Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's in your bag?

I think it's fun to compare what's in each women's bag. Somehow I think the bag represent personality. I have a medium size bag and in it I have:

  • A check book. No one use check anymore, but somehow I always carry it with me. You'll never know when you'll need it.
  • Lipgloss
  • Wallet
  • A coupon book organizer
  • Keys
  • Bluetooth
  • Blackberry cellphone
  • Mint
  • Measurement tape (I know what y'all think, but I'm originally from Indonesia and we use metrics).
  • Pen
  • Corporate Badge

So what does my bag say about my personality? I think it shows that I'm very practical, a typical busy mom who don't care about make ups. So... what's in your bag???

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When Your Friend Suddenly Becomes Your Boss

Up until now I still have this weird feeling about the fact that now I have to report to my friend, even though it has been almost 5 months since she got promoted. Just a little feedback about her. She started in our company about a year in a half ago. She has outgoing and bubbly personality, always in this "ra ra" mood which sometimes I find it a little annoying. She's also very brown-noser, which she actually admit it herself. I wasn't really surprised when I found out she got promoted because of all her "efforts" that I mentioned earlier. However, I don't think our big boss promoted her so that she can help making decision as most supervisors normally do. Her position was created so that our big boss doesn't have to deal with keeping track of vacation, calling off sick, and dealing with all little things like that. Her lacking of experience in our department and inability to make important decision have become very visible among ourselves. Meanwhile, our big boss is too busy with gazillion things on her plate. I remember one time she and I had a conference call in regards to a project I was dealing with, and all she did was making a little comments such as "Yes, I think it's a great idea" or "I agree" or "Yes I think we should do that". I'm not going to lie that I was extremely annoyed by that. I really don't need a cheerleader in this meeting; I need someone who can contribute ideas.

Anyway, instead of ranting and complaining about the whole situation, I decided to look at this in a positive way. Do I really want to be in her shoes? Somebody has to take all the craps that the big boss is putting us through, from "Dr. Jackly and Mrs Hyde" mood swings to everything we do is always wrong. And it ain't gonna be me!!! What's the point of being upset or jealous if I know I don't ever want to be in her position. It's very clear that our big boss just want her to do the work she doesn't want to do. I will keep involving our big boss in all business decision and let my friend (or should I call her my supervisor?) deals with the simple stuffs I know she can handle.

Anybody has ever been in my position? or her position? It would be interesting to know different side of stories.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Happen To Your Pet After Baby Comes

A few weeks ago I stopped by at my friend's house. She and her family is moving to Singapore and they are selling their stuffs. After talking to her, I found out she's not taking her dog with her. Let me step back and tell you a little bit about her. Of all people in the world, she is the last person I would think who's willing to get rid of her dog. Her dog was like her child, even more than the way I treated my dog. Her dog slept with her (on her pillow), she groomed it herself. When my husband teased her dog, she even told him to stop it. Words can't even describe how much she loved her dog. So I said to her, I couldn't believe she's not taking Molly (her dog's name) with her. Then she said after having a child your feeling towards your dog completely changed.

I went back home to think about what she said. Has my feeling towards my dog changed ever since my son was born? I hate to admit but I guess she might be right. It's really hard not to be upset with your dog when he barks over some noise, only to awake your son who just fell asleep after long waking night. How about when your dog needs to be walked when you're chasing your toddler around, making sure he's not going to hurt himself? Are there times when you tell your dog to go away because your baby won't stop pulling his tail and you're just afraid your dog will snap and bite him? Let's not forget that when you're getting ready to go out with your baby, you're busy packing his diaper bag, putting his snack, his meal, etc. At the same time you also have to take your dog out for potty and put him in his cage or kennel. I remember one time I was a little upset coming home only to find my dog had "an accident". The entire floor of laundry room were filled with poops and pee. Meanwhile I have a screaming hungry baby. All these little things do take extra time and efforts. It's not surprising that we might get upset with our dogs, even though they do nothing wrong but simply just being a dog.

