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Monday, March 30, 2020

Tips & Advices for WFH moms

Hello there.
I'm Maria, work-at-home-mom since 2013 with a degree in cleaning and masters in taichi.

I've gone on twitter once in a while (it's sorta where i go to nowadays, but i try not to go on too often too because there's so many stuff going on sampai sakit jiwa so yeahhh.....) and i realised that so many parents are doing so much during this lockdown time.
Like i've seen parents planning stuff to teach their kids, activities, play plans, cooking plans, self-care plans and so much more.

Here i shall say, please... please don't expect this lockdown time to be some "omg i have so much time!" time.

Just, don't expect too much.
Since the lockdown has been extended to another 2 weeks, i hope parents have some realistic visions & plans on what they can do with their kids, how to manage time working while having kids around, and do house chores too.

It's a lot of work, working from home.

Especially when you have young children.
I can only share my tips and advices for parents with kids 7 years old and younger.

So here goes!

Tips on what to do with your kids to keep them preoccupied:
1. If you have a printer, print out activities for your kids.
Example of printables:
- maze 
- word search
- colouring
- connect the dots (and complete the drawing)
- spot the difference
- spot the hidden drawing

2. If you don't have a printer, you can still google stuff kan. If you want some ideas: 
- mathematical problems. You can write them down on paper.
- how to tell time. Just draw clocks.
- spelling. Fill in the blank(s) like "_pple"
- tell them to draw something. Come up with a theme like "a cat in the garden".
- doodling

3. If you don't have time to do all this hands-on stuff, try download some good apps for kids to play. I suggest no need to play those learning stuff, but play like tetris, puzzles, riddles, etc. I let my kids play Happy Glass, Slices, Sandwich, ZEN.
These games, TO ME, would help them learn problem solving, analytical and quick decision making. Sorry for the loud "TO ME", but i just want to make it clear that i decided it on my own, not because i read some reviews or read studies about it heheee. 


Now, for parents, if you're the mom in the house and you gots no helper.. here are my advices:
1. Pace your chores. I believe you should know already kan. Heheee

2. If you cannot deal with your kids, please taichi to your spouse. Like me, when my kids fight, or don't listen to me, i just taichi kat my husband. I have other things to do and take care of, so i don't want to sakitkan diri with fights etc.

3. When you cook, cook lebih so that you can eat it for lunch/dinner/esok. This way, you can save time on cooking and save money and save groceries. Kalau husband you fussy, suruh dia order je dari foodpanda/grab. At times like these, i really hope you and your spouse can help each other out and not adding burden and resentment. It's a time to be closer and understand each other's role in the house.

4. As for self care, please do it simply. Use marzea products because it's minimal self care products and pakai sikit pun cukup. Hehehe.. And also when you're at home, when you feel restless or bored, instead of binge-watching, try to rekindle with your long lost friend called Hobby. If you like painting, knitting, or whatever, do it. If you don't have a hobby, then my friend, it's time to try whatever you can do at home. Like maybe blogging, play board games, do diy stuff.

5. If you cannot do activities with your kids daily, it's ok. You can't expect yourself to. But it's good to try put some time to do stuff with your kids even if it's just watching tv with them (and give them some reality check once in a while, like "don't be like that character. It is self-victimising instead of just solve the problem. Pastu menyusahkan orang lain. Tak malu" etc), reading books together, or anything for just an hour. 

Just so you know, as a professional work-at-home-mom, the job is very busy and tiring, and it is also very boring and lonely 😅
So, with that said, please rather than trying to cover that boredom & loneliness with "retail therapy" via lazada or shopee etc, please first and foremost, recognise that you're bored and lonely, and then put your shopping apps away, and really REALLY use what you ALREADY have at home, and then perhaps watch "Liziqi" on youtube so that you would be inspired to be self-sufficient, self-sustainable, self-recyclable ehekkkkkk 😝

And because it is tiring too, please don't take out your stress or tiredness to your family. Instead, tell them straight that you are tired. I always tell my kids, "Nadrah, Isaac, ummi dah clean, cook, blablabla, so i am tired right now and i want my rest. If you have any problems, you want anything, tell your dad" and then i lie down in my room.

