Family Schedules

Bismillah,

GOOD MORNING FROM JAKARTA!

(yes, I am on mudik mode now, so please excuse a might-be-too-friendly cheery greeting lol)

Anyway, no. Not going to talk about our traveling experience (yet) because it was nothing but tiring. So there — it should sum it up nicely. Let me just write about something that has been sitting in my drafts for God knows how long.

I was struggling to find a good title and decided to just heck it and used whatever title came to my mind first — apologize for a very uninspiring one.

So ever since we settled on our routine after our youngest is done with his Eingewohnung in the KiTa, life has been going on pretty much as per usual. We have a schedule that works with us for most of the day, and we thought it will be beneficial to share!

Continue reading “Family Schedules”

All the snuggles in the world

Being a mother of two is tough – and sometimes challenging. Most of my days are spent on being a referee and deciding what words I can say that will make everything’s fair for everyone. Some of those days were easy and smooth-sailing while the others were .. difficult and I needed to calm my head down before even spoke to two of them.

I admit, being the eldest sibling has shaped my expectation towards my own eldest – Z. I expect him to be the one who guided his younger brother. I instill towards him every day, that he’s the older brother, that there are boundaries and lines that he should follow. That no matter what M does, Z must be there to guide him.

I know what a burden it is for him – but I keep pressing on although sometimes it can break my heart.

I had spent countless nights worrying if I spoke too harsh to Z or if there’s anything that I can do to make the situation better for him. To let him know that I still love him the same. To let him know that I love him even more whenever I see him trying to be a better brother for M.

***

Our sleeping arrangement hasn’t changed since M was born. Z sleeps with his Papa and I sleep with M – mainly because M is still nursing to sleep and weaning him has been unsuccessful. I don’t want to wean him by force or trick so there’s that.

Last night, Z was so tired so he was laying on my bed while waiting for his Papa to finish Isya. M was still busy with brushing his teeth so I figured I would snuggle with Z – something that we rarely do these days.

I put a blanket over him and told him, “Do you want to snuggle with Mama?”

Sleepily, he said yes. I reached out for his head and hugged him slowly.

Before drifting to sleep, he asked me in low voice, “Mama, why didn’t we do this sooner?”

And my tears fell down. My boy – my baby.

“Anytime you want a snuggle, you can always ask me, Abang. All the snuggles in the world for you.”

He nodded before finally closing his eyes.

I hoped he knows – not only snuggles that I would give for him. All my love – all my life.

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.
– Barney Stinson, HIMYM

Balada Childcare

Bismillah,

Kembali melanjutkan #thenefainberlin series – ini topik yang kemaren kalah pas ada poling, tapi saya keukeuh tetap pengen nulis tentang ini, hihi. Kenapa? Soalnya berasa perjuangan untuk mendapatkan childcare ini bikin lelaaaahhh sangat. Sayang kalau ga ditulis buat kenang-kenangan #eh

Jadi ceritanya, waktu di Singapura, Z dan M diasuh sama mbak Marni. Mbak kami yang sudah mengasuh Z dari dia umur 3.5 bulan dan M sejak dia lahir. Yang sayangnya bukan main sama Z dan M. Yang bikin kami galau waktu memutuskan buat pindah dari Singapura ke Berlin. Z dan M belum ngerti memang kalau mereka bakalan pisah dari mbak Marni, tapi malah jadi kami yang drama karena ya, beliau sudah seperti keluarga sendiri.

Sebenarnya salah satu ketakutan kami buat pindah ke Berlin adalah, siapa yang akan mengasuh anak-anak selagi kami di kantor?

Continue reading “Balada Childcare”

Supaya Tetap “Waras” Menjadi Working Mom

Lagi-lagi dengan judul yang bombastis.

Well, I don’t exactly have a flair for choosing a catchy title, so bear with me ya?

Anyway, di tengah-tengah flu dan puyeng yang melanda sejak kemarin, saya jadi kepikiran – kalau lagi sakit gini, entah kenapa pikiran jadi makin banyak padahal harusnya saya istirahat dan rileks. Lalu saya pun berlanjut mikir, kenapa?

Simple aja sih jawabannya: karena rumah berantakan dan anak-anak tetap perlu makan, hahaha.

Waktu masih di Singapura, kami punya ART – jadi saya ngga terlalu pusing soal urusan rumah dan makan. Urusan saya cuma kerja dan main sama anak malam-malam dan weekend. Kalau dipikir-pikir lagi, it was such a privilege.

Sekarang di Berlin, jangankan ART, yang namanya childcare saja kebanyakan cuma sampai jam 5 sore dan kalau musim panas bisa tutup sampai 2-3 minggu layaknya orang kantoran, haha.

Intinya, di Berlin ini, semuanya harus kami lakukan sendiri. Untungnya, jam kerja kami lumayan fleksibel dan opsi untuk working from home juga available.

Back to the main story.

