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The One with a Handmade Love

Monthly Heroines

family life & style blog

The One with a Handmade Love

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

This particular interview is special because it's the first one that I've done live since moving to Dallas. For months, I've been interviewing mothers whom I've found inspiring in their own way from all over the world, through sending emails /instant messaging / social media chats. This one however, was 'real' and I actually took these photographs myself (I think they're pretty good for a self-taught amateur photographer don't you think? hehe...). Anyways, it all started when I met her at my church' nursing room on one Saturday afternoon. She stood out from 5 other mothers who were there nursing their babies because she was carrying her baby on a really unique-looking carrier which happened to be a custom-made Mei Tai. Other mothers noticed it too and started to ask her about it. Now I, being all shy and trying-to-be-as-subtle-as-possible kind of blogger, didn't want to approach her until there was no one else in the room. Long story short, it was not until 1 month after that day that I managed to finally interview her.

Crystal, is her name. And the following is her view as well as experience on everything from baby-wearing to running a business at home.

***

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Growing up in a rural area, I have always been used to making things from scratch. My parents are farmers, my dad crafts leather goods, my mom makes canned food, and both of my grandmas were seamstress. Creating things with my own hands comes naturally for me.

I decided to study Fiber Arts when I went to college and that's where I fell in love with African fabrics. What attracted me the most about it was the way that it was used by African society in so many ways, one of which is in baby-wearing. Many years after, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I then started to dig deeper on the benefits of baby-wearing. I did a lot of research and decided that it was the best for my baby and me.

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I found out that baby-wearing fosters the much-needed parent-baby connection which will nurture the baby's confidence. Many might claim that carrying your baby or toddler 'too often' might cause him to be clingy, over-attached, and over-dependent. But I experience the contrary. My kids are fairly social. They are confident, they have no separation anxiety, and I believe that it's due to their established sense of security through baby-wearing.

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I am actually a part of the North Dallas Wearing Mamas, I've been doing it since I had my first child and it has more positive impact on my kids and me, more than most people think it has. I mean, even if you have back issues, you can just wear your baby and he will act as counter pressure to solve it. How great is that? However, I am not against strollers, at all.

I just love the practicality, since I do on-demand nursing. It's just easier for us moms to read our baby's cues, you know. We can quickly tell if they're hungry or needs a diaper change or a nap. It actually reduces crying and therefore relaxes the baby. Plus, you can freely do your chores and cook with your two hands while nursing him in your soft-structured carrier! It's a win-win solution.

I make my own soft-structured carrier (in this case, it's Mei-Tai, as seen in picture below). I choose the color, pattern, and style according to my liking. A lot of people like it when they see it so they often ask me to make their custom-made carriers. That's why I develop Fox Paper Scissors, where you can find things like nursing/teething necklaces, women's & baby clothes/accessories, soft toys, knitted garments & accessories, homegoods, and much more.

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Since working on these homemade goods, I have become a work-at-home mom. It is not easy, but I am committed to give the best for my kids. It took me a while to find my husband. I had a series of relationships with people who I just couldn't picture raising a family with. So when I finally find him and started a family together, I just knew that I wanted to do it in the best possible way, and to us that is as natural as possible. Of course, that doesn't mean we're perfect. My daughter still plays with an iPad every now and then.

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I am quite of an idealist who just wouldn't let anyone else influence the core principles of my kids. And I am blessed enough to be able to take care of them myself at home.

So far we garden, we mostly eat organic, and we are thinking of adapting some elements of the unschooling method. I am not prescribing it though, I just want to adapt some elements of it. I do not want to put too much emphasis on what my kids can and cannot do. I want the kind of education that actually fosters their creativity through playing, traveling, and of course, art.