Sebab kalau i penat and the kids make me angry, i can get into Hulk mode and even i hate to go into that state!

So taichi parents.. taichi.. 😆



I hope this is somewhat helpful.
I pun blog ni simply simply je.

Friday, March 13, 2020

How do you see things in your mind?

The other day (or was it yesterday?) i did an instalive talking about some stuff + visual spectrum.
Which will be the main topic for today's blogpost weeee~

To be honest, i found this on twitter 😆 
If it weren't for my curiosity, i would have just scroll past it!
Thankfully my curiosity & the twitter post made me discover something about myself!

Anywayz,
Now, after you read this sentence, close your eyes for 5 seconds and imagine an apple.

5 seconds later~
Ok now. How did your apple look like, based on the image down here?



Does your apple in your mind looks real, 3D, like you can see the details of it, siap nampak garis-garis, or where it is, like is it in your hand, is it floating, is it touchable?

Or does it look like it's on a piece of paper, 2D? Is it just a colour? An outline?

Or nothing at all. Just a "concept".

Number 1 being "hyperphantasia" and 5 being "aphantasia".

The ones in between, i don't know what they're called buehehehe.. sorry.. 😅


Did this blow your mind? 

It did mine! Because i just found out that i'm number 5, which means i have aphantasia 😂

Please do bear in mind that this is not a disability, a disorder or a problem at all. It's just how our brains work and there's no right or wrong here, but it does help in helping see our ability in "seeing" things.

Here's my story see.
Once upon a day, my husband and i were talking & discussing about business matter and it involved calculations. 
Now, i'm not bad at maths. I'm good at it actually. But as my husband was explaining the concept, or theory of the matter we were discussing about, i got truly frustrated because i want him to write it down for me, whereas for him, i should be able to "see" it already as per how he'd been explaining it.

Since i couldn't completely get what he's saying and him not understanding why i couldn't see it, i just stopped talking and cried by myself in the room because i just got too frustrated.
Before you get any ideas (or bad impression), we weren't arguing or anything. It was a real discussion. But i cried because i felt stupid and my ego refused to let him see me looking like one, and because i don't know how to tell him that i really couldn't see what he's trying to say.

Kejap je i nangis pun. Baring-baring, tengok youtube, gelak-gelak, pastu ok la. Move on terus.

A few days later, i found the twitter post about this topic! "The Mind's Eye", you can call it.
And i got excited and showed it to my husband, and turns out, he's a 1 while me a 5.

So you see the difference? 
He can visualise things in his mind and it doesn't require hard focus. He can basically create his own world in his mind. He even said "no wonder i can be lost in my thoughts", and he even boleh khayal lama-lama. 

In contrast to me, i can't khayal lama-lama sebab my khayalan tak vivid. It's more of feelings, emotions. I think my brain compensate my inability to "see" with empathy. That's why i remember events in my life based on how it felt at the time. 

BTW!! Being an aphantasia does not mean i'm not able to imagine or remember or recognise people 😂😂 i know how my kids look like, my parents, etc without having to struggle. But their images in my mind is not like a movie reel or photos. It's like flashes of... stuff. Look i don't know how to explain it 😅

When i told this to my family and friends, they all ask me the same thing; "Tapi... you suka baca buku?"
YES! And i especially love fiction novels. Sci-fi, mystery, fantasy.. 😁
How then, being someone who cannot conjure fictional images in my mind, enjoy reading stuff that REQUIRES creating images or simply put, use imagination?

Well well well my dear chingus,
I have no idea too, but it was never a "world" or like how you see it on the movie screen. My Harry Potter world doesn't look like the movies at all! The moving stairs, the high towers, thestrals, gnomes, Diagon Alley, they all exist in my mind, but without images 😂
It was like "oh i understand that the stairs can move", but there's no image. Just a "concept". HAHAHAHA!

OMG IT IS HARD TO EXPLAIN.

