Monday, December 11, 2017

Do You

Have you been told not to be a certain way or that you shouldn't feel something? 
That you can't be sad, you shouldn't be angry, you must not cry, you have to be more friendly... 

Be less sensitive, but be more considerate. 

Be stronger, but not too strong. 

Be kind, but not to all. 

We are told so many things sometimes all these sayings get too loud it's deafening, silencing our own thoughts, shutting down emotions and feelings. 

And then they tell you you're heartless, selfish, broken. 
That it was wrong, a mistake, a failure.

But over time as you grow to know yourself better, listen to your thoughts and trust your guts, you will learn that your weakness is not really a weakness if you own it and make it your strength. 

I used to be told I'm too sensitive but now I think you need sensitivity to be sensible. 

I used to be told I'm emotional but now I appreciate emotions. They make me feel, live, embrace. They make me present, aware, alive. 

In the end all that you've been told is just a matter of opinion from others.

And the opinion of others is just their perspective based on their own observation and personal experience.

Their opinion does not define you.

You define yourself.
You know yourself better.

You do you.
And the world will follow.

May it please Allah.

Monday, November 27, 2017

As of 2.55pm today my biggest accomplishment is figuring out how to put that Stegosaurus together. Even that looks inferior to my son's Brachiosaurus.

Just one of those days where I'm questioning my capabilities or rather the lack thereof.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tarbiyah On Point

Working with a TV station, my work involves dolling up. Lots of make up and pretty clothes. 

One day, saya rasa make up hari itu extra on point and was very pleased with how I looked. 

That day of work turned out smooth and well too and I went home feeling 'up in the air'. 

Setibanya di rumah, wajah penuh make up saya disambut senyum lebar anak yang memang sedang menanti Ummi untuk menyempurnakan tugas khas. 

Orang lain tak cukup layak untuk tugas ini. Sanggup dan cekal dia menunggu Ummi. 

Dengan wajah make up on point tadi saya pun menjalankan tugas. 

Tahan nafas. Sikit lagi akan selesai. Tiba-tiba seketul lagi 'hasil' terkeluar dan jatuh berdebuk ke lantai bilik air. 

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, dengan wajah make up on point dan bibir merah, saya mengutip tahi dengan tangan. 

Waktu itu terpandang ke atas seolah-olah terpanah. 

Tuhan sedang berbicara dengan saya. 

"Glamourous mana pun kau rasa kau di luar sana, kau tetap pulang ke rumah untuk mengutip seketul tahi seorang manusia bergelar anak". 

Sesungguhnya anak itu sebaik-baik tarbiyah. 

Kadang-kadang kita rasa ibarat 'dihambakan' anak mungkin kerana kita tidak cukup menghambakan diri kepada Tuhan.

Terima kasih anak Ummi atas teguran ini.

May it please Allah.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Put That Cape On

It's hard, really, being a young mother these days. It's almost like you are always told to do this and that, this way, that way. Yet whatever you do, you're never good enough.

You're constantly judged, with very little acknowledgement. I was stuck in this limbo when I first became a mother.

"Your baby's too light. You should feed him formula." "You've stopped breastfeeding? Why you don't have enough milk?".

"You're working? You let others take care of your baby?!". "So you're not working now? What a waste!".

"Your baby can't talk yet? Show him YouTube!". "Eh, gadgets not good you know, can cause autism!".

"Your boy is very hyper ya!". *serves my hyper son a tray of candy*

And the list goes on, it's exasperating! PHEEWWWWW!!

Of course I was insulted and got defensive. I blamed myself for not doing enough... And that feeling like you're constantly failing just eats you up!

However over time I learned to filter unwarranted advices and comments, bearing in mind that these people meant well. Maybe they were just genuinely concerned and wanted to share their experience. But that doesn't mean I have to follow everything they say.

If you are not my parents in law, my mom, my aunts and close family members whom I know are always in our best interests, I thank you for your suggestions but forgive me if I don't take them all into practice. I'm not being stubborn or arrogant, but one can only deal with so much, you know?

