Sunday's Sunniness


My best friend since the earliest day of university, F, came to Singapore for a short holiday, and last Sunday we strolled around Garden by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, and Singapore River. We really had a blast! My daughter S could get along very well with F, something that she rarely did, because she's a very shy girl, especially when meeting new person. Well, F is not really a new person though, they have met a couple of time when she was 1 and 2 years old. 

F is one of my old friends I knew for almost a decade and half that's still as kind, genuine, and cheerful as he was. A true gem.


Being Grateful

Sometimes, being grateful is something that's easier said than done. 
We have a lot of things to be grateful for, yet we keep complaining that things always come in a rather tough way to us, or worse, it feels like nothing is going our way.  We tend to compare our life and its difficulties with other people's life who seem doing it just fine. 
Well, who am I kidding? In my case, I know very well that no one's life is all happy and dandy. Everyone has their own problems that they just don't show it to the world, they try to solve them behind the scenes. And because of we don't see their struggle, we simply assume that they are leading a good blessed life that we all yearn to have.
Back in my youth, my mother told me to always look in the people who have less than we do, the one who is less fortunate, so that we can be more grateful with what we have and stop complaining things. This worked well years ago when I was still young. And might still be relatable for now, but as I have gone through some trials and tribulations in my life lately, I begin to relearn to that being grateful is to focus and appreciate the things I have, no matter how little they are compared to others.
Every time I feel low, I said to myself, though things are hard at least there are a bunch of people out there coveting this modest life I'm living.

Time to Turn


Visit to the Dentist

S's first dentist appointment was made last July when I found out that the brown spot on her front teeth might be a kind of tooth decay. I chose to visit School Dental Centre by Health Promotion Board because it's a dental clinic for kids, so I thought the doctors and nurses should already know how to face children, especially the young ones like S who has never went to dentist before. Well, we got the slot on August, about five weeks after I made the call, which actually was a lot of time to let S know and make her figure out what dentist is. But unfortunately, when the day's come, though she said that she would be okay and would't cry, she eventually cried, almost 20 minutes at that. The young and friendly dentist tried to talk to S out, she gave her everything she had at the clinic, like stickers, toothbrush, etc. S finally stopped crying after I told her (in bahasa) that we're not going anywhere if she doesn't want to open her mouth and show her teeth to the dentist. It really worked like wonders though, she opened her mouth and the dentist asked S to join her in counting her teeth. The dentist confirmed that the brown spot on the front teeth as tooth decay, so she suggested to have it treated with filling treatment on the next visit. We made appointment for the treatment and needed to wait for another five weeks to get a time slot. This was another a lot of time to talk to S about the treatment, to make her understand that her cooperation in behaving was very much expected. My friend T suggested me to read books about dentists to S, who knows it would work out well. 

These are the books that I borrowed from the library, alhamdulillah it really worked. When we visited the dental centre for our second appointment, S was being good and very cooperative the whole time during the treatment, I know very well that having metal instruments in our mouth is very daunting for us adults, let alone for kids. But she nailed it! S's tooth decay has been treated, so no more brown spot. "You're a good girl and you're pretty again. now!" I said to her after the procedure was done. Haha. The dentist gave her a sheet of stickers too.





As someone who has tooth decay history, she needs her teeth to be checked again in another four months and in the meantime it should be brushed twice a day with toothpaste that contains enough flouride. This one is recommended by the dentist for S to use.  



