Category Archives: WOMEN CORNER

Posts about women!

The Waiting Game

On October 2011, I was in the middle of a big decision. Perhaps one of the biggest decision I ever made in my entire life, and it involved a great deal of waiting.

I’ve made other big decisions before,

Graduated from college and got my first job on August 2005, got married on January 2007, got accepted and joined another company on August 2007, received positive pregnancy on August 2008, and decide to deliver Bintang by C-Section.. and the latest, received my home-loan/mortgage approval on November 2011, and officially moved to our (so-called) OWN home.. on January 2012.

November 2011, prior to receiving my mortgage approval, my life was like hell. I couldn’t enjoy eating, sleeping, and all I can think about was “that” house and how much I want to stay there IMMEDIATELY.

I got excited to almost every telephone call, and got mad when it came from someone else and not the bank PIC, I got up earlier in the morning, and was anxious the whole entire day, …

and now I am in that same situation, all over again.

Two weeks ago, I got called for a job interview. I love the job description, and the challenges that I shall face, the amount of new learning experiences and opportunities that I will get.

Everything went smoothly, and last week, I received their offer by telephone with a salary which was a little bit lower than what I expected. My immediate reply was to ask for increase and a moment to think about their offer.

Several days later, I called them and requested to check their employment contract. I’ve seen it, felt OK with it, I even agreed to the salary they offered, but then the Branch Manager replied,

“Actually, our country manager is still very busy and I haven’t been able to reach him by phone and e-mail. He’s the one who is in charge to prepare your contract, and we both have to wait for his decision. I will deal with this matter next week, and give you a call once it’s all clear.

I felt like jumping into a very deep well, and said to myself “there’s still a possibility that I fail this, this is very hard to handle.”

And today is Monday, the beginning of a new week.

I can only pray that the country manager have decided to pick me, prepare my contract, and invite me to come and sign the contract. My prayer is so focused, and this has filled my head so much, since Friday.

Help me God.. To accept whatever it is You have planned for me!

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God Help Teh Ninih!

I know everybody is talking about this hot gossip, so making a blog about the Preacher of A Million People will not be special, but I can’t help wondering what the hell happened on Teh Ninih’s mind!???

Here’s what happened.

1987: Aa’ Gym marries Teh Ninih. They have 7 children, and slowly but sure, Aa’ Gym’s career skyrocketed with enormous job offers from all over Indonesia. He is also known as the owner of Islamic School of Daarut Tauhid in West Java, and became extremely famous as The Preacher of A Million People (dai sejuta umat).

November 2006: After almost 20 years of marriage and 7 kids, Aa’ Gym marries second wife Alfarini (Teh Rini). Being a polygamist, his career began to fell down but it doesn’t stop the couple from continue creating a happy family, and gave birth to a baby on November 2008.

June 2011: Aa’ Gym divorced Teh Ninih, due to different preaching style. Rumors said it was also heavily influenced by Aa’s decision to marry second wife Teh Rini.

March 2012: Aa’ Gym (re)marries Teh Ninih, and said that everything has been arranged by God. That it was all a matter of destiny, and it should be good for religion and for all mankind.

According to Teh Rini, she will not stay together with Teh Ninih because they never stay together anyway. Teh Rini stays in Jakarta, while Teh Ninih stays in Bandung. She said “Everything shall return to previous arrangements. Aa’ will stay in Jakarta with me, from Monday to Wednesday, and then goes to Bandung to be with Teh Ninih until the next Monday morning. Let’s pray that this will be good for everyone.”

Here’s what I think..

Aa’ Gym might have said a lot of wisdom to all his followers during his lectures. But a man’s character is based on his actions, not just words. Especially when his words are contrary to the fact that he treats his wife like sh*t. First, you told her you want to marry another woman. Even when she gave you her approval, you still filed for divorce and leave her with your 7 (seven, yes he have seven for God sake!!!) children alone.

Now you finally see that she’s the best thing that ever happened to you and you simply go to her house, asked her to marry you again, and then went to the KUA and mention your ijab kabul.

Not only you’re being a complete hypocrite, you hide yourself behind your religious covers, saying that God is the One who arranged this, and that everything is simply a matter of destiny.

It’s not destiny, you idiot hypocrite! It’s the wisdom of a woman name Teh Ninih who have a very big heart and endless patience to deal with man like you!

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Playschool Trial No. 1: Sanggar Kreativitas Bona

I know.. I know.. All of you might think, “What the hell is wrong with this mom? First she said she won’t go, now she can’t get enough of trying out all different kinds of playschool ?”

Fine, I apologize.

Now can we all move on?

😀

Yesterday, I finally accept the invitation from Sanggar Kreativitas Bona (Bona Playschool, or I will say SKB to make it shorter) to attend their free-trial class with my son Bintang. I’ve been avoiding their text messages for more than a month, but after I read the article about how the preschool kids spent their time everyday in Finland, I change my mind.