But just so you know, yes i can enjoy reading, and i can imagine stuff, but it's not like how you imagine it la kot. If some things i cannot understand, i will have to google it out, and see it via images. Like how i read Words of Radiance, some stuff i have to google to know what it looks like. So having things in image or written down helps a lot. It's no wonder when i studied dulu, i have to write down repetitively stuff i want to remember because i don't "see" it in my mind, i have to build on memory. My husband (and i assume my genius friends too) can remember to the point he can see the page, the paragraph etc, however, it's not to the point that he has photographic memory like Mike Ross in Suits tu. 

And like i said, to compensate my non-ability to create images, my brain uses empathy and kinda use the stuff i have seen personally in my memory. So based on those, i can create my own world.

Camtu laaa~

Interesting kan???
My husband and i were so excited when we know about this because now we understand each other better and know how we "see" things!
Some people can visualise a future they haven't seen to the extent of how they look like. Some people can't see but rather can feel something eventhough they have never experienced it before.

It's not a flaw, kekurangan, disorder or whatever negative terms you can think of. It's just how different we're all made to be!

I highly recommend people to just do this basic test (using the pic i used tadi), on how you all see your "apple" in your mind's eye. This way, we'd be able to understand how we all learn, how others learn, and then we can communicate our ideas better.

KAN!

You can google this out yourself i guess.


With this discovery, i said to my husband, "Yang... sorry la... dapat bini dyslexic pastu aphantasia lak tu..".
Husband said, "alaa.. as long as you are supportive of me, take care of our family, benda ni takde hal la".

*ė‹Žėŋĩ*😚


Monday, December 16, 2019

Ay Yes Am Are~


Long time ago, i think it was 2 years ago?.. I first heard of ASMR from sis Sue Anna Joe.
And that.. was the beginning of a whole new adventure for my hearing sense 😂

Back then, it started out with eating aka MUKBANG.
You'd see all this people eating ridiculous amount of food, some ate gracefully, while most ate, rather... barbarically? Hahaha! Macam too strong pulak barbaric 😝
But if you've watched enough, you know what i mean kan?
Macam krakkrukkrakkruk, chomchompchomp, sluuuuuurrrrrrrppppppp bapak punya exagerrate sampai i dengar pun terliur liur sebab as barbaric as it was, it did sound soooooo gooooddd!

And so many of these mukbang videos have MILLIONS of views!!
Means, i'm among those millions that would watch and salivate, and sometimes, we would look for those food just to try and see if it's really as good as they seem 😂

Nowadays, there are many types of ASMR, from making crafts, even makeup tutorial, cooking etc etc.
And i made an ASMR video just for fun with my skincare products! 😆


I'm not good at it really, but it was fun trying anyway heheheheehee

All products are available at www.marzea.com

Here are some of my ASMR recommendations!

I love how it looks simple to make and cute, but in reality, i will never ever make them 😂



The drink one ni best dengar sebab the clinks of the ice and the flowing water, macam best jeeeeee. Dah la glass cups dia cute cute!
Makes you feel like you wanna make one for yourself kan? For me yang non-coffee drinker rasa cam nak minum coffee lak 😋


Hope you guys have a great day ahead! And relax your mind & soul with some of these soothing ASMRs hehe!



Saturday, December 14, 2019

It's like a..

The other day when we picked up nadrah & isaac from school, nadrah wanted to explain her bracelet she got from her friend.

Nadrah: Ummi, look. It's like a.. 
Ummi & abah: paranoid looking over my back 
Nadrah: No! It's like a... 
Ummi & abah: whirlwind inside of my head 
Nadrah: NO!! It's like - 
Ummi & abah: CAN'T STOP WHAT I'M HEARING WITHIN! 😂😂😂 HAHAHA!


showing off her bracelet ðŸ˜ļ


// in case you don't know, they're lyrics to Linkin Park's Papercut//



Monday, December 9, 2019

My Korean Learning Journey

Hewwo!
I haven't officially stated it, but now i am i guess.
It has been a year since i've started learning korean weee~

Honestly, i didn't want to tell people about it because it's my own choice and journey and i just don't want to have to answer to questions, like why, where, how, blablabla.
I don't want to feel like i have to prove myself or anything.
People usually have some kind of prejudice with people learning korean because of the entertainment industry, namely, kpop.