Quran Skills for Moms

My Sunday mornings since the last week of July were filled with having tajwid class at Al Falah mosque which was held by MuslimParents.SG. When my friend T informed me about this course that she's planning to join, I was a bit reluctant because the mosque is located in Orchard area which is quite far from where I stay, it approximately needs about one hour travel by bus/train. But I'm happy that at that time I eventually decided to join the course regardless that distance issue, because I do really have a lot of lessons learned. I usually think that at my age, I could already be able to recite quran because we've learned it when we're still very young, but little did I know that I actually didn't read it properly, as in with proper tajwid and correct pronunciation. From this class, I found out that I am still lacking here and there with tajwid, and still have some weaknesses with makhraj. After finishing the Basic Quran Skills for Moms class, I decided to join the Intermediate class right away. In the Intermediate course we practiced the tajwid that we've learned so far by reading the last 20 surahs of quran intensively

I really love this course because we learn in a child friendly environment, I could bring S to the class where she could also learn and see how quran class is conducted, so I hope later when we are about to enroll her to quran class for her age she would already feel familiar with it. And also here we actually learn not because we have to in order to get achieve high score, like we were when we're in school,  but it's all for our own sake. For us alone so that we can start recite quran properly.

Actually, as a staying at home mother of a preschool toddler, I feel that I need to have a proper basic knowledge of quran  reading in order to be a good first madrasah for my child. So, I fully recommended this course for fellow mothers who plan to teach their children to read alquran at home.

The highlights of this course are that the participants get the very basic understanding of how to read quran, starting from how to pronounce a letter with the right makhraj, something that we usually overlook just because we thought we already do it right since we had learnt it long time ago in our childhood. I also love the idea that the teacher brought where we don't need to memorize all the letters and the tajwid rule names, but only just by looking at the marks like sukun, tanwin, and all.



I hope I could continue my quran learning journey after these courses. Still trying to find the suitable one, hopefully soon insya Allah.


The Little Things


The time of our lives flies so fast that sometimes when life's good we want to freeze the moment and enjoy it a little bit longer, and when we're going through a hardship we feel like to fast forward the time so we don't have to suffer more. Anyway; to stop, to rewind, or to fast forward won't help us wholly grow as a human, someone who can endure adversities and cherish felicities that life can give through times. Pursuing happiness and prosperity doesn't necessary mean we have to avoid pain and misery at all cost. It's kind of given that good and bad things occur in turns through out our life, because we're imperfect human after all. We could always get a lesson or two from both the good and the bad things in our life as they happened for a reason.

I remember this one day years ago when my husband  gave  me a bookmark with a quote on it, he hoped that I wouldn't be so upset about our condition at that time, where we were just starting to build our life as a family and struggling both financially and mentally to face infertility issues. It quite worked at that time because I believed that as long as we have each other's support, we're going to be able to deal with that hardship just fine. This quote somehow is still relevant to me today though. As to what I've been scared of, we apparently have to acknowledge that we now have secondary fertility. I hope I could manage to stand up right and go up this time around, as now we're still staying solid together and have our first lovely bundle of joy. 

Do enjoy the little things in life, for one day we will look back and realize that they were the big things.



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Toilet Training Pt.4 (End)

our lovely cloth diaper stash

One of the most anticipated days as a mother for me has finally come. I knew we can eventually do it, after witnessing my baby's first steps at the age of 13 months, the day where she didn't ask for breast milk at the age of 23 months, and now it's the moment I can proudly say that my girl is already properly toilet trained at the age of 33 months. Properly trained as in she already knows that her pee and poo should go to the toilet and she can't strictly pass them at any other places, so she has no more accidents by far. 

Now looking back to the time when we're still trying and trying, where there's a lot of yelling (me), crying (her), and accidents (of course), we could have made it a lot easier if only I knew that the success secret to peaceful toilet training process is only two. The caregiver's patience and their willingness to totally ditch the diapers. Once we don't have any diapers left, we have to other choices to just patiently continue training our little ones day and night. With this one no-turning back point since the very first time we start toilet training, I kinda believe that toilet training is not that hard.  

Early Reading and Numeracy Skills

I'm not really sure about whether it's beneficial or not to have early reading and numeracy skills for toddlers. But, as long as she is eager to learn by herself and is having fun doing it, then let's go. As parents, all we can do is to facilitate, and just let them lead their way. 