In the end I decide what's best for my children and what works for us.

I have figured that there are the right ways to do things as suggested by experts on papers. And then there are also the practical ways of winging and winning this thing called parenting, while keeping our sanity.

I do believe that every mother only wants the best for their children, no matter what decisions they take or the mistakes done along the way. Somewhere deep down inside, I would like to believe they really meant to do what they thought was right at that particular time.

Who are we to judge just because we think we would have made a better decision, given the same situation? After all, we don't wear the same shoes although at some cross roads, we do walk the same path.

All we can do is support each other. And in between those crazy meltdowns and milk spills, say a prayer for one another.

Behind every mother, there need to be a group of like minded positive mothers. I am blessed to have these two among my other mommy friends who are constantly encouraging and assisting me in many ways. 

We try to meet up as much as possible for our self-proclaimed compulsory Mommy Break Day. Special thanks to our dearest respective husbands for the permission and understanding.

These two ladies, are super, I tell you! One left her career with a big corporation to stay home and raise her child, exclusively breastfed for two years too!! She's one of the most disciplined mom I know and I take her dedication as an inspiration.

The other meanwhile, must have invisible extra hands because she juggles two children with no help at home, a few growing businesses and still manage to look impeccable!

I don't know how these two do it. I don't know how you all do it!! I hope to learn as much from all of you supermoms out there!

Now where's our cape? Let's put it on and save the world one tantrum at a time! 

May it all please Allah.

Lots of love,
Supermom wannabe, M

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Very First

To my eldest child,

I never quite understood why my relationship with my mother can be complicated and fragile at times, other than the hereditary stubbornness we both unfortunately possess. Until I had you. Then it all down on me that a first born holds a place like no other in a mother's heart. Not because you are cuter than the rest of your sibling neither because you are assumed to be smarter.

You are my first near death experience. That 19 hours of labour which I will repeatedly narrate to you about later, especially when you misbehave, felt like years of battle. There were moments I thought were my last. There was a point I was ready to die, literally asking God to just pull my soul out. And then my mind rushed back to you. The thought of never meeting you and you never knowing me, gathered all the strength I have left and pulled me through to give that strong last push. And then you were born. Your first cry is the sweetest song I've heard. With that faint whimper, all my pain disappeared as if it wasn't even there.

With your birth, I was reborn.

You made me a mother.

Your first year is the hardest for me. I was adjusting to you. I was adjusting to the new me.

Every new month brought new challenges. I read and read up more. I thought I knew all but nothing could have prepared me to face the wariness and worries of a mother. I wanted to kill your first fever away with my bare hands. Your first fall off the bed felt like my biggest failure ever. Your three nights in the hospital were my longest misery.

I would grow wings if I had to because all I knew is that I wanted to protect you from all the harm and evil in this world.

I've never slept so poorly. The fact that I could still wake up the next morning and still carry on to function to the fullest, never failed to amaze me. I would like to believe I have gained superpowers. Superpowers such as the ability to shower in three minutes, rinsing my hair while brushing my teeth or simply the instinct of identifying your cries and figuring out your needs.

Breathe in, breathe out. Take one day at a time they say.

But that is not all I have gained. There were stretchmarks, post-pregnancy weight and scars that I couldn't stand in front of the mirror long enough to watch them. There are days I couldn't recognize my body anymore. I broke down the first time I tried to squeeze in my pants after I had you. I assure you that particular pair of pants never saw the light of day again. How dare it betray me?

As I watch you grow my child, I realize how much I have grown too.

You taught me patience and innocence.
You made me new. You made me better.
And I hope I will be super.
At least to you.

May we all please Allah.

Lots of love,


If you have met my son Adam you would know that he can't sit still for more than ten minutes. That ten minutes could be his milk break, cartoon shows that he really likes, him working on a mischievous secret project behind our sofa or when he's very very very exhausted.

It's so hard to keep up with him! Now that he has turned three with ever growing vocabulary.... My God! The questions never end and the talking don't stop until he falls asleep. My husband and I will usually end up laughing listening to his stories. So entertaining and amusing but also headache inducing when they surpass midnight LOL.

