Monday, May 26, 2008

MotherhOOD III

Today is my first day at the office after two months of playing mother. Back to life, back to reality.

I was on the verge of tears at the nursery this morning, looking at my little ultraman dyna, so little yet I have to send her to ‘school’! But she looked at me, smiled and said ‘aukkkk’ like she was reassuring me that she would be okay. Why ‘aukk’ don’t ask me, maybe she’s sarawakian, and was just saying ‘yes’ in Sarawakian language? Yes? Auk? Aukkk.

A lot has been said, many books have been written about motherhood. Why is it still an art not science? Why is there no fixed formula yet? We have sent a man to the moon but we still cant figure out a fool-proof module on how to raise children? Is there no blue-ocean strategists out there who could see the vast potential of this untapped field?

My mother was always telling me, ‘esok hang jadi mak hang faham lah’ or something like that. When Dot was born, I thought I finally could understand my mom. I was wrong, because understanding what the word means is not a milestone, not an event to be marked as ‘done’. At least I don’t think so. I trust that understanding ‘motherhood’ is a gradual process. Just as I thought I can write a book on ’10 Easy Steps How to Mother Them Kids’ something will happen to sober me up and realise that I barely qualify to write the first page of the book. Just when I thought of nominating myself as the Chairman of THE PIBG (Persatuan Ibu Bapa Guru, in case you have forgotten), my kids would show me that really, I don’t qualify at all!

During the two months at home, there were many days when me and the kids would all be at home. Oh, how we would be struck silly with cabin fever! The house would be a mess, something would be burning in the kitchen, Dot would be sobbing into her pillow saying dramatic things like, ‘I love you, why wont you love me’ at me for asking her to clean up her room, and Sun would be fidgeting on his feet because he needed to go to the loo on a super duper extremely urgent basis while little Dyna would be crying till her face turned blue. It all added up to my cabin fever so much so that I would be terribly pissed at Yamtuan for coming home late.. errr, at 6pm!

I am a lousy mother, terrible housekeeper, inconsiderate wife. You think maybe because I have a job? At the office, I am in control of things. So when I am home and kids being kids, they are not something that I can plan for in a neat organiser, I get terribly stressed out when the day goes predictably unpredictable. Now, I just made myself sound like a control freak! I am not, really, just a little bit may be, a really tiny bit.

If you ask me how I remember my mother, it would be her sense of humor and effectiveness. She had time to tell us stories, made dough for us to play with (we couldn’t afford to buy the play-clay), made creative handicrafts and played with us. She was fun. There was a lot of laughter in the house. As a kid, I thought my mom was the coolest. The house was always neat and clean, we had five meals a day too! My mom had time to help us with our homework. On a regular basis she would take us to the state library. To us, Emak was an angel who took human form! She taught me to read, write and count (3M), she taught me English, she introduced me to Shahespeare even. All this introduction to language and literature, even when she was almost an illiterate!

Ask my kids what kind of mom I am and they probably would sum it all up in just three words – cranky like hell.

My kids can recite simple surahs and doas. Sun can spell 'AYAM', 'CAWAN' and 'API'. Dot can do the 3M and she knows the ritual of a solat. Who taught them? Not me. Their teachers. I dont think i have taught my kids anything worth much. I told them bedtime stories, but rather impatiently. I baked cakes with Dot but not without losing my temper! Dot asked me to take her to that place 'where there are rows and rows of story books', but i havent found the time yet! See? Unlike my mother, i AM literate. Sigh... i am not good at this!

I read with envy how easy the likes of Mak Andeh, Kak Teh, DITH, Ely, Dena, Nazrah etc make being a mom sound!

I remember one line from Desperate Housewives, said by cant-remember her name (blonde, has 4 boys). She said, don’t ever let other women take care of your kids because then your kids will realise that there are other women out there who could be better mothers than you. Wayyyyyy better.

Hope my kids will never discover blogs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Motherhood is not without its guilt lah. And what u are going through is very very common and I have it too (being a working mom and all that). At times I do not think myself much as a mom or any all that either but that is life, We lead it the best way we can.

You do as much as u can for your children, and no matter how much someone or other ppl do for them, u are still their mom and NO ONE can replace u.

