Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

Motherhood, gender equality, multi-tasking etc

Are these topics myths, something achievable, or utopic state?
Every a few other days, I am bound to bump into this topic, be it by (accidentally) eavedropping some conversations of strangers around me, conversating it myself with friends, reading articles from the internet, youtube clips, friends thought & opinion, and so on.

I must admit that there are a lot of good thoughts, carefully articulated opinions, and well-founded arguments on this topic out there. Certainly there are no myths for the everyday's dillemma that a lot of mothers go thru, and if not everyday, at least some points of their lives. ie. domestic world vs working world, taking care of our children personally or taking care of ourselves first (which sometimes means taking care of our career first), and working-mum or SAHM (stay-at-home) mum, though i dont really like the last 2 terms, after all a mum who is full time at home is also a fully-working mum!

Following are some excerpts:
- Anne-Marie Slaugher, a successful woman in Obama's administration, wrote a long article on why she finally quit her dream job to be with her family instead. Excerpt:
EIGHTEEN MONTHS INTO my job as the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department, a foreign-policy dream job that traces its origins back to George Kennan, I found myself in New York, at the United Nations’ annual assemblage of every foreign minister and head of state in the world. On a Wednesday evening, President and Mrs. Obama hosted a glamorous reception at the American Museum of Natural History. I sipped champagne, greeted foreign dignitaries, and mingled. But I could not stop thinking about my 14-year-old son, who had started eighth grade three weeks earlier and was already resuming what had become his pattern of skipping homework, disrupting classes, failing math, and tuning out any adult who tried to reach him.
- A very inspiring and honest speech by ravishing Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at HBS 2012 graduating class. She touches on gender equality towards the end of her speech.

However, for me, it all boils down to a personal choice. I dont believe we can have it all. For every preference we choose, surely we are letting go of something else. I also am not a multi-tasker. Though there is the adage that women are great in multitasking, I never believe I am one of them. I tend to overspecialize on something (and I tend to be choosy on this, choosing on one that I enjoy doing best and live the rest almost to oblivion) rather than on many things simultaneously. So for me, the topic of gender equality, the need to nurture and mentor more women so that more of us can be at the top of the business ladder, because we are a different sex than men and therefore have a different need, I still cannot fully comprehend the need of this.
Yes, I do see the benefit of mentoring for aspiring women in the professional world, but also equally in men. But I also believe this will come naturally for everyone, whoever performs the best will be rewarded and career advanced. Maybe I am too naive, or I am too fortunate to work in a pretty fair -working environment, hence I have not seen mal-practice on this? 

As I walk on this path of motherhood, I cant help to observe how my peers are threading their own paths. I am quite surprised that not only one or two of the brightest people I know have decided to quit their job to shift their focus to their growing child instead. Let me count.. there are at least 5 of them already.
So on one end of the spectrum, I see this fight that many women leaders are championing in the business world, that is, to give more way to women to excel at work. But on the other end, I also see many are happy to let go of their (professional) title and be rightfully at the heart of their home and happy about it! So, I do not think that satisfaction or excellence in one's life, especially in the scope of motherhood, can only be achieved in one way. I think every woman has their own different situation and what is the best arrangement/solution for one cannot necessarily be the same for another mum.

Let's not even talk about others for the moment, but consider myself. Until today I still choose to work, because of these reasons: a) I want to be independent and have a stable source of income and build a solid work resume, because the 'road' is still a long way to go. If there is anything that may go wrong in the future or that i do not surely expect to happen, I will still be able to support myself (and my small family) financially. b) Despite my numerous rants about problems at work, at the end of the day, it still gives me more satisfaction than dissatisfaction. It gives me reasonable challenge, reasonable tasks (so far) and exercise my mind. c) I am lucky my work is very flexible in terms of time. Today I came to the office at 11am. Most of the times I can come around 10-10.30 am and I find work is still manageable and my boss does not complain (though of course some nights I work my ass out from home). I can also bring back unfinished work to home, so I can have an early dinner/be home before the baby sleeps. d) Until today, I am lucky to have a home assistant. The baby is well taken care of (and well loved) in a one-to-one relationship. In some countries, this will probably be way too expensive to maintain.

Ya, so this arrangement still works for me. I do not know if it will still work down the road in a few years. There are some questions that still linger in my mind. Like will my assistant be able to teach my kids the things that I would like my kids to learn at his young age: words and reading, good manner, good habits, good discipline, good heart. will my assistant quality match with my (high) standard? I do have big question marks on this. Even by asking myself these questions, I can sense why some of my friends had quit their jobs, willingly. I think it also has got to do with perfectionism i must say.

But I have also seen very sucessful mums at work with very successful (very well behaved, smart, and kind) children. Unfortunately, there are not  many. In fact, I find there are more sucessful single women at the top of my work orgchart who are single than those who have family and children, let alone "successful children". For the sucessful ones, they are my role model. I try to find hard what is the secret for this. So far, I think it is the high involvement of the parents as much as they can still do when they are finally at home, the 'seeds' in the kids themselves (ie. they were already born with this trait, lol), and a strong support net for the working parents, be it from the 'MbakSquad' as @mrshananto call it or from the bigger family group (which unfortunately I cannot rely on, being away from our home country).

so may God help me, help my husband to be the best parents we can be. I do not really care about the debate out there on women-men gender equality; multitasking mums or not. I just need to find my family to be in sync, balanced and growing the right way. Every woman has their best different way, every family has their own situation. God be with us all.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Kata Adam: Perayaan kumpul 17 agustusan

Hari ini Mama bawa aku ke Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. Abis minun susu pagi, mama bungkus mpasi (ga mandi lhoh) n bawa aku n nenek ke taman. Pagi2 jam 7.30 supaya ga panas n bln rame.

Eh taunya nyampe sana,emang stand makanan blm rame banget, tapi matahari cepet terik ya. Mamaku buru2 kalap beli bakso tp lupa bilang ga pake sambel,yg ada kepedesan n lanjut ganti ke soto. Aku jadinya ikutan ngences d,cuma diijinin mama ngabisin kuning telornya soto,abis itu disodorin bubur multigrain+pepaya+yogurt. Udah keburu laper,makanku peduli tempat,mamaku jongkok2 di jalan ngasi makan aku di stroller hihihi.

Abis mamaku ngeborong nasi kuning,nasi bakar n gudeg,kami lanjut ke area playground. Aku manjat2 di perosotan n ngerangkak di jembatan.pulangnya nemu sirkuit mobil balap,tapi mobil balap mini versi remote control.aku bingung kok suaranya kata nyamuk, wuz wuz. Untung mamaku bawa botol asi,jadinya aku bisa ntn sambil minum d.

Abis itu pulang aku digendong nenek di mobil. Asik d ga diiket di car seat hehehe. Kata mamaku ini sekali2 aja,bahayah lhoh!

Kata mama,tahun lalu mama n papa jg ke acara ginian,sama aku jg sih,tp aku msh dlm perut waktu itu.mamaku msh inget wkt itu jalannya susah,aku udah gd soalnya di perut mamah hehehe.pantesan aku doyan ama sotonya soalnya dulu di perut aku jg pernah icip-icip :D

Saturday, July 07, 2012


He is still my dear baby in my heart, but in front of my eyes, he is growing out of it :).
There are some 'jleb' moments to wake me up on this, like:
- suddenly he can peep up to the surface of my (quite high) bed,standing up. When did he suddenly grow taller?
- understand when i want him to look for the 'bola' and his 'elmo' book. Went straight to these objects when i asked him to,today. Though i dont get these same reactions when i say mama or papa hihi.
- pretend to fall down with face almost crying or quickly lie down on the floor face down when he wants me to go near him n play. Only to sit up n laughing once i'm near him. (manipulative kiddo in the making)