When I told my husband about what happen to Molly and the fact that I couldn't believe what my friend did to her, he brought an interesting question. He asked me wouldn't I be happy if there is someone who can treat our dog to be a King again like the way we did before our son was born? We are just simply too busy.

I realize my feeling towards my dog has changed a little bit. But whenever I feel that way, I try to think all the joy he brought to our lives. The unconditional love he has for us, the tricks we taught him to do, the times he curled up and slept right next to me when my husband was away on a business trip.

I don't think I could ever give up my dog, even if I find someone who could care and treat him like a King. I just wished my husband's feeling towards our dog does not change this much. I just wished my dog can sleep with us again (he wouldn't let him sleep with us anymore after he peed on our bed)... just to get a little reminiscent of the old days.

What do you think? Will you give up your dog in this situation?

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Typical Daily Schedule As a Working Mom

In the beginning of my mommyhood I was trying different method in term of doing everything as a working woman and a mom, all in the same day. I'm sure most of us have days when we wished there are more than just 24 hours in a day. Since now we have $1000/mo daycare expense, money is a little tight and we can't buy take out whenever we want to. Here is my typical daily schedule, and when I compare it to my friends at work, it's pretty much the same.

6:30 Wake up and get ready to work
7:00 Wake my son up (if he's not already awake), get him dressed, wipe his face with warm cloth
7:15 Give my son breakfast. Typical breakfast is a slice of bread and a glass of milk. While my son is eating his breakfast, I pack my lunch and get stuffs in the car (his blankie and teddy bear, library books if I need to return them, etc)
7:30 - 7:35 Leave the house to daycare. Drop off my son.
7:40 - 8:00 Leave to the office (ok...maybe I arrive at the office 10 minutes late)
10:30 - 11:00 Work out. I'm one of the lucky ones that the company provides a gym for its employees. I normally use this as a part of my lunch hour to work out with some of my coworkers.
11:30 - 12:00 lunch
5 pm Leave the office
5:30 Arrive home or pick up my son if my husband has to work late
5:30 - 6:00 Prepare the cooked dinner (putting it in the microwave, etc)
6:00 Dinner time
6:30 - 7:00 Play with my son
7:00 Bath time
7:30 Play again while my son drinks a little bit of milk
8:00 Bed time
8:00 - 8:30 Exercise, weight lifting
8:30 - 9:00 Shower
9:00 - 11:00 Cooking and cleaning
11:00 Getting ready to bed, browse internet a little bit or watch tv

My schedule is pretty hectic and normally I don't get to sleep until around midnight. Also, when my son comes home from daycare he normally gets really hungry. On top of that, he's very attach to me and likes to hanging on my leg while I'm cooking. So cooking after he goes to bed for the next day meal works much better for me, since it's almost impossible to cook when he's around. Typically, our today's dinner is our tomorrow's lunch. This way we save money by packing our lunches.

Some of my friends thought I'm a super woman for doing all these things. But I guess being a night person I have a lot of energy as it gets closer to midnight. My next goal is to have a laptop so I can browse internet and blog while watching tv at the same time. Being a mom with this hectic schedule means you have to somehow multi task whenever it's possible. Another tip is try to be as organize as you can by planning ahead of time what you're going to cook everyday. Every weekend I plan the weekly menu, write grocery list based on that menu. Once we do grocery, I separate the meat in a zip lock bag for about a pound each, just enough for each meal. Also, try to cut corners as much as you can, e.g. buy frozen or precut veggies.

If any of you can share what your typical schedule is, that'd be great... just so that we can learn from each other.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Moms in the Work Place; Can We Have It All?

Last Friday one of my co-workers came to chat with me and I notice she felt a little upset. Turns out our boss just made a comment to her that she (our boss) felt disappointed that nobody in our department is willing to put overtime. We are accountants and we have deadlines every beginning of the month to close the book and prepare financial statement. The company has been putting a lot of pressure on us in order to close the book earlier, so that the executives could go over the financial statement earlier.