Try not to feel as much guilt as that may affect your day at the end of it. Just ingat, a happy mom is a good mom. explain to kids that u may have OFF days too. ehhehe


2:13 AM  
Blogger AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

My dearest Odd,

Bunyinya macam orang yang keciwa...don't be so depressed.Auntie pun jaman membela anak masa depa kecik selalu rasa fact sampai sekarang pun kalau tak dapat nak masak sedap-sedap untuk anak-anak teruna Auntie...tetap rasa bersalah.

Itu lah semangat keibuan kita...:-)

1:26 AM  
Blogger tajudin said...

heran kan?

mak mak kita dulu boleh bela 10 orang anak, cuti bersalin tak de, rehat lebih kurang, terus kerja..

he he

7:25 AM  
Blogger dith said...

Oody Dear,

Surely, you're being hard on yourself! Perhaps you're having the postpartum blues,a mild one, :p.

I was hard on my kids when they were young. I was impatient and when my anger overpowered me, I tend to be physical too! Guess, I was worse than you!

Ask my kids and they'll tell you how I made them read books, standing in the kitchen whilst I do the cooking! How I yelled at them when they were not fast enough doing mental arithmetics and spelling! I was mean! :p

SO I am not proud of myself really or to call myself a good mother, Ood. But alhamdulillah my kids turn out fine and I hope they'll forgive me for being a tough mom!!

4:57 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

you bet i AM guilt-ridden! Plus i hate it when the ummi(s) from nursery tell me wonderful things about my kids that makes me wonder whether she got my kids mixed up with other kids! Haha..

More often than not, i feel like a part-time mother!

But thanks for the pep talk. Will tell my kids that this mother of theirs is learning on the job - extended probation.


kadang2 rindu anak2 masa diorang masih kecik. Penat fizikal je, taklah emotionally-fatigued like right now! Auntieyan, my mom never warned me that motherhood would be so trying!! I must have been her madu-racun too! Kalau mak ada lagi, saya sembah kaki dia, auntiyan, mohon izin nak cium bau syurga..

Tan Sri,
i knowwwww!!! Nampak mak steady je dulu! Ada masa untuk kami, maintain cun untuk abah, rumah terurus, kami terdidik... Tapi kan Kudin, sebelum mak meninggal, ada one occassion tu, dia minta maaf dengan kami anak2 kalau dia gagal sebagai ibu, kalau dia tak cukup baik untuk kami! So, i guess, even mak felt guilty and inadequate - even when we, as her children, thought she was the bestest ever.

i hit my kids too. And one day i heard Sun and Dot discussed siapa lagi hebat, me or their father based on how severe the beatings we dished. They both voted me! They didnt know i was eavesdropping. I was so ashamed of myself!

i only hope that they know, despite me not being a fun-mom, i do love them enormously and my intention has always been the best.

your kids are wonderful DITH, all firmly rooted to the ground, and they all worship you! Very well brought-up.

6:20 PM  
Blogger MA & Brood said...

Ood, motherhood is like any other jobs - ada renumerationnya and there are frustrations too.

I have guilts - plenty of them! But I make amends by telling my kids that, before they came - I was never a mother, so I am on the job-training now, all trial and error.

They are first time kids, and I am a first time mother - so our lives are one big experimental field. So no one should have too high an expectation of one another - BUT!
we try our best to make our lives as happy and manageable as possible.

Chill girl, you are doing just fine.

5:58 PM  
Blogger shidah said...

"She said, don’t ever let other women take care of your kids because then your kids will realise that there are other women out there who could be better mothers than you. Wayyyyyy better"

positively, they'll realize that they have the coolest mum!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Nazrah said...

ack! sapa kata jadik mak senang?????

i don't care if Aishah says that I am not the greatest mom in the world when she can't get her way, at least she said i am soft and comfy.

i'd take that.

mana2 mak pun ada cabaran tersendiri. terkena juga buku dengan ruas.

1:53 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

thanks ma. i am the best mom only when my kids are all asleep, then i wont be yelling at them so much, :o(
but like you said, i do try my best to be the best mom for them. They may think my 'best' is awful, but, i try.

there was a time in my life when i said, i would never want to be a mom like my mom. Now i wish i can be half as good as her, hehe... padan muka.
cool? cucumber cool!

soft and comfy - good too! Maybe i will ask my kids later today, what kind of mom they really think me.
i know Dot thinks i am 'besar'. Masa fitting for bra at Parkson the other day, she exclaimed, BESARNYA ami... and i kembangkempis tot she was referring to my assets.. turned out it was my stomach she was refering to. Cheh!

7:11 PM  

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