A Thing to Remember



One thing I learned the hard way that I want tell to my daughter is that not to drool over how other people live their lives, and to always remember that life is a constant struggle for everyone of us. We could end up feeling sad about our own limitations like how we don't have our own private car, therefore sometimes we have to walk in the rain going to bus stops or MRT stations. But one thing we have to reckon is that at least we have a little peace of mind that we don't have to deal with car insurance, COE price, parking charges, etc, which cost a loooot of money. Anyhow, there's always sunshine after the rain, keep smilin'! ;) 

Workout


The past couple of weeks, people who were ever attached to Path, a private social networking app, is grieving and paying their condolences as this former Facebook's rival app is closing down for good on 1st of October. The users who have ever posted anything there can still download their data until 18th of October, so even though I've deleted it from my phone since last year, I installed it again so I could have my data backed up. I am not that sad about this app shutting down, because all of those social networking apps are competing very tight with one another, for me they look all the same., Facebook, Instagram, Path, etc. I can't really see the differences anymore as they mostly have the same features, so why would people maintain all of those platforms while having one or two apps are already too much. I'm just saying though.

Anyway, I found this old photo of me from my Path account that my husband took when we were working out together at the gym back in 2014. Wow, it surely was one of the most luxurious things I've had before having S, I thought to myself. It would be nice if I could go and have time for this activity again, but, I'm not sure if I can squish it into my daily schedule, in addition to the fact that gym membership is very expensive too. Well for now, exercising at home with cardio workout youtube videos is more than enough. If you don't have time and too reluctant to spend money on gym membership, fret-not my friends, because there are a lot of workout videos to follow at home.
FitnessBlender and jessicasmithtv are some of my favorite youtube channels.

The City @ I12 Katong

Two weeks ago we had a play date to The City at I12 Katong with my husband's second cousin who lives here in Singapore together with her husband and daughter. As usual, S was very shy and reserved when we met them at The Cit. This is definitely not our first meeting though, we just met them at an Eid-Fitr family gathering in Jakarta one month before but it took about an hour later when she finally could play and get along well with A, her third cousin.   

It's actually their second time going to indoor playground together, the first one was in Cul de Sac (Suntec City) about one year ago, so there's nothing much I could compare. But obviously, The City was smaller than Cul de Sac because it only has learning stations, no slides and tunnel, no tree house, etc. The learning stations consist of supermarket, cafe, health clinic, nursery, post office, classrom, beauty salon, road and traffic police. S and A spent most of their time playing in the supermarket and cafe. 

Supermarket's Cash Registers

Supermarket's milk section

Cafe

Beauty Salon

Post Office

Classroom

Health Clinic



Overall, both of the girls loved playing here. It's age appropriate for them, so they can explore, play, and run here and there on their own while parents had a good chat. ;) 

Personal Care

When I first found that I was pregnant four months ago, it really shocked me not only because I thought we kinda need medical intervention to conceive (like my first pregnancy with our daughter S), but also because I didn't prepare my body to carry a child. Like, I didn't regularly consume prenatal multivitamins and didn't pay attention much to the ingredients of skin care products that I used, where I started to be curious about skin care routine and products last year because I thought I need to begin treating my thirty-something old skin. Since then,I began to religiously use sunscreen, facial wash for acne prone skin, and anti-aging treatment. 

By the time I knew I was pregnant, I checked on the internet whether products that I daily used were safe or not, but I was shocked to learn that my over the counter sunscreen lotion which I believed was a best buy has ingredients that should be avoided by pregnant women; Retinyl Palmitate, Octocrylene, Metylparaben, and Propylparaben. In addition to that, my acne clear facial wash contained Salicylic Acid and my deodorant has Aluminum Chloride as its main ingredient. Though their effects on the pregnancy and for the unborn babies are still debatable, all of them are strongly recommended by the experts to be avoided during pregnancy, just to be in the safe side. Therefore, I stopped using my facial treatment products right away, and then the sunscreen lotion, facial wash, and the antiperspirant as well were thrown away to the waste bin.