I watch what he eats, make efforts to hide veges in his meals and avoid sugar although not necessiraly successful all the time because he has other 'sources'. More on that later...

Anyhow, so in my conscious effort to engage him in fun eduplay sessions which also work as a great bonding time for us, I prepared a Fun Learning Folder for our Adam with referral to homeschooling blogs and YouTube like Shelfwork, with great tips from Heidi.

I put together the folder myself according to what I think suits his level and interest. I'm not pressuring him (contrary to what my mom thinks I'm doing 😜) and I'm definitely not expecting him to memorize ABC 123 in a snap.

I just don't want him to be slacking too much watching TV and play nonsense without guidance. And I think it's too early to send him to kindergarten full time. So I'm working on the basics as we play together and see how he progresses. I add on the pages as we move on to new topics. So far we've been using these materials for three months since August. It's quite versatile and can be used in a few ways. I hope to share the activities we did in detail soon. One day. *moms should know better not to make promises*

The most important thing is to make the learning session fun because children learns best through play and when they are happy!

May it please Allah.

Lots of love,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rocking It

While motherhood is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me, it is also the MOST challenging. No one said it's going to be easy. In fact it's the most difficult job ever.

From half the sleep, nonexistent personal space and nasty judgements to add to the long list, it sounds almost impossible.

I am lucky enough to have experienced a few different phases from being a FTWM with a demanding work schedule and then a SAHM after I resigned and occasionally a WAHM doing multiple jobs from the crafting to freelance translating, copywriting and doing voice over in my cupboard, for real. And now I'm currently a PTWM with numerous tasks nonetheless, with help at home.

Throughout all these phases there were ups and downs, pros and cons. But one thing remains the same; That pang of guilt whenever I can't tend to my kids. Or whenever I can't be there for them, with them. Or when I just constantly feel like I'm failing at it.

I wanted to be all, I wanted to do everything and I wanted to do everything perfectly. And then I became miserable by my own choices. I was overwhelmed, I didn't have time for myself, almost lost it even.

Until one moment it hit me, flush all, my kids ain't judging my sticky floor! And my husband better not dare to either! The most important key to a family's well-being is for the mother, The Rock to be happy and emotionally stable. Only with that everyone will be well and everything will be in order.

Remember to set your own standards. Don't be conditioned by others' expectations or to a certain extent, illusions.

Your kids don't need you to be perfect. All they need is for you to be joyful.

Sending my love, thoughts and prayers to all moms out there. You are all super!
Keep on rocking! We can do this!!

May it please Allah.


Friday, October 28, 2016


And just like that my little princess is now ten months old. They say there's something about the second child (or the subsequent ones) that makes them calmer, more independent and much easier to handle. Or is it because we moms are more experienced and capable, hence the breeze?

My girl here is heaven sent, such a coolness to our eyes with the smile that soothes all aches and laughter that heals.

But behold! Don't be fooled by her girly charm for this one is a hustler and she hustles good! Now as her personality blossoms, we can see she is very determined to get what she wants especially if that thing belongs to the Big Brother hihi. 

A little rebel, she defies the normal development milestone. She sits right up from lying on her back, dread tummy time, started standing up with support and only starting to roll at ten months. Now she refuses to crawl but moves forward with her bump which is really funny! And soon she will be walking and we'll be running after two toddlers eeekkkk!!

We can see she's a little advanced than the brother at this stage. Probably because she has a sifu from whom she learns and copies everything! She also insists to eat everything we do! Thankful for her great appetite but that also means she wants to munch almost all the time teehee.

Owh my girl, you're such a joy that completes us and we look forward to learning you, sweetheart!

In the meantime, maybe you could, errrr, stop 'tidying' up your kitchen at 6AM!!

May it please Allah.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Growing Forward

I got pregnant with my first child just three months into our marriage. I thought I wasn't ready. I totally freaked out. My mom freaked out even more. She thought she was too young to be a grandma guysss. 

