Motherhood: A Personal Note

If you love to visit bookstores, you will see numerous books on parenting, how-to books on children and thousands different wrap on the same topic. It is as if every new parents want to share their personal journey on ‘what and how’ of parenting. Not to mention the experts. Well, it is true that every journey of parenthood is different and there is no way we can compare it to one another. I am now reaching the understanding that there is no such thing as ‘normal parenting’, since in the eyes of every parents, their way is normal. Mostly, that was the way the brought up.

I am a mother of a 3-month-old boy and I am experiencing a journey that I do not want to miss. I want to experience every details of his development and nothing else matters for me right now. Personally, I never thought that I would write this prior his presence, because I was so used to work and had been living my life as a career woman – at least for the past 10 years. But when my role as a mother is here, I can put aside the other roles and put them on hold.

Every day is a new day. As I learn to take care of my son, I also learn more about myself. And that’s the scary part! When I said that I do not want to miss every detail of his development, it may reflects my own separation anxiety toward my son. On the other hand, it also reflects the importance of ‘being there’ for my son. I guess the key is balancing both roles slowly.

Picture is taken from my other blog

Picture is taken from my other blog

As a way to let go off my own anxiety, I let the dice roll for me. I did not hesitate to follow the dice and yet, I did not push it too much (I used to though!). The result is positive, since I will add two more roles in my career line starting early next year. I purposely let myself ‘trap’ with responsibilities – within limit – so that I can slowly have a healthier separation process with my son.

I am a product of a working mom and I must say that I appreciate my mom more than ever. She was busy taking care of me and my twin brothers, shopping to traditional market every day, cook for the whole house (more than 2 families in the house) and went to the shops that owned by my dad. I could not imagine the juggling game that she played.

And now, as I am standing here, I can say to myself that it is a new journey for me. It means that I need to let it roll a bit and see how it goes from there. Learning new roles and skills take time – and that’s all I need. And finally, learning is a process in itself. It is not about achieving certain point or numbers, but to keep up with the process and learn a lot more along the way.

Keep it up, mothers!

What a 3-year-old Girl Can Think of

Regarding myself as a proud Aunt, I would like to share numbers of conversation between my niece, Ellicia, a smart and critical 3-year-old with the adults around her.

Ellicia Clarence Yuwono

Night Prayer
Every night Ellice would close her day by saying grace with her mom. At first her mom say the grace in Indonesia and she followed after. She is now able to say the grace all by herself. Until one night …

Ellice : Jesus … (Then stop). Mom, continue please
Mom : (continue in Indonesia)
Ellice : No, Ma! I said, Jesus. So, you have to continue the prayer in English!
Mom : (silence .. Then laugh) It’s too hard for mommy to say the grace in English …

Who’s The Doctor?
Ellice : When we got sick, who’s the healer?
Mom : Doctor (GP).
Ellice : Mommy! No, the healer is our God.

Where’s St. Joseph?
We were at the Sunday Mass one day. Ellice was sitting on my lap and pointed to the big cross of Jesus.

Ellice : Aunty, Jesus is on the cross. That’s when He was beaten up.
Me : Yes
Ellice : (pointing at the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) And that’s when Jesus won the battle.
Me : (smiling) Yes!
Ellice : Then what happened to Him?
Me : He then lifted up to Heaven
Ellice : Mother Mary too? Why?
Me : Yes, because she was a very good example of being obedient to God’s will.
Ellice : What about St. Joseph?
Me : (I never had a thought that this one is coming!!). Well, he already in Heaven waiting for Jesus and Mother Mary to come.

And she was satisfied …

Can You Find Food in Banjarmasin?
My aunt came from Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan for a long stay in our place. On the day she was about to go home, she packed a big pack of snack and food from my hometown, Malang in East Java.

Ellice : Grand Aunty, why did you buy a lot of such snacks and food from Malang? Can you find any food in Banjarmasin?
Grand Aunt: (Laughing Out Loud)

How can we not love this beautiful little angel?
Aunt C loves you for sure!