Anyway, as I've ever mentioned in a post before, this pregnancy ended up in a missed miscarriage, and I'm back to square one again to seriously planning and trying to get pregnant. Here, I am not saying that the those ingredients in the products I used had some thing to do with the miscarriage, but as now that I'm moving forward, I have meticulously checked the products that I'm going to use on my skin, and made sure that they don't contain the restricted ingredients. Here are some products that can be considered safe I just started to use.

Mimosa Cabin City Stroller

When I saw Mimosa Cabin City stroller for the first time at Mothercare Baby Fair 2018 in last January, I thought to myself, wow this stroller is so small, so light, and so easy to fold. But back then, I didn't have any reasons to buy another stroller because we already felt content strolling with our Combi when we go out and about around Singapore. We don't usually bring stroller with us as well when we go travelling or visiting Jakarta. So we just passed the massive sale that Mothercare offered at the baby fair. But it's not until I knew I was pregnant on April, we finally decided to invest in smaller stroller so that it would be easier for me to pick up S from school. S's school is 500 meters away from the bus stop where we catch our bus, and our apartment is another 500 meters away from the nearest bus stop where we alight. Walking for about 1 km on the way back from school was still a hit and miss for S, sometimes she was keen to walk on her own, but most of the time she wanted to be carried. Me being pregnant and she being almost 14kgs, it would be more convenient to bring a stroller, considering that we can bring our open strollers on Singapore's public buses.

So we got a Mimosa Cabin City stroller for S at a baby fair held in Expo. It was on sale at that time, so instead of it's S$349 normal price, we paid only S$199! To think about it, I was so happy that we didn't impulsively buy any stroller last year when I complained to my husband about back pain and all, because we didn't know at all about Mimosa Cabin City, we only considered between Gb Pockit or Cocolatte Pockit. I am so happy we ended up with Mimosa Cabin City, because it is lightweight, firm, easy to fold, and the most important point; it has proper sunshade that really works in protecting from all day all year Singapore's abundant sun light. Its only minus point is that the front wheels are not so easy to maneuver, but this issue can be solved by elevating the front wheels when we are about to have extreme maneuver.  

Waiting at the bus stop

Mimosa Cabin is so light, it weights only around 4 kgs, even S loves to push the stroller when she wants to walk.



I found out that a lot of people stumbled upon my old post about lightweight strollers, but I'm sorry if I didn't provide any useful information there because I didn't happen to buy one of the discussed strollers. But here, after 4 months using Mimosa, I really recommend it for those who are looking for cabin size stroller. But do note that Mimosa Cabin City is most suitable for strolling around city's streets with smooth surface due to its thin wheels. 

Parenthood and Choices

Having been a mother for only three years has taught me a thing that the key to a restful motherhood is doing what works for both of you and your child, and making choices that you feel is right for your family. There's a lot of parenting styles and methods about how to parent out there, but there's no single particular parenting method that could exceptionally be the right fit for everyone. But of course without question, we need to know what those methods and styles are about. Research them first and then we can palpably choose one or two that we think will work best for us and make sense for our circumstances. 

For example, if you can't cloth diaper your child (because it's a lot of work, obviously), so just stick to disposable diapers (but do throw it responsibly, okay?). If you don't think early education is not necessary for your toddlers, so let them stay at home. If you have to hide vegetables inside your kid's omelette so that you don't have to go through any battle during mealtime, just do it. If screen-free home is impossible for you, then don't force it. And if giving your children access to your gadgets will buy you some time to have a little rest, go ahead. Those choices are all yours to make, as long as you are aware of the consequences of your decisions. Don't bother other mommies who can do all of those 'wonder woman' things with extraordinary superpowers all the while still somehow manage to not look like a sleep-deprived witch. 



Be honest with our own capacity, our priority, and what we think our children need the most from us, and then take it from there. Because only us mothers who know what's the best for our family. 

Anyway, I'm currently reading this book on Libby. It's quite interesting. 