But let's not go there. I just like learning the language and i'm also self-studying mandarin.

Learning a new language is really a new kind of learning. Since i started doing this in my 30s, i realise that it's hard to let go of what i know to absorb new stuff. For example, learning new grammar forms (and korean is completely different from malay & english!😭), i can't just accept it for some reason. I subconsciously reach out for ways to tie it to what i know.

Now that i'm used to it already, it's ok la. But still, even a year later, i am still crawling.

Mandarin pulak.. i started it quite recently but my brain is still not adjusted to the tones and characters.

Oh well 💁

Even though it's not easy, i definitely am enjoying it, which is why i can stick to it for this long.
Also, through learning other languages, my love for malay grew.

Kita punya bahasa cakap & bahasa tulisan punya la lain sampai i rasa kalau orang luar nak belajar bahasa malaysia, mesti susah nak faham bahasa cakap kita. Baca buku ke, tulis ke tu agak senang. Grammar pun takde hal la kot.
Cuma kita ada all this: kan, kot, ek, nya, lah, etc, yang tak boleh nak explain kat buku sebab dia lebih kepada emosi. It's very interesting!

I don't really know how many people in malaysia who are currently learning korean, but if you are, high five!
Whatever the reason you're learning it for, who cares. It's a cool skill and i respect polyglots!

Anyway, i just wanted to share the materials i use to help me with practicing korean.
Since i don't have any korean speaking friend, my good friend is myself and books, like these ones:


News In Korean, Easy Korean Reading For Beginners, Real Life Korean Conversations For Beginners and Real Life Conversations: Intermediate. These books are from TalkToMeInKorean but if you want to buy it (with quicker postage), you can get them HERE.

As of now, i consider myself at pre-intermediate level, which means, i can read hangeul, i can understand easy sentences, but i cannot speak properly. Still struggling with that because to speak, i need to know a lot of vocabs, and my problem is, i tend to translate what i want to say, so grammar wise when speaking - horrendous. 😑

This is embarrassing to share, but here's me practicing my reading & speaking using the book Real Life Conversations for Beginners:



When i contemplated about learning korean, i googled and watched so many people on youtube with their "korean learning journey" and they made it seem so easy and fast!
I remember a few of them said they can speak after 6months and i was like "WOW! If it's that fast, then YES PLEASE!".

Little that i know... I think for people who know mandarin, vocabulary would be easier to remember. But for me, dah la slightly dyslexic, memang berpinar pinar segalanya hehehe!

I also forgot to factor in my life, like kids, business, family, so i can't really give 6 hours a day to studying 😂 Thankfully with these books, i can pick up things albeit slowly. Slowly but surely!
Just recently i was watching When The Camellia Blooms, i was pleased to know that i can understand some of the things they're saying without looking at the subs.
I can even detect the difference between the subs and what was really said. Rasa cam "waaahhhh not bad, not bad!".

A small achievement for me bahahaa!

Learning a new thing can be very scary at first, but if we can be patient, be diligent and have strong intention, inshaAllah one day, we'll be like "eh eh! I can do this pretty well!".
We're never too old to start and we'll never know our capabilities if we never try.

If you have something you've been wanting to do since long time ago, whether it's language, or painting, or craft making, cooking, swimming, whatever it is, go on and do it =)
Plan your time and finances properly. InshaAllah boleh!

All the best to you all! Let's rekindle our fire 💓

ps:in case you're wondering.. my skin is by www.marzea.com 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ketumbit lyfe

Kelmarin mata i rasa uncomfortable. Macam bengkak bengkak feeling.
Told my husband about it and that's it.

Yesterday when we were talking, suddenly husband kata
"Ohhhh you ada ketumbit?"

I pun macam "ha ye la kot sebab semalam rasa cam bengkak", pastu terus check kat mirror.
Yup, ketumbit.

Husband kata "you tengok apa ni? you tengok sape berak?"

I pun jawab la "i tengok anak you la berak".

And he was like "......"

