Being Mother is Hard

Sometimes people ask me which is harder - being a Working Mom or a Stay-at-home Mom? Well the truth is... Just being a mother is hard. It doesn't matter if you are stuck at home the whole day facing loads and loads of laundry and dirty dishes and the never-ending dirty diapers, or if you are stuck in the office worrying whether your child is having his meals taken care of and thinking of the housework that awaits you when you get back.
When you are a stay-at-home mom, you have all these expectations to keep the house clean all the time and for you to cook delicious meals every day and keep your children busy with activities and WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY YOU LET THEM WATCH TV?? What a bad mother you are!!
And when you are a working mom, you find yourself calculating how much time you spend after work playing with the kids and how much time to spend on housework, and not to mention, THE GUILT. The best person to take care of the kids is the mother, you know. Yes you can hear all these voices, you hear them loud and clear.
But let's face it. Being a mother, regardless of whether you are working or not, already comes with a set of challenges unlike any other that you have encountered in your life. You are raising human beings who will grow up and have to live in the society. You need to ensure that not only do they survive, they have to be equipped with skills, knowledge, religious knowledge, manners, common sense, la di da di da.. Just being a mother is tough. Period.
So let us take a moment to appreciate the hard work that is motherhood and don't engage in those I-have-it-harder-than-you competitions. All of us have it tough, all of us are struggling, and that is what makes this journey of motherhood beautiful. The struggle that is for the sake of Allah will insyaAllah have its rewards. :)

Received this message from my friend T who is a fellow stay-at-home mother living in Singapore with husband and a daughter, just after I told her my insecurities being a dependent housewife and the feelings of lethargy and weariness facing motherhood (hello toilet training, breastfeed weaning, sleep training, etc). T and I have been friends since Uni days and I'm glad that through all the years of growing and changing, she's still someone who always has positive vibes that she can pass on to others, including me. 

The message above brings me to a conclusion that as has been said by so many people, "everyone has their own battle", so I'll carefully try to choose my own battle and work it up passionately. We are all struggling and juggling with what we have, so stop looking down on ourself and comparing ourself to others. So we can avoid all the negative feelings. 

Little Reunion

One of my best friends from high school came to Singapore last week for a 3-days holiday with his wife. We met up at Merlion Park where it was crowded with people watching the rehearsal preview of National Day Parade 2017. The little reunion was then followed with a short visit and dinner in a shopping mall in west area. 

It was a nice time spent chatting, changing stories, and recalling old memories after our last encounter in my wedding reception more than four years ago. Even though we only got the chance to meet once in a blue moon like this, I am happy that I can still consider him my best friend, I can tell that from how we interact, which nothing much changed. Even my husband can get along together easily. :) 

I still remember a silly moment i shared with him where I was on a desperate situation having betrayed by someone I trusted the most at that time. I was driving when we were going together to see some of our high school friends and gave him a ride. I was triggered with anger when I told him about that infuriating experience so that I drove with an extreme high speed on the highway. It's funny to remember what he anxiously said even before I haven't finished scolding and spilling out my words, "Okay.. Okay, I know you're upset and angry, but please drive slower, I haven't gotten married yet". Haha goodness that now he's married! Although I wasn't there when he finally tied the knot, I'm happy to see that he has a lovely and cute wife. 

Till we meet again, buddy. Too bad we forgot to take a picture that day, so I'll just share an old one.

High School Squad (minus the girls) 

Marine Cove Children's Playground

Look at how we tend to take things in our life for granted, some simple things which we never realize that are very luxurious for other people. We may not be able to buy a car or even have our own apartment in Singapore now, but look around, there's a huge playground in our neighborhood where the children can play with friends, we can also go to the park along the coast line by walking or taking a bus less with than 30 minutes ride. Something that wouldn't be that easy to get if we live in Jakarta where the nearest and friendliest beach is Ancol. 

Marine Cove, a new children's playground with eating places was opened in East Coast Park since June last year. We went there once a week after it was officially opened. But at that time, S was still a crawling baby so she didn't really play much at the playground.  So, today we went there again to give S different playground as she already plays at our neighborhood's playground almost everyday in the weekdays. And it turned out great, she could play almost in all the play spots (except the tall tower since she still can't climb up the rope). 

Despite the scorching sunny day, S enjoyed playing and running. We also enjoyed our nasi lemak burger from McDonald's before we headed home. 

Maybe next time we can bring our swimming attire and let S try a little dip in the beach water. 