I’m a working mother who left her son everyday, from 8 AM to 5 PM, from Monday to Friday, which is why my son spends most of this time at home, ALONE with our nanny, and eventually (after having too much) got bored with the TV. I was always in such dilemma thinking whether playschool is going to be good for him, or whether he’s not ready to socialize with other kids or adult (the class assistant). But based on yesterday’s trial, I was completely wrong.

I’m writing this blog to keep in mind that there are important things to consider when choosing the right playschool for your kids, and to keep a record on my son’s first days at school.

So here it goes!

SKB playschool is different from other similar institutions because they’re focusing on only three areas of a child development: (1) Gross motor skills, (2) soft motor skills, and (3) mental/emotional well-being. Their slogan is “promoting creativity and children independence” and they only have classes for kids from 2 to 5 year old. They are operating under the close observations of Kompas-Gramedia group (a reputable printing company in Indonesia), and they held annual exhibitions on which the kids from SKB got the chance to perform their abilities in dancing, singing, playing drama/acting, or to show their creations (art & craft), and so on.

Here’s what happened during the two-hours class for 2-3 year old children.

(1) At 10.00 AM, all kids entered the class, they pray together in a universal (not-religious specific) way, and then the teacher begin to deliver today’s material by telling a story. Yesterday’s story was about day and night. This session was performed for + 30-45 minutes.

(2) Art & craft time. Because the theme was about day and night, all children was given a blank paper, some square papers, some stars, and a circle (as a moon), and was told to create a house at night, using a glue. Complete with stars, a moon, and other papers, all must be glued to the paper. This was performed for around 30-45 minutes as well. My son enjoyed this session very much, because he loves playing with papers and glue.

(3) Meal time. After playing with glue, all kids must wash their hands. Then the kids were given around 30 minutes to eat their snack and drink. After meal time, all kids were told to clean their table and throw any trash to the garbage can. Then wash their hands again.

(4) Coloring activities. Kids who already finished their meal, can start coloring various animals, shapes, and other characters. Also around 30 minutes. If, at home, my son usually refused to do this, it was totally the opposite yesterday. He took a crayon and colored the elephant nicely, and ask the teacher to check out the result over and over again!

(5) Free time! At around 11.30, all kids can grab any toys they want, and play alone or together with other kids, while the teacher write about the kids’ progress and activities in their daily-report book. My son, beyond my expectation, played together with other kids! He even have the courage to ask the teacher to give him some balls.

(6) Praying. Everyone sit at their chair, singing and saying thank you God, for today’s lesson and we are going home now. The class is dismissed at exactly 12 AM. My son repeated this song again and again at home.

From the whole session, I found some interesting facts and guidelines about what kind of playschool is appropriate for my son. The arrangement of one session to another was okay, but perhaps kids doesn’t need to listen to the teacher’s story about day and night. Perhaps this should be replaced with watching a video or something else more attractive to increase children’s interest.

Second, there were only one teacher for 7 kids. So while she was telling a story about night and day, at the same time she was also screaming calling out names of other kids who are running around the classroom. I feel bad for other kids who already seriously listened to her, and got distracted by that. There should be one more class assistant to handle those highly-active kids.

I think that’s about it. I am still feeling a bit euphoric because my son’s reaction was far better than I assumed. Although, during the whole class activities he didn’t allow me to leave the classroom! Which is, as I have expected. But he was communicating, interacting and socializing with the teacher and other kids whom he just knew for a few minutes, and I am so happy for that!

I’m still taking some trials elsewhere, and hopefully can obtain more experience to talk about here. Let’s just wait and see!

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I Was Wrong About Early Education

Okay, so first of all I have to admit that until yesterday, me and my husband was planning to postpone this preschool thing until Bintang is 4 years old next year. We thought, instead of paying some amount of money NOW, for activities which only lasts for 1 year, why not keep the money and use it to add our primary school fund later. And second, I personally believe that my son is just not yet ready for a regular activity in a classroom, with tutors, and friends..

But I guess, you can all call me a hypocrite for changing my mind, or.. well, simply realize that as a parent, changing our minds is very normal when it comes to deciding what’s best for our kids.

😀

So after thinking too much about it, I finally decided to take my son yesterday, to Sanggar Kreativitas Bona (Bona Creativity Class) and experienced a marvelous two-hour class of fun, friendship and now I can’t erase them from my mind! I was also heavily influenced by how the 3 year-old kids in Finland spent their time everyday, and was being fascinated by the Finnish education system, so badly, that I plan to give my son the same opportunity, even though it’s not going to be free here.

There are also other reasons such as this book by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, especially on the chapter titled “Searching for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten” and the introduction of Tools of The Mind Program which can develop children imagination as well as teaching them on how to self-regulate themselves through better managing their executive functions.

