Posted in Article, English

Living in A Fast Lane

As a mother, I understand now how to live in a fast lane. Time seems to fly by and yet, sometimes I wish to stop the time and enjoy the moment with my son. It seems like yesterday when I had my contraction and sent to the hospital by my husband. It seems like yesterday when I heard his cry for the first time and bless him after his patron. It still feels like yesterday when both of us gave our best effort to be able to breastfeed him. And yet, I am living my present life – with a grateful heart.


Every day I see changes, adaptive movements, or simply a new technique that he learned from his surroundings. He is able to make a frown face, silly face and ‘give-me-a-kiss-mama’ face (I made up the last one, because I could kiss him at all time). He can understand what the adults are saying – clap his hands, give his pacifier to me, blink his eyes, hit the mosquito and many more. He can call ‘Papa’ loudly – but not yet ‘Mama’. He knows what he wants and he can point to it directly. That’s how much a ten-month old (in two more days) baby can amuse me.

When I have to work, I leave him at my parent’s house, because my husband is also working and no one could take care of him overnights. Sometimes he would miss me so bad and we had to go through video call, before he could go to sleep. Sometimes it is me who can’t resist my feeling, but I have to – because I do not want him to overthink of his mother. I know that he is doing fine, and so do I. Sometimes he is missing his breastfeeding moment and he would look for it. And that’s the most painful one! That’s why whenever I am home, I would maximize my time with him. I put aside my work and the nitty gritty – and spend time with him. I feed him, play with him, walk with him around the complex or simply watch the birds with him. I would not want to spend a second in waste.

I would never be able to stop or slowing down the time. But I can maximize my time. My son has taught me to embrace every moment and what it brings to my life. The sadness, the happiness, the tears and the laugh. They are meant to come to my life and I only need to embrace it.

Thanks, little E.

Posted in Article, English

Breastmilk at Starbuck

Disclaimer: This story is very personal and subjective – it might be varies for every working mom.

Eight months and 20 days. That’s the age of my baby boy by today. He is still on breastfeeding and – thanks God – so addictive to it. Sometimes I feel sad and guilty, because when I leave him at home for business trips, he would be cranky and looking for his mama’s milk. My husband told me that we better train him on bottle only, but I refused. The bonding moment when I breastfeed him is something that I would not want to give up for anything else. The way he looks at me, stroking my cheeks (scratch them mostly) and smiling at me – is nothing but heaven!

While I travel, I carry my cooler bag and blue ice gel with me. After expressing, I would store the bags in the hotel where I stay. At first, it was all good. Hotels nowadays are very supportive toward working mom who needs to freeze their expressed breast milk. But then, long travel slips in.
Last week I had to travel 6.5 hours by train. I could not stop praying that my frozen gems would stay frozen – or at least not melted altogether. After I arrived home at 4am, hurriedly I open the cooler bag and found that most of them had been melted. Broken hearted, I put them all back into the freezer at home. I knew I shouldn’t do that – but having to toss 15 bags of expressed breast milk was not an option for me. But I told my mother – who help me when I am away – to check the milk. If my baby refuses it, then toss them away. Thank God there was only one thawed milk that he refused and he had no sign of having any sickness from my breast milk.

Few days ago, I also experiencing another long hours of traveling. My plane was delayed for more than 2 hours due to thunderstorm. I was praying hard that I would not need to experience that ‘train incident’ again. Then I saw a small Starbuck stall at the airport. I asked one of their 3 staff if I could keep my breast milk in their freezer or cooler. They said yes! All good …

After all these months, I realized why people called us ‘Breast Milk Fighter’ – for all the fights of providing breast milk. I am not a supermom, nor trying to be one. I always tell myself: Just be his mama. And I am doing all of these, because I am his mama.

Never give up, Moms!

Posted in Article, English

Three-feet Fall

Like his usual days, yesterday morning my 8-month-old baby took his morning nap. He already has his morning routine: wake up around 6am, play for a while, have his breakfast, bath and nap.

When I heard his soft cry at 9am, I hurriedly back to my room and saw my baby on the floor! He was not crying – yet. My body shook all over and I was in disbelief – how could I let this incident happened!

