January 28, 2016

we're never just mothers anymore.

Pejam celik -- it's already the 28th day of January. 

Though it's been a pretty challenging month, what with me handling Luqman on my own with my ever growing belly, I've got to say that it hasn't been all that bad. 

Because in all honesty, it's been a pretty productive month too! 

Among the things that I love about my pregnancies (so far at least) is that those 9 months are almost always the most productive time of my life -- like ever! Sure, I do have off days where all I want to do is curl up and sleep and some days, I do just give in and sleep (don't ask where or how), but most days, I'm just happy to get things done and being productive just genuinely makes me happy -- which I reckon is good for producing happy babies (in sha Allah). 

Speaking of which, with time passing by so fast, it kind of scares me a little that my EDD (16.04.2016) is getting nearer. I pretty much had a non-eventful labour the last time, Alhamdulillah and despite my early breastfeeding and motherhood hurdles, things have turned out fine with Luqman (at least for now).

But having said that, it has been 4 years since I last raised a newborn and I've kind of forgotten what I did right (and wrong HAHA)... so I guess it's true what they say about mothers making different mistakes with each child -- as if they've never been a mother before. 

Phew.  

Speaking of motherhood, I noticed that mothers these days like to label ourselves according to groups -- according to how we prefer to bring up and/or feed our children, for example. It seems like we're never just mothers.

There's "Natural Parenting" and "Gentle Parenting" and "Home Made Solid Food For Babies" and "Baby Wearing" and "Kumpulan Ibu Menyusu" and all kinds of other names abbreviated into fancy little labels.

While I admit that these groups are great help especially for the once "Newbie Mom" and also "I Forgot How I Did Things Second Time Mom" like myself, and that it is extremely commendable to keep increasing ourselves in knowledge -- I have to say that I find some groups to be extremely intimidating -- and please, let's not get started on how high-handed some mothers can be about their choices -- hence making them seem extremely judgmental about others' choices. And what's up with using religion as part of your argument for every little thing?
 
What happened to doing something/anything that just seems like the right thing to do at that point in time? What happened to intuition -- the thing that only mothers (and fathers too) have when it comes to their children? What happened to being a diversified and flexible parent which allows you to just go with the flow when the situation requires -- so that your children too will grow up to be diversified and flexible. What is up with us and our obsession with all the labels we stick to ourselves? We are not trademarked products -- we are people -- PARENTS!

I truly believe that a parent can never be just one type of parent -- I know that Gentle Parenting promotes a parent to be Authoritative, which I agree wholeheartedly with BUT having said that, some things have got to give. I believe that no parent likes to use threats but if your paramount consideration is to get out of the door in one piece during school runs early in the mornings (while getting to work on time too!) -- then use those little threats if they work. And if the only way to get your son to finish his dinner is by letting him have some TV time and probably a few pieces of OREO before dinner time, so be it! -- as long as he eats his dinner and you (more like I) don't have to wake up 10,000 times a night to make milk because he's hungry.

I guess I've been taught from my early days of motherhood that we must teach our children things that we can live with. Sure, it's noble to give our kids better things than we ever had but if it breaks our banks and causes unnecessary stress and resentment, what will we become as a parent? So, let the child sleep while we have the TV on, keep the blinds open during the day during nap time so that you don't have to keep the house dark just because your kid needs to sleep, supplement with formula if you've been pumping 6 times a day and you still can't fulfill your child's need of 21 oz at least while you're at work.

As long as you're not abusing your child, keeping them safe and not depriving them of their education, you're doing a great job as a parent -- at least in my books. After all, parenthood is not a competition -- so long as you've got your strings intact and no labels attached ;)    


January 18, 2016

in case this is the last time.

"Let me photograph you in this light
in case this is the last time
that we might be exactly like we were
before we realised
we we sad of getting old
it made us restless
it was just like a movie
it was just like a song..."

Last weekend was a very emotional weekend for us since my husband lost 2 of his good friends -- both of whom I knew -- one through my friendship with one of my TKC girls and the other, through basketball gatherings. 

There are really no words I can say right now -- as those words have been said to those who matter the most.

But the song above basically captures my thoughts (and hopefully explains the tears) as I watched my husband drive away in the wee hours of Sunday morning, back to where he came from, demi sesuap rezeki

Because it took those two deaths to make me really realise that "from him we come and to him we shall return". 

Al-Fatihah for the both of them. May they both be placed among the righteous and rest peacefully.

January 15, 2016

the struggle is real.

Today is my "Saturday" although it's only Friday on the calendar. 

Last night we waited with baited breathes for the long-anticipated arrival of Daddy (it's been 2 weeks since we parted!!!). And when he finally arrived, we both just didn't want to sleep because sleeping seemed like such a waste of valuable time. But we had to sleep because we have work and school respectively to attend today although it's already the weekends for Daddy.
 
This is probably my first time experiencing a mismatch insofar as weekends go and I've got to tell you -- the struggle is real. 

So, hats off to those who have been doing this for yonks and years. 

