Alia is my very best friend who really closes to my heart. She knows the very deep side of me, my secret and my wildest personality. We witness each other transformation in life, including the motherhood stage. And I choose her to be my first mom to be interviewed, because I know she always true to herself. And also because she is so special and I believe her thought on motherhood also special too.
Alia is a freelance writing, i’m her biggest fan! she lives in South Jakarta with her husband Mono, and her lovely daughter Agni (18 mo)
How has becoming a mother changed you?
At first I thought a lot. Tapi setelah dipikir2, sepertinya yang banyak berubah cuma rutinitas dan kebiasaan gue aja. Seperti para ibu pada umumnya, I put my baby’s needs above everything else, including my own needs. Perubahan di diri gue mungkin ketika berhasil ‘berdamai’ dengan kondisi bahwa faktanya, sekarang hidup gue bukan tentang gue lagi. Before I had my baby, I was a very content person. I was very good at managing myself, my needs, my comfort, my happiness. After Agni came, everything changed drastically. Walaupun sebelum melahirkan gue udah banyak baca tentang motherhood, and I kinda knew what to expect, I was still overwhelmed by the experience. Tapi lalu dijalani aja, one by one, focus on the present moment, dan lama2 yg awalnya terasa berat jadi biasa.
Some people say a woman loses her identity once she becomes a full-time mom, because all she does and thinks is taking care of her child, her husband, the house, and then — when there is still time left — herself. I can’t say I disagree with this. It’s impossible to think about yourself when there are a lot of things to be done. But hey, life is not always about having the comfort that we desire. So, I just see the situation as a path that I have to go through in order to raise my kid and build my family in the best possible ways.
What is your parenting philosophy?
Always remember that every decision that we make for our child, is solemnly in the best interest of the child and not for any other reason. Untuk hal sederhana maupun yang besar. Misalnya gini, anak gue kan sekarang lagi dalam fase eksplorasi, jadi dia suka bongkar-bongkar (lemari baju, alat masak, buku, dll). Naturally, I don’t want her to make a mess because I don’t like it when everything is disorganized. Tapi gue sadar juga bahwa fase ini penting buat tumbuh kembangnya jadi akhirnya gue biarin dia bongkar2 apa pun selama itu gak bahaya, walaupun dalam sehari gue harus bolak-balik ngerapiin semuanya.
What values do you want your kids to have until she grows up? And, how do you foster those values?
I hope my daughter will grow up to be a brave person and believes that nothing is impossible in this world. That the sky is the limit. That there is always options and that we are in control in making our own destiny. Kalo sekarang sih belum ngajarin apa-apa ke agni, karena dia kan masih kecil. Di bayangan gue, nanti gue akan memfasilitasi anak gue dengan banyak pilihan dan membiarkan dia milih mana yg dia suka.
Are you a spontaneous or structured mom? How does this affect your daughter’s personality?
Definitely structured, hehe. In term of raising a baby, I think structure is important because I am trying to form her habit. Therefore, for me it is fundamental for my daughter to be doing the same routine every day at the same time. Semoga setelah itu kebentuk, mungkin pas dia masuk fase balita, gue bisa jadi lebih spontan dan lebih menyenangkan hehehe.. Efeknya ke anak gue… Ya harapan gue dia punya default format yang ke depannya bisa mempermudah hidup dia.
What is the biggest challenge of being a mom? Any tips for new mom?
After becoming a stay-at-home mom for almost 2 years, I think being a mom is all about management. Before having a daughter, I am a very well managed person. I could manage myself fine and mostly comfortable with my arrangements. After my baby was born, everything was so overwhelming. I started from scratch in terms of managing the baby, the house, my husband, and myself. There are many theories on how to make them work, and I’ve read many of them, but still it was more complicated in practice. Kind of frustrating at first because I like order. But I guess that’s the challenge. As the person in charge of everything at the house, a mom should be able to prioritize, to share enough time and energy for any dealings, to manage everything.
For new moms, the challenge is probably adapting to the new life in which her needs are usually at the bottom list of priority. Sounds sad? Haha… Tapi enggak kok, lama-lama akan terbiasa
What is your biggest fear of raising a child?
My biggest fear is if I won’t be able to provide her with many options so that she could have as many chances in exploring things. Every parent wants what’s best for their kids and I hope I will never get tired or give up in trying to deliver her the opportunities.
What is your survival mantra?
The little things matter. Being a full-time mom means doing mundane tasks every day, especially those concerning to the child’s needs. It’s challenging having to do the same routine every single day for years to come. One might get bored and fed-up. But I believe those ‘unimportant’ activities are just as important as the big decisions parents make so I never lose heart on them.
How do you squeeze your time for me time?
Right now, me-time for me is sitting down in quiet, having a cup of coffe while the baby is asleep, probably for about half an hour because there are always chores or jobs to do. Occasionally I go out and leave the baby with my husband, but usually I still think about her, I still make plans for her (what’s for her dinner, has she been fed yet, has her diaper changed, etc).
What is the most unforgettable memory so far?
Giving birth, hehe… That is probably the single time I’ve ever felt so much in pain, so strong, and extremely happy
What will be your advice to your child when someday she failed doing something?
That it’s ok to fail. When you fail, it just means that you are given another opportunity to re-do something in different way(s).
Tell me something unique about your daughter?
She is currently 18 month and what’s fascinating about her is that she’s so different from her father and I. She’s a very active little girl, cheerful, chatty, funny, super friendly with other people, and so so adorable. Sementara gue sama suami kan pendiam..
How do you deal with difficult time like tantrum?
Up until now, I don’t think my daughter ever throw a tantrum. It’s another thing that fascinates me. Kadang dia ‘bertingkah’ sih, tapi levelnya masih sangat wajar. Biasanya gue ajak omong, tanya kenapa dia begitu, maunya apa, terus dikasih tahu kalau punya keinginan bilang aja nggak usah pake rewel/maksa. Kalo dia masih rewel juga, gue alihkan ke kegiatan lain, dan biasanya berhasil sih, hehe..
Tell me one thing that you want your daughter to know about you.
Yang pasti I want her to know that I will love her no matter what choices she makes in the future. That she can always come to me for anything, that I accept her for what she is, that I will be her best best friend in the world, hehe..
Describe motherhood in 3 words.
Amazing, overwhelming, patience.
Any parenting paradigm that you want to break?
I have one kid who’s only 18 mo, so not much of experience there, hehe.. Gue banyak baca tentang ilmu parenting, yang konvensional maupun yang modern. Tapi kayaknya gue nggak menganut salah satu. ‘Prinsip’ parenting yg gue pegang cuma satu dan untungnya bisa berlaku di banyak situasi: CTFD alias calm the f**k down 😀 Apa pun situasi yg dihadapi, sebagai orang tua gue selalu berusaha untuk tetap tenang dan terkendali biar bisa berpikir jernih dan mengambil langkah atau keputusan yg tepat.