Our Tampines Hub

Our Tampines Hub (OTH) is Singapore's first and largest integrated community and lifestyle hub developed  near to Tampines MRT station. We went there every Saturday since we visited it the first time last month. You know why? Because a day wouldn't be enough to explore this place. The first week, S spent most of the time playing at the temporary bouncy castles at the soccer field (which is called Town Square), inclusive playground, indoor bouncy castle at the kids play zone. The next week, we brought S to the interactive swimming pool on the rooftop floor. And then, just last week, we spent whole time reading in Tampines Regional Library. One of our favorite thing about OTH is that Darul Ghufran Mosque is located just next to it, where we could have our Zuhr Prayer done conveniently. We usually went back to OTH to get our weekly groceries in FairPrice supermarket located on the basement after Zuhr prayer. Our visits were actually only half day, because after grocery shopping, S got tired and fell asleep on the way back home.

Anyway, besides those places I mentioned above, there are indoor jogging track, bowling center, rock-climbing center, activeSG gym, sports hall, tennis courts, futsal courts, and hockey court, for sport and recreation. Not to forget that beside interactive pool for children, they also have a competition pool, deep pool for water polo, training pool, wading pool, and jacuzzi pool.

For lifestyle and art, it has Eco-Garden on the fifth floor Festive Art Theatre for movie screenings and live performances.  There are a culinary studio and a community club interest group inside the library.

It also has various kinds of facilities for public like Community Club and Public Service Centre where residents can get the services from 12 government agencies, Festive Plaza; an open community space at the centre of the hub, Festive Mall, retail outlets with eateries and supermarket, and a family medical clinic and health centre operated by Eastern Health Alliance.

Town Square with bouncy castles

one of the bouncy castles

Town Square with no bouncy castles

Interactive children pool

Jogging Track (spot my baby girl running there?)

Babies and Children Books area

Adult Lending area

Well, even though we don't stay around Tampines area, we are so happy to say that Our Tampines Hub is definitely our weekend destination! ;)

Panoramic view of Town Square

About Group Chats

I don't really feel comfortable about being a member of WhatsApp group chats, because, well, people nowadays tend to use WhatsApp to broadcast hoax, fake news, hate speech, and whatnot. There's only a handful of whatsApp group I actually have for now, because somehow I have impulsively left a lot of groups years ago. But frankly speaking, I still find some of the groups that I am in now useless and annoying, because even though it's an extended family's whatsApp group where I can utilize it as an effective way to be connected to brothers, uncles, aunties, and cousins, it really irks me in some way or another that most of the members of the group purposely forward messages and send links to the information that correspond to their self-righteous standpoint. For example, like some people who don't very fond of the current ruler of our country, hence, whatever they could talk in the group every day is just about what our ignorant president and all of those corrupt institutions under his rule did wrong.

Every time they started shaming the government by sending links to news or videos of events that convey message about how the government couldn't do their job right, I felt like yelling to them, "Come on people, get a lifeeee!". As if your life doesn't complicated enough, that you keep trying to find the flaws of this winning candidate that you didn't vote back in the election. I never got myself said or written anything though, because, simple, haters just gonna hate. So in most cases, I only read yet never buy anything, not even write any reply.

image source


I am really getting old I know, I can't stand and be any more patient toward this kind of attitude, but I simply don't want to give a damn about it. I clearly think that I don't have the time and energy to waste just for this, so I just ignored and walked away. I often say to myself, if they are so full of hatred to the people whom they couldn't be close enough to doing what those people do, then it's their problems, not mine.

Anyway, I just want to randomly tell what I went through this morning, someone in one of my group chats sent this link, an article in Jakarta Post that wrote a report about Jakarta and Denpasar being recently voted as the world's most polluted cities this week. I am not accusing or judging though, but I'm so used to this, and I know what this implies, yes, it's just a matter of fact so that they could blame to the government, time and again. Okay, maybe I'm judging, but seriously dude, what's wrong with you? You just throw issues to other people to take, but then never use your brain (or fingers, in every case we could just try Google) hard enough to think and come up with a solution. I'm nothing different though, I also have no idea now to reduce pollution in a big scale national context, but at least I know a little that changing our habits and altering the way we live our comfortable life could make a difference. 