Little did I know then, although we didn't plan it, it was exactly what we needed. We needed to grow up. Indeed He is The Best Planner.

Having a child will drive you crazy. But it will also drive you forward. The old you will die in labor and you will be reincarnated as a better person. Selfless, motivated, focused. Waking up in the morning will be purposeful. And you don't want to be slacking because every moment counts and there's no turning back once a grief mistake is done. But be as careful with the small overlooked mistakes as well because if left uncorrected, they can leave a huge impact on both your child and you.

My firstborn is turning three soon which also means my third anniversary as a mother is just around the corner. I'm not even going to hide my excitement because becoming a mom (and still surviving) is my proudest achievement. And as expected, yes, I have started brainstorming and planning Mr. A's birthday gathering. It's more fun now because we can plan together as he's big enough to make his own choices of themes and cakes among others. His current interests include dinosaurs, trains & cars, Oddbods and Ultraman. No the last one won't even make it to the discussion table. I'm not pleased with the value or rather the lack of it the show brings.

Talking about shows and being a parent, I can't help but to worry about what he watches and the influences he's absorbing. I mean have you watched the cartoons and programs showed on TV these days? That idiot box is such a culprit even us adults get easily carried away and we should cut down on it! But it's really hard to control our kids and get them away from the screen isn't it? It's so easy to surrender and let the tele babysit them. What do we do when they are old enough for social media?  

But I think the bigger question is: How do we control ourselves from too much screens? I feel so sorry for our kids of today's generation for having technology savvy parents who are constantly having the need to be on their gadgets either for work purposes or for some leisure time. 

I guess when you are a mom or at least for an over-thinking one like me, you are always contemplating the cause and effect of your actions. Even the outfits I put on these days are determined by my children - whether they are coming with me or otherwise. Only nursing friendly tops when Miss A is following. No flowy skirts. No heels, definitely. How on earth do you expect me to run after my energetic toddler wearing 5inches? Haha.

Anyways we do what we can to better ourselves as parents and individuals. I hope to continuously improve myself not just in terms of gadget addictions but also in other expects especially my knowledge and practice as a Muslim. After all our children follow our actions, not instructions. What's a greater way to nurture excellent Muslims other than leading them by example from young? We start with ourselves, from within. InshaAllah may Allah ease our struggles and protect our children.

Don't worry I totally get this motherhood thing, juggling them both just fineee!!SAYS NO MOM EVER

May it please Allah.

Lots of love,

Monday, September 5, 2016

Being There

What do you remember from your childhood?
The taste of your favourite cake?
The smell of your mother's hair?
The sound of your own laughter high up in the air?

We remember how we felt. Both joy and pain. Packed in a box at the back of our minds, carried along with every step we take through the years we live.

As a child of a working mom, I didn't remember her hours of absence during the day or moments I had to play with the helper, but rather the feelings I experienced when I spent time with her. I remembered the warmth of security, assurance and comfort provided through our quality time together, albeit discounted short mostly. I wanted more time with her, but I understood she had to do what she had to in order to provide us with the best.

But in that short moment, the joyful memories are embedded in my mind. Something I fall back on and brought back to especially in moments of longing and difficulties. These feelings stayed with me through my journey growing up and to this day.

Reflecting on this, made me took many conscious decisions in order to have more time with my children. Not just being physically there, but being actively involved and present emotionally, mentally too. I didn't leave my full time job to let the idiot box babysit my Precious Two.

SO I self-imposed this rule onto myself; the requirement to spend uninterrupted quality time with my children every day. One on one with each of them, and also both of them together at the same time to create that sibling bond. When one is sleeping, I will play with the other one. No screen for any of us. TV's off, HP's away. I'm imposing the rule on my dear husband too. It's even more important for him to have full focus during our playtime because he's at work during the day. If it's not our children's laughter that heals our exhausted mind, what else will?

I believe if we can gain their trust from their early days by being interested and encouraging in whatever they do, it would make it easier for them to open up later on especially during their hormonal teenage years where things can take a sharp turn. We've been there, thinking that our parents didn't care and had no idea what we were going through. Thing is we just didn't know we needed their help. We caved in and shut them out.