Perhaps I’ve read to much, and was pretty curious on how my son would react to playschool activities. What ever it was, yesterday’s experience kinda blow me away. To my surprise, my son turned out to be very communicative to the teachers, and he did everything the teacher told him to do. He played with other kids, talked to other kids, asked (a lot) of questions to the teacher, and when the class is over, he refused to leave!

I am sinful for underestimating my own child’s capability. The fear that my son will be quiet and scared during the two-hours of classroom activities.. It didn’t happen!

And I admit that I was wrong about neglecting the importance of early education, at some part. I will tell you more about this playschool that my son tried yesterday on separate blog.

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A Knock On The Door

Back in 2004, I was a college girl, with a busy schedule between playing with several independent rock bands, working in a computer store and completing my final university assignments. He, on the other hand, was a 30 year-old guy who spent most of his days playing computer games with his friends, and had a great time enjoying unemployment.

We were busy with our own lives, until that bright day, when I took one of my friend to this cafe where me and my band love to hang out. To my surprise, she suddenly said, “Wait a minute.. I know this place!” ..which I replied, “Of course you do, didn’t I told you about this cafe for so many times but you always refused to come?”

“Not that cafe, but that house next to it. My boyfriend once took me there to meet his friend. There’s a guy there, his name is Egi. We spent an entire day there, playing computer games and watched movies!”

So there I was, in front of an old house and waving to my friends at the cafe, telling them to wait for a moment. We stood in front of his door, and my friend began to knock. He was sleeping, but then had to wake up because of my friend won’t stop knocking. And finally, there he was, opening the door with a face full of curiosity.. “Yes?” he said.. and my friend easily replied, “Hey! Remember me?”

And so begin the awkward moments. He finally let us in (he remembered who my friend was), but I didn’t stay for long because I have friends waiting at the cafe. My first impression of him was, “Damn, something about him looks similar to Johnny Depp, and yet he just woke up from an afternoon nap..”

yup, he wasn't like this, except for the hair, i think.. (Google Images)

Yummy.” I said to myself.

And ever since that day, it was one excuses after another. I have to see him again, but I must find a good reason!

The first thing I did in the morning was always sending text message to my girl friend, asking her to take me to that house again, “Don’t you want to play those computer games at his place?” or preparing other silly, stupid excuses such as, “There’s something wrong with my computer’s hard disk, I need him to fix it and you must take me there!!”

Which, of course, I believe he knew there’s nothing wrong with the disk. If there was anything wrong at all, it was my heart who was beating heavily everyday being around him, and how I can’t get him off my mind. I still don’t know whether he felt the same way about me when we first met, until one day I stopped at his place after attending one of my friends’ wedding party. I wore this pretty dress, and my friend forced me to put some make-up on my face. I had to look prettier than usual, then he began to made his moves.

I can’t really remember what happened next, the details, and how our relationship started, all I know a year later I was at his mom’s house, surrounded by his family and everyone was busy starring at me. “What’s your problem, people??” I thought to myself.

Then he said, “I was told,by my family, to marry you in January 2006, which is 4 months from now. What do you think? Can we make it in such limited time?”

And well, we did, sort of make it, anyway, despite the fact that he was unemployed when we got married. But then he got a job, and our marriage have survived until this very day. On May 2009, we have another member in the family, a baby boy, named “Bintang” (meaning bright star), a male version of myself with some of my husband’s character inside.

Taken during our vacation, October 2011

Our marriage may not be perfect, but I have a husband who thinks I’m the perfect woman, wife, and mom, despite my laziness to clean the house, to exercise, and to wear make ups. And for that, I’m so glad that me and my friend have the courage to knock on his door and woke him up from his afternoon nap, 8 years ago.

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(Wrote this blog as requested by friend blogger Ms Susan Amestoy, supporting her for “So… How Did You Meet Anyway?” a collection of stories from couples around the world.)

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Present Comfort, and Sacrifice

I’m an easily-bored kind of person who always seeks for new opportunities in almost anything, and right now I am thinking to get a new job. I’ve been surfing through the internet to check out some new job offers and have submitted my applications as well.

So far, I have caught the eyes of 2 (two) big companies, which I already had an interview with but still haven’t been called for further tests or more discussions. One is a second biggest tobacco company in Indonesia, and the other one is a Switzerland-based power generation company.

I should be grateful ? (Google Images)

Like any other jobs, all of them have positive as well as negative sides. Compared to the condition in my current company, I surely will be more busy, will have to wake up earlier in the morning, and possibly arrive more late in the evening. In short, I probably gonna spend LESS time with my son..

😦

But on the other hand, I will have a better salary to pay everything in my monthly expenses, including his school fees and hence (in the long run), provide a better future with better opportunities for him.