Dedication for Jehan Safitri

Jehan Safitri is one of my closest friends for the past two years. Despite our differences in religion, race or belief, we made a good friendship and we truly shared a lot!

Last Wednesday, she gave birth to her first son, Wildan. She was so excited with the process – the whole process actually. I still remember, when she went to the hospital for the first time, to check on her pregnancy, she was with us – Edwin, Afif and me. Her husband was not around, because he was working in Jakarta. So, we were the lucky ones to receive the good news from her doctor.

Unfortunately, Wildan – her baby – was able to enjoy this world for 4 hours only. He passed away because his organs were not completely formed yet. Sad but true …

We all wish you and your family a prayer, that you may be able to make peace with this situation and believe that Wildan is now happy without a chance to suffer in this world.

We love you, Jeje!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

Let Children Exploring Their World

This beautiful scene was captured when I had dinner with a friend around Kuta, Bali. The girl who took the picture was very young, around 2-3 years old, I guess. At first, she didn’t know how to capture the photos or how to set the focus.

Slowly, her Daddy taught her on how to capture the photo. But first, he taught her to set the focus. After a few missing shots, she finally could made it! She was so persistent and was supported by her Daddy’s patience.

Parenting is a hard work to do, but it’s worth it. I’m glad I could took this photo.

Way to go, Parents!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

A Child Wishes For A Home

This morning I had a session with a 10-year-old boy named R. He was reported by his mother as a rebellious, naughty and aggressive. He also failed his 3rd grade and now have to repeat the same grade again. After listening to his mother’s dos-and don’ts- I asked the parents to leave us alone.

I asked him about his activities before he met me. He answered without hesitation, but sometimes he didn’t want to have eye contact with me.

Due to short time of meeting, I asked him to draw pictures. I used BAUM (Tree Test), DAP (Draw-a-Person) and HTP (House-Tree-Person). I was surprised with the result! He drew the house halfway and he said that it was done. He drew a very small figure of a person and also a tree.

Then we talked through his pictures …

It was then revealed that his parents live separately because of domestic fighting. He used to stay with his father, until he got his academic report last month and the result was ‘Fail’. His aunt (Father’s older sister) asked him to leave the house and stay with his mother, because his aunt thought that such failure is an embarrassment for the whole family.

So, he stays with his mom since last month. His mom always screams and shouts at him. She just can’t talk. She only knows how to scream and shout! Poor boy …

When I asked R of one biggest wish that he wants … He answered: my parents to be reunited again, to live together again and taking care of me.

I did a quick session with R, it was only about 15-20 minutes. Then I asked his parents to come in and I let R went out of the room with his cousin. I took no time to ‘shoot’ the problems to his parents. His mother had teary eyes and I knew that she tried hard to hold them back. She admitted that she always scream and shout. She said that she never expected such damages happen to her son.

His father also has his own issues. He feels responsible to take care of his unmarried siblings, including his older sister. I can understand his position, because that’s how Chinese family raises their children: take care of your siblings when your parents passed away. But I made my point to his father, that he has R now. He has a son who needs to be prioritized.

I’m not seeing myself as a judge, who can classify between bad and good parents or which parenting style is the best compare to others. I’m not yet a parent myself. At least, I have my neutral ground when I help parents …

I wish there are many helpers out there who can save lives of young children, like R. Who might lose his future because he doesn’t have a solid ground to grow up when he’s a young boy …

Way to go, Parents!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

I Don’t Want to be a Mom, I’m Still P1

I have a private tutorial centre for International School students. Every day there are a few classes held by my assistants. Last week, on my short stay in Malang, I came to the classes and met with the students and my assistants. There was one girl called Alice. She’s one of P1 students at my place. When I entered the room, her teacher asked her to tell me a story that just happened at school. So, I asked her to tell me the story. She said, “Zachary (her classmate) said ‘I love you, because you are pretty’ “. We laughed when she told me that story.