Of course, we all do know that. Dont you all tell me that you don't know these simple things we could start doing to help reduce air pollution. If you really don't, okay chill, here it is:


  • Conserve energy – remember to turn off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs.
  • Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking.
  • Combine errands for fewer trips.
  • Keep your automobile well tuned and maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on routine maintenance, such as changing the oil and filters, and checking tire pressure and wheel alignment.
  • Avoid excessive idling of your automobile.
  • Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment.
  • Be careful not to spill gasoline when filling up your car or gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
  • Choose environmentally friendly cleaners.
  • Use water-based or solvent free paints whenever possible and buy products that say "low VOC".
  • Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals to prevent volatile organic compounds from evaporating into the air.
  • Purchase and use low-polluting outboard marine engines and personal watercraft (4-stroke and direct fuel injection 2-stroke outboard marine engines).
  • Advocate for emission reductions from power plants and more stringent national vehicle emission standards.
(I googled and copied this list from here.)

So please please please, stop being such a pathetic person, stop blaming the government which you believe would just do nothing about this issue, but instead, be the change you want to be starting from yourself. Try ditching your convenient private car and use public transportation, perhaps?

And if you really can't stand the nightmare of your city's public transportation, and then just stop complaining. If you can't conserve energy by reducing air conditioner at home? and stop sending us this kind of information, as if you care. Thank you.

Social Media Quotes










During my social media break, I switched to another apps that I thought would give me more benefits; news, insight, information, motivation, inspirations, etc. I'm glad I did that though. And so since then, my spare time —that was usually used to check the feeds on social media— has been mostly spent reading a lot of interesting topics on Medium, Quora, and Pinterest. These quotes above are some of the gems I found on Pinterest, I pinned them to my board to keep me stay away and say no to social media.

The quoted words above are from these pins:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

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Toilet Training Pt. 3

And hopefully this is the last part of the journey.

We've been trying for months since the December last year, and all of the efforts and concerns finally paid off now. At the first two months, we still put diapers on her bum when we went out and about, and I thought that made the process a little bit longer than it should, and then I decided to totally ditched the diapers. When there was no more stocks on disposable diapers left and the stash of her cloth diapers has been packed in a box stored on the very bottom of the cabinet, we had no other option other than embracing all the wetness all over the place coming from the accidents. Fortunately, S was very cooperative when she's outside, up to now, she barely has accident in public space, though she had one or two accidents at school in the first week she went diaper-less. 

I can say it for now, that she nailed it for this kinda rite of passage, although she still got accidentally peed her panties once in a while only when she's anxious or not feeling really well.

This success journey has been helped a lot by the guidance and advice I got from Jamie Glowacki's Oh Crap! Potty Training book, and of course, the child friendly toilet facilities provided in public places throughout the city, which made doing toilet business when we're out become very handy. I couldn't thank Singapore enough for that. 
    




I'm so looking forward to welcoming another milestones. What would that be? Early literacy skills, perhaps? 

Dear S,



Message from Rasulullah(peace and blessings be upon him) to Abu Al-`Abbas `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him).
Hadits narrated by At-Tirmidhi.

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Bali

A few days ago, my cousin sister told me about her plan to have a impromptu three days vacation with her little family. At first, she considered going to Singapore, but haven't bought the tickets yet, cause she still hasn't decided the destination, she was still thinking about Singapore, KL, or Yogyakarta. Well, finally they left for Yogyakarta, her husband's hometown. I told my husband about this and when I finished telling him, he turned the question around to me.If you were given those choice, which place do you prefer? And I, enthusiastically, answered "Bali, of course!" hehe.

When was the last time I visited Bali? Maybe back in 2011. Since I got married in 2013 I pushed aside the thought of going to Bali, because, I didn't think is suitable for my husband, you know, appearance-wise. But it's just my silly thought, I know that whatever you appear to look like, Bali or any other places would be a good idea as long as we're going together.

