Some time ago, Marissa Mayer said that baby is easy, and the nation was in an uproar. She received a lot of hate comments, too. Well, I don't think baby is easy, but I won't say that it's the most difficult thing in the world, either. Some might argue that a child is assigned by God to be our responsibility. Yes. True. But isn't that the case with everything that God gave us? Like... Well, our job. Our role as a daughter. A wife. A teacher. A doctor. A secretary. A homemaker. A nurse. The planet Earth. All things are gifts from God, that we should take care of and be responsible for. Well, of course, family is one thing from God that we love most and we deem as most important. Well, second, after God, of course.
Comparing raising a child to let's say, leading a nation, is pointless. It's like comparing Jane Eyre to Gone With The Wind. Which one is better between the two books? Who can say? I can say that raising children is the most difficult thing I've ever done. I can say it's the most difficult thing for me. But I cannot say that raising children is the most difficult thing in the world, because everybody in the world has different experience. Have I ever lead a nation? Or running a multibillion dollar company? Nope. So I cannot say that raising a child is more challenging than Obama's job or Marissa Mayer's job. I've never been in their shoes. Only they can say whether or not raising their children is the most difficult thing in the world. ^__^
With that spirit in mind, allow me to share with you some things that I have learned being a relatively new mother...
Agenda and to-do-list is a must
My life is so much more detailed now with a full-time job, a husband, a baby, and a home to take care of, with little tasks scattered all over the week, month and year. I have secretaries at the office to remind me what meetings I need to attend, I don't have one for my home and family life. Well, this agenda is my secretary. Sort of. Every night I list things to be done the next day, whether professional or personal, and scratch them off once they're done. I found that without to-do-list, I tend to forget things - like bringing extra snacks for work that I don't need to buy them from the overpriced convenience store - and the day turned out to be not-very-productive. Also, I have more peace of mind and brain capacity to think of other more important things when I know that I don't need to remember my to-do-list in my head, because they all are already written in my agenda. And yes, I used 2014 agenda in this picture because my 2015 one is not as cute as this one. Basically I just use any notebook available for my agenda. Nothing fancy.
Healthy groceries are no longer a future plan. It's already here!
My grocery list used to consist of frozen food and MSG-packed snacks like potato chips, cheetos, and instant noodles. Now take a look at my cart! It's packed full with seasonal fruits and vegetables: bananas, tomatoes, papaya, avocado, watercrest, carrots, apples, pears, potatoes, broccolis. I bought ground chicken meat, fish, chicken liver and chicken feet to make broth and homemade food for my baby. I cook fresh baby food everyday from scratch, using a crockpot. Yes, chicken feet and liver. Babies, and adults too, eat them in Asia. I was raised on them when I was a baby. I use chicken feet to make broth. This is not America. ^__^ On occassion I bought ground beef, but red meat is expensive and not very healthy, so I rarely cook beef. My son eats two kinds of veggies everyday: green and red. And one kind of fruit. Fresh fruit is kind of expensive, so I buy any kind of fruit that is in season with lower price, instead of "exotic" fruit. They're just as tasty and nutritious!
I read stories about Bambi and Panda about three times a day, at least three times a week. It's been going for ... well, about eighteen months now. You do the math.
I read stories to my son on a regular basis. It's one of resolutions, as well, as you can read here. He has two favorite books, one in English, one in Indonesian. I think he has memorized them, because I get creative and change the sentences, he will protest and make funny protesting voices. Mommy is bored with Bambi, but Michael is obviously has not.
Cuteness and motherhood do go hand in hand.
See this picture? You are never too old to carry a Hello Kitty purse. Never. I am a mid thirty mom with a child, and I still rock cute things like cartoon T-shirt, sequin, and Hello Kitty! They make Mommy happy, and when Mommy is happy, she can function soooooo much better!
A selfie-lover is what a selfie-lover does.
I love taking pictures of myself with my iPhone. Whether in front of a mirror or not. Being a mother and carrying a child in one hand have not changed that. In fact, I incorporate Baby Michael into that habit. We are making memories! Haha!
Me-time reduced by 50% once I got married. After baby, it reduced even more to almost non-existent.
Baby Michael sleeps at eight everynight. But after that, my "big baby" needs attention, too. On rare evenings when he sleeps in early, I can steal some me-time for myself. Like, eating a bag Gardetto's on my own. Gardetto's original was my favorite snack in the US. I almost flipped over when I saw them at a high-end grocery store downtown. They're pretty expensive here, so I only bought one. And sorry, Hubby, when it comes to this overpriced, long-coveted, long-missed Gardetto's, it's one woman's for her own! So I waited until Hubby fall asleep before having my late-night affair with my Gardetto and curl up in front of my laptop reading my favorite blogs! ^__^
You CAN stay fashionable after babies. You just have to make an effort for it, and being smart about it.
I prepare one week outfits on Sundays. I start with the purse, then I organized my outfits and accessories around it. It's easier and only takes about twenty minutes. Sometimes I will carry the same purse for two weeks in a row, so I don't need to change accessories and shoes. It's a big time saver and keeps my mornings sane and fun, knowing full well that I'd already laid out what I was going to wear for the whole week. Also, Hubby loves it when his wife looks well groomed and presentable. It doesn't have to be so difficult, expensive, nor time-consuming to look nice everyday. Your family deserves to see Mommy looking her best.
You can live your child with a sitter once in a while to have date nights with your husband. The children will turn out fine.
Hubby and I have date nights about once a month. It could be Satuday evening, or it could be Friday night. This is a picture of us after dinner on Valentine's day last year. We believe it's important to keep the sparks and romance alive in our marriage. Marriage itself is hardwork, so it needs recharging once in a while! If you feel guilty leaving your child with a sitter, do tell yourself that one of the best gifts you can give to your child is a stable, loving, strong, and happy marriage. It's true. My parents give me that.
I love Hello Kitty and puppies and think they are super cute. But not as cute as the scenes I captured here...
A picture of topless Calvin Klein underwear model? Sexy. But as I am now a mother, this picture here is much much sexier... Yep, a father who is willing to spend time playing with his child is ultra sexy!
Even when you carry a strapping one-year-old boy who gets bigger and heavier everyday, you can still wear heels.
Some mothers still wear stilettos. I go with shorter heels or wedges, because it's more realistic - and less painful - for me.
So, is motherhood easy? Well... sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.
Is it enjoyable? Well... when the baby is being sweet and cuddly, yes it is very enjoyable to kiss him and hug him and squeeze him. When he screams and yells and hits your face with his little hands (it ouch even if he's small), and spits out his food on you and refuses to eat for two straight days, it's not so enjoyable.
But is it beautiful? It definitely is. Very, very beautiful. And I will not change having my son with anything and everything in this world.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: