Posted in Motherhood

It’s March?!

What on Earth have I been doing?

Things have been so crazy that I don’t know where the January and February went. I thought it was just 2016 and now it’s March. MARCH.

My eldest is in school and my second is starting preschool. My youngest is driving me up the wall and on top of that, I’m having toothache every other day (mental note: Freaking go see a dentist).

I couldn’t even find the time to write and each time I sit in front of my computer, all I can think about is sleep. I’ve been getting only 3-4 hours of sleep each day that I’m pretty sure I’m up for a role of a zombie on Walking Dead any time soon. I thought I could get more sleep on weekends, but who knew that the kids would still wake up early on Saturdays as well?

God, I need to stop rambling.

I’ll write again when I’m me and when I think I can make more sense. ASDFGH@#$%^&*.

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Posted in Parenting

Is Santa Real?

The kids have been watching Christmas movies for several days now and we’ve been talking about Christmas for quite a bit.

Sophea: Mommy, why our house don’t have a Christmas tree?
Me: Because we don’t celebrate Christmas.
Sophea: But I like Santa.
Me: You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to like Santa. A lot of people like Santa.
Sophea: Yes, because he’s so cute.
Me: Hahahaha that’s right. He is cute.
Sophea: Will Santa come to our house?
Me: No. Because Santa is not a real person.
Sophea: Santa is dead?
Me: No, no. Santa is not real because anyone can wear the red suit and be Santa.
Sophea: So Santa is pretending?
Me: Well, Santa can’t pretend because he’s not real. But there are people who wear the red suit and be Santa for other people, especially kids.
Sophea: So Santa is lying?
Me: No, it’s like this. You know how sometimes you guys wear pirate hats and all that and pretend to be pirates? It’s like that.
Sophea: But why people wear a Santa suit?
Me: Because it can make some people happy.
Sophea: What people?
Me: There are people who don’t have enough food or toys. So on Christmas, there are people who wear a Santa suit and give food and toys to these people so they can be happy because sometimes, for them, Christmas is the only time they get more food and toys.
Sophea: But why they have to wear Santa suit? Can they wear a pirate suit?
Me: Yes, they can. It’s just Santa makes a lot of people feel happy. You know how Daddy likes Mommy wears the blue dress? Because it makes Daddy happy to see me? It’s like that. Some people feel happy when they see a person in a Santa suit.
Sophea: If we give food and toys to people, are we Santa?
Me: Maybe they think we are. But we don’t have to wear the Santa suit to give people food or toys.
Sophea: So people wear Santa suit so they can make people see who is in their heart?

At this point, I just can’t. I was literally tearing up because I thought I was teaching her something, but as always, it’s the other way around.

Posted in Home Made

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

I’ve been baking for a few days on end now.

First, it was Sophea’s Barbie cake to Damien’s forest-themed cake. It was really fun that I get to bake again after so long. Sure, my piping skills a little rusty, but I’m sure with more practice, it’ll come back again. Ahahaha. I’m considering selling my baked goods again, like I used to do when I was 18. My kids are a lot bigger and more independent now that I think it’s possible for me to squeeze in a few cake orders here and there.

For tea yesterday, Sophea wanted some cupcakes. Well, she has been asking for cupcakes for several days now. I didn’t want to make anything fancy nor do I have that many ingredients left so I whipped out this super-simple vanilla cupcakes.

Simple vanilla cupcakes

 

Here’s how!

 

Posted in General

Barbie Cake

I first saw one of these cakes when I was 10, during a cousin’s birthday party.

I was so envious and couldn’t stop looking at the cake throughout the party. My parents are never big on birthdays and we don’t really celebrate so it’s kind of hard for us to get a birthday cake. By 10, I was used to it, but when I saw this cake, I honestly wished my parents were a little generous in celebrating birthdays.

Today is my daughter’s 4th birthday.

She didn’t ask for a Barbie cake specifically, but whenever she sees one, she always asked me to make one for her. So yesterday, I decided to try and make it. I’m used to baking, but I have never tried decorating a Barbie cake before so I was really, really anxious because being a perfectionist, I obviously don’t want to mess this up.

I worked on this cake for 6 hours, taking my time to do each step. At the end of it, I’m really happy with myself because it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. The only thing is, I forgot to take my piping tips I left at my mom’s house so I had to use a snipped Ziploc to pipe the dress. Even so, I’m still darn proud of it!

Princess doll cake

 

I watched the Betty Crocker video for the step by step to decorate this cake and I find that video most helpful and easiest to understand.

 

Now that I know how to decorate this cake, I’m so going to make it again for the fun of it!

Posted in Marriage, Motherhood, Parenting

Because Postpartum Depression Is Real

Last week, a new mother jumped to her death from the 16th floor of her high-rise apartment.

She had a 10-day old baby and the reason she jumped? She was pressured to breastfeed her baby, but wasn’t able to produce much supply.

This news shook me as well as angers me because she was pressured to believe that a newborn should only be fed with breast milk. The age-old debate about breast milk vs. formula is turning ugly day by day. All-natural mothers are quite vocal and expressive in making formula-feeding mothers feel insulted, shunned, and embarrassed over their feeding choice.

There wasn’t much information in the news about the mother’s background, mental state, financial situation and other telling factors, but the only thing I can think of is how a mother who has just given birth 10 days prior is a delicate person and she could be suffering from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression happens not because a mother is too emotional or full of herself.

Due to significant drop of hormones in a mother’s body after delivery, it can affect their mood, temperament, and mental acuteness, among other things.

There are many women who suffer in silence because everyone expected her to be a glowing, happy mother. Many mothers bottled up her emotions because she doesn’t want to let anyone down or let them know she doesn’t know how to be a mother. Many women feel helpless and hopeless because this is her own baby, but she doesn’t even know how to take care of him or her. Many mothers, especially new mothers, feel pressured to perform, as though breastfeeding, changing diapers, burping, soothing a newborn, going through engorged breasts, feeling messy and ugly, should make sense to her the moment she returns from the hospital.

I know these because I suffered from postpartum depression 6 years ago.

What’s worse than feeling like a hopeless and useless mother, I was made to feel ashamed of how I feel, as though I didn’t want to be a mother, as though I only know how to procreate but ignore its responsibilities after that. I was made to feel incompetent because instead of taking care of my firstborn, I chose to ignore him when he cries.

The breaking point for me was when I felt everyone was right, that I was too pathetic to be a mother. I felt that everyone was right when they think I didn’t deserve to be a mother. I did feel like there was no reason for me to be my son’s mother anymore if I can’t even take care of him. I also felt that it was because of him that I felt this way. I harbored the utmost resentment towards my son. I felt that if I didn’t have him, I would still be me, I would still have my husband’s attention, I would still be able to figure out what I want instead of having this spewing, mewling creature shoved in my face.

That was when I had thoughts of harming him.

I wrote everything down about how I felt, what my thoughts were because I didn’t want to leave without any explanation should anything happen to either me or him because deep, deep down, I know this isn’t me. I know I could be a much better person. Because at that point, I hated myself. I hated for being so weak and not knowing what to do despite going to antenatal classes, reading and taking notes from countless parenting books and magazines.

I thought PPD wouldn’t happen to me.

I was looking forward to having a son. I was looking forward to decorate his nursery, I was looking forward to see him breastfeed, I was excited to start him on solid. But when I finally had him, it was different. I know I wasn’t too naive to think that everything would be pretty and butterflies, and taking care of a newborn would be as easy as breathing. But what I didn’t expect was the dark, sinister feeling clutching me.

One day when I thought I might really harm my baby, I decided to tell my husband. I thought he was going to laugh it off, telling me that I was being too emotional, that it was all in my head because I thought I wasn’t ready to be a mother. But when I told him everything I felt, his face changed and he knew we needed help right away.

Recovery wasn’t easy because I still feel inadequate.

I still feel embarrassed because I threw away what thousands of childless mothers would want. I still feel that others were judging me because what I ” really wanted” was to be one of those glossy magazines mom where she has perfect hair, Ray Ban shades, skinny jeans, cute floral blouse and pushing a stroller as though her life was a walk in the park. I didn’t want to face the ugly, nasty, dirty, smelly part of being a mother.

I lost the first 6 months of my firstborn’s life.

And knowing that nothing in this world could bring that back was what made recovery really difficult. I guess that’s why now I try so hard to be a good mom. Somewhere in me kept telling that I still wouldn’t do a good enough job to make up for the 6 months that I lost. But I’m no longer afraid of this feeling. It shakes me up every once in a while because I know what it feels like to be sucked into that black hole that all you want to do is curl into a ball and cry your eyes out.

My husband has been a great support. Where I expected him to be conventional and get me to do everything, he took charge and looked after our son. Where I expected him to laugh and tell me to get over it, he listened to me and held my hands, telling me we’ll get through it together.

This is why I take new mother’s woes and laments very seriously. I knew exactly what it felt like to feel alone, I knew exactly how it felt like to feel no one understands, I knew exactly how frustrating it can be when everyone sneered about how you should know how to be a mother.

My advice is, stop making fun of mothers who are struggling to make sense of motherhood. Stop comparing her to other mothers or your mother or your grandmother about how “last time they don’t have all this because they suck it up and do their job.”

Because what you really should do is stop and listen.

Bring her to a doctor or pray together or meditate together or anything that could make her feel less alone. Tell her that while you don’t understand how she is feeling and you probably would never understand, you’re there for her because you’re learning to be a parent as well. It’s okay to tell her that you’re afraid too, that you can’t figure out what to do as well. Because when she feels like she has a team, she will try to get better and share more feelings with you so you could prevent unwanted things before it’s too late.

Being a mother could be hard for some people.

Because they give you drugs to ease the pain when you’re in labor.

They don’t have drugs to make you understand motherhood.

Posted in General

Custard Cake With Dates

Gosh, it’s been a while since I have the time to write. Things have been crazy and on top of everything, I’m working on a new writing project that’s going to take up most of my time.

So before I get into the project, I decided to bake and get my minds off things.

Ramadhan came and left and it was peaceful and uneventful, just how I like my Ramadhan. There are loads of dates left from breaking fast because Mohen bought a whole bunch of them. I obviously don’t want to throw them away so I thought I whipped up a cake out of it.

Click here for the recipe!

Kek kurma