Monthly Archives: August 2016

Please don’t hate me for not throwing a party on your first birthday

Dear Son,

Just because somebody doesn’t follow a trend about an event doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. People have different customs and the way they cherish something. Your father and I don’t come from a family that celebrates first birthday. Your grandparents annually forget their wedding anniversaries. My siblings and I do not attend our university graduation. You just happen to be born in a family that doesn’t celebrate much. Only a few that really matters. But we are joyous folks.  And we respect and enjoy people’s big days.

You’re more than a creature who looks like me. Your father and I are glad to know that your birth has become a huge blessing, not only for us but also the whole big family.  You know the feeling when you try making a pizza for the first time and turns out everyone loves it? That, times 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

I feel that our big family gets together more often now. Your bude, tante, and oom seem to put more effort to come home every weekend so they can see you. Your grandparents have something that could (well, sometimes) distract them from their daily fight. You make your parents happy. You make me feel that I mean so much to somebody. It’s rare.

You really are the light of wisdom that brings family together.

Just like what your name means.

(Well, sort of).

Anyway, on your birthday I prayed for you longer than usual, and I was relieved I managed to keep you alive for 365 days! Also, I tried baking several baby-friendly cakes for you. They actually tasted decent but weren’t very instagramable. And I offered you some but you didn’t seem to like it. So I decided to eat them all. I’m sorry, Son. Next year I will do better (and you should be able to help me in the kitchen).

Those were supposed to be apple rose cake which got burned and pumpkin cupcakes dough that taste better before getting into the oven 


Soooo. Happy turning one! I should’ve posted this like, almost a hundred days ago, but you kept me busy. See how I prioritize you over social media? :p

Okay. You caught me making excuses. But I honestly believe you shouldn’t wait for a certain day to be thankful for something.

Here’s to celebrate 1 year and almost 3 months of your life! And to 31 years and a month of your father’s life! And to two years something of your parents surviving their marriage! And to everything in life that is wonderful and sometimes taken for granted! Cheers!

Oh dear, we love you so much.


Butopik & husband

Categories: Awkward Mother | Leave a comment

IMD is like a seeing a pocong. You hear some people admit to have ever experienced it, but you don’t hear it from the ones around you.

Dear Son,

You may skip this post if you decide not to get married and/or have children. But if you do, please google “initiation of breastfeeding”, or “breast crawl”, or Inisiasi Menyusu Dini (IMD). Then make sure that you take your part seriously, because breastfeeding success is subject to teamwork; a mother and her support system.

I don’t know what will happen in the next 25-30 years, but in my time, breastmilk is scientifically proven to be the best food for newborns, and the world is encouraging mothers to breastfeed their children. There have been tips and advices on how to breastfeed successfully. Most of the words I heard are: “You can do it!”, “It’s a natural process, every mother can do it!”, and “If a bitch can breastfeed her puppies, so can you!”.

Nah, I made the last one up, but the first two are real and your wife will get that a lot. If she’s like me, you better be careful with your choice of words. To me, those words can be encouraging and burdening at the same time. I’m the kind of woman who would think, “What if my breastmilk won’t come out? Have I done something wrong? My child will be starving! Good Lord, I’m a terrible mother!” and stress everything out.


“Mamas, newborns are smart enough to find their mother’s nipple”. ARE YOU SAYING MY BABY IS STUPID??

During my clinical study in med school, I got a lecture from a senior doctor who was also a famous breastfeeding counsellor. She taught me how dramatic and natural it was for a baby to crawl and find his mother’s nipple. It really got in my mind and so just until a month before you were born, I kept imagined how easy it would be to breastfeed you. Because IT’S NATURAL, they said. BABIES ARE SMART, they said.


Aaannddd.., what really happened?

We failed our IMD, Son. My breastmilk came out after 2 days. I never had a fridge full of expressed breastmilk. But in the end, we managed to finish 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Today, you’re 14 months old, still partially breastfed, and I think you’re alright.

I did thank my lecturer about the science and importance of breastfeeding. But mostly, I thanked fellow mommies who shared their IMD disappointments, just a few weeks before your birthday. Otherwise, I would’ve got really stressed and maybe failed breastfeeding. It gave me confidence that it’s okay for me to fail IMD or even fail to express breastmilk in the first 72 hours because many of them did and they continued breastfeeding later on.

So your wife needs to know that breastfeeding is really a ”hope for the best, prepare for the worst” trial. You eat well, stay healthy, seek reliable information, put your best effort to be ready to breastfeed, and most importantly, be happy. That means to be able to worry less about the undesired situation.

This is why I also thank mothers who failed to breastfeed completely. It made me think that even the kids given formula milk turned out okay. A friend of mine was not breastfed and she was the class valedictorian. The bottom line is, your “worst case” might not be that bad. There will be a way and if you have a good intention, Allah is there to show you.


She is not alone

Breastfeeding is mother-child business but you can always make contribution just like your father did. You could help her take care of herself. Drive her to her OBGYN. Show that you care and want to be part of it. Don’t put all the blame on her if things flop. You can share my story and tell her that most of (if not all) people I know failed their IMD. Your father once told me,

“You have been doing the best you can for our child. Whatever happens, we will face it together.”

And that worked for me 🙂

Happy World Breastfeeding Week.


Categories: Awkward Mother, Doesn't Really Look Like A Doctor | Leave a comment

Let me write you the first letter

Dear Son,

They say a mother should become the first school for her child(ren). Well I’m not sure if I can teach you many things, because parenthood is never an easy game and I still have a lot to learn myself.

So I was thinking about making my school easier. Instead of me being the wise owl who gives you majestic advices, I think it’s better if we have a discussion on my stories. I want to share with you my opinions and views, or my experiences, or even my mistakes.  Anything we can learn from. The problem is, we can’t really do it now. There are subjects that need to be responded not just by “jajaja” or “bababa” or cries or a smile that melts my heart. But by the time you’re old enough to understand my stories, I’d have forgotten everything. Believe me, Son, I did try to keep a paper-based journal about you but my handwriting was so ugly it’s an eyesore just to look at it. Those kinds of notes are easy to get lost or damaged and you know I’m sloppy like that. Plus, they aren’t very eco-friendly.

So let me write to you through this blog. Every time I have a chance. I might not be doing it every day but I will try my best to do it as often as I could.

I am an awkward, inexperienced mother. Don’t expect too much astuteness from my stories. I do hope to tell you some deep, meaningful life lessons, but alas, I like trivial things. The only thing I aim to do is share my thoughts. It can be surprisingly useful or it can be a piece of outdated crap. You might agree or disagree with me. You are also allowed to think your mother is a weird woman and feel sorry for your father.

At the end of the day, My Dear Son, as you grow older, I just want us to have a good talk as much as possible. I want you to correct me if I’m wrong before I get too old and stubborn (well I’m stubborn now, but your work will be harder in the next 20 years). I want us to communicate. I love you and I want you to be a good person. And just in case I die sooner than medically calculated, at least you get to know me from what I wrote.

Enjoy your time being a baby. Life as an adult won’t let you sleep as much as you do now.


Much love,

Your not-yet-decided-what-to-call mother.

Categories: Awkward Mother | 1 Comment

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