I know that these hours will eventually turn into days, then weeks, then months and then years and eventually, it will all be over (will it?) but for now, everything seems so... indefinite.   

I'm at that stage where I'm not really sure what I should do. 

For me, life has always ironed itself out in the way it should be without too much interference on my part, especially when it comes to things which are beyond my control. I have always, always believed that good things come to those who wait (and pray - hard) -- In fact, this current unexpected long-distance relationship is something I accept with arms and heart wide open (notwithstanding the bucketful of tears, of course) because there was a point in our lives when I asked for the best for us -- just because I didn't know any better myself. 

So, I consider this the answer to my prayers -- although the situation might seem a little less than ideal.

Some might argue that better things come to those who hustle, which I actually agree -- but only to a certain extent. 

Because for me, when one hustles, they have to know what they are hustling for, which in my case -- I just don't know... at least not yet. 

All I know is that at the moment, I'm really feeling that the struggle is real. Because although tomorrow is only Saturday, in actual fact, it's already "Sunday" for us all.

May Allah ease our affairs and show me what I should do. 


January 09, 2016

we've been down this road before.


Exactly a week ago, The Real Day came

I remember how we delayed the departure with our 1001 excuses -- until -- it just wasn't safe or sensible to do so anymore and that's when we finally parted ways

I told you that I would never get used to it (and frankly I don't think I'm going to try hehe), so that you knew why I was crying -- and after knowing me for so long, you knew that I was better off crying anyway

Because we've been down this road before. 

We already know that it doesn't get any easier -- we just get better. We get better at managing whatever that needs to be managed -- like our expectations -- our time -- our relationship -- ourselves. 

Like today for example, despite telling myself to take things slow, I actually woke up super early to cook and get some laundry done. I even managed to slot a catnap in between while my son minded himself. I've been down this road before. I know that the only way for me to get things done in the way I want them done is by putting in some extra hours -- which can either be through staying up or rising early. And of course, being the morning person that I am, I'd choose to rise early. That, or I should really consider getting myself some permanent domestic help, especially with Adik Baby on the way.

Well, anyways. It's been a week since The Real Day and things have been... okay? My emotional state is of course, rather questionable but hey, I'm 25 weeks pregnant -- most 25-week pregnant women I know get emotional over the silliest things so I'll grant myself some leeway for all the unexplainable tears I've cried. 

Sometimes -- I'm reminded of how I just stood by the front door, not budging until your headlights disappeared. 

Sometimes -- I think about how wrong it felt to switch the porch lights off because we never do that until everyone of us is home.

Sometimes, I am reminded of October; some other times those 10 days in December. 

Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed with how empty your side of the bed is and how we both seem to not encroach into it, you know, just in case you show up in the middle of the night. 

So, yes, my emotional state is rather questionable. But we've been through this before.

And God willing, we will survive this one too -- hopefully unscathed.

January 08, 2016

the 10-day extension.

I was counting down the days to The Day -- and it finally came. 

The countdown finally reached the Zero Day mark. *gasp*. But like all other things in 2015, The Day didn't at all go as I thought it would. *double gasp*

Instead, The Day was somehow or rather postponed for about 10 more days where we were given the opportunity to spend ample time with each other -- albeit all of us being "stuck" in a hospital room with 2 of the loves of my life being warded in the hospital for dengue fever for 8 out of those 10 days. 

I wouldn't say that the situation was ideal, but I would say that those 10 days changed us -- and gave us what we needed instead of what we wanted

Sure, we wanted the 10-day extension, but we didn't think we needed those 10 days that bad.

In those 10 days, we went through a roller-coaster of thoughts and emotions. If my life were lived in an emoticon world, I think it would have used up all of the available emoticons and so much more.

There was once when my husband's platelet count went down to 52 and the very next day, my son's dropped down to 97. The doctor ordered 3 blood draws per day for my husband to monitor his condition, the pediatrician ordered suppositories to be administered to my son every 4 hours because his fever wouldn't crash (39 degrees Celsius, no less) and I was told that at this point, both of them were susceptible to hemorrhaging due to their low platelet count. 

And all I could do then was cry. And pray. And cry some more. 


These are the loves of my life we are talking about -- these are the people I have given 5 years (and more) of my life loving to the moon and back -- these are the people I never knew I could love this much -- in fact, so much more than I even loved myself. 

In those 10 days, we all learned a valuable lesson about love and life -- that it is as temporary -- that it is fragile -- that it could be taken away from you without warning -- that health is indeed the greatest wealth we can have -- that crying is okay (because it helps) -- and most importantly, that in times of calamity such as this, what we really need is a handhold that never breaks -- that Allah is indeed the best of planners, no matter how clueless we are of what His plans really are.

Alhamdulillah, the worst is over (and they survived!!!) and we are all recovering physically and mentally from the ordeal. 

And I am grateful to once again be given the opportunity to spend the first day of 2016 (our 5th year Anniversary!!!) with my 2 cheeky monkeys (well, let's make that 3, because it has to include the little baby girl growing inside my tummy), in what must be one of the most appreciated low-key celebrations. 

Thank you Allah for my wonderful family.