Play date

Ever since I got married, I always had the idea of setting up a childcare centre. Intention: quit my job, take care of my own children while earning money by caring for other children.

To show how semangat I was, I even checked ECDA website on how to set one up BUT one criteria was holding me back – need to take up early childhood course. It’s either I take the course or hire people who have that course. It’s better to have it myself (cos people can easily quit on me kan), but cos no time to go through another cert chasing course, I’ve put my idea away. However, I recently and randomly brought this idea up to my sec school mates and surprisingly they are interested too! But they suggested starting with play dates first.

And after that whole long long introduction, here’s our little experiment to cater to the north siders (cos everything always happens in the east. Give chance to the north la):

We’ve tried it for free before and now we’re trying to see if we can reach out to the masses at this cost. The goodie bags and refreshments provided are definitely worth more than $10! And we haven’t even gone into quantifying the joy and fun that both mummy and kid will get! Hurhur. Do support us if you have kids of that age! Help to spread the word my dear blogger friends, k? Thanks! 😘

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3/4 of the year went by…

BBoss will be turning 9 months this coming Monday. Seriously wow! 

It’s been 2 weeks since I started work too. Another wow! Lol

How did all the weeks and months go by so fast?!?! 

Alhamdulillah it was rather easy to go to work. BBoss has friends (his cousins, bibik and my mom) in the day. He doesn’t cry when I wave to him goodbye but surprisingly he cries when MrF does so 🤔 I can’t imagine going away when he’s crying for me, so I’m quite thankful it doesn’t happen to me. 

On days that I take MRT back home, I’ll obike from station to home. That’s how eager I am to go home. Some days, I’m lucky enough to have MrF and BBoss welcoming me at office lobby. That will mean I have an extra hour to play with BBoss after work. Sad life of Singaporean working mummies: spending more time with bosses and colleagues than own child 🤦🏻‍♀️

Sometimes I don’t feel like rushing back and want to slowly stroll my way home. However, BBoss doesn’t drink milk (be it breastmilk or formula) when I’m away. It’s not about the bottle or the cup or straw or whatsoever item. When he tastes the liquid, he’ll push everything away and it’s always a battle for my mom and helper. At first, I thought it’ll be ok if he doesn’t drink but I noticed that he’s having hard stools and always crying when he’s trying to poop. Soooo I need to rush back home. There’s also no way I can travel for work till I solve this drinking problem. So boss, pls be kind eh 😑

He eats fruits so no issue with the fibre part but he needs water to wet the poop. Therefore the current solution is to give him watermelon and very watery porridge everyday. 

With him not drinking in the day, I realise I don’t need an empire of milk stash. Kinda solve my pumping problem at work too. If it’s a busy day, I pump once only. On days that I can afford some time (aka boss not around), I can pump 3x. I just pump to ensure that supply is still there for his night latch. I’m not sure if it’s possible for me to skip pumping in the day and still have milk at night? I also feel bad pumping and dumping so I’ve been storing all the pumped milk in the freezer. Still thinking what I should do with the milk. 

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Whuuuttt??

HR just informed me yesterday on 28th Sep that I’m going back to work next Monday, 2nd Oct! Jahat or what so last minute inform??!! I know I should bersyukur but my heart cannot take such shock la.

If we were more prepared for the news, I believe it wouldn’t be so bad. Now, we don’t have much time to react!

When we were confirming my NPL at the start, I requested for my NPL to end on 30th Sep. I was told to contact HR 2 weeks before I return to check if there’s a post. I went beyond what’s requested. I contacted HR 1 month ahead wokay! I have been calling and emailing HR every week to ask whether there’s a post and whether I can go back on my requested date BUT HR TOLD ME NO POST AND NOT SURE WHEN I’LL RETURN. The least they could do was give me a hint kan 😤

Cos of that, MrF, my helper, my mom and I didn’t really work hard in letting BBoss get used to being away from me for 12 hours and I didn’t really build an empire of milk stash. 

