Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just a MOM?

I got this in my mailbox from a friend last week. Instead of flooding my friends mailbox, I thought I'd share it with my readers instead. Here goes ..

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office,was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is, " explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a ...?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.

The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed..

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out..
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid air and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply,
"I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the human ties, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
And great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."

Well this is totally American but I think is applicable everywhere, just change the department name and titles....

Friday, June 26, 2009

The H1N1 chaos

This morning my sister in law delivered a beautiful baby boy at a well known private hospital here. Eager as I was, I went to the hospital as early as 9 am. Somehow I was greeted by a group of masked hospital staff at the entrance asking me the purpose of my visit. When I told them that I was visiting they told me politely that I need to come back later at 11 during the visiting hour. They're limiting the number of visitors into the hospital due to the H1N1 spread. But as I was already here, I refused not to be let in. So what I did was went back to my car and read newspaper for 10 minutes. I went back to the entrance with very confident face and told them that I have doctor's appointment. They let me with a green sticker on my shirt. I got to see the baby happily. OK call me selfish, but I swear I did not have fever, body ache or flu. So I guess it's OK to cheat.

Apparently the H1N1 spread is raging the world with no warning. It is actually just another type of influenza but since it's something new, we don't have the immunity for it thus the rapid spread. Though it is not fatal, it killed quite many of those how has very low tolerance of antibody.

My nephew's school is one of the schools being infected by the virus as one of the students was infected after returning from a holiday in the USA. Two days ago when one of the classes (not the whole school) was given a one week home quarantine, almost the whole school went down. Parents of non-infected classes took their kids home as well. Well I guess they did the right thing, being proactive. But what some parents of the quarantined kids fail to do are monitoring their kids. You did not allow your kids to go to school in fear of being infected but you let them go out to play soccer with friends?? If you are being exposed at school, by mixing with other people elsewhere you are actually exposing them to the virus as well. So what's the use of being quarantined after all?

I read, watched, and heard quite a number of facts and figures about this virus and all were saying that we have to know what this virus is all about, we have to take preventive action, we have to be pro-active i.e cleanliness, limit travelling, and stay in the house if you are quarantined. It is our responsibilities towards ourselves and people around us. I pray that the virus will somehow die down. Or the medical experts will find the cure. And I pray none around me will be infected. Amin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another countdown begins ...

I don't know how to start this entry really.. but I have to write about this one.

For the past 4 years I'm sort of a "temporary" single mother as my other half is working far far away in the desert. It was his choice agreed by all. Well .. kids were too small to decide then. Along the way there were many talks of us following him there but it was never materialised due to the high cost of living in the Middle East.

Thankfully, for the past four years nothing major disaster happened without him except the incident where my maid took away the two kids (this is one long story, need another entry for this!). The rest were manageable though sometimes really challenging for me to raise the brood. The things he missed though were many! He missed all the sports day for all kids, all report card days, he only managed to attend one Hari Anugerah which was last year as it coincide with his break, he missed most of Omar's important milestones like his first step, his first solid food and countless of Omar's antics. In fact, out of Omar's almost 3 years of life, in total he only see him maybe a year or less. I was on my own for the rest of my confinement after Omar's delivery.. he had to leave after a week. But thanks to the technology today, Omar knows his dad very well!

For the past 4 years, I was the driver, the plumber, the mechanic (err.. no problem I've got AAM and reliable workshop), ... you name it. I have gotten used to this situation. I'm used not having him around and making my own decision on little things and looking for solutions. I'm used to taking my kids anywhere without a man around though I rarely do so especially in public in fear of any unwanted incidents. I'm so used to having time for myself without having to worry about a "husband"!

And now the countdown begins... exactly onw week from now he'll be home for good. The kids are so excited! Finally dad is home, they have one complete family. Me.. on the other hand is rather worried.. worried if I step the border of being a wife (this sometimes happened for the past four years whenever he comes home). Most of the time I would assume the lead role for the family .. now I have to transfer the role. I have to re-adjust. The re-adjusting is rather worrying because I foresee some conflicts of what I've taught and train the kids for the past years with what and how he'll do it. We do have some differences in this area.

