In my HoboMinci
Yup. He was 3,188 Miles away. I had to make it work. In fact, I was already planning on how to go about my daily activities a few weeks back. My main concern with Mr Husband being outstation was SECURITY for me and my kids.
My second concern was of how well I could perform my duties as a wife and mother to protect MY AMANAH. And this not only involves protecting the kids but also our home, his stuff and of course – MYSELF.
THINGS I DID FOR SECURITY
- KNOWING HIS WHEREABOUTS – stalking my husband through Watsapp. I made sure I knew his flight details, his place of accommodation or person of contact during his stay in Japan. This part was kinda easy because Mr Husband likes to send a lot of photos and voice messages through Watsapp. Therefore, I had a rough idea of what he is up to there. I could also in turn update him regarding the happenings around the house (like our leaking water pipe in front of the house) and about our munchkins. It was also important for me to identify key people who could help troubleshoot my problems should I encounter any. These were my parents in law of course who stayed nearby.
- WENT GROCERY SHOPPING EARLY – I stocked up on non-perishable goods and big stuff like juice boxes and rice packs. And toiletries that may be on low supply for the next few days. Canned items. Ninie’s milk powder and baby wipes. Technically, things that require muscles to carry them because I do not want to burden myself to do all these things later with Baby Ninie in a carrier.
- SETTLE ERRANDS – for instance, opening up a bank account (Tabung Haji) for Ninie. Or fueling up the car.
- HANG MY LAUNDRY WITH INTENT TO SHOW OFF – meaning I hang up Mr Husbands clothes as well. His work shirts, his pants. I even put out his Size 9 shoes and slippers (or is it a 10?) outside the door. Just so potential burglars could think twice before attempting to break in.
- SLEEP IN ATTIRE READY FOR A FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE – full pants with my hijab nearby. Complete with bra. My car keys at hand, just in case I need to sound the alarm to scare away threats. Some says I’m paranoid. I call it being prepared.
THINGS I DID TO PROTECT MY AMANAH
- THE KIDS. Apart from ensuring the kids are safe at all times, I also have to make sure they are clean and well fed. It can be tricky with Ee hence the reason why I resorted to making Bento. Hoping to spur that appetite of his.
- THE HOME. I was tempted to just postpone laundry and cleaning till the days for him to come back draws near. However, a dirty abode will attract negative spirits and JINs, so I had to keep up with the cleaning. And I get to mop more frequently than ever.
- THE WIFE. Which means I had to protect myself from the seducing words of men. kang tergoda. Not that I’m drop dead gorgeous but we never know with the works of Shaitan. Never ever allow a man to enter the home even if he is from the water company. Or Poslaju. For safety reasons too of course. In short, jaga kelakuan diri sendiri jugak. Jangan nakal. Dont install wechat no matter how lonely. huk huk..
Alhamdulilah. Nothing horrible happened during Mr Husbands absence. It was a bit exhausting though with the baby and from the adrenaline, as I was always in a Hyper Vigilant state. I was so glad when it was over. Takut weyyyyyy kalo ada anak.
Mr Husband bought us souvenirs. I got 2 new Coach handbags, an Italian leather purse, cute socks and a Baby-G watch. With plenty of Meiji chocolates. Ee also received lots of goodies – Tamiya cars, Bento containers and swords. Ninie had pretty dresses!
I have another stint of Mr Husband being absent again soon. He will be performing the umrah with his parents and sister. (my social support all going for umrah.. *cry blood). It will be more challenging afterwards because my leave was only granted for 3 days out of the 7 I applied for. Mana aku tak stressssssss. But I believe in miracles. I will find a solution to make it work. I always do.
I had a lot on my plate on that one particular day. My biological engine was practically already up and running by 430AM. And I’m still doing the 2 till 3 hours ‘patrol’ check around the house since baby is still waking up for her feeds at those intervals as well.