Karena rumah masih harus diurus, anak-anak masih harus tetap makan, dan kerjaan kantor pun tetap harus jalan – kami harus punya sistem di rumah dan di kantor.

Basically, these are what we do.

Continue reading “Supaya Tetap “Waras” Menjadi Working Mom”

[Just FYI] Jangan Ikut Campur

Saat saya menulis ini, darah saya mendidih. Saya emosi. 

Saya memang baru jadi orangtua seumur jagung. Belum makan asam garam nya jadi orangtua. Tapi yang saya yakin, semua orangtua ingin yang terbaik bagi anak-anak mereka. Dan itulah yang setiap hari, setiap saat saya rasakan.

Kalau dulu saya bekerja sekedar untuk passion dan money, sekarang saya bekerja untuk keluarga. Salah satunya menabung untuk masa depan anak-anak. Dan again, tidak ada satu haripun dimana saya tidak menginginkan yang terbaik untuk anak-anak saya.

Makanya sekarang saya bisa mengerti sekali untuk belajar tutup mulut dan tidak membanding-bandingkan kalau ada orangtua yang punya gaya mendidik anak yang berbeda dengan saya.

Kenapa?

Karena walaupun cara mendidiknya berbeda, tujuannya sama. Why should we make it a war?!

Dan saya pun, setali tiga uang, sangat amat tidak suka saat parenting style saya di’kritik’. Apalagi dari orang yang belum tahu apa2 (baca: belum jadi orangtua). I swear, family or not, I am gonna ignore whatever you say.

Kenapa?

1. Saya dan suami saya tidak ignorant

Do you think I am gonna be that ignorant parent when it comes to the future of my children? Do you think that I am not preparing anything before I even decide on something for them? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK THAT I DIDN’T DO MY RESEARCH BEFORE?!

It’s not only an insult to our parenting style, it’s also an insult to our intelligence!

2. Saya dan suami saya tidak butuh saran anda. 

MYOB. Mind your own business. Period. Come back to us when you are a parent yourself. 

*

So yeah, people. Fair warning to you before you even open your mouth to ‘criticise’ me and my husband. DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST.

And yeah, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. 

On Zal and School

Mum: If Zal can’t really speak Indonesian, then what will be of him at school later..?
Me:

So many miscommunications in single chat, but I don’t think I want to correct them now.

First, just because Zal speaks alphabets and numbers in English, doesn’t mean we don’t teach or talk to him in Indonesian. His mbak talks to him in Indonesian, and although we mainly talk with him in English (me, most of the time), he still understands Indonesian perfectly. Sure, most of his nursery rhymes are in English, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know some in Indonesian. And trust me, babies/toddlers are more than capable of handling bilingualism, or even multilingualism.

Second, we never said that Zal is going to school in Indonesia.

Ok, perhaps we’re at fault here. But really, we are not even sure when are we going to go back to Indonesia for good. To be honest, I still want to explore the world. Husband wants the same as well. We both are worried with the school system in Indonesia, and honestly, we kinda don’t want Zal to go to school there.

*

Go on, judge us for not being nationalists. Like we care. If going to school somewhere else is the best for our children and our family, then we are going to do it.

Stop this war

Looks familiar? Yeah, it does for me too.

I am always irked whenever I see a post like this; shaming working mothers as if they don’t love their children as much as stay at home mothers do. And really? Are you seriously comparing children with gold?

A bit of disclaimer why I feel like I have the right to feel irked. I was raised by a stay at home mom (SAHM) and Husband was raised by working mom (WM). We both turned out fine, and no, never once we both think my mother in law doesn’t love her children as much as my mother loves hers.

Now, I am also a WM. AND BELIEVE ME, not one hour passes at office without me thinking about my son. All mothers love their children, that’s what I believe. But the way we love our children can be different, and it doesn’t need to be the same with other mothers, for God’s sake!

So stop shaming working mothers if you don’t know the battles they fight every day. And stop judging unless you don’t mind being judged by someone else. Karma is a b*tch, woman!

Tiger Mom

I grew up under a very strict regime and schedule by Dad. I wasn’t even allowed to play outside after school until I was about 7 or 8. My world was literally school and home. I wasn’t complaining much because at that time I thought that’s what I was supposed to do.

Dad always told me that education is important. He couldn’t give me wealth or money, but he would make sure that I got the best education he could afford. But I had to work hard as well. Best schools will bring you a good future and would only accept best students.

I believed what Dad said. So I worked hard. I studied hard to get #1 rank in class. And ever since then, it’s becoming a habit. If I couldn’t get the best, I would feel so pissed off and mad at myself.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t regret how I grew up. I am thankful for Dad for getting me on track. It molds my personality as well.

*

Now, being a parent, I understand even more what Dad meant back then. Wealth and fortune won’t last forever, but as long as you have a good education and work ethic, you can get anywhere (insya Allah).

To be able to provide good education, means you have to settle for the education fund. I and Husband talked about this and we will soon start the fund for Zal and his siblings soon.

