Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Mama In Action

MIH at 13 months old

Looking at my baby growing up healthily and happily is a priceless feeling a mother can feel. No words can describe how grateful I am to be called a "Mama" in spite of many challenges that I have to encounter while raising my boy. When I was pregnant and unemployed, I was worried. My Darling Hubby is working yet I still got the feeling that I have to work as well coz "I want my baby to have everything that a world can give". I was a bit conscious when it comes to my baby's needs as I do not want my baby to grow up inadequately. 

Is this kind of thought healthy for me? 

I was highly influenced by those sayings that having a baby requires a stable financial situation as we need to buy diapers, milk, clothes, play mat, baby cot, stroller etc. When the thought came in, I wondered; Was it my fault for having a baby while my financial was not encouraging? Can I be a good mother to my baby if I failed to provide him with everything a baby should have from the beginning? 

Just imagine how would I feel being an unemployed mother and Darling Hubby is working all alone to support us? My Darling Hubby never forced or even asked me to work. But as a wife, I was touched looking at him struggling for a single cent to earn a living for the three of us. Therefore, I promised myself that after confinement period, I will find a job no matter what as I want to ease him financially even a bit. Furthermore, I want to ensure that my baby will not be lacking any of his needs. I was overreacted, right? But when I started to adapt myself as a mother, the thought of working has gone and it blew away just like that. I enjoyed my time spent with my baby and I truly missed all the moments with him. What about financial issue? Alhamdulillah, rezeki Allah untuk si kecil sentiasa ada =) I was not that terrified as I believe the rezeki that Allah has planned for us will always be there if we put our faith in Allah.

Endless Love =)

However, when my baby was 5 months old, Allah tested me again. My Darling Hubby got an offer to further a training course for a year at Terengganu. He had to quit his job before the enrollment (no income except for allowance). At this time, I felt hopeless as I did not have any job except for being a full time "Mama". I had no income and no savings at all. I felt a bit frustrated when I could not get any jobs even though I have been to many interviews (some in KL). There were times when I felt like I have to lie during the interviews that I can work outside KL and I can leave my baby with others so that I can secure the job (most of the jobs require me to travel and stay in KL for a period of time). But I could not do that. I do not have the strength to lie especially when it involves my baby. I always remind myself that ANAK itu AMANAH. Amanah yang sangat berharga untuk diabaikan. I was pressured by others who questioned me on my jobless status + having to raise a baby + Darling Hubby is not working. If I could just sealed their mouths, I will definitely do that as others do not know what I have been through. But again, I do not blame anyone as I know that Allah knows what is best for me. I kept quiet and always prayed that Allah will show me the way.

I was jobless until May 2013 (my baby was 9 months old). After almost a year hunting for a suitable job, and after 4 months without a proper income, finally I managed to secure a job with 10 minutes distance from my house. Alhamdulillah, Allah permudahkan urusan kerjaku. Since my baby was already 9 months old, he was ready for solids and that was a relief for me. Why? Coz once my Darling Hubby was away, my baby was emotionally affected and now that I will be working, I was afraid that my baby will be drastically affected as both parents were not with him all the time. 

Baby was down with fever after I started working =(

It was painful to see your baby laid down unhealthily. He was unhappy and not amused with my jokes at all. I felt like quitting my job. But where can I get the money to cover my expenses? I have to sacrifice my job as a full time "Mama" to a working "Mama". At first, I was quite disappointed because I knew that I will not be spending much time with my baby if I start working. But I have to be realistic. Kerja juga salah satu saluran rezeki dan mungkin ini adalah kerja yang sesuai buat masa ini. Thus I stopped complaining and always remind myself to work sincerely for the sake of my family.

Before I slept, I always recalled back on what have I done all this while as a mother. Which of my baby's needs that I failed to fulfill? I take Maslow's Hierarchy as a guideline.
  1. Physiological Needs Apart from frozen EBM (expressed breast milk) and goat's milk, I bought him Cerelac (first solids) + Biscuits + cooked him a simple porridge + blended fruit puree, I also prepared adequate stock of clothes, diapers, toiletries etc.
  2. Safety Needs - I put him under my parents' custody (hardly trust nursery) as I feel that he will be secured and protected there.
  3. Belongingness and Love Needs - Hmmm..
  4. Esteem Needs - If I thought of the word "Hmmm" at the previous stage, how can I proceed with the next stages then?
  5. Self-Actualization Need - Not Applicable for my baby at this moment, I guess.
At last, I realize that at this point of time, my baby needs to be properly equipped with the sense of belongingness (love needs) especially from his parents. My baby and I were having a hard time when Darling Hubby was away. I could feel that he missed his Papa's company but he could not tell me in words and he cried instead. Never once that I forgot to hug him at night while he was asleep. I told him that Papa is away as he wants to provide a better living for us. Many things happened along the way that really challenged my patience in taking care of my baby. At times I gave up and I blamed myself for not being strong enough to raise my baby on my own without Darling Hubby with me. I did whine, I was emotionally threatened by the fact that babies without sufficient love from parents will grow up with inappropriate attitude

"When parents’ involvement is lacking in a family, the potential of a child to possess aggressive and impulsive behaviour is high (Webster-Stratton, 1997)"

I was clueless when my baby cried for no reasons. I was stressed out as I did not know what to do. I looked for my Darling Hubby's advice and he mentioned that my baby just wanted me to give him more attention. Attention? Yes, attention from a mother is what he needs the most in which the world can't give.

My Attention Seeker! =)

Since that moment, I took some times to read more articles on how to spend my time wisely as a working + contented Mama. A few tips to share:

  • Once you got home from work, spend time with your baby for at least 30 minutes (don't bother about house chores but grab your baby's attention first).
  • Talk to your baby on his or her routine during the day (don't worry if he or she does not respond but believe me, the baby is listening).
  • Take a few minutes to massage him or her (a mother's touch is miracle to a baby's development).
  • Try to get your baby to sleep as early as you can so that you can get enough rest as well.
  • When your baby is in his or her subconscious mind (before falling into a deep sleep), apologize to him or her for not being with him or her during the day.
  • Always recite Ayat Kursi, Surah Al-Fatihah, Surah An-Nas, Surah Al-Falaq, Surah Al-Ikhlas, Surah Al-Kafirun and Surah Al-Inshirah (baca doa tidur juga).
  • Pray to Allah for His blessings and always hope for a better tomorrow.

I am not a perfect Mama and I admit that I am not capable of giving everything that a world can give to my baby but the only thing that I can give is my undivided attention towards him.

Love you till Jannah, baby!

The end. Thank you! =)

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