Then, with my curiosity, I asked Alice what did she reply. At first she said nothing, but then she realized that she replied something to Zachary. She answered, ‘I don’t like you!’. We made into another chorus of laughter …

But, the biggest flow of laughter came when Alice told her teacher that, ‘I don’t want to be a mom, because I am still P1’.

For me, her honest answer came from a deep observation on her mom’s daily activity. Her mom always drives her around and knows everything on her school works, homework and her development at school, so Alice understands how hard is it to be a mom. She emphasized that she doesn’t have that capability to be a mom now, because she’s only a young child.

The way children nowadays analyze the situation represents a great growth of mental capacity. It comes from the nutrition given since their conception up until their development throughout their childhood years. Parents and school staffs also provide another kind of stimulation which differed from the old days stimulation. It also means that the older generation has to come up with a better way of parenting, stimulating and teaching their children.

Alice did a good job in analyzing her mom’s roles and she knows that it’s not yet her time.

Way to go, Parents!

Learning from Indonesian Suburb Community

I just started my internship at Peneleh Clinic on the last week of October, but I already saw many facts that used to be hidden from my sight. I saw many poor families have many children. I found out, at least 4 families with 8 children. All of them come from low income family and thus, are not able to give the optimal care and protection for their children. One mother with 8 children came for a monthly group meeting with the other housewives. She had her 8th baby (2-month-old) with her. She is a vegetables seller who had to start working very early every morning and she has to carry her baby and the other 2 toddlers with her. Rumours said that she had no husband, so the children came fromm different men.

Another story also strucked me hard. It happened when I saw a very young baby girl. She was born when she was 6.5 month old fetus and now she’s 1.5 month old. Her weight is far under normal weight of normal babies. She only weights 2.3 kgs. Even though she looks very small, her reflexes are good and she loves to drink milk. Her Grandmother said that she loves to drink bottled milk every 1 hour. Her mother, I think, is at her teen year (probably 14-16 years old). But they claimed that she’s 20 years old. Anyway, her mother is very young and I am wondering whether this condition causes the condition of the baby now. Her mother doesn’t even hold the baby when they came to the clinic. I was the one who was excited enough to hug and hold her.

This condition has been known as a popular phenomenon around suburb community in Indonesia. The low economic income, educational level and insufficient social support groups are the main factors that cause non-healthy habits or lifestyle. People need to be taught about the importance of having small family and how to educate their children properly. Parents also need to learn about positive parenting, in which parents can understand that their children need affection and care, as part of their normal development.

If these children are said to be the next generation, then what can we do to support them?

With Blackberry in Hands

This is my 3rd day of using BlackBerry – Gemini type. Somehow, I feel weird knowing that this smartphone has been used as a ticket to be accepted in the society. I already had that thought in mind long ago, before finally someone gave it to me as a present (I couldn’t say no!).

What is it about having a BlackBerry?

For some people, it’s about following the latest trend of phone using. For other people, this gadget is beautiful in many ways, because it is a multi-tasks phone, chic and smart. It can helps business people to be mobile and get connected everywhere. It also helps community to share the latest updates through facebook, twitter or BlackBerry Messenger (I didn’t say gossip though!)

BlackBerry offers a reality that the need of existence is now having the answer. By being online 24/7, people may believe that they own the existence needed in hands to live this life. BlackBerry also offers the most unbelievable ways to express oneself. A person may update his/her status every 2 minutes! Honestly, I hate seeing my home screen whenever all I can see are the latest 10 updates of the same person.

Autism Community

This is the era when people are not getting mad when they are called as autistic, as long as they have their BlackBerry in hands. My cousin greeted me in a warm opening line in my BlackBerry messenger. He said, ‘Welcome to the autism community, sist!” I guess nowadays, being an autistic person due to BlackBerry using is a new and acceptable trend.