I made early breakfast for myself. Nothing fancy. Plain ol coffee and 2 slices of bread. Then, I prepared my son’s lunch for school (yesterdays leftover) and his breakfast. After my breakfast, I had my early shower because well.. once the baby is up.. there is no way you could take a dump. I try to be fully dressed by 6AM and have my Fajr prayer in peace.
Often, I am tempted to just wear my kaftan to send Ee to school but since I have a wild imagination like what if my car breaks down sorta thing – the last thing I wanna do is step outside the car, bra less in my sleepwear. So yeah..
After the school run, Ninie and I went home for a while so I could clean her a bit before we then again scooted off in our little car to the clinic. My Mantoux test for pre-placement Tuberculosis Screening was due. That itself took me about an hour.
Then, I had to bring her to this scary place. It is not the hospital. But it is crowded. In fact, a homicide took place here a few months ago – THE STATE CENTRAL BUS STATION. A place with people free to move in and out of the state or country is never a good place to bring your young kids especially when you don’t have backup. But I needed to go to this photo shop which could print my passport sized photos. So I had to be prepared. Some of the things I did;
- park in the proper area. pay for the parking fee. do not be stingy like most people. HAHAHA. even if its only for a while. you can choose a spot near the entrance so you’d be less vulnerable to opportunistic criminals in the parking bay. plus, there’s security on guard.. just in case.
- locate the photo shop I want to go. No unnecessary detour. take note of its opening time so I wouldn’t have to linger at the station for too long. Locate the police station within the premise as well. There’s always one.
- choose to run errands on weekdays, if possible – if you have to do it alone. for easier movement as there are less people.
- if you have to take a meal, choose a place where it’s comfortable and not that open. You want to protect yourself from the eyes of evil. I had to have brunch because even if the photo shop said it opened at 9AM and i was there by 930AM, it was only opened by after 10AM. I chose SUBWAY because apart from it having air conditioning, there were not a lot of customers and if, Allah forbid, someone tries to snatch the baby – he/she would have to make an effort to open the glass doors first.
- Keep the baby close. Be weary of people getting too friendly. Cause sometimes they work in teams. One to distract, one to extract. Never leave the baby alone. While waiting in line at subway, a kind young man said I shouldn’t put the baby car seat on the floor because of health hazards. I understood his concern, expressed my sincere thank you (people still care, alhamdulilah) but kept my Ninie close anyway. There is no way I’m letting that person at the next table to help me ‘watch my baby’
- As for myself – to dress practically. Mothers need to be ready to run fast and fight!
It went well and soon after it was already time to fetch my son from school.
Another solo run with the kids afterwards. Ee needed a bigger bag for his religious school. His ustazah was saying that there was no timetable and that they have to bring all their books to school. I can’t quite figure why they can’t at least say ” for monday, please bring this book and this and this”. I don’t mind them not having a fixed schedule but at least a teaching plan for the coming week?
We ended the run at Aeon with Ee’s favourite meal – the Beef Gyudon at SUKIYA. Then, it was time to go home so he could finish all his homework. Phew.. it really is tough to do all this without an extra pair of hands and eyes. You really do need a village to raise a child.
The first day of school is also any parents second worst nightmare. I was worried that Ee couldn’t adjust to the idea of keeping to time and following the rules. He still doesn’t understand the concept of money and change. To him, anything that is RM1 is cheap. so when he goes to the co-op and saw a RM1 sharpener – to him it is a bargain. I, on the other hand, almost got a heart attack. Nasiblah duit belanja dia RM2 je sehari. I also hope that he wouldn’t upset anybody in his class or the bigger kids in school. BUlly still remains the number one thing I’m afraid of.
We had an Orientation Day a few days before formal schooling starts. Apart from getting the kids to be familiar with the surroundings of the school – parents were also briefed on the basic rules and regulations of the institution. At the end of the day, it’s all about working together as a team so the children of tomorrow could have a bright future.
