I know this blog is about mothering, however being a wife and a mother are so intertwined into who I am it was bound to pop up.

I also know that there are many mothers who aren’t wives, and many wives who aren’t mothers.

I have been a wife for just over 7 years now and am grateful for every day, night, week, month and year that I am able to be so.

My husband and I have some friends who are going through some marriage problems after only being married for 2 years. Their marriage hasn’t always been smooth sailing so we, and most people who know them, have known that there have been issues from the get go.

If I could get them to stop fighting and to shut up long enough and sit them down to listen to me I would tell them:

* don’t let something as silly as money tear you guys apart, your relationship and union is worth more than any amount of dollars

* stop cutting each other down with mean words of anger, especially in front of the baby, he may only be young but he knows something’s up

* time apart isn’t always a bad thing, come back to each other after taking a few deeps breaths of relaxation and a few moments of contemplation

* learn how to discuss issues like adults, instead of bickering like children about irrelevant issues or sweeping problems under the rug. When you are calm and ready to ‘discuss’ things as adults, don’t butt in and talk over each other, bit your tongue until the other person is done, hopefully they will do the same and then you will both feel as though you have been heard.

* before you point the finger and accuse, look at yourself and see how much you have contributed to the problems

* okay, so you don’t like each others families, that really is irrelevant and what matters more is the relationship your child has with this grandparents

 

I’m not trying to sound like I know everything there is to know about a happy marriage and I understand how hard marriage can be, but the only person I really care about right now is the little boy who needs a loving, nurturing support system. That’s all.

 

Regards, mummy.

SO SO SO many of my friends are pregnant, heavily pregnant, have just given birth or are reaching the end of their first year of being a parent. Gosh, I miss having a baby around the house. I recently visited a friend who gave birth 2 weeks ago to a little baby girl, and considering I have 2 daughters I have a soft spot for baby girls. Okay, and baby boys too, but I feel like I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a helpless little person who’s is so reliant on you for everything.

As draining as that sounds, I miss it so much. I have a friend who tried for 10 years after her first child before she fell pregnant. I have another friend who has been trying for a few years with not baby (yet!). I have a few friends who have had miscarriages and a few friends who NEVER EVER want kids. My mum worries about the extra work and stress that comes with more kids and whether I can handle it, but I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason.

I was quite young both times I was pregnant so I feel the next time it happens (God willing) I will approach it very differently. I will probably nap more, eat better, exercise more, worry more and not buy so much stuff that I didn’t end up needing (like a lot of first time mothers do, me included. I really thought a wipes warmer would just make my baby feel that much better when changing nappies).

One thing that I love about pregnancies that occur after you’ve had your first child is all those people who come out of the wood work with words of advice, “Eat this!, “Don’t eat that!” “(insert some ridiculous advice that doesn’t even make any logical sense)” have nothing to say. Being pregnant with kids in tow comes with a status of “move out of the way and be quiet, I know what I’m doing”. I also appreciate how midwives treat you differently. A friend of mine was allowed to leave the hospital the same day she gave birth considering this was baby number 4.

When ever “it” does happen I’d love the document or announce “it” in any of these ways.

Regards, mummy.

…and it’s not even midday yet. Days like today when there is too much to do, not enough time (or motivation) to do it all, sibling rivalry is at an all time high and its meant to be an enjoyable weekend, I turn to quotes, both funny and inspirational, to pep up my step, and help me tend to the mountains of laundry and dishes and uni work and garden work waiting for me. Have a bit of a laugh and a bit of revelation, here at Happy Worker.

But it’s also one of those days where I forget that beyond being a mother, I am a wife too. Valentines day is coming up, already?? yes. My husband and I never really buy in to the whole Valentines hype out of personal choice. I clearly deserve fancy dinners, flowers and chocolates everyday. Don’t we all? Interestingly enough, I would choose a night in, sharing a home cooked meal and a funny (borderline lame) movie in our pajamas any day, over having to dress up, make a reservation for an over priced meal which doesn’t guarantee a satisfying meal at that (some portion sizes and their corresponding prices don’t always make sense to me), drop the kids off at the grandparents who are very happy to do so yet look like they have been run over by trucks when we pick the kids up after our somewhat unsatisfactory dining experience. Hrm.. I see this developing into a very interesting post, but because it is one of THOSE days, I must be off to thank my kids for not screaming at each other for a full 5 minutes and to make brunch for my best friend, I mean my boyfriend, I mean my husband.