Toilet Training pt. 1

We're on the second day of S's toilet training. And I think I should say this to my self more often: Be patient, this too shall pass. 

My dear S, I know this is not easy for you, but I will help and assist you to master this new skill, so you could learn a bit to be independent as a little human and gain inner confidence as well.

I know it's a lot harder on my side, but I can see that S has shown me that she's more than ready to do this. So here we go. Wish us luck! 

Pondering About Educational Opportunity

I was randomly scrolling down YouTube app until I saw video of an interview with the female lead of a newly released movie, having known that this young and talented beautiful girl is so talented and smart made curious for a while, where did she start? And then, from her Wikipedia page I learned that she was first introduced to Indonesia's entertainment industry in a film titled Denias Senandung di Atas Awan which was released in 2006.  After reading the short synopsis, I  watched it on YouTube.

The impression about the movie is overall good! Touching story with beautiful cinematography exposing the the awesomeness of Papua Island's nature. But despite the praise for the picture, this movie at the same time made me think more about the equality of educational opportunity for all citizens in my own country.

As I've been living abroad for almost 5 years, I don't really keep up with Indonesia's latest development which makes me do not know how to lay a word on it. Anyway, it's already more than a decade since the movie was released, so I hope things in education sector, including the quality, equality, and resources, are already developed well now. Way better than the one pictured in movie.

I do believe that we are all agree that children should have equal access to education regardless of their gender, race, social status, location, etc.

Citation: Summer 2017 (first archived) [new author(s): Shields, Liam; Newman, Anne; Satz, Debra].
Watercolor Stripes' source: A Designer At Home.

Be Nice

Watercolor Dots' source: Design Love Fest

Bye Bye Rash

Several days before we flew back home, S's diaper rash has finally subsided. Alhamdulillah.. It is very true when some people said that baby's diaper rash is mother's heartache, as I was so sad and subdued every time she rubbed her itchy waist and thighs causing the rash patches even worse. But alhamdulillah redness and itchiness have all gone now. 

Those past three weeks have been a tough time for us as we fought the diaper rash that seemed to keep coming back. I have tried using and switching to various kinds of diaper cream during that time. 

As previously prescribed by her pediatrician, we used Zaricort Cream and Ceradan Skin Barrier Cream, but nothing really happened after 5 days of usage. Since we're told to use Zaricort only for 5 days, I stopped using it on the 6 days.

Knowing that Ceradan is a moisturizer cream, I thought I need something that contains Zinc Oxide to treat the rash, even though I've tried Zwitsal Baby Cream with Zinc once the rash started the first time. 

I found a bottle of Guardian Calamine Lotion in our bathroom and read the ingredients where it's written that it contains Zinc Oxide 5%, it successfully soothed the itchiness of the affected areas but the red patches with irritation texture were still there, meaning that it didn't really treat the problem, only relieved the effect.

I went to Guardian store near our place to find another brand of diaper cream but they didn't have what I wanted, so I just grabbed Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. The result was not really satisfying. 

I went again the next day to another bigger Guardian store to impulsively buy Bepanthen Nappy Rash Ointment and Sebamed Diaper Rash Cream. I didn't know why, but these two didn't work too for S's rash. 

I was already at my wit's end when I asked my husband to find Desitin Rapid Relief, but unfortunately the drugstore he visited didn't have it. I was so lost at what to do until my husband suggested to use Habatusauda oil. Just a day before our departure to Jakarta, I switched to Habatusauda oil and alhamdulillah after two days of usage I could see that it worked well, S started to forget about the itchiness in her thighs and the irritated skin began to subside. 

I still thought that we need a zinc cream, so when we were already in Jakarta, I ordered Sudocrem Nappy Rash Cream from an online shop in Tokopedia and had it delivered to my in-laws' place by Go-Send. I've tried to visit two Mothercare outlets in Singapore to find this cream though but they said no stock. Alhamdulillah we could get it easily in Jakarta. 

Even though it's already healed for more than a week now, we still use Habatusauda oil and Sebamed Diaper Rash Cream for her diaper area as a prevention from another rash attacks.

Thank you Allah for giving her a speedy recovery. Please give me more strength to face next phase of motherhood, the real toilet training! 

Open House

We are already back to Singapore last Sunday! Though we stayed for 9 days in Jakarta, I thought it was too short that I feel like extending our Eid holiday. I had a good time seeing my extended family on the third day when my mother held an open house at her home. This is me and my sister cousins. After this one 7 years ago, we finally have a proper Eid photo together again! Comparing the old and new pictures, we don't change a lot, don't we? 😆