EE is still enjoying school so far. Weird how he’d say “yeay.. yeay.. pergi sekolah” every morning. His favourite subject so far is Science but thats because the teacher is hilarious. He said the teacher will punish them with hugs and kisses if they forget their homework or books. LOL.
1st day of school with a special request Bento : Spaghetti
In the afternoon, he goes to the Religious School where he learns about Islam and Quran. The school is like 10 steps from the grandparents house. Just beside his old kindergarten too, practically within the same compound.
His not so secret admirers. who were looking for him in preschool only to discover that he’s in big boy school now.
overall, he enjoys school but yeah, I need to work on a few things. for instance;
- To be more alert of his surroundings : it’s either he is pekak or he just doesn’t register certain things in his head
- To be less forgetful – almost always it’d be like he forgot what he learnt that day or who that teacher was. nasiblah tau jamban kat ne
- Not to trust strangers – I was giving him scenarios of people trying to pick him up from school and people offering food. twist skit citer, terus ikut masuk van.
- Spending money wisely – oh boy, this is going to be tough.
All in all, this is a learning curve for me too. huhu..
Babycall. It’s like being oncall – only this time the focus is more towards the baby instead of patients. It’s still just as taxing as well as exhausting but fulfilling none the less.
Babycall demands stamina, strategy and proper preparation. It is still a trial and error process but I have been doing some reading online and Youtube-ing to gather the experience of mothers everywhere on how to make my nights manageable.
- WORK IN A TEAM – this is a no brainer. Get the husband onboard. No matter how small the contribution for its the small things that works magic sometimes. Some people do a tag team sorta thing. Others have partners do the graveyard shift. To each their own. In my case, Mr Husband usually takes over after 4 AM or earlier if he doesn’t have classes in KL the next day. Hence, I get at least 2.5 hours rest before its time to perform the Fajr prayers. Looks like the training during oncall kinda help where it’s always a blessing to have my Medical Assistants to attend Green Zone cases at these hours especially when my brain has gone woozy after being up for hours. Then I try to catch some sleep during the daytime to keep myself sane. Most of the time I can’t because my brain just refuse to shut down.
- MENTAL PREP : LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS – even though it is predicted that your baby will wake up for feeding every 2 hours, it will be no guarantee that the baby will go back to sleep again after that hours feed. So you might be staring at this wide-eyed creature for the next 120 mins or so before its time to feed again. Or change the diapers again. Or the baby just wants to play or cuddle in your arms. For me it helps to not expect that I’d be able to get my sleep in between feeds but once I do – I say
ketuk2 ramadhan- alhamdulilah.
- BABY PREP – ensure that everything you need is within reach. Diapers, extra blankets, rocking chair which ties to the next point
- MAKE MUMMY COMFORTABLE – Although the kitchen is not that far away – I always have a jug of water and biscuits/keropok ready at the bedside table. In case I have to kendong my lil princess in my arm for hours in the sitting position. There’s no way I could have a shut eye like that – so I’d switch on HBO and just have movie time and what not. Of course Instagram scrolling is another option but sometimes my neck hurts from all those looking down at the screen thing.
- PRAY : SEEK FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION – Allah listens to our prayers in moments of despair. I remembered when Ninie was at Day 5 of life and we were both just discharged from hospital about 2 days before. She was having a difficult time to sleep at home and the effect rippled on to myself. So by the time night falls on the following night – I was still exhausted from lack of rest but remained motivated to feed Ninie on a strict 2 hourly basis as she had neonatal jaundice (below photolevel). I made a dua that night to Allah to help ease our nights and grant me the strength to pull an all nighter. Amazingly, after Ninie’s feed at 1am – she slept through until about 5am for her next feed. I felt grateful for that brief period of rest but anxious at the same time because of her jaundice. Alhamdulilah her bilirubin levels did not escalate any further and she did not require phototherapy at the hospital.