And i was like "ye la. si isaac tu tanak berak, so i paksa dia, pastu betul dia berak"

And why was i looking at him pooping? Because i'm potty-training my son and he's always denying when he needs to go and do his business or peeing.
It's so strange how i have an instinct for his bowel movements 😅
I just know when he needs to go and sometimes i have to force him, put him on the potty and look him in the eyes and tell him to poop/shishi 😂 If i don't do it, nanti dia kencing/berak all over the floor and then i have to clean it up.
I'd rather not.

Now that i'm putting this down, it sounds so ridiculous kan?

The things i do to educate my kids! Hahahaha!





So kalau nampak mak-mak mata ada ketumbit, it's not because dia ngintai sesape.
It's probably coz she gotta do what she gotta do 😂

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Unsocial media

Weee!

Ok last weekend i was invited to share about my life (managing business & family) at an event on motherhood.
I learnt a lot from other speakers too!
I hope i punya sharing tu ada la benefit dia.

Hehe..
Anywayz.

I understand that a lot of moms struggle with time management. How to balance family, work and self? Sometimes it can be so overwhelming and it can affect our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical self.
I was there and even now, i have my "system of a down" state once in a while. Only difference is dulu i couldn't cope with it, but now i can bear it better and can bring myself out of that state without shattering to small pieces.

It was when i saw this quote:

"Are you happy or distracted?"

It's so easy to be distracted these days when our distraction comes from our charged phone and internet.

I kept saying that we need to know ourself blablabla but how much of myself am i really being when i was online a lot looking at instagram and looking at other people living their lives?

SO. I took it upon myself and did this experiment to see how social media affects my life. My objectives were:
1. To know if i am truly being myself or if i was influenced.
2. To know how i live my life without the "distraction".
3. To know if i am happy or distracted.

And so i started it around august last year. What i set out to do were:
1. Don't open instagram & facebook often, especially my personal instagram since i was more active there. Limit to once a day, only for 15minutes.
2. Don't need to update unless i want to and when i have to. 
3. Try to create real memories and not just go through life thinking of materials for 'content'.

It was difficult at first because i was addicted to instagram. Not opening it while cooking, waiting in the car when the traffic light was red, while waiting for my kids, while watching tv, while wearing my shoes, omg. I was looking at it more than i realised! You'd think that looking at your instagram is like 5 minutes thing but when you accumulate the times you're on it, BUDDUMTUSHHHH!
LAMA OK!
The withdrawal of not looking at my instagram was like an itch i couldn't scratch. Gatal je tangan nak tengok!
But i always ask myself, "nak tengok apa? apa kat instagram tu yang you nak sangat tengok?"
It took a while, but it worked hehe!
After about 2 weeks of not opening my instagram, it got easier and easier. Suddenly i wasn't looking on my personal account and see what other people are doing or sharing for weeks.
And now, after about a year of not obsessively addictively opening my instagram, i can now see how it affects my life.

So back to my objectives.
1. To know if i am truly being myself or if i was influenced.

= I was taken aback by how much of myself i was NOT being because i was unaware of how influenced i was by others. For example, i see someone using a mop yang macam canggih pastu tetiba i also want that mop, padahal my mop is good enough already 😅
Or, yang paling in common with moms, comparing other kids with ours. "why anak xxx boleh jalan at 5 months, but anak i merangkak pun belum?" - contoh je.
And then kita stress rasa pressured and probably wondered if there's something wrong with our kids or am i an incompetent mom? 
Eventhough i've said before that we should follow people or pages that can affect us positively, add values in our life, but i cannot deny too that i strayed more than i realised to see what other people were doing. Secara tak sengaja! From kononnya nak cari recipe, tetibe tertengok entahpape 😑
Taking myself away from instagram allowed me to influence myself. Make my own opinions without being influenced by other people's opinions, have my own perspective, and listen to what i want to listen, read what i want to read, watch what i want to watch - everything; with more freedom.

