About Getting Back to Work

I did not imagine or who would have thought that getting back to work would be such a hard thing to do. Especially after being off from work more than 7 months. People forget about you, and new habits are created, your boss changed, and someone replaced your function.

To establish myself after such a long leave was really tough. I wonder if other working moms also feel the same. I do not browse or read forums, I just want to try my best first to really be honest and to understand my position from my own perspective. Honestly, I feel sometimes lonely because I don’t have good friends (working moms) whom I can share this topic with over a cup of coffee. I finally talked about this with some colleagues who became mothers at the same time I did and with partners of my husband’s friends. They were all so nice and super supportive. Sometimes I just need to vent, and then I would feel much much better afterwards.

Things would be probably better if I were not such a perfectionist. I want to be good in all aspects.. So when things do not go as I want it to be, I would feel really annoyed and down. People at work seem to forget about me, it is because when I left, they stayed. Their life did not change, mine did. They kept going to work, their tasks needed to be done, etc. So when I was back to work, I expected that they would scream hey you’re back! I miss you and so glad you are back now. Well, they did in a way. They were happy to see me and asked for baby pictures and such. But then my replacement seemed to already know her way around and people who I worked with are used to have her and I was there just watching. She taught me how things were done after I had left. It was really nice of her. I knew it would come like this but still, it was still pretty hard for myself to get my groove back on in my job.

Now a month later, I kinda sorted it already. I am still searching the best way though and trying to change my mindset but at least now I know now what to do. And as for my private life, I am still finding my way in juggling between being a new mom and a partner. I told my mother in-law, how I am now learning to juggle like Dutch women. Growing up, my mom chose to be a career woman and she had many helps at home, she never did things all by herself. We had nannies and helpers. While my mom was away we were at home with our nannies and my grandma cooked meals, helpers cleaned the house and did chores. So I did not have any role model. I honestly did not know what to do if I had a baby here in the Netherlands. Then little T came along, and things turn out just fine. I underestimate myself. My body seems to know what to do, and my mother instinct works out well. At this stage, I am so happy that I am healthy. That is why I work out and eat well, because my family needs me!

I really want to hear women out there, and their stories about getting back to work again. How do you do that? What are your struggles? How do you cope with it??

I have so much admiration for mothers, and this post is not about how hard it is to be a working mom. Moms are moms. I respect your personal choice whether you stay at home or not. I think it’s just petty when women argue about that topic. Mothers out there must support each other 🙂

REAL LIFE

Semua cerita pasti ada endingnya…begitu juga cerita cuti gue. Yak, mulai senin gue bakal balik kerja lagi. Dua minggu lalu udah coba cek cek ombak, setengah hari kerja. Dedek di rumah sama papa nya yg kebetulan masuk siang, dan sebelum dia kerja nganter dedek buat di titip ke opa oma nya.

ENG ING ENG. Apa lah di kantor, otak gue korslet!! Tidur cuma 4 jam aja ga menolong, bangun udah dari jam 5 pagi dan harus kerja siangnya. Gak bisa ngomong satu kalimat utuh, bahasa Inggris dan Belanda super rusty, karena kebiasaan ngomong Bahasa Indonesia di rumah, karena gue kalo capek udah males aja ngomong Belanda sama J (ga bagus jangan dicontoh). Persoalan di kantor dimulai dari account gue yg kena clean up karena ga dipake selama 90 hari. Gue gak bisa MARAH karena, gue sendiri yang nerapin policy itu huahaha! (bersama pak bos tentunya). Senjata makan tuan. Trus keyboard gue raib, screen gue tiba2 kok beda, jadilah kemaren itu kerja setengah hari cuma diisi dengan nyari screen dan keyboard! BETE. Untungnya kolega cowok pada sigap, mereka takut disemprot kali ye sama ibu ibu hormonal kayak gue huahaha. Jadilah gue punya keyboard dan screen baru. Asek. Abis itu gue clean up emails yg jumlahnya beribu ribu…pffh. Itu padahal udah di filter, karena semua inquiries yg masuk langsung diterima sama replacement gue.

Setelah pulang kerja, melepas kangen, berderai aer mata sambil uyel uyel si kecil. Drama abis emaknya. Padahal sih bayi nya cuek aja…kesian deh gue. Seneng banget pulang kerja, liat anak ketawa tawa…seger banget. Setelah temu kangen, langsung nyusuin. Udah gitu bobok deh…Ga lama gue sibuk masak, sembari ngerapiin rumah…ngelipetin baju. Aslik, multitasking bo! 🙂 Jam 12 papa nya pulang dan gue akhirnya bisa tidur. Lagi lagi hanya 4 jam saja.

Besokannya gue tepar. SETEPAR TEPAR NYA. Ajegile, ini gimana kalo gue kerja beneran ya…hiks. Gue salut banget sama ibu ibu londo yang anaknya bererot trus kerja fulltime pulak, kok bisa sih GAK GILA? Pfhh, suami gue sih mencoba menenangkan gue yg udah kena anxiety attack belon belon beneran mulai ye, dasar nya aja gue tukang dramatisir. Kalo doi bakal atur jadwal kerja nya supaya sebisa mungkin klop sama jadwal kerja gue…Bersyukur banget gue punya mertua yg bisa gue titipin 2 hari seminggu, bersyukur kerja di perusahaan yang mementingkan keluarga sehingga gue bs dengan gampangnya nyusun jadwal kerja sesuai dengan jadwal libur suami. J kerjanya sekarang lumayan ada jadwalnya dan bukan cowo panggilan lagi. Kemaren2 doi kerja ada kali 50 jam seminggu dan semuanya emergency…emergency kok hobi sih?! Kalo gak teamwork kaya gini, mungkin gue udah jiper abis dan ambil cuti lagi deh hihihi.

Yak, my wishes adalah semoga senin depan lancar. Gue gak gagap banget sama suasana ngantor. Semuanya pasti beda, bos gue aja dah ganti, kerjaan gue juga ganti, apa itu ya gue juga belom tauk. Everything’s new. Setelah 8 bulan off from work, pastinya semua aneh ya kan? Nyelon aja lah.. Kalo ibu-ibu itu bisa, kenapa gue enggak? Ya kan. These past 8 months at home are the BEST time of my life, also the HAPPIEST time of my life. Bisa di rumah sama si kecil, jadi saksi milestones dia, bisa jalan2 sore diikuti dengan nontonin angsa di sungai dan mama beli caffe latte sebelum pulang …. Heel gezellig! I am glad I did it! Untungnya gue udah nerapin rutinitas jadi si kecil udah ada ritme nya (kecuali tidur malam nya masih aja suka bangun bangun nyari dummy nya…TOLONG!)

Semoga aja keinginan gue terkabul di masa depan, jadi Stay-at-home-mum lagi selama setahun. AMIN!!! 🙂

Munafik Kamu

Suami akoh pulang kerja bawa pe-er bahasa Arab, trus tanya jawabin gw:
Suami (J): nof, tau ga hamil tuh bhs arab nya juga hamil loh. Gatau kan
Gue: enggak. Pinter kamuh
J: mumtaz tau kamu artinya apa
Gw: enggak *nenenin bayi*
J: kok gatau sih, trus kamu jg gatau dong artinya mabrouk.Dan lanjut ngoceh2… *nerusin lg kata2 bhs Arab yg gw ga mudeng*
Gw: Ih gua kaga tau ah, brisik!
J: Ah munafik kamu
😓 Apaan cobaaa?!! Dia kira gw bs baca Al-Quran brarti fasih bhs arab😏😏 hehehe. Ketipu kamuuu!!

Cuti Ngapain Aja

Gak terasa udah 5 bulan usia si kecil. Dan gak terasa selama kurang lebih 7,5 bulan gue jadi “pengangguran” 🙂 Lebih tepatnya 8 minggu sebelum melahirkan gue udah cuti. Rasanya gimana? ENAAKKK!! hahaha. Kadang bosen sih, tapi lebih karena gak ada temen ngobrol aja. Selebihnya gue enjoy banget di rumah sama Tarou! Di Belanda, sistem nya setiap ibu mendapatkan cuti hamil dan melahirkan selama 16 minggu. Ini dikit banget kalo dibandingkan sama negara Scandinavia lho…Gue personally berpendapat sistem ini jadul abis dan harus diperbaharui. Karena ninggalin bayi 3 bulan di daycare atau sama babysitter itu gak banget deh. Orok masih merah gitu kok mana tega ditarok di daycare?!