Whatever it is, I'm glad he's finally coming back (even though his next posting may still require him to travel, but it's in Malaysia). Now that the kids are growing, it's really important for him to have a father figure especially the boys. And for me, some burden is finally shifted.

Alhamdulillah and I pray that things will be well adjusted next week onwards.

Friday, June 19, 2009

This desperate housewife..

I rarely watch "The Desperate Housewives" because I don't see the drama in it... I thought it's rather dry. It's actually just another TV series.. Perhaps they like it because it's about the life, some desperate lives, of a bunch of glamorous housewives. Perhaps they like the sexy women in it.

I think the real desperate housewives are those who are desperate to finish the house chores in 24 hours a day, which is definitely not enough! They are also the ones who're cracking their heads on how to make their daily chores more efficiently, thus time and energy saving, hence more can be accomplished. Then also they are mostly desperate for some time-off, time for themselves when they can just sit back and relax, enjoy a cuppa with no outstanding work waiting and no yelling in their ears.

And there's also this housewife, yours truly, who's desperate for something more adrenalin "pumping".. rather than the routine housework and kids watching. I need something more challenging and with some immediate results. He he.. such ambitions..! No no... I don't need any affairs (God forbid!!!), I don't need any juicy gossips... Perhaps I need a real project.. like the project you have in the office with deadline and all. Then again that's me allright, getting excited about wanting to do things and what not but never get up and actually do it.. Then I'm stuck doing the routine work for the rest of my life. How horrifying! And I also am desperate for some cash to flow into my accounts as it scares me to see my bank statement not getting anywhere! Anybody needs any birthday cakes or cupcakes?

Oh dear... I'd better get off this screen now, my carrot cupcake desperately need some toppings!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's a worthwhile holiday?

The two-weeks school holidays is almost over! How time flies these days. Even the boys noticed it was too fast. Then I reminded them it must be the many many things they did over the holidays that filled up the time real fast.

Before I go on relating the school holidays activities, here's something worth sharing which I heard on the radio on my way to the tuition center an hour ago. It's really ironic when I was babbling to the boys about how they should have spent more time doing some school work this holidays, the radio was telling me on what the PARENTS should do with their kids during the holidays. DOINKKK.. one for me! So this is what the guest in the programme said (it's from one no-nonsense radio station with an expert speaking)..

" ..the school holidays is the time when the parents should get closer to the kids, understand them and develop/ strengthen their aqidah. Among other things that parents should do are:

1) Bring the kids to any majlis ilmu - so that time spent is worthwhile and beneficial

2) Strengthen their relationships (siratulrahim) with family and friends - so that they have sense of belonging and feel loved

3) Get them in touch with the nature - to get to know The Creator, to know His power and Greatness, and to appreciate and love the nature.

All these are part of what the westerners call practical parenting. This has been stressed over and over again in a parenting book (somehow added some islamic values by the speaker).. "

It was only a 3-minute talk.. and I was speechless (by then I had stopped babbling to the boys and I
noticed they grew quiet as well as though they were listening). Then I start recounting the past week event whether I had actually done all 3 above. And really.. I was doing OK, not that bad. I did not get to do No.1.. I actually did number 2 and 3. The sad thing, instead of bringing them to majlis ilmu, they watched movies with their cousins and stroll in the shopping mall with me. Oh well.. perhaps that could be counted as getting in touch with the nature eh?

Here's the real part on getting in touch with the nature:
-- at a famous beach in the east coast ...

And here's bonding with family..
-- with favorite cousin in our kampung...

So I guess.. this is one worthwhile holidays.. will try to fulfill all 3 next time. InsyaAllah.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mom's bad time management

I have been very busy with kids, family and my own project for the past week. One week passed by in a blink. Blame it on my bad time management. I guess if I plan my time properly, perhaps it won't be so bad.

Oh well...

Now that the school hols is here, it's even worse.. My routines have gone haywired. I have things planned until next Monday. After that I hope the kids will stay low and do some studying for their agama school exams right after the break.

I wonder how I did it when I was working. I seem to accomplish a lot more. Now that I have all the time at home, time seems to be never enough. I have tons of things to do and so little time. Time management! Perhaps I should go through my (dusty) Anthony Robbins guide to prioritize!

Another entry without any meaning.. it is bad!