I lifted him up and at that moment he started to cry out loud. I wanted to cry, but I was too shocked and fearful. I called to my mom – she was shocked but hurriedly change her attitude. She said that: If everyone is panicking, who will take care of the baby?

I held my baby tightly, told him that I was sorry and started to softly rub his left forehead with some gel to reduce the swollen. Up until today, I still can see the blurry bluish mark on his forehead.

I asked his pediatrician immediately following his fall. She said that as long as my baby did not throw up or showing any signs of dizziness, I don’t have to be worry. Observation is the key, she said.

Well, out of my fear and in with my hope, my baby is back to his gene of being a laughter in a short time. He was easily laughing out loud with us, blink his eyes to attract our amusement and just being himself. He is fine.

He fell from my three-feet bed and recovers well. I sank into the pit of guilty feeing and looking forward to walk out of this pit. One side of me saying that the incident should not happened if I care and aware of the imminent danger. The other side of me whispering that I shall forgive myself and just be his mom.

I shall forgive myself because this pit of guilty feeling is even deeper than my three-feet bed. My son is fine, I shall be better then.

For those parents who have the same experience and feeling like mine, forgive yourself and be better each day.

Posted in Article, English

Resilient Child

Today, on my Sunday afternoon, I decided to say yes to a good friend who was nervously looking for help for his son. For the past few months his son had shown a symptom of blink his eyes and sometimes rub them because he felt uncomfortable. Doctors said that he was fine and nothing was wrong with his sights. And so I spoke to this little boy.

Turned out that his so-called new habit is a form of anxiety of a bully at his school. When I spoke to his parents, I saw something very brave that they have done to him. Both parents decide to let their son be a resilient child by letting him deal with his issues or problems and see how he handled them. Sometimes, they even pretend not to see or hear the fights between their son and his friends – just to see on how their son handle their problems. Most of the time, he could pass the test well. This time, he is not failing either, he just needs some help.


When I relate this to my own situation, I remember an advice from another good friend. He told me that he was raised by a stay-at-home mom – in which allowed him and his mother to be fully attached to each other. When he grew older and left the house, he had a hard time to cope with the separation – as much as his mother. His point was that my decision to go back to work is a good decision. It will not be easy, but he believed that both – me and my son – will be able to adapt, adjust and eventually be resilient.

I will be back to work soon enough. I still can’t believe how time flies – I took over 5 months off to take care of my son and now it is time to leave him at home. I will try to adjust my schedule because my works are all flexible (yes, I have multiple work at different places!), except when I have to travel around.

My next destination is to be with my son and together we will give ourselves a chance to be resilient.

Posted in Article, English

Lasting Gifts

On early December 2014, I went to a Catholic youth revival to celebrate the birthday of one Catholic community in Surabaya. They invited a speaker from the Philippines named Arun Gogna. I had no idea of who he was – except of what was written at the flyer.

I had a great time at the venue. My friends and I were hypnotized by the way Arun run his sermon (yes, sermon!). We really caught in the message of God’s love that he shared with us. We sang and jumped and laughed and being there fully! At the end of the event, I decided to buy his book. Turned out, only one left: Lasting Gifts You Can Give Your Children.

Arun Gogna

I bought the book halfheartedly. I was not pregnant and did not know when I will be a mom.

But then, turned out that I was already pregnant with my baby E when I sang and jumped and laughed and bought the book! You just can’t tell God’s plan on you (most of the time).

It is a very simple and easy-to-read book, but the message is clear – how as parents, we need to give the right gifts for our children. They need not only money and present, but more than that – they need us to be available for them. They spell love as time – the time that we are willing to give to them. The moments that we are willing to share with them. They need our presence, instead of presents.

In this new year of 2016, I am hoping that all of you will be able to give the best gifts for your children – your love, time, attention, willingness. They will appreciate, remember and grow from those lasting gifts you give them.

Happy New Year! Be adventurous, be bold, and be dare to love.

PS: Read this book as your reward in this new year, you won’t regret it!