Jadi selama ini ngapain aja sih di rumah kok segitu betahnya? Hahaha. Jujur, 10 minggu setelah melahirkan gue masih dirundung oleh problem kesehatan. Entah itu pendarahan, sakit sakit di sekitar jahitan (gue Caesarian), kecapean kronis (karena semua dilakuin sendiri sedangkan jahitan masih aja bermasalah), dll. Intinya stamina gue ancur di titik nol banget deh. Kalo maksa jalan2 di hutan atau di sekitar rumah lebih dr 20 menit aja sampe rumah gue pendarahan lagi….stress! Tentang baby blues, gue heran deh kenapa orang2 berisik banget sama baby blues. Gue menganggap baby blues itu adalah hal yang sangat lumrah, normal. Ya iyalah, 9 bulan lamanya badan loe penuh memproduksi hormon, dan dalam sekejap elo ngeden trus punya bayi. Masih sakit sakit, masih teler, tapi udah harus ngurusin makhluk kecil nan lucu, yg idupnya tergantung banget sama elo. Jelas lah dunia loe serasa diobrak abrik! Fisik loe ga kuat tapi dikuat-kuatin jadinya ya kerjaannya mewek, emosian, dan gak pedean. Normal. Yang gak normal adalah tanggapan orang yang bilang, “ati ati baby blues yah, jangan stres stres” Seperti begadang, baby blues itu menurut gue inevitable. Yang harusnya orang2 pikirin adalah gimana caranya bikin ibu baru itu happy dan merasa dimengerti dengan cara yg positif. Jangan ditakut takutin. Sok atuh, curhat piiii? Hahaha.

Seharusnya gue masuk kerja lagi tuh per tanggal 1 desember. Cuma kok badan gue masih aja gak fit padahal udah diantisipasi dengan olahraga, istrahat emang gak cukup karena ya namanya punya bayi gitu loh begadang is a must :p Suami gue sebisanya juga ngebantu, dengan ngasi minum (pake botol dengan ASI yg gue pump sore sebelumnya), beres2 rumah, masak,grocery shopping buat gue. Tapi setelah 2 bulan lamanya dia juga musti konsen kerja. Kerjaannya di kamp pengungsi pun makin sibuk dan jam kerjanya pun gila…dari jam 3 sore hingga jam 12 malam, atau dari jam 11 malam sampai jam 7 pagi. Jadilah pinter pinternya kita bagi tugas. Setiap suami bangun tidur, gue gantian tidur, atau mandi dan istirahat. Setelah 3 bulan, baru deh kita nemu ritme yang pas buat kita berdua. Sekarang alhamdulillah, kita gak terlalu zombie banget walaupun si kecil tidurnya masih belum non-stop. Masih bangun jam 12 malam dan jam 5 pagi buat minum ASI.

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Hello World :-)

Hello world…jeezz I haven’t updated this blog for months! Time flies when you have a baby huh. I owe you (and myself) my birth story. Yes, I gave birth to a wonderful and the most handsome boy in the world, Hatarou on July 22. We are so delighted to finally welcome him to this world!

THE LAST WEEKS

The last weeks of my pregnancy were very uncomfortable. I began to have Braxton-Hicks contractions since week 36 and was very very tired. I thought, OK, this baby will come earlier than expected if it continues like this…but week 39 had passed, then week 40 too…I began to feel anxious, because I had been preparing myself for the labor and was so ready for it but my body kept giving false signals. When week 40 passed by, I started feeling very frustrated and sad, I just wanted to have my baby in my arms..and it was killing me. My belly looked like it was going to explode! I spent my week by walking around the neighborhood and relaxing at home. I’d gained 13 kg at that point but to cheer myself up I ate what I want…cakes, ice cream, more cakes, chips, burgers,…I was a monster for a couple of days lol. During my last weeks I was so mean to my husband, mostly because I was feeling really frustrated. I am sorry hubby! xxx

week 40+4 days

BIRTH STORY

It was Saturday, July 18, I was really annoyed because tomorrow would be my 41 week. Our house was spic and span, I cleaned all nook and cranny in the house and J had cooked meals and stored it in the freezer. To please myself, I walked around our flat, and went up and down the emergency stairs. I even went grocery shopping and then went to our apartment taking stairs all the way to the 6th floor. I MADE IT! 🙂 At night I felt very uncomfortable, my belly hurt and baby kicked me so hard and he was really restless. It was really painful.