To change gears from being a stay at home Mom (SAHM) to a working Mom (WM) is rather difficult. In preparation, I have been like a mad woman packing my work bag cos I brought everything on my desk home. Confident I will be posted elsewhere. So kental end up same place again. 

Was hoping for a more family/baby friendly team. Oh wells, gotta accept my fate la. Let’s just be positive and wing it!

Wish me luck that: 

  1. Work (bosses) won’t be horrible
  2. Helper and my Mom do not get too stressed with BBoss 
  3. I can control my separation anxiety 
  4. Brain knows how to function for work

May it be a smooth transition for my family and me. Amiiin!

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7 months later

Surprise surprise, I’m still on leave despite finishing up my maternity and annual leaves. Yeah I had to resort to taking No Pay Leave (NPL) for about 3 months. 

It’s kind of a kecoh situation. 

Let’s run through all the details.

We have a maid:

We took a maid cos my mom very the gatal – back then, MrF and I will do our housework and laundry every few days (siapa sanggup buat hari2 sebelum/lepas keje kan??!!) but my Mom cannot tahan. She believes that laundry and housework must be done daily so she will secretly do for us while we’re at work. We can’t stop her from doing cos we’re at work so we got a maid to settle that issue for us. After my dad became bedridden, we thought the maid can help carry my dad too. 

If parents were not staying with me, I would not have a maid and also would have sent BBoss to infant care (IFC) from the start but you know la, orang tua senang kecik hati. Orang da satu rumah, abeh cari orang lain jagakan anak. So okla tak nak rumitkan keadaan, I thought the maid can help look after the baby while my Mom supervises. $580+levy monthly seems like a good deal – housework, laundry, Dad and BBoss.

So why am I on NPL then? 

My mom requested that I extend my leave cos they can’t manage to care for my dad and BBoss concurrently. When the request was made, the whole house had gone through about 3 months of BBoss crying almost all his waking time, really cranky and difficult to manage. After weeks and weeks of discussion with MrF, I decided on NPL. Only the parents sanggup layan karenah anak sendiri kan, don’t want to stress my Mom with another responsibility so I took NPL. 

“Oh anakku, tolong kenang jasa mama eh nanti. Kalau tak, aku debik”

It’s such a big risk for me cos company does not reserve the post for anyone who takes NPL for more than a month, I might have to wait a few more months before an empty post comes along. I really hope that’s not the case. Then someone so jahat spread rumour that I’m not coming back after this NPL and HR had to call to clarify. I really really really hope that there’s a nice post waiting for me once I go back work. Amin!

Anyway my mom is very happy to see me sacrificing my career for my child. She always thought I’m career and money crazy  and “confirm tak tau jaga baby just cos I was geli to help wash my nieces’ buttocks dulu” lol but wow I actually gave all that up and proved my mama wrong (of cos I’ll wash my son’s buttocks la! why would I want to wash someone else’s kan?) Hurhur

I mentioned earlier that it’s a kecoh situation right? 

So here’s the kecoh part: 

As I’m nearing the month to go back work, my mom suddenly thought of moving out to her new BTO. Reason: Something about having own house is better than being a penumpang. Cos biasalah org tua very sensitive. It’s gonna be very hard on her living alone with my dad who can’t move and can’t speak. She’s gonna be so lonely and my 3 sisters and I are worried she’ll go crazy/depressed. She also doesn’t want the maid to go with them (why mama why??) So that’s one problem.

Next problem, BBoss! I need to scramble for IFC now 😱 I hope there are still slots available somewhere!

Third problem, my mom keeps changing her mind. When she’s happy, she doesn’t think of moving out. When she’s suddenly unhappy and hormonal (menopausal), she says she wanna move out. So how now?

If I put BBoss into IFC now, my mom will think I’m chasing her out. (Old people very sensitive kan!) 

Also, if we put him in IFC now, we will be double paying – maid and IFC? 