Road tripping to Mount Agung with friends, 2010

Maybe some day, though not in any near future I suppose, I could visit Bali again. 
And reminisce the good old days exploring Bali with friends and colleagues.

PS. My prayers are with all the people residing in Bali. Hopefully the condition there will be going to be better.

Life Without Social Media




I intended to post about this so called self-challenge more than a year ago, but then I thought it would be better if it's discussed when it's already done, just to see what's the result. So I just left it in the draft folder. Well now after a year challenging myself to life without social media, I  guess this post is due.

Circa May 2017, I scrolled my Path's timeline —the only social media app I used to have back then— and found nothing new, no one from my small amount of friends posted something new. I did it several times every once in a while until I realized that I did open the app and check on them every five minutes! No wonder if there's no new post, everyone's either busy with works or their children, before they went back posting something again. I started to find what kind of phenomenon that's just happening to me? Is it FoMO? I've read about it a lot on the internet. Am I experiencing it? Well, maybe.

I need to remind myself again the definition of it, so let's take a look here.

FoMo or Fear or Missing Out has been defined in one of Computer in Human Behavior's journal as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent, where it is characterized by the desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing (Przybylski et al., 2013, p. 1842). According to the authors of the article, FoMO was strongly linked to higher levels of social media engagement, it was shown to mediate the effects of certain personal characteristics (need deficits, emotional problems) on social media engagement. And the most terrific statement of all is that FoMO was associated with lower need satisfaction, mood and life satisfaction.

When I read about it at that time, it felt so close to me, like, all of these articles were talking about me. I believe we can actually relate with it, who's not using social media apps these days anyway? But the problem is (at least for me) that we don't want to admit that we have that kind of behavior in us. Checking social media while driving? Yes. Checking social media during class? Yes. Checking social media on the dinner table with family? Yes. Checking social media in the dark before bedtime? Yes. We —or in this case, me— are so afraid to miss any update out  from our friends' lives if we miss one or two of their posts, and we deny that this behavior is one of mental health problems. You see, my friends, FoMo frequently derives in unhappiness, maybe when we're not feeling really great about our life. From the study of the journal mentioned above, it's found that those with low levels of satisfaction of the fundamental needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness tend towards higher levels of fear of missing out as do those with lower levels of general mood and overall life satisfaction.

Upon realizing it, I began my journey of finding the way to overcome this issue. I believed that I have FoMo —it's absolutely not a good thing to begin with—, and I needed to beat it out. After reading and analyzing some articles on the internet, I found out that most of them recommend people who are struggling with FoMo to take breaks from social media and try to focus more on the environment and people around them in the present moment. Well,  I have come to terms with it that I had to leave all of social network site for a while until I know that I can use it properly, be aware that I'm on social media purely to connect with family and friends, not because I am unhappy with my life so that I stop paying attention to real life and turn to social media instead, to make me feel better.

What happened after a year of living without social media? I can tell that I feel quite happy about my ordinary life, I may not be able to go on a family vacation every two months like all of the people in my social media timeline, or I may not be able to buy designers bags or any branded items, but I feel enough with what my husband provides and with what kind of life I have, because I don't see the importance to compare it with other people's lives anymore.  You know, when we're on social media, we have this kind of unavoidable comparisons to the 'perfect' lives presented there that makes we feel we have less. Now, I believe that what people present on their social media sites are only the good and beautiful ones, but that doesn't mean they're not struggling, everyone's struggling with their life, but they just don't show that ugly side in their cleverly curated social media account. I also can say that I finally could get over my FoMO, I don't need to give extra effort to know the updates from people I care who do care about me too, because eventually they will tell me in person. As per today, I still have my social media account (not deactivated yet), but checking social media again, again, and again? Never. Hopefully for good.