At 5 AM on Sunday July 19, my water broke…and at 6 AM I had real contractions. The midwife popped in in the afternoon to check upon me but soon it was obvious my contractions were very irregular. She advised me to have a relax day and to come by to the hospital tomorrow first thing in the morning. We did, but they sent me home. No dilation, so I should come back tomorrow. But at 1 AM we were back in the hospital already and checked in, because I felt that the contractions came more regular this time. They gave us a huge room, and I immediately felt at ease and tried to have some rest. You never know when the time comes right? But I couldn’t I was too tensed…

At 7 AM on Tuesday July 21, I was induced since the water broke more than 24 hours ago and still there was no significant dilation. We were pumped things finally took off…a couple of hours after that I was 3 cm dialated…and 3 hours later I was 4 cm dialated. Thing moved so slowly I was so exhausted and the contractions got harder, more painful and unstoppable. In the meantime we did not sleep for more than 24hrs. So tired! After got induced more than 10 hours I was kaputt, I asked for epidural. The process went so bothersome after the 4th trial they finally got it right! My spine hurt like hell! But at least I was on drugs now so I could sleep.

At 11 PM I still did not have full dilation. I was 7 cm dialated at this point, and soon it would be my 3rd day at the hospital. At 2 AM doctors came in and strongly suggested for a C-section. I was so exhausted and had no power what so ever, I broke in tears. I had visualized how this labor would be, and a C-section was not in it. I felt that I failed, and man..I was so sad and crushed from inside. I had been in pain for days and no natural birth?! I’d dreamt of natural birth, I read  tons of articles about it, I wanted to breastfeed my baby soon after, and I wanted that magical sensation you get by giving birth naturally. I never ever thought about a C-section labor! Ever. I felt my body cheated on me and I was so pissed off! But after discussing it with J, we actually did not have any option. If we waited longer, it would be dangerous for me and for my baby, and I did not want to jeopardize my baby’s health. 20 minutes later I was already in the OR, and the process took 15 minutes. The whole time my dearest and beloved husband was always next to me, rubbed my back, gave me sweet words, and was so helpful. I think I could not get through it without him by my side.

Then on Wednesday, July 22 at 04.28, Hatarou J. H (Tarou) was born! He cried sooo loooouudd me and J we could not believe that it was over, our wait was over!!! He was here…Oh my I could not describe how relieved I was, how happy and ecstatic I was!!! He was perfect. It was the BEST FEELING EVER!!! Hatarou was born in Amsterdam, he weighed 3.875 gr, and he was too big to pass the birth canal, so it was the perfect decision to have a cesarian. J went with the nurse to clean Tarou and to cuddle him since I could not do that, doctors were still stitching me…*sigh* The whole time they were stitching me I bursted in tears. I wanted to have my baby in my arms!!

POST PARTUM

We spent 6 days in total in the hospital. If I think about it, it was just a blur memory. I was drugged and groggy, had epidural for 72 hours, and there were lots of medical checks involved, I do not like to talk about it much. Maybe that’s why I was not fully there the first weeks after giving birth. People say it was baby blues. For me, it was not baby blues. It was just too much, the wait, the hospital, all doctors and nurses, medicines,….I did not bond with Tarou as quickly as I first had imagined, because my body and mind was still recovering from the labor and before I was fully recovered I had to nurse! at this point I was on a survival mode. It took a toll on me. so we waited before we telling people about Tarou’s birth. We all needed a lot of rest.

Thank goodness 3 weeks post-partum I felt like myself again and I eventually realized how blessed I was, my baby was so healthy! I chose to breastfeed and luckily this time I was in control of it. It is a risky business, breastfeeding, but I manage it! After we came back from hospital, it was normal here in the Netherlands to get some help from a post-partum nurse and the cost were covered by the insurance (Kraamzorg, the nurse is called Kraamverzorgster). The nurse was an Indonesian lady, she was a God sent! She took care of us, cleaned the house, cooked for us and many more for 6 days long.