I guess we’ll just standby an IFC somewhere, then the moment my mom really moves, we will put him in. If my mom wants the maid, she’ll go along with them. If not, I will have to let her go.

There’s also another issue of people saying I chase my parents out. OMG so many things to think of 😱

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The story of a plane

My mom just went downstairs and bought BBoss a toy plane. It’s just a $2 plane but it means the world to me. I’m going to teach BBoss to love and keep this toy forever and ever.

BBoss likes to be carried around as if he’s an aeroplane – him facing down and we will say “terbang sane, terbang sini” (“fly there, fly here”). My Mom also recalled that I requested (I think knowing my young self it must have been demanded and not requested 😅) for a remote controlled aeroplane. So…

Gaknye budak ni mcm kau la suka aeroplane.

After that comment, she came back with a toy plane and then it got me into an emotional state. 😭

Back then, my dad worked alone to bring 4 girls up so it was not easy to get toys unless it was for something special. I was obviously very boyish and wanted an aeroplane instead of dolls. For my 6th birthday, he finally got it for me and omgee I was such a pelokek, I didn’t allow anyone to play with it. My dear kakak played with it when I was in school k 😤 

So much love for my Mom for doing this for BBoss. What my dad did for me, she’s doing it for my son. 

Also, it just hit me that my mom has taken it upon herself to be the “Grandfather” to BBoss cos my dad is bedridden. My dad used to sing to my nieces and nephew. They were lucky as they managed to see and play with a healthy Grandfather. And if he couldn’t play with them, he would accompany my sisters when they had to stay awake in the middle of the night and try to rock their babies to sleep. Before being bedridden, he was in a wheelchair and he would still force himself to accompany my third sister late at night to ensure she didn’t drop the baby in her sleepy state. Unfortunately BBoss came a lil too late to enjoy all these. 

My mom is now trying her best to sing to BBoss (despite hating to sing and it’s so funny cos she’s so awkward lol). I guess she wants BBoss to experience what his older cousins had with their Grandfather earlier. 

I know it’s not that sad for BBoss la cos he still has my Mom and his paternal grandparents. That’s way more than what some kids have. Some kids have neither paternal nor maternal grandparents but I’m just being emotional la.. so bear with it eh 😬

I hope I can be as selfless as my parents and am capable like them in bringing up good awesome kids (like yours truly hurhur). The sacrifices they made just to bring us up can never be repaid. The best I can do is to keep them in my prayers always. May Allah grant them the highest ranks in Jannah. Amin.

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Maternity leave

Omgee! Yesterday marked the end of my maternity leave (ML)! 😱 I was supposed to resume work today on Monday, 8th May. Thank goodness I have 2016 Annual Leave to finish using up. All 18 days of them and so I’m still 24/7 with BBoss. 

For this whole ML, these two things really stand out for me: breastfeeding and BBoss is a high needs baby.

Breastfeeding

Since I gave birth, I think everyone around me has to live in a world filled with so much breastfeeding information. I didn’t start the journey well so everyone could see and had to go along with my struggles.

I never thought I could breastfeed cos I thought it’s in the genes (Mom said she didn’t have much and the kakak wasn’t that particular so she didn’t bf much. She didn’t quite read up on bf too so macam tak kuasa sgt la nak buat apa2 to increase supply lol). As I read more articles on bf, I started to believe I can bf. I worked really hard till my family could see how stressed I was during the first 2 weeks. What happened:

  1. BBoss was too impatient to latch.
  2. He drinks every 1-1.5hr. My pumping couldn’t catch up with his drinking schedule. Amount pumped also not even half of what he drinks per meal.
  3. BBoss can scream really loud so there’s no time to wait for me to pump enough (even nurses at KK pointed this out to us. Thanks eh we can hear for ourselves.)
  4. KK nurse told me “you don’t bother latching la. Ur nipple is short and ur son so impatient. You pump better” (wrong advice I shouldn’t have listened)
  5. I tried latching and it was done wrongly. Ended up having sore nipples. Literally cried when BBoss latched. 

    Even though I was stressed out, I didn’t make myself go even crazier by insisting on BM alone. I supplemented with formula while I figured out what to do. On week 3, I couldn’t take it anymore so MrF and I decided to contact Sister Kang, the most famous lactation consultant (I think). She’s really awesome la! From then on, there’s no turning back, it was total bf. Alhamdulillah I’m really thankful I could bf cos it made going out easy BUT it resulted in a very clingy baby. The power of boobs! lol

    High needs baby

    This term was given by a doula la. At the start, BBoss doesn’t keep quiet unless he’s sleeping. He will scream till purple or voice serak. So many people were so worried for us and started to comment/do something. I guess they were trying to be helpful but you know.. some comments are quite unnecessary and stressed a new mother out. Some of the things done/said:

    1. Offer air bacaan (ok this I can accept)
    2. Offer to berubat (???)
    3. Not enough BM that’s why baby always crying (excuse me, he’s pooping and peeing a lot. His weight gain is good also)
    4. He needs plain water (haizzzz..)
    5. Why you never read Quran to him? (Urmm.. must tell u whenever we read, is it?)
    6. H has 2 pusar, u know what that means right? He’s degil. (Thanks friend, I choose to label him as a determined boy who will work hard for what he wants. Aamin!!)
    7. And this is the best: what is BBoss doing? Is he still crying? (Yalah! He’s a baby what! You want him to make money is it?!)

    Why can’t he just cry a lot? It’s a new world to him and his organs are still developing so maybe he’s uncomfortable. Let him “complain” to us la till he gets used to it. 

    Fortunately, it got much better as the months went by. I guess what a mummy-friend mentioned “about understanding our baby better will make caring for him easier” is true.

    Oh no, didn’t expect this to end up as a ranting post haha! I am not complaining about being a Mom (I’m really happy I have a child, don’t get me wrong hor) but just sharing what I had to experience once I became one. Satu kampong will contribute their 2cents worth but at the end of the day, I guess I had to be strong and try not to be so affected by them. 😬

    Okla I should plan for a happy post for the next one! 

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    Rants of a FTM

    I’m originally a carefree person but sadly that has changed since we started trying for a baby. I’ve become such a worrywart. It seems to worsen after I gave birth I think. 

    I discussed this briefly with fellow blogger mummies before. I will try my best to bring BBoss out everyday (for my own sanity and to give BBoss some VitD) but during those outings, I’ll be worrying non stop. I may look calm on the outside when I go out with BBoss but deep inside, I’m thinking and over thinking things. Blearghhh… I’m not sure what I’m so worried about but I will definitely worry. 

    Can’t pinpoint what exactly. It’s like I’m always talking with my conscience:

    – afraid he will be cranky at night and won’t sleep? (Babies are cranky anyway right?)

    – afraid I’ll be too tired and faint? Who to care for him?? (Urmm hello? Husband around right? Mom also right? Sisters can help out too la..)

    – afraid of tantrums from BBoss? (What’s the worse that can happen? He’ll just scream his lungs out right? He’s been doing that right?)

    – afraid not enough milk? (I think must always be positive then the milk ducts will continue producing milk)

    – afraid that going out is affecting his sleep or awake schedule (babies don’t have schedule la!)

    – maybe I feel like I’m not in control of my schedule and BBoss can throw me a curveball anytime he wants (I’m already expecting the worst all the time so what’s the big deal right?)

    – or this could be IT: I never had to worry about another being when I go out or do anything but now I have this HUMONGOUS responsibility for someone so small. (Carefree people don’t have responsibilities. Yeah probably this is it)

    I’ve been thinking and thinking why. I hope it’s a normal feeling for FTMs and pls don’t end up crazy, my dear self. 

    I guess the best way to overcome this is – practice and take things day by day. Just keep doing it and I’ll become a better mama each time. Jiayou to me! 💪🏻

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