The Divine Intervention did not stop there. Miracles keep on happening as long as you ask for them and believe in them.
So yeah.. i’m still searching around blogs for tips and what not to handle the baby. Currently I’m hooked on the subject of ‘relactation’ because my breastmilk supply is on the low side. I have been experiencing very tired and sore moments which led to less latching sessions and you guess it right – formula supplements. I’m glad that there are a few Youtube mothers who are experiencing these problems for real and sharing practical advices. I like how one mother was saying she literally ‘pumped air’ for a few days which made me feel better about myself.
Well.. lets leave the breastfeeding part in another blog post shall we?
I am also in awe of some of these mothers who have such colourful activities in their ‘A day in the life with a newborn’ videos. Mine would have been really boring. it takes me like a few hours to actually being able to put on my bra and top whilst I try to calm a fussy Ninie or prepare a short meal for Ee. And you’d probably see me sat on the couch most of the time anyway forcing my bosom into Ninies mouth. Huhu.
I do learn that each child is different. I don’t remember Ee being this challenging before but come to think of it – by the time he was 2 months we were already staying with my in laws – so its probably my MIL who had to endure the crankiness which she described as ‘sawan menangis’.
Thats about it for now. Need to finish my draft on the confinement set of Spa & Ma.
Baby Ninie is at Day 17 of life today. It is also Day 4 of me observing my confinement period SOLO. With the help of Mr Husband of course.
Baby NInie on the dining table as I fix breakfast for myself in the kitchen
My mom needs to go back to her own place after 2 weeks for she’s got a few pending commitments to attend to. My sister and I used to dub her Wanita Umno for her ‘social obligations and mingling’ with her circle of friends and acquaintance never cease to finish. Ha ha.
Now I am physically capable to bathe Baby Ninie on my own. I can do simple cooking for my own lunch and light housekeeping which involves folding the blankets, making the bed and simple laundry. I can walk a tad faster but the pain lingers once in a while at a score of 2 or 3. Getting up from a lying down position is less painful but still needs the right maneuver in swinging the legs, flexing the abs and so on. Mr Husband also does his share in getting up for the baby – only problem is he sometimes ‘tidur mati’. Most of the time I don’t expect him to get up to feed the baby for he usually has classes the next day and I don’t want him to be sleepy during his motorbike commute. KL bukan dekat yerr..
I have to pretty much be independent during days when he has classes. I even taught my firstborn, Ee how to call his grandmother if for instance I fainted or something. Also how to unlock the doors and sooth the baby. While I try to be careful and take great care of myself, I still have the fear of the unknown like a Pulmonary Embolism or a horrible Postpartum Haemorrhage. So yes – be prepared. Always know who to call for help. Draft a contingency plan.
It’s less worrying when Mr Husband is around. And less exhausting. He helps bathe the baby, prepare my meals and if I’m lucky a foot massage and a back rub. Baby Ninie may not have powder or minyak yuyi after a bath but at least she has clean diapers and clothes. Lets not push it shall we? *wink*
Baby Ninie is being predictable yet full of surprises. I can almost always be sure that she will wake up in the middle of the night every 2 hours for her feed and the occasional nappy change. Ouh, daytime as well. Thus, I hope to abolish my habit of procrastinating as even the most simple activities of daily living like taking a shower needs to be done A.s.a.p once an opportunity presents itself.
Kalau dapat makan, makan. Dapat solat, go now. Need a quick shower? make it 2 minutes. If I need longer time in the shower – I’ll wait for Mr Husband to reach home so he could mind the baby. While I try my best, my cup of hot milo still needs to be warmed up a few rounds in the microwave, a pee will have to wait and laundry can take up to half a day to be sorted out before it sees sunlight outside. Ha ha.
Still I am grateful for this phase of my life. I have been asking for this amanah for so long. I needed a break from work and its disasters (haha) through having a baby. Bolehkah itu macam?