🙂

So in the end, sometimes.. as a parent, or as a regular human being, there will be times when we have to sacrifice our comfortable present, in order to pursue a better future, for ourselves, or for our children..

If life is the distance between what we have right now and what we hope for in the future, then how is the best way to take the path towards the future?

How much do we have to sacrifice to make the journey meaningful for us, for our family?

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School for My 3 Year-Old?

Lately I’ve been very confused in determining whether or not to send my 2,9 year-old son to a preschool. As a mother who is totally hooked with the internet, I often do some research before making any parenting decisions. Sometimes, I find my answers, but sometimes I became even more confused.

What I need to explain first, is that every child is different, and just because I decide something that is not like most parents/mommies, it doesn’t mean I disrespect other opinions.

After giving some thoughts, and having searched the web for different alternatives, plus those enormous discussions I had with my husband, we have decided that my son will not be going to school this year.

Here’s why:

1. The cost, to send our son, to this Elementary School of our current choice  (which shall be paid 3 years from now) is way above our financial capability.

However, we strongly believe that this is the place where my son can “unleash” his full skills and abilities under its flexible curriculum. The school is also located very near to our house, and it focused on the application of theories in the real world. Therefore, we will do whatever is possible, we will work hard, save our money the best way we can. And by saving money, it means we will also save the money we have prepared for play group fees. 

If he goes to school NOW, we will lose some amount of money which we can SAVE for his elementary school fees.

2. My idea that regular schedule at play groups can increase his self-confidence and social skills is NOT a hundred-percent correct.

My son hates crowd. Especially a bunch of kids and adults staring at him, telling him to do stuffs, or are playing with his toys. I see this respond again last week when we have a party at our house, and my son did nothing but observing others. He also need some time to ‘warm up’ his engine before being able to relate to others, before he can talk friendly to others the way he never stop talking so much to his family.

There are other reasons, such as to give him better options besides TV, to increase the possibility of introducing him to letters, alphabets, art & craft activities, music, paintings, art and other educational stuffs.

However apparently, this great article have given me some thoughts about the mistakes most parents did when it comes to sending their kids to school. It was the idea of, “is my child ready for school?” instead of asking, “is the school ready to accept my child?”

We don’t expect our kids to be friendly to others by sending him to school, we must prepare them to be friendly. As mentioned on the article,

Indicators of “readiness” include possessing a level of composure and the ability to cope when things go wrong, being able to speak clearly and engage with adults so that they can say when they need help, understanding the importance of being able to share and play nicely with other children, and the beginnings of some responsibility so that they can look after their belongings.

Consider not just the importance of an emotional readiness for school and the confidence to make friends, but how well developed a child’s fine motor skills are. Can your child hold a pencil correctly? Draw simple shapes? Write their name? Dress themselves? Use a pair of scissors? Hop, skip and jump and tie their shoelaces?

And I very much agree with one of the comments in the article, that parents tend to force their children to school, which will put the burden to the teachers, instead of teaching their kids by themselves first, to give experiences which they need.

The biggest problem today is that parents are not being expected to ready their children for school and life in general. Teachers are having to spend a great deal of their time teaching children basic skills that should have been taught at home.

Bottom line, I plan to give more experiences child to my son before he starts school, that way he will have better abilities to cope with problems that will arise at school, such as sharing, independence, concentrating, and asking for help. I don’t need play group classes on which its fees will decrease the saving for my son’s elementary school, I can teach him myself.

Here’s what I’m going to do with my son for this year, now that he’s not going to any school yet..

1. Teach him on how to eat, drink, brush teeth, bathe, wear clothes, pants and shoes, by himself.

2. Teach him on how to draw shapes and associate each shape with everyday stuffs. (Or just follow some samples of children activities in this website).

3. Introduction to letters and numbers (will buy posters of letters, numbers and tracing books if necessary).

4. How to sort, match, compare, and perhaps.. count?

5. How to take turns, share toys, and get involved with other kids, maybe I will send him to this robotic course where he can play with these fantastic educational legos and listen to his tutor.

6. Will take him to the swimming pool, playground, animal museum, zoo and parks, more frequently.

Anyway, this is just my personal decision and thoughts, I still respect other parents who choose to send their kids to school as early as 3 years, and wish them and their kids the best.

I just need to save more money and help my son to be more independent, self-confidence and ready to start (and actually enjoy staying at) school. And when he does, I will NOT neglect my parenting responsibility to educate him, and leave it to his school teachers, I will still do everything I can to dig out his true talent, skills, and abilities, and support them the best way I can.

Because in the end, as written by Ms Tiffany Cooper here, children spend less than 20 percent of their waking hours in school, so we can’t expect schools to teach children everything they need to know. It is a shared responsibility between school and parents to create learning environments and opportunities within our homes, to support kids’ curiosity and critical thinking capabilities.

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