 Many of my (Indonesian) friends asked me why we didn’t invite my parents to come over so they could help us out? We chose this because we wanted to do it ourselves, having a child for me maybe only happen once in my life and we wanted this experience to be special, done by me and my husband. We wanted to figure out this parenting stuff by ourselves 🙂

My husband is amazing, I love him so much, but after this, my love went up to the next level! I could not imagine to go through this without him beside me. He was so patient and he kept calm even though he later told me that it scared the hell out him, when I was taken to the OR and laying there on the operation table. He took care of me and the baby also the house for 7 weeks. I was not allowed to do chores, lift things, or even cook, so he did all that. My in-laws were amazing too. They were so hands-on, they looked after me when hubby had night shifts for his work, and they regularly kept me company with the little one. My father in-law even sometimes helped with the laundry, mum cooked the best pasta dish and made super healthy salads for me. I am so grateful to have these wonderful people in my life.

 Sometimes I still cannot believe it that we have a baby!! Tarou is an amazing baby, he is very healthy, active, funny and very smart. He is so cheerful and a happy baby. At first I was afraid whether all hospital shit traumatized him. But thank goodness my worries are  unreasonable, he thrives and he is growing so fast…my little hero. The picture above is from mommy group from midwives’ practice. They also have their birth stories, and it is so nice to hear theirs and it has made me feeling normal. The struggle to breastfeed their babies, how tired we are, and our worries for tiny little things our babies have. It is so nice to have these ladies around to discuss

baby things. And yes, motherhood is darn hard!! Especially those sleepless nights..oh yeah…nevertheless, I enjoy it so much!! These moments happen too fast, I want to embrace it, to feel it, as mindful as possible because I cannot rewind all these things, the good, the bad and the silly ones. And hopefully, we can go to Indonesia next year to see our family.

Tarou in his fave baby wrap 🙂

Well, this becomes a very long post…hahaha..I hope I can make the best out of my maternity leave, and give my baby the best care he needs.

Thank you all for reading this post ☺️☺️ And till next time! Xxx

-Bucket of  cherries-

“A proud momma”

 

 

Quick Catch Up

These weeks have been really busy for me and kinda exhausting. So many things happened at work. Time flies and it’s  just weeks away from my maternity leave. However, long story short, I managed to arrange my tasks to my replacement to-be, and my bosses have finally recruited a new person to replace me during my leave. Now during my last weeks I just have to assist the new person and hand-over all of current projects. It is a bit overwhelming I gotta admit, luckily I can stay grounded. These times around I realize I am more zen as the D Day is approaching.

My days are filled with working, buying baby stuff, nesting/cleaning, and enjoying some relaxation. I went to Turkish bath and sauna, had prenatal massages and facial. Anything that can help me to be more zen 🙂 I attended prenatal yoga class since 14 weeks pregnancy until 29 weeks pregnancy. I am going  to switch yoga to swimming since my body gets too heavy for yoga, and swimming seems more relaxing now.

Prenatal Yoga Class

Prenatal Yoga Class

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City Hall Weddings in the Netherlands

According to our local newspaper, there are too few weddings held in our municipality. How many are there exactly a year? they announced that the year before we got married (2011) there were only 78 weddings and 21 registered partnerships recorded. Can you imagine how small this number is if you compare it to the number of weddings in Indonesia, let say in one area of Great Jakarta, for example West Jakarta? I bet they have more than one thousand in one year time! OK, our little town only has 26.000 inhabitants..and West Jakarta has more or less 2 millions. But still..

town hall

 wedding hall in our municipality building

There are many reasons why people hesitate to wed. One of them are because it’s costly and because they think it is unpractical. When a married couple decide to end their relationship (divorce) they have to share their wealth and property accordingly. That means more money for lawyers, and times to gather all of the correct documents. Cohabitant or living together is very popular in the Netherlands. I think in modern society this seems the most practical way to commit a serious relationship.

I happen to marry a Dutchman, and we had our wedding ceremony in our municipality’s wedding hall. The wedding hall is grand and modern, has a high ceiling with pretty chairs for the bride and the groom, enough seats for the guests and has pretty wall ornaments.

If you happen to live in the Netherlands and are planning a wedding soon, getting married in the city/town hall is a good option. Sometimes they have beautiful and romantic wedding halls which are perfect for a wedding. I think it is better than renting a place in a hotel or fancy restaurant, if it is only for a ceremony. You can save up a lot of money! City hall of Haarlem has a beautiful and rustic atmosphere, so have Abcoude municipality hall, and Bilthoven’s in Utrecht province. You just have to do some survey a bit about the places 😉

(Gouda)500_gouda_trouwzaal