Most of the people in my department, including me, are mothers. My boss is married but chose not to have a child (she has stepdaughter). I don't think anybody without biological child could understand how important it is for us to spend those valuable hours with our loved ones. I spent 10 hours away from my child with 8 hours working, 1 hour lunch, and about 1 hour commute. Ideally I spent only 3 hours with my son everyday and I want to make the most of it. Personally I don't mind putting a little bit overtime here and there. But if it becomes a habit or requirement, then I will have a problem. I used to think that women with child tend to use their children as the reason to slack off, until I have my own.

Is there a job out there that accommodate mothers, allowing us to have good career and at the same time be good mothers? Can we have it all? Can career and motherhood go hand in hand? One can only wish. It's all up to you whether you want to put your career or your family as your priority. All I can say is kids grow up only once. If I miss watching them growing, I can't go back in time to fix it. So it's clear to me that my family comes first even if I have to kiss promotion good bye.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Marriage Comes First

Before I had my baby, my parents told me that children bring couples back together. At that time, my husband and I had been married for about four years. I felt that we had what people called "married single". We barely spent time together. We sat down for a dinner together and after that we were busy with our own lives. I normally went to my den and he went to his. Then we went to bed together, only to crash after a tiresome day. When I found out I got pregnant, deep down I was hoping that my husband and I could be reconnected and be closer again with the arrival of our bundle of joy.

After I had my baby, I found what my parents say about having a child brings a couple back together again is a complete false statement. To say having kids ruin your marriage sound a bit unfair, but it really tests your relationship to a whole another level. All the sudden we can't have some time alone with one another. We can't go on a date, have a romantic dinner, go to the movies. One of the most difficult situation I have to face is our financial situation. When the-one-thousand-dollar-a-month daycare expense started to kick in, that was when my husband and I started to argue almost everyday. Suddenly, we can no longer spend our money however we wanted it. My husband handle our finances and he created a strict budget to cut down our expenses. We have x dollar amount to eat out, shop, buy grocery, etc. He was very adamant about us turning off the lights when leaving a room and turn off computer when not in use. He set up the temperature in the house to 80 degrees in the middle of hot summer to save electricity and he made me wash the dishes and clothes after 9 pm to avoid peak hour. The list goes on and on and on. There were times when I was considering leaving my husband because of that. There were times when we didn't speak to each other for days after having a fight. All of these changes were too much for me to handle. My husband spent hours playing with the numbers and budgeting instead of helping me caring for our toddler, which made me feeling even angrier at him. At the same time, my husband was also mad at me because I showed zero interest in discussing about our financial situation. How could I even discuss about our financial situation when it was just depressing me? Sounds familiar?

After months and months of arguing, I finally hit rock bottom when we had a big fight over a stupid reason. The truth is, it wasn't about the cause of that fight... we both were simply exhausted with our situation, and as a result, we had a meltdown.
It was days after we stopped talking that I finally took the initiative to talk about our issues. We both shared our feelings and tried to find solution. Listening to him made me realize where he's coming from. I realized had I paid more attention to our financial situation, it should be a lot easier for me to sacrifice in order to cut down our expenses. At the same time, I told him things that he needs to do to help me so I don't feel like being a single mom raising a toddler.

Things are a lot better now. I'm much more organized now than I ever before. Every weekend I make a weekly menu that I plan to cook. Based on that menu, I could create a grocery list. My husband clips coupons and does grocery shopping in the weekend while I take care of our son. All mothers out there know how challenging it is to do grocery shopping with your toddler. Sometimes while I prepare dinner, my husband would feed our son or play with him. A few days ago, my husband and I took a day off and sent our son to daycare so we can spend time together, just the two of us. We went to a local shopping strip area where there are a lot of small boutiques, had lunch at our favorite restaurant, and went to the movies. It was wonderful!!

I learned in order to save marriage, there are a few keys couple should follow:

1. Open communication is the key to a relationship.
Instead of blaming your spouse and telling him what to do, you should tell what you feel, what he feels, his opinion about the whole situation, and share thoughts about what you need to do.

2. Adjust your lifestyle.
Everybody knows that having a child changes your life completely. It is difficult in the beginning, but trust me... watching your child grows everyday and learns new things... it is all worth it.