The Users

The users of BlackBerry are varied in ages, SES and occupations. You can see very busy businessman or a cranky-but-cute high school student with BlackBerry in their hands. The extreme case is when kindergarten or primary school students are using BlackBerry in their daily life. The most match example are my own students. They come from very rich family who can facilitate them with the latest BlackBerry model. One of the girls had lost her Bold due to her recklesness, because she left it at her English tutorial class! But her parents bought her another new one. Well, what can we say?

Well, as humans, we are smarter than any gadget ever invented. So, use your BlackBerry wisely and don’t be fooled by it!

Mommy is Stress Out During Exam Period

This is another real life story of a young mother, who is stressing out during her children examinations period. She has 2 children, son and daughter. Her son is the eldest and started his Primary at 5.5 year of age. She complained about her son to me, just a moment ago. She said that her son is a hard child when it comes to any school work. He would not start his school works if she does not call him. He would not study for his test, if she does not shout it out. He always makes the same mistakes over and over again. Even though the night before the test, he could answer all the practice given by his mother, on the test day, he would make some mistakes. So, he never really achieve high standard, which has been lined out by his mother.


We tried to sort things out, especially on why her son show no interest in any school activities. Then we come into a few conclusions:

  1. Her son might be too young when he entered Primary school. He did not have enough time to play with his peers and not thinking about his diary and school works. By sending a child to school at a very young age will have different impact on different child. Maybe her son is craving for playing time during his kindergarten years.
  2. She set her own standard of getting high scores at school and hoping that her son will enter the highest 10. She put her past experiences into her son’s scope now. She was in the highest 10 and her mother did not pay any attention on how she was doing her school works. She wants the same thing to happen with her and her children at the moment.
  3. She asked her son to do his best at school because she wants something from her son. She has a mindset that she already gave a lot for her son, so now it’s time for her son to give something back, by doing good at school. By saying this, her son will think that the one who needs good grades is not him, but his mother. Her son will not be bothered by this request because he could not understand the meaning of studying, having good grades and so on. His mother needs to tell him the right examples of why he needs to study well for his own sake.
  4. She does not have consistent studying hour for her son, so it will depend on the daily basis. By setting schedule, a child can learn to adapt into such routine. Of course, the schedule not meant to be dull and not fun. The schedule must meet a child’s ability, biological hours and capacity. If a child can stand for an hour and needs a break, then parents must understand such condition. Pushing a child to go over his limit, will bring the child down and bring parents down too, for they can’t reach the ‘standard’ set.

It’s not easy to be parents. I’ve been dealing with teaching young children for 4.5 years and I’ve met many parents with different expectations, wrong belief and their own standard of being success for their children. I would not blame such parents, because they do not understand on how to see the world from their children’s point of view.

As a start, imagine yourself at the age of your child now! Then you will understand what they need …

Secret In The Eyes of A Child

This afternoon, I walked into a classroom, in which my assistants were having their sessions with my students. I overheard one boy talked to his friend. He said, ‘I believe that every man has a secret!’. His friend replied, ‘How do you know?’, then he said, ‘I just know’.

That minute strucked me, because I never expexted a 9-year-old boy could say such thing. This student of mine is indeed a smart boy. On his first class, I was shocked by his ability of telling stories in English (his primary language is Indonesian) without stopping for 2 hours! He took one encyclopedia from my book shelf and then he told stories on almost all the animals inside the book. His teacher (my assistant) looked at me every now and then, because she was amazed by his ability. I did too, I was amazed by him!

At his age now, he is in period of concrete operation. In this period, a child can solve problems which are concrete or actual. They will find it hard to solve any abstract problems. Following image will help you understand more on cognitive developmental stages by Jean Piaget:

Back to the story about my student. If you noticed the beginning of this article, you can see that his understanding of having secret is not an abstract concepts, because he said that ‘I just know’. He knows that everybody is keeping secret, but he could not understand yet on why everybody must keeps secret.

I believe that he will turn to be a smart adult, who will fully understand the meaning of having a secret.