I don't want that for us. I want my children to know I will be there for them, with them through every weird pimples, heartbreaks and falls. Whether they want it, like it or not, this mom is going to be there!

Coz I'm obsessed like that, kids. And you have no choice. I will let you make mistakes and learn the hard way when you have to. But at the end of the day, I will be there to wipe your tears and lift you up again. Because I didn't risk my life bringing you into this world to give up on you. I'm a mother. This is what I do. I fix things.

May it please Allah.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Buah Hati Penyerang Jantung

Soon to be three, he's so talkative it's interesting to see where our conversations go. Undoubtedly everyday he will surprise me either with his growing ability and intelligence or by simply giving me heart attacks and stretching my patience haha. But we're both learning in our own ways. So I'm going to enjoy these fleeting moments and the luxury of being the person he's most obsessed with! 

Swear my kids implanted a censor on me while they were in my womb! My boy can sense the moment I get off the bed or leave the room! The little one will open her eyes to take a peek whether I'm still next to her or otherwise. It's both flattering and suffocating at the same time especially when I have urgent matters to tend to. 

But the clock is ticking. I keep reminding myself. The bad times shall end and the good times will pass like a breeze. Joyful memories and special moments stay with us forever. Soon before I know it, he will have his own friends, girlfriend (when you're forty, right?) and family. And I'm no longer his number one! So Ummi's going to appreciate the present and smother you with all the love in the world as much as I can, baby!

Ummi loves you dearly, son.

May it please Allah.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Double Trouble

As a person who could hardly keep pets alive as a child, I wake up every morning thanking God for trusting me with my two beautiful children. The second time as a mom, I'm much calmer and not as clueless. But that doesn't discount any worries I have regarding my children's wellbeing. 

So how does it feel being a mother of two you ask?

It's tiring, exhausting, exasperating. I get one third the sleep I used to have, half the time I had for myself and just a quarter of the bed for me, literally!

Attending one child is challenging enough. Try giving attention to a breastfed baby who enjoys her free flow milk a little too much on top of a very active toddler who is taking every chance he gets to toss something at the sister!

It has been almost four months and I am still struggling to be fair to both, giving adequate attention and spending uninterrupted bonding time one on one with each of them. Some days it's just like the heaven and universe conspire to give me a wonderful day in my world of motherhood. Some other days, all hell breaks loose! I feel like pulling my head off and I'm not even kidding!

But with all the overwhelming chaos and crazy tantrums, comes double joy and a million more buckets of love!

I believe other than our unconditional love, the best gift we can give our children is time. Live in the present and enjoy every moment. I have exceptionally good days and I have terribly bad days. 

One of my favourite motherhood mantras that helps me survive every meltdown is 
"The clock is ticking. Time, both good and bad will pass. So appreciate every second".

Now to all mothers let's put our superhero cape on and continue doing what we do best!

May you two grow to be the best in Your Master's eyes.

May it please Allah.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new."

I never knew one could love someone so much that you become both fearless and fearful at the same time. The day I became a mother I was reborn as a new person. So selfless until I almost lose myself.

When you are mother, you become fearless enough to wrestle a lion. You promise to guard your children against every possible thing that could harm them. But at the same time you are also fearful of all the threats the world pose. They will grow up and away from you no matter how much you dread that moment. But you love them anyway, in every way you know and could.

As a mom I like to reflect on my childhood days. What I thought of as a child, what I wanted and expected from my own parents, how I viewed the world. 

I guess when you become a parent yourself you will try to provide what you feel you lacked as a child. Some parents worked really hard to provide a good life for their family because they grew up in hardship. Some parents pushed their children academically because they didn't have much opportunities to enjoy education. Some, like me, try their best to ensure their kids never feel alone.

I don't want my kids to think they come second, ever. Not to my career, not to my phone, not to anything. 

It's hard being a mother, really.
You want to be everything, you want to give anything, you want to do all the things.
You want to lift mountains, you want to hold up the sky, you want to pick the stars.