3. Whenever possible, spend some quality time together with your spouse.
Hire a babysitter, take a day off, have someone in your family to watch your child, whatever it takes for you to go on a date with your spouse and spend some time together. There are some studies that show that the divorce rate is higher on family whose kids are all grown and left the house. Those couples finally realized that they are no longer connected because they put their children before everything else. It's important for every couple to know that your marriage is the foundation of the family, not your child.

I'm still learning throughout this whole parenthood. When I'm down, all I have to say to myself is my marriage is worth to save and I will do everything I could to provide a happy family to my son.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Breastfeeding 101

No one ever told me that breastfeeding is very challanging. I remember those days like it was yesterday when I was struggling with my milk supply. In order to boost my milk supply, the LC told me to pump right after I finish nursing my son. The problem is my son wouldn't stop pacifying me or kept falling a sleep even though I stripped him down to his diaper. It was taking forever to nurse him, not to mention he needs to eat every two hours (from the beginning of his nursing), and I have to pump after nursing. I practically couldn't do anything but nursing. Luckily my mom was here to helping me out. Anyway, I would like to share some tips*, based on my experience, to all mommies who is having trouble breastfeeding.

1. Fenugreek and Mother Thistle Tea
A combination of two caps of fenugreek three times a day and mother thistle tea works like a charm to me. However, most doctors or pediatric are obligated to not recommending any herbal medication. Instead, they would recommend a prescription drug called Reglan. I took Reglan in the beginning of my breastfeeding dilemma, and I was constantly feeling tired as a result. If you have a history of depression, this drug is not for you. I strongly recommend this combination of Fenugreek and Mother Thistle tea. If you find any possible side effects you should consult your doctor.

2. Pump right after each feeding
Fenugreek and Mother Thistle itself would not do any good unless you pump. Obviously when you pump right after you nurse you won't get a lot. If I can remember correctly, I think I only got about a half ounce both breasts for each pump, but it's enough to feed my baby one feeding at night. Let your husband feed your baby and use this time as much as you can to rest. Get one of those electric double pump to save time and energy. Madela Pump in Style is the best product and I could not imagine my life without it. Another reason to pump is if you are a working mother, you need to start preparing your milk stash approximately 6 weeks before you start working again. Also, by allowing your baby to drink from bottle at least once a day, your baby will start to get used to drinking from bottle and will not be too shock once you return to work.

3. Don't let yourself stressed out and exhausted
Your stress level and exhaustion do affect your milk supply. One time I was so stress out because the minute I put my baby down to his crib, he started crying. He was constantly wanting to latch on me and I really hit rock bottom at that moment. Finally I told my husband to take my baby from me and gave him formula (I was still working on increasing my milk supply and didn't have enough in the bottle). Formula is more difficult to digest than breast milk; it tends to sit in babies tummy a little longer than breast milk. Therefore, by giving him formula he will sleep a little longer and I could use some rest that I was so dying to get.

4. Watch your baby cue
How much is too much? How many ounce of milk should I be giving my baby? In my opinion, your baby's cue should tell you how much he or she needs. There is an article from that says baby needs about 25 oz/day within the age of 1 to 6 months. Therefore, if baby still eats 8 times/day, that means you need to have about 3 oz per feeding (25 oz/8 times). I'm telling you, different baby takes different amount of milk. My baby took 6 oz of breast milk by the time he was 5 months old, but the amount kept steady until he was about 7 months old. I'm telling you, don't starve your baby just because you read an article about how much your baby should eat. If he's still hungry, give him more milk.... it's that simple! I know it's hard for some people when it seems like your baby eats more than what you can produce. Use formula if you need to. One feeding of formula is not going to kill your baby.

5. If all else fails
If you tried everything and nothing works, don't let yourself down. There is so much more in parenting than just breastfeeding, so enjoy your moments as a parent and make the best out of it.

*These tips are based on my personal experience. You should contact your doctor or lactation consultant for any medical concern.

The Mommy Diary | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL