I wish we could hear more from them. I would love to know how they could overcome all adversities and become who they are today, minus the maids & the supportive spouse.

Meanwhile, it’s back to trying to finish the laundry, reply emails and ensure Leia is not trying to eat some random piece of paper she found on the floor..TTYL!

I often joke about how I want Leia to get straight As and all that. I think my friends andย  family take it seriously and they often tag me in all these posts and articles on how to make my baby a genius. But for real, can you make your baby a genius?

Babies, like all of us, are unique individuals. They have their temper tantrums, they have their pet peeves and most importantly, they achieve things in a way and at a time that is comfortable for them. Some babies crawl faster, some speak faster and some are more advanced that the others. As parents, our duty is to provide them with the best we can. Toys for stimulation, reduced TV time, play space and lots of love. I think it’s really as simple as that.

I don’t believe in the flash cards at six months and hiring an ‘expert’ to come and help your baby to be a genius. I don’t! There’s a few things that we can do to help stimulate our babies senses. We can talk to them while playing, show them things, read to them and then, let them play on their own. We don’t have to constantly stimulate them with toys and random games.

If you want your child to acquire language skills faster, talk to them in real people language. Quit the baby talk and tell them things as it is. I remember my good friend once asked her son if he knew the ‘consequences’ of his action — he was only 2 at that time.ย  Needless to say, he’s now a bright boy with an extensive vocabulary.

And yes, I send Leia for music class at six months not because I want her to pick up an instrument or to be the next Mozart, but because she genuinely enjoys music. Ed Sheeran aside, she’s a lot calmer when we play songs during feedings or when she’s playing by herself. I found out about the music class from my sister and we took Leia for a trial lesson. She enjoyed it so much, listening to the teacher sing and playing different instruments (egg shakers etc). So, we enrolled her and she’s loves it! But yes, no expectations..just want her to have fun.

Raising a baby, like everything else is a learning process. Some things we do are great for them, some maybe not so great, but we try. The MOST important part of their growing up is for them to know that they are loved, every day of their life. Hug your babies, kiss them, cuddle them, let them fall asleep in your arms — all these positive emotions will certainly lead them to become a genius in their own way.

Lastly, my last point for this blog is..of the things I want for my daughter, I want her to be more than a princess! I’m not sure why, but the moment we have baby girls, we instantly feel the need to call them princess. For me, and of course this is just my opinion, you should be so much more than a princess. Now, before you roll your eyes and say, ‘but Cheryl you NAMED HER AFTER PRINCESS LEIA’ let me explain a bit. Princess Leia was the leader of the rebellion, not an ordinary princess. But also, we never refer to her as Princess Leia..she’s always just Leia D.

But yes, we call Leia cute, we call her strong, we call her brave and we call her wild — anything but princess. Of course, if she marries a real Prince then okay la, but other than that, she can be the strong, brave and smart girl that she is.

So okay, I tulis panjang lebar but in conclusion, no genius or princess. Let your child be whatever they want to be! Encourage their uniqueness and let them explore. Simpan flashcards itu ok ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m taking some time to write this because if I don’t, I’ll probably forget it.

Dealing with Leia is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. Leia is a tough baby. Now, I know you’re thinking ALL babies are tough..but Leia seems a tad bit more difficult to deal with.

For starters, she kicked like crazy when she was in the womb. She kicked so much that they couldn’t even record my contractions properly. When she came out, she cried a bit and then opened her eyes and started looking around. From that moment, I knew she was trouble.

On her first day home, my milk didn’t kick in yet so we had to formula feed her using a cup. She just stared at Selvan and I as we struggled to get her to drink using a tiny cup. She hardly slept that night, not because she was crying but because she was just looking at us..as if to judge us for being incompetent. Selvan and I wondered if we could return her to to hospital. LOL. Kidding, kidding okay!!

The days to follow were seemingly tough. Selvan and I were alone with Leia as my mum was preparing food for me. I was still recovering from the pain of giving birth but I had to gather all the strength in me to take care of her. She was tiny – 2.3kgs but wriggled and kicked so much as we tried to swaddle her or when we carried her. Selvan and I had NO IDEA how to deal with a tiny baby but we just learned it along the way. My brother in law taught us how to bathe a baby, my sister and Dayana taught me how to breastfeed and the rest..uncle Google helped us through.

When she finally learned to latch, she would want to breastfeed for hours. HOURS. There was no letting go. I was all sore and worn out, both from giving birth and breastfeeding. It never seemed enough for her and I didn’t read up much on how to breastfeed. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a lactation consultant. Looking back, this is the one thing I regret and will always regret.

So, I committed the biggest modern day crime. I formula fed my baby. I couldn’t keep up with her demands and Selvan and I had to succumb to the evils of powdered milk. We fed her formula and then I would breastfeed her so as to get back my sanity. At nights, she would cry and we would both feel like crying as well. She suffered from colic for weeks..and I thought it was because she was formula fed. I tried various milk boosters and ended up engorged with a high fever. I tried pumping to feed her, only to have her REFUSE any express milk and me throwing it all down the sink. I felt like such a failure. I couldn’t do the ONE thing that was expected of a mother — to nourish my child with milk. And as if by sheer coincidence, all these articles on the perils of formula milk would appear on my timeline.

Selvan, who by now was frustrated with his crying baby and crying wife, finally told me to stop it. Stop reading articles. Stop trying so hard. Just stop. He reminded me over and over again that the only thing that mattered is that she is FED. So we established a routine. Breastfeed and then formula feed. On weekends, we tried to give her as little formula as we can. And you know what, the moment I stopped beating myself silly over this, she became better as well. Her crying lessened, she gave us her first smile at 6 weeks and it was almost as if she was trying to be better as well.

Today, at 16 weeks, Leia is still a formula & breastfed baby. She’s still clingy and wants us to carry her all the time. She cries when she’s with a stranger and although very cute when she smiles..she’s a little monster when she starts crying. Selvan and I have learned to adjust our schedules to suit her. She’s no longer 2.3kgs..she’s almost 5kgs and I try not to feel so bad about not being able to fully breastfeed her. I know so many people look at their newborns and say they’re in love..but for us..it felt as if we were learning to love each other. She was learning to accept us as her parents and we were learning to love this tiny human. And once we learned how to love each other, we all became better.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have learned more about feeding and taking care of a baby. I don’t know why I was so confident I could do it all! We didn’t even buy bottles because I thought she wouldn’t need it. Like everything else in life, a baby is hard work. It’s a steep learning curve..one day you’re happily pregnant and the next your hair is dropping like crazy, you’ve lost the pregnancy glow and your jeans don’t fit anymore. On top of it all, you have a crying baby who sticks to you like a koala bear.

But Leia..she taught us one of our greatest life lessons. She taught us to love unconditionally and most importantly, she taught us to be better parents. I know it’s only going to get tougher but I also know, we’re now better equipped to deal with it.

Happy 16 weeks cheeky monkey! We love you.

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-03 at 08.41.39

It’s 4.37am and of course, I’m not going to bother to sleep. I’m just sitting around, finishing up bits of work and chatting with Debs who is flying off to the UK.

Selvan and I are both anxious for the arrival of our little one. I had a check up recently and the doctor could feel her head right at the bottom. She told me to get ready and it could be anytime now. Of course, being an impatient person like me..I cannot wait. Yes, I am tired and it’s not easy carrying this almost-3kg baby around..but I cannot wait to finally hold my daughter in my arms.

We prepped her room, washed her clothes (she has more clothes than us), arranged her diapers, fixed her car seat and we’re just waiting for her to finally decide she’s ready for the world. Many asked me if I’m nervous about giving birth and to be honest, I don’t know la. I mean, sakit itu sementara right? ๐Ÿ˜› Surely I am, but the thought of having my dearest daughter in my arms surpasses all of that.

One of the best advice I read was to not listen to any advice about childbirth. People have a million things to tell you and they’ll give you tips and all that, but I think this is something that you have to go through in order to understand. So far, I try to #ignore all unwarranted advice and focus on what is most important – taking care of my health and mentally preparing myself for the big day. I wish I did the same for my wedding.

Oh well, time to get back to work. Here’s hoping little Leia is kiasu like her mum and decides to come out early.

Insomnia has been kicking in worst than ever. I lie awake at night with a million random thoughts, Tonight, I decided to let insomnia win and just do work while I stay awake.

My baby shower is this weekend (along with my birthday) and I’m already tired thinking about it. Haha. I kid. I’m super grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by my close friends and celebrate both my birthday and the upcoming birth of my dear baby. My parents, for some reason, are super excited about the baby shower and we went to check out the place today. True to our #nerd self, we’re having it in a nerdy location. You’ll see soon on my Instagram.

33 weeks pregnant and I’m secretly hoping I’ll pop sooner than 40 weeks. I cannot imagine waiting another 7 weeks. But, it’s okay..I know that it’s important to be relaxed and let the baby comes when she’s ready (I hope you’re kiasu like me baby).

As I type this, I’m looking over at Selvan sleeping away his non productive self away. Lol. Sorry, but I cannot help but feel this way. Don’t get me wrong, Selvan tries his best to be a supportive husband but honestly, he cannot fathom half of the things I go through. Either ways, I’m eternally grateful that he does most of the housework and buys me anything I want to eat.

That’s all I have to rant for tonight. It’s back to listening to Backstreet Boys and completing my work! Ttyl

Reaching 8 months of being pregnant! Omg! At times, it still feels surreal that I’ve been carrying my tiny human around for 8 months. Soon, she’ll be out and ready to play (and complete her thesis, cause high expectations, you know).

Selvan and I often have very intense discussions on the kind of parenting approach we want to take with our daughter. For the most parts of it, we’re both on the same page. We want her to read lots of books (just like us), to question, to think and to stay curious. I know, it sounds easier said than done but at least, we’ve to try to agree on some of the fundamentals in parenting.

I know religion will be tough one cause Selvan is all about discovering faiths and being more spiritual than religious whilst I’m Catholic — no two ways about it. So, on that aspect, it’s great that he is okay with her being baptised, having a Christian name and attending Catechism classes. I strongly hold on to the importance of faith formation and I know that in some of my darkest and most distress days, I quickly turned to God for guidance. I want her to be able to do that as well.

On a separate note, my time of working alone will end soon! We are (hopefully) hiring someone in a couple weeks and I can’t wait to have someone bounce thoughts and ideas with. It’s been very tiring these few months and I struggled to stay optimistic. At one school meeting, the school principal looked at me and said, “You know this is crazy right? You’re pregnant and doing this alone.” While the outer feminist in me went, “Oh no! I’m great and I love doing this,” the inner me wanted to silently agree with him and break down into tears. But yes, it’s been tough working alone and I’m so glad to have someone else join the team soon!

I also think this whole experience of being pregnant, working alone etc made me realise just how strong I can be when I have no option. I have to drag my aching bones to meetings and events, because no one else is going to do it. When a pitch goes well, I praise myself..when it doesn’t..I reflect by myself. Sounds a little pathetic, I know..but hey, it’s all an experience.

So yes, here’s to one more month of pregnancy before the little one is out to change my life forever.


I took a walk just now, something I haven’t done in years for fear of getting mugged! It was a 7 minute walk from my apartment to my mum’s house for lunch. I only half-ran twice when I saw a motorcycle coming near me but besides that, it was a fairly decent walk. I thought about a million different things, my organisation being the number one priority. How am I ever going to find a team? I’ve been so comfortable working alone, making decisions and just being by myself that it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to find a team and then work with humans (gasp)! Although I claim to be an extrovert, I’ve been enjoying the quiet afternoons of working alone, having lunch alone and just discussing all these cool ideas and thoughts with myself. I know it sounds crazy, but my thoughts and I, we have the best conversations.

But, I digress.

Selvan and I went for our antenatal class and half way through listening to gory details of childbirth, he looks at me and asks, “How are you going to do it baby?” For the first time since we knew we were expecting a child, I sensed worry and confusion in his eyes and his tone.

“Why? You scared ke?” I jokingly asked him, suppressing all my fear and oh-my-god-it’s-gonna-hurt-so-bad thoughts.

“No. Just worried for you.” He said, slowly taking my palm into his and rubbing it gently.

To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I cringe at the thought of going for threading cause it’s painful. I have low low low threshold for all emotional, mental and physical pain. I hate injections and all of that. How am I going to endure the pain of childbirth? It’s too late now to back out, I should have thought about it before..you know. But, oh well.

Selvan’s been a great support since I entered my third trimester. He takes leave to drive me to far off meetings, waits for me patiently and listens to all my cravings. I was shocked that he bought macarons worth RM27 from Harrods. I mean, my husband is great but he’s the most kedekut human being on earth..I don’t know how he brought himself to spend RM27 on macarons!!

And just yesterday, he left for a meeting in Bangsar. After his meeting, he called me and asked me to get ready for lunch. As I entered the car, I saw a Zara paperbag at the backseat. I quickly grabbed it to look at the contents, thinking that he would have bought some more cute baby clothes. Much to my surprise, he bought a top for me. For me!! Selvan never buys gifts for me, unless it’s my birthday. And even that, I’ll get a practical one like a watch or a Kindle. But he actually picked out a pretty looking top and bought it for me..terkejut please!

Ok, then later he was so proud of himself I think he’s going to stop buying gifts for the next 3 years and just ride on this one Zara top. Lol.

But, I’ll take his sincere efforts to keep me (and baby) happy in good faith. It’s always wonderful to have a supportive spouse, especially when you’re craving for sugar and with a perpetual backache.

29 weeks pregnant already. Baby coming real soon folks!

As I approach the third trimester of my pregnancy, I’ve become far more zen and less entangled in unnecessary emotions. I spend a lot of time thinking about my baby and the kind of person I want her to be. Throughout my life, I’ve seen a lot of characters, talked to a lot of kids and I kept summarizing all these people/encounters to think what do I want for my baby.

I want her to be kind. Always. Above anything else, I want her to reach out to people in kindness. It doesn’t matter to me what she studies or what she becomes, as long as she is kind.

I want her to be empathetic, not overly empathetic like her mother but empathetic. To know that we are blessed with things we don’t deserve hence we need to reach out and help those in need.

I want her to pick her friends wisely. I hope she understands that you become like the people you spend time with and I hope she has the guts (unlike her mother) to get rid of toxic people sooner rather than later and spend time with those who love, grow and develop her as a person.

I want her to live a meaningful life. That she’ll lie on her deathbed one day with no regrets but a heart full of love and satisfaction that she lived a good life.

Above all, I want her to know that she can always turn to her mum & dad for support. Your mum is always ready to shower you with all the hugs and kisses but your dad is the one to turn to for tough love, he’ll tell you as it is. Either way, we love you very much (your dad ‘kisses’ you every night & morning) and we’ll always love you.

See you in about 10 weeks little one.

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May 2021