Tag Archives: motherhood

Kids & TV: You Name It, He Watched It!

I’m a TV addict. And I let my 2 year-old son “Bintang” to watch TV for almost 12 hours a day. From Barney & Friends, to Thomas The Tank Engine, Pingu, Ava-Riko-Teo, Mr. Maker, Boogie Beebies, Teletubbies, In The Night Garden, and everything else, you name it, he watched it. Since he was born, we live in a small house and put the TV in our bedroom. We were pretty much attached to it, so badly, that we -almost- always fell asleep every night with the TV still on.

..and the TV watches us sleeping..

But last January, my husband and I were finally able to buy our own house, and while moving in, we have made a tough decision to no longer put the television in our bedroom, and moved it to the living room instead. We made a deal that, if, we can’t survive with this condition, we will move the TV back to our bedroom. To make the transition even harder, we also began sleeping separately from Bintang, whose bedroom is right next to ours, with a connecting door, in case he needs to sneak-out at night.

It wasn’t a major change but I was terrified and thought, “this is not going to be easy..

It wasn’t easy indeed.

For me.

As for Bintang, he instantly fell in love with something else:

Books.

The first night I took Bintang to sleep on his own room, I was confused as hell. How the hell am I going to make him feel sleepy, since there is no TV around?

I guess, there’s always the first time for everything. Suddenly I find myself trying to imitate what other parents (and what all the articles about bedtime story say I must) do: read him a book.

And there he was.. Loving each and every moment of it. A lot!He laughed every time I imitate funny voices from the book’s character. He pointed his fingers to every interesting pictures available on the book, asking me what it was and why do the characters show certain facial expression. Is he sad? Is he mad? Why are they laughing, why is he crying?

I read to him, a story about how a little boy bravely go to the dentist. About a worm who just moved into a new neighborhood. About a tiger who doesn’t want to go to sleep and got lost in the woods.

I admit, I used to have second thoughts about TV and books. That watching too many TV is not harmful as long as I am there with him, and after all we are watching children-dedicated cartoons, but I never realize how powerful a regular “Bedtime Story” is, until I took him to playschool trial class last week. My son, who (I thought) is withdrawn and shy, was considered “highly communicative” by the school tutors.

He also mastered extensive amount of vocabularies which makes his language ability higher than other kids at the same age.

I guess all the funny voices and the so called “grown-up-alike” conversations I have with him prove to have some results.

😀

But this doesn’t mean that we hate our TV now, on the contrary, we love it even more (especially The Big Bang Theory, my personal favorite, among others), -although- we do try to limit the time we’re being attached to it. And replace it with doing something else instead. Reading books, playing bicycle outside, making a mess in the living room with play-dough and crayons, water-color, and scissor practices, are just some cheap (and yet so much fun) alternatives that we enjoy so far!

After two weeks of sneaking out to our bedroom in the middle of the night, my 2.8 year old Bintang is now finally sleeping on his own bedroom until morning! But hey, he also decides that he will not go to sleep until I tell him stories from -at least- 3 or 4 books.

So I read to him. In between yawning, and my funny voices..

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Picture credits : Digital Journey

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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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Extraordinary

We all know the universal law of parenting, that says: “how we raise our kids will have a tremendous effect on the kind of adults they grow up to be.” But parenting is not an easy task, although it’s neither rocket science, all you need is 90% love and 10% patience.

Last night, I watched this amazing show “Extraordinary People” on BBC Knowledge. It’s about kids, parents, teenagers, who lived with physical disabilities, but were blessed with an extraordinary will, to fight, even stronger than normal people. As I watched the show, I felt such a great humiliation towards myself. Because I, as a normal person, haven’t been grateful for the life I have, and for not having enough patience (sometimes) when dealing my normal son. I watched those moms with disabled children, and they all looked very beautiful, not because of the make-up or cosmetics, but because of their beautiful heart.

For me, as a normal person, who have a normal kids, I sometimes fell into the hole of mompetition where everyone is bragging about their kids’ superior ability and insult other moms’ parenting decisions which are different than most of us. I regret it so much, and now I am certain that there’s nothing more waste-of-time than taking part in that stupid game.

Good parents struggle to prepare their kids for a tough, competitive world, instead of prematurely telling them (and telling everyone else), “You’re all winners.” ~ Bryan Caplan

One thing I learned from the show, is that all those kids are very lucky. They may have physical or mental disabilities, and may have an uncertain future ahead of them, but they have such a loving and supportive parents. They are very blessed for being surrounded by brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandparents, uncles or aunties who can love them the way they are. Not all kids can enjoy those privileges, especially normal kids whose parents are highly ambitious, perfectionists and never praise or consider their children have done well and deserve an unconditional love.

If parents with disabled kids can give their children so much unconditional love and patience, then it should be a shame for us, parents with normal kids, to not being able to do the same. Let’s love our children the way they are.

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Autonomy

As I entered motherhood, I never realize that “envious, insecure, dictating mommies” are pretty damn annoying. They’re all over you and they give negative comments about your parenting style.

They have all these questions, such as.. Why are you still working? How can you trust your baby to a nanny? Why aren’t you breastfeeding? Why are you using formula brand A, instead of B, I heard that C is the best but it’s also the most expensive. Why are you giving your baby MMR vaccine, it can cause autism. Why aren’t you exercising to make your body return to its normal shape? Why didn’t you enroll your child to a baby class, it’s good for his socialization skills? Why isn’t your baby walking? Why isn’t your baby talking? Why is your baby always crying?

How can you let your child watch TV? Why aren’t you reading him books and buy him educational toys? Why do you take your baby to the mall, instead take him to the zoo, the parks!

I’m a mother to a 2,5 year-old toddler son who talks, sing, and dance together with her child everyday, in-front-of-the-TV. We read books together but only if my son wants to. We go to the mall, almost every weekend and we have visited the zoo perhaps once or twice. I’m a working mom, who left her son at home with our nanny, 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. But I don’t hate stay-at-home moms, nor praise them whatsoever, UNLESS they are insulting other moms who choose to work. My 2,5 year-old toddler son is not going (and never been enrolled) to any school and I still haven’t decide whether he’s going to join a preschool or take music and art courses instead, later, when he’s 3. Or 4, I have no idea, I will have to ask him first.

I don’t have a clear idea of what my parenting skill is, all I know is that everytime I come home at the afternoon, my son told my everything he did with our nanny that day, and he eagerly showed me the new things he had learn. Then we play, and play, and play, and talk, and sing, and sleep, together. He’s a happy child and it’s easier for me to teach him about new things, now that we can have a mom-and-son conversation regularly.

It is also the same case with people at the social network and technology scene. First, we have Friendster, then we move to Facebook, and then Twitter, and we create a Google+ account, and forgetting it, and returned to Twitter. Why is it that people who find themselves enjoying Twitter or G+ ended up insulting Facebook? And what the hell is up with people hating the BlackBerry? If you’re enjoying your iPhone or Android phones/gadgets, why can’t you just enjoy yourself and shut up? Why do you have to insult the innocent BlackBerry (and its users)? Do you think that it will make you look cool?

Talking about living in the land of hate. And they call themselves as the people who are supporting diversity. But at the same time they are giving examples to their children about how to hate other people who choose something else different.

There are things in life that we don’t like, but does it mean we have to insult other people’s choices? We are all the same, we’re all human beings trying to make our dreams come true. And we are reaching towards that dream according to what we think will be good for us, which is -obviously- isn’t always the same compared to others. That’s why we have what I called “autonomy.” The freedom to choose whatever works best for us.

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