 

Regards, mummy.

my dad turns 60! I honestly thought he was closer to 54… woops! My dad hates presents and fuss so as usual we’re having a low key dinner for him on the weekend at one of our favourite thai restaurants.

My dad. A model of hard work, sacrifice, patience, unconditional love, protection, routine and dependability.

My brother and I often joke that I’m the chosen child because I seem to impress my dad no matter what I do and my older brother could cure cancer and my dad would still expect more from him. The longer I am a mother, the more I realise how much of an influence he has had on how I raise my children.

My dad has worked 6 days a week, at the same job, since I was born and would only take a day off or a holiday is ABSOLUTELY necessary. When I was younger he would spend his one day off helping my mother around the house and taking me and my brother out to whatever we were into at the time. My brother did any sport ranging from karate, cricket to basketball. I went to countless dance classes, swimming classes, art classes and even writing classes (so I wanted to be an author for a short time in my life) while my dad sat at the back and watched, shooting me a thumbs up anytime I would catch his glance. He was always one to praise hard work and effort but always motivated to continually improve.

I still remember all the pats on the back from getting decent grades at school. I still remember the dance of joy he did when I got the letter stating I was accepted into university (all those years ago). I still remember the tears he shed on my wedding day, and I had never seen my dad cry before that day. I will always remember the smile on his face those first times carefully holding his tiny newborn grandchildren.

Sure my dads not perfect, I remember siting on his lap as a little kid while he smoked the most awful smelling cigarettes and one time he did forget to pick me up from band practice. As a mother he is always reminding me how proud he is of me as a mother. I try to work just as hard, be just as wise, praise my kids at all opportunities and be an example of the importance and value of hard work.

This one goes out to you dad.

Regards, your daughter.

Considering the name of my blog is ibu, I thought I would bring some of my Indonesian heritage into the mix. What better way to do so than, FOOD! I’m not going to sit here and pretend I cook Indonesian food for my family regularly (or very well for that matter).

My mother always cooked Indonesian food by ‘feeling’. Growing up I would watch my mother cook Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) or Sambal Goreng Udang Pete (Prawns and Pete beans fried in chilli sauce) by throwing ingrediants around with no cookbooks, written down recipes, measuring spoons or measuring cups in sight. So when I ask her for her recipes she recalls them off the top of her head using terms like “a slosh of..”, ” a dash of..”, “a sprinkle of..”, “about 3 dumps of..”. One time she did say “a cup of…” and I got excited until she explained she meant a drinking glass, and her drinkng glasses are different sizes to mine.

Frustrated with not being able to recreate my mums Bubur Sum Sum, I went searching for recipes online and showed them to my mother. She would either scoff in disbelief (“thats not how you cook it!”) or be slightly amused (“oh yes, yes, I see how that would be nice, I’ll try that next time). She would then tweak the recipe I had found, making light suggestions on how to make the recipe better (or more similar to hers).

Mind you, with a clear written recipe and clear directions to follow, my cooking does not compare to my mothers and I dont think it ever will. The sooner I accept that, the sooner I work on creating and practicing my own recipes (both Indonesian and not), which I will pass onto my daughters. My youngest always compliements my cooking (“You’re the best cooker mum, I think you should be a chef when you grow up)”, whilst my eldest is quite ciritcal (“Mum you burnt this side of the meat again…”). Throw them together and I’m left feeling quite accomplished with room to improve.

Feel free to check out my stack over at delicious on some of my favourite Indonesian recipes that I know I can come back to over and over again. Mari kita makan! (Translates to: Let’s eat!)

Regards, Mummy.

So I’ve had those sneakers for 10 years now, my daughter wore her sneakers for 10 months.

THEY GROW UP SO FAST!

All parents have said it, thought it or cried while acknowledging it. My heart broke when my daughter said to me “Mummy, these shoes makes my toes all squishy and my feet hurt”. I loved having some what matching shoes with her and I know I could just go out and buy her another pair, but it just isn’t the same.

At a wedding I attended on the weekend, so many of the guests were my parents friends who have known me since I was in my mothers belly. The phrase “You grew up so fast!” was coming from all directions. If I think about it, I did. But doesn’t everyone?

20120130-171201.jpg