2. To know how i live my life without the "distraction".

= Without being obsessed over instagram, i have been able to do things i've always wanted to do but had forgotten. I had more time to think, use my braincells, to learn and to do more! Before, i always thought i didn't have much time. Well... That was because i was using my time to look on instagram and looking at other people living their lives instead of looking and living my own. I was busy looking for "motivation", "inspiration", that i've wasted those times when instead i could have just figure my life out and do something about it.
Now i can manage my time and i've been using it to do the things i've been wanting to do. Of course i couldn't do it all, but it's all in my plannings! 
Perhaps some of you would think "yeah that's all good and stuff, but i can't just travel (it's what i've always wanted to do!) coz i have kids and where can i get the money?? Time lagi! We don't get no holidays!".
I feel yah sistah!
That's why kita buat apa yang realistically kita boleh buat sekarang, and if you're into learning something new, there's always something online you can get for free or with little fee. Ada je! You want to work from home pun boleh! Just google for work at home jobs, part time jobs, whatever jobs and see if you can do something. Then, inshaAllah when our kids have grown bigger, they're more responsible, by then we have these set of skills, knowledge, credibility (and money!) to pursue our dreams and ambitions. InshaAllah 💓


3. To know if i am happy or distracted.

= I was distracted most of the time. I didn't want to face my own reality, so i distract myself from what's stressing me out. It's the easier and most safest way isn't it? But it's not really good la. Sebab problems memang akan surface once in a while, and i had to face it rather than tai chi-ing it sampai tak settle settle. 
Dulu i wasn't aware because it was automatic. Rasa stress je, online. Rasa worry, online. Bukak instagram tengok all this motivational successful people to be motivated and stuff but in the end, i didn't try hard enough. I just macam naik semangat, pastu sambung rutin harian 😅
Now, when i'm stressed, i try to work things out, and yes, i still do procrastinate, tapi at least i can say i'm happy when i am happy, and i'm stressed when i'm stressed. Awareness or kesedaran ni paling penting. So when i'm stressed, i give myself a timeline to be stressed, and after that, i have to find solutions. This is the hardest part for real heheee.. 


Honestly now, i have more real memories and i cherish real life. I value live communications and conversations than likes or hearts. I don't shop impulsively anymore and i don't feel pressured to look and be a certain way. I'm more confident with myself because i know what i wear, what i want to do and why i'm doing it is because of my own deliberation. My choices and decisions were made with my own research and considerations. 

HOWEVER! That doesn't mean i don't want to hear other people's opinions! I still do like to know from different perspectives. It's just that i don't take people's word blindly, and i will try to be aware of my own reasonings. 
It's really easy to be swayed by other people and the sad part is, we don't realise we're being swayed.

The downside of being away from social media is that i don't know what's happening most of the time. News kat tv pun tak tengok, so i rely on my husband and radio to keep me updated. Also, my social life is now very kosong sebab i tak social kat social media 😂 Earlier stage of the experiment, i felt so empty & lifeless because i depended on feeling alive on instagram. Bongok kan? Tapi it's the truth. When i wasn't online, it felt like no one remembers me. It was sad......
Now i'm so over it! I pun faham people are busy raising their families and have stuff going on in their lives. So who am i to kisah kan sebab i pun camtu 😀

We always see and hear people say "be you", "be true to yourself", "be different", "be unapologetically you" etc etc.

But seriously.

How much of you are you truly being if you're influenced by others and don't even notice it?
How much of your life are you living when your time is spent scrolling through other people's lives?
How can you be happy when you're comparing yourself with others?
How can you commit your time to yourself, family, life when you're committed to distractions?
How can you inspire or encourage your kids to "be true to you" when you don't even know how to be yourself?

We can have some time. As much as 15 minutes pun cukup each day to make our lives be more meaningful and purposeful.
We can!

Just like how our kids grow, we need to grow too. We don't ever stop growing. Nadrah always ask me questions and when i say i don't know, she'll be like "how can you don't know? You know everything!". And as usual, i will answer "i know some stuff more than you, but i'm still learning! You never stop learning la".
Hope she'll understand that the search for knowledge never ends =)

I am not saying that you (my precious readers) to quit social media-ing!
You do you! I'm sure as adults you pun have your ways on doing things kan 😊 I'm just sharing the results of this "experiment". 
It has been a year =')
Cepat betul masa berlalu..

And thus is the end of this super long post.

CAKCAK! 
Muka tak malu

"Are you judging me?" face.
Atau "Ya Allah silau nya tak nampak" face.



....
Ok bai