But you are also a person. A woman of your own.
Not just a source of milk. Not just a cook. Not just a housekeeper.

I have to be constantly reminded; 'Never lose yourself'.

My children don't need a perfect mother. They need a happy one!

And to husbands, a happy wife makes a happy life!

May it please Allah.


Please Watch Redha!

If you are a parent with an autistic child, please go watch Redha. You will gain more strength and courage, knowing you are not alone. You will feel proud of yourself for the outstanding amount of patience you possess and be even more grateful to have been blessed with an 'anak syurga'.

If you are a parent, please go watch Redha. You will be thankful for your children and appreciate them even more. You will learn to read the 'clues' of autism and may you have the strength to face the reality if you discover something different about your child.

If you are single, soon to be married or soon to be parents, please go watch Redha. You will have a glimpse into parenthood and be prepared for the worst. You will learn to accept anything and everything that comes with your child.

If you are a teacher, babysitter or caretaker, please go watch Redha. You will learn how to help identify the different behavioural patterns. You will stop discrimination at educational institutions. You will offer more support and assistance to the child and parents.

If you are an extended member of a family with an autistic child, please go watch Redha. You will learn to be more understanding, avoid giving painful remarks and be more helpful.

If you are a member of the society, please go watch Redha. You will learn more about Autism and prevent yourself from being judgmental. You will help create a more receptive environment for the child and family.

If you are human, please go watch Redha. You will appreciate life as it is more. And when things don't turn the way you wish, you will learn to accept and embrace it... Redha.

Redha is a film for everyone with a universal message. So everyone should go watch it!

Thank you Tunku Mona Riza for a beautiful piece. It's not just a story about an autistic child. It's a story about life, with simple straightforward plots, the right dose of wit & humour and heart wrenching play of emotions.  

And congratulations Harith Haziq for an impressive performance!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"I can't remember the reason why I started blogging. If there is even a reason to begin with. Suddenly blogging makes me feel naked. Stripping my thoughts and emotions bare in front of people. People I know, people I don't know. People who think they know me. People who wants to know me. 
Naked. That is not a good feeling. The last time I was naked in public was probably the day I came out of my mum's uterus."

I wrote these words on January 12th 2010 and since that A LOT of things have happened. Well nothing major you know - I got engaged, I dived into the media industry, I got married, I got my own place, I revived my biz, I popped out two kids. Just that! HAHA

Looking back and scrolling through every post ever written in this blog makes me go "What on earth was I thinking??" probably a hundred times and so many "OMG I was so poyo!!" moments. It is hilarious to read through my own mind for the past few years and reflect on my growth, how much I have changed, for the better of course. My priorities are clearly different today, but my urge to write down my thoughts and spill out words onto this page somehow remains the same.

As a very reflective person and at times neurotic, I always blog 'imaginarily' but never had the time to type it all properly. I hope this time around I will be more disciplined in finding the opportunity to keep this space from being abandoned again. In all honesty I like the idea of blogging as it is actually a way to 'empty' my rush of thoughts and a good way to document memories, all those important moments and milestones. And for a higher purpose, I hope this humble page will help inspire others in its own small way, especially my children - a way for them to know their mother from her younger days as a person, not the dictator that feeds them and track down their early days too. All the drools, snots and whatnots. Surely it will all be recorded kids!

Speaking of inspirations, what triggered me to finally update Hidden Jewels is a few surprising comments and messages from my readers who said they miss reading this blog! I will work my best not to disappoint you and I hope we will all learn something from each other.

May it please Allah.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One more

What I find more admirable than a knowledgable person is a person who is in constant search for knowledge, with the awareness that intelligence increase together with humility. 

And that is exactly the kind of person you are, always humble despite of your achievements. I'm so proud of your latest milestone and I know you will achieve even more in the future. 

Now that you have everything, I pray that soon you will find yourself in the hands of an equally wonderful person who will guide and guard you always with all the love in the world that you deserve.

Have a blessed 27th birthday, Kakak!

Lots of love,
M + Baby W