Reference:
Przybylski et al., 2013 A.K. Przybylski, K. Murayama, C.R. DeHaan, V. Gladwell Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out

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It's been a while

Yes, it's been a while since the days I was eager to write blog. And yet.. here I am again.




A lot of things has happened in the first half of this year. And I would really like to write it down here for my own memory as now I've regained the zest for blogging, which I have been doing for more than ten years since I was a university student. Oh my, I'm so old.

The first thing I would like to highlight is that in the early of this year, we started sending our daughter to school. Even though she just turned two and it is not compulsory for her age to go to school, we still think that it's a good thing that she could be exposed early to English and let her get the chance to socialize with friends of her age. 

Another thing is that back in March we visited Jakarta for the first time in 2018 as the first term of school holiday took place. I was actually reluctant to go because I had an unpleasant occurrence during our last visit to Jakarta in November with a certain people in some places, and it somehow put me in a really bad mental breakdown for months. But we did go anyway. We've been away for almost four months already, so our family back home demanded us to fly as soon as we have the chance to. Therefore, it's not surprising that during the visit I was depressed again and I held so much distress that I could only gulp down. It was the gloomiest week in my recent years. I didn't know how to handle the emotions myself then I just became very angry to my husband by blaming him as the cause I had to endure this kind of pathetic occurrence; a point where it almost crushed all of my self esteem, self worth, and self love.

It's a relieve that this one week 'torture' being in Jakarta has finished and we could finally fly back to Singapore. But unfortunately, all the negative feelings; the depression, hatred, anger, didn't go straightaway. I first thought to myself, maybe If I was away from the people that caused the distress, I could feel better. No, it was not. I still couldn't communicate properly with my husband, and I thought this was for good. I didn't hate him or those people though, I just hated myself that I put myself in a situation where I became someone worthless that I was good for nothing, so that people could justify doing the things they did to me. I was thinking about going to psychiatrist, but I could imagine how those people would consider that it's too much, that I was just exaggerating it. So I buried that thought and just tried going back to my daily activity.

Three weeks trying to rebuild myself and handle my emotions by living the daily life as usual, I found out that I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was over the moon and I convinced myself that I had to throw away all the distress and negative feeling towards people around me, because, hey I am pregnant! It's a very big blessing. You see, it's that easy for me to finally forgive my husband for the mistakes that he refused to acknowledge (he said it was just on my mind). I was content, we're going to have another baby, I finally could give my daughter a sibling, and I didn't care about the people causing me depression. I didn't give a d*mn about the damage they've caused me. I just wanted to focus on this pregnancy and loving my firstborn daughter more. 

Anyway, I was 8 weeks along when I had a missed miscarriage, but didn't found it until the pregnancy approached 11th week. I had no cramps, no spotting, no other symptoms of a miscarriage when the fetal stopped growing, and I still had the morning sickness kicked in all day long, s I thought everything was fine. Until one day on the end of 10th week, I got light spotting that continued for consecutive three days. I refused to think negative and always said to myself maybe I was just too exhausted and I needed to cut myself some slack. On the fourth day, I began to feel that there's something that's not quite right with this spotting, so I visited the gynae to got it checked that morning. That's when I finally knew that my baby didn't grow, the heartbeat has stopped growing three weeks before. It didn't take so long to compose myself after hearing this news, I didn't want to forever in denial thinking that everything's okay and the gynae must be wrong, I saw with my own eyes how my gynae tried to thoroughly see any signs of my baby's life from the scanning, I could feel it myself too that my nausea was slightly getting better I didn't vomit anymore since the last three days. I just knew that I have to let it go. It's just not meant to be. I decided to have a D&C the next day, May 11.

Even though the baby couldn't make it to see the world and I couldn't hold him in my arm, I would never forget him. I'm happy that he brought enlightenment to my life so that I could finally see things better. 

As of now, I can say that I don't hold any anger to those people again, I try to understand their circumstances. I am a lot healthier than them so I should be the one who can think clearer. Moreover, I need to be healthy both mentally and physically so that I can conceive again and carry the baby to term. Aamiin.


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