But like Dad had taught me, I have to teach the good work ethic to my children as well. And, I need to keep my brain sharp so I can still catch up to whatever the children are learning at least until they’re in college.

Both are real challenges. I need to find a way to keep my children interested in studying and at the same time, I need to do something with my brain. I mean, age will catch up soon and if I don’t do anything, my brain will become dull.

So, overall my strategies are these.

  • Taught my children that education is part of our deed to Allah, and whoever has good knowledge will be rewarded nicely
  • Told them that wealth and money will not last, but education will.
  • Live a frugal life to teach my children how to live humbly.
  • Keep my mind sharp: Doing some Math and Physics A Level, reading lots of books.
  • Live a healthy life. More water and exercises.

I think that’s all? Yeah, I still have a long way to go. Hopefully, these will work well.

For now, Zal is still a very cute toddler 🙂 I love playing with him albeit tiring. I will enjoy these moments until I need to be a tiger mom x)

Stroller Hunt

So the story is, Zal has outgrown his stroller. Our fault really, we didn’t really think of this when we bought the stroller a few months before I was due. All we could think of that time was that we wanted something light so it’s easier to be fold hence it’s easier for us to travel.

To be honest, we love our stroller. It’s light and serves its purpose. But yes, it looks very small, and the wheels started to wear off it’s getting very hard to control. And another thing is, apparently Zal has a very sensitive skin; something we only knew when he got eczema a month ago and the doctor told us to pay more attention to fabrics we used that touch his skin, e.g his stroller’s seat. And well.. we have to admit that its fabric is pretty rough.

After we knew about his sensitive skin, the more we need to find the new stroller. So Husband started browsing around based on our requirements:

  1. Sturdy
  2. 3-wheeled so it’s easy to control
  3. Doesn’t look too bulky
  4. Below 500 bucks
  5. Soft and comfortable fabric
  6. Big enough for Zal

I know that point (3) and point (6) may be hard to be fulfilled together since Zal is a pretty big boy now, and he will only be getting bigger and heavier. We may need to compensate one for another, but so far, we have few choices based on our lists.

Quinny Zapp Xtra 2

image

Yep, Quinny. The (seemed to be) the most popular brand when it comes to 3 wheeled strollers. It’s sturdy, it fits big babies, it looks like it has soft fabric, and it’s easy to control. Well, the problems are it’s quite pricey and it’s bulky. I and Husband don’t really like how it looks, to be honest. Which brings us to option number 2.

Baby Jogger City Mini

image

It looks quite similar to Quinny, but it’s slightly lighter than the former. I really like the full canopy as well. Husband really likes this one too. Not like other stroller’s brand, this one is not really a popular choice, and we could only see it on big baby shops or baby fairs (booohooo); makes it difficult for us to see it in real life.

***

So we decided to go with Baby Jogger. There’s a baby fair next month in Singapore and we are hoping that we could get one Baby Jogger there with a bargaining price. But first, we want to make sure that we are comfortable with the stroller. Off we went to search about where to buy this brand so we can test it out.

After some quick Google search, apparently, Motherswork is a well-known retailer for Baby Jogger. Hmm. OK. Looks legit though.

So a few weeks ago we were taking Zal out to Central and also to look for Motherswork outlet at Marina Bay Sands. We thought it’s going to be a big fancy store, at least with a size of Kiddy Palace store. But apparently, it’s just a tiny store with very limited displays of a stroller. And there’s not even one Baby Jogger model available there.

Thinking that perhaps their other branches would have the City Mini we are searching for, we went to check their Tanglin Mall branch – which is supposed to be its biggest outlet in Singapore.

Tanglin Mall is not located near any MRT station, and to be honest, it made me feel quite uneasy. I never like bringing Zal with a stroller, riding a bus. Cause buses in Singapore don’t allow a pram/stroller be taken inside without being folded. If Zal already understands what not to do, perhaps this is not really a big issue. But the boy just started to be able to walk and he just wants to go around to have an adventure, so it’s impossible to have him riding a bus without holding him – practically restricting him from going berserk.

Anyway, so we took a bus near Dhoby Ghaut MRT to reach Tanglin Mall. And after few stops, finally, we were there.

I was quite appalled.

The mall is really really small. It looks really old, and I almost couldn’t believe that this is the mall where expats are supposed to be shopping.

And worse, the Motherworks outlet there only have ONE Baby Jogger model, and it’s 4 wheeled, so we don’t even bother to try.

We went back home feeling tired and defeated. 💔

***

So until today, we haven’t been able to try Baby Jogger City Mini out. What is our plan now?

Well, for now, I am sticking to the Baby Fair. We’re going there on the second day and also for picking up my pre-order stuff (breast milk bags btw), and try to see if the City Mini is available. If it’s available, we can straight away put Zal in it and see if the boy looks OK.

Fingers crossed that this stroller is going to be able to last him until at least he’s 3 years old 🙏