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Monthly Heroines

family life & style blog

Filtering by Tag: embracing motherhood

The Humanizer

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Been quoting her, been writing about her, you can tell that I'm so inspired by this woman. She is a mother-of-two strong and gorgeous kids, Ginosko Anugrisa Badudu (Gisko, 11 y.o) and Jasyanda Karunisa Badudu (Syanda, 9 y.o), who graces parenting life with commitment and love. A teacher, a learner, a mother, here is Mara Badudu.
1. As a parenting mentor, how would you describe 'Parenting' in 3 words?
"CHILDREN ARE PEOPLE". As I have mentioned earlier, children are beings with brain, heart, and soul. Every gesture, word, or reaction that parents project at home WILL be absorbed and copied by the kids. Moreover, these actions will help shaping the kids at the same time! Some parents watch things with adult contents in front of their 6 year-olds, while others punish their kids by locking them in the bathroom. Dehumanizing much?
They might not realize this, but children will only view something as "okay" and "normal" when the parents make it look "okay" and "normal" on daily basis. So when we realize that children are people who have brain, heart & soul, we will surely pay more attention to whatever they see, hear, & feel (particularly from us).
2. When did you start learning about parenting? How? 
It all started with a calling and a slammed door, not in my face, but in my mother's face. I grew up in an unhealthy christian family. One day, I saw my older sibling came home really late and slammed her door in my mother's face for trying to ask her where she'd been. At that moment, I thought "what can I do to not end up having a kid like this?"
I then started to do my own research, reading books that I couldn't afford to buy at that time (in bookstores, just flipping through the pages), cause I was just so called to do it right. My calling then came into life when Gisko was conceived.
3. So what do you basically do with your kids? 
First of all, I put purpose in my being a housewife and a mother. If you are doing it without a purpose, you will view this role as something dull, boring, and just...pointless. And before long, you will end up in the mall, spending your husband's money and neglecting your kids. I might not have a carrier or a fat paycheck, but I know that what I'm doing at home with my kids is far more important and actually rewarding than any money I could ever earn. So with that in mind and heart, I have been putting purpose and value in every encounter I have with my kids.
I try my best to always be aware of what my kids are going through each day, both good and bad, big or small. I want to know them all, and if there is anything good that I could do to help or fix it, I will do it.
Badudus 1
I aim to be the most comfortable place that my kids could come to, not because I say yes to everything they want, but because I can deliver the truth in a way that is acceptable to them. I realize that I do not have that much time. Researchers have proven that during the first 10 years of a kid's life, he/she absorbs 80%-100% of your teachings. That means, afterwards, they are on their own! we are no longer their 'only source', they will be bombarded with teachings from their friends and the media.
This is why most parents have fights with their teenagers. When their kids were little, they didn't teach them anything cause they thought "kids are kids, let them be". But then they'd try to do what they should've done earlier (which is teaching the kid), when the kid is a teenager. It's too late! No wonder the kid rebels! How can you expect them to listen to you now? You should've trained them when they were younger to face life on their own when they are older. Not the other way around!
4. Now that is an eye-opener! So, what can a new parent like me teach to my kids? Where should I start?
When your kid is still an infant, they can't really do anything so you just need to take care of them with the right attitude and the right spirit, cause believe it or not, babies can actually capture our spirit.  However, as soon as he turns 8 months old, he can already throw things away or puke his food out deliberately. At this point, we can already teach our babies simple manners and values.
What should we teach them first? Let us ask ourselves first, "what do we have to do as parents?" Always bring it back to you, not to the kid. Cause parenting without the parents, will not going to work. It will only be a set of rules that can soon be broken because it will be lacking something. And that thing is connection.
You can't possibly teach your kids anything if they are not on the same page with you. And they can't possibly be on the same page with you if you've never lead them there.
So again, it starts with you, mothers! You have the power that is greater than authority. You know what it is? It's the power to touch your kids' hearts! Use that power, learn how to master it so your parenting and actually your life can be effective! And most importantly, get creative and have fun with it.
Throughout my chit-chats with her, I have learned a LOT from Mara Badudu. But if I could point out one thought that I think we should learn together, it's this :
 "What most people see as difficult and "too much" (= parenting with purpose) is actually 'easier' cause you WILL reap a good result later. Whereas, what most people see as easy (= purposeless parenting) is actually 'harder' cause you WILL reap a bad result later"
And it's not just bad! it could jeopardize their future if they got into the extreme! (drugs/ teen pregnancy, etc). So let us figure out where we want our kids to end up and make our choice today. What we do now might seem little but the result is enormous! :)


The One Who Soldiered Up

Debora Manusama-Sinaga


Today's society often portrays motherhood as something that is so 'burdensome' that a lot of women are beginning to avoid it. Well, it's actually quite good to avoid it if you think you can't handle it just yet due to your personal maturity level, ongoing career, unfinished studies or difficult financial situation, because motherhood comes with a whole lot of changes that WILL turn your current world upside down, and if you ain't ready for it you might end up harming an innocent kid with the way you raise him/her (DANG, THIS WAS A LONG SENTENCE, haha !!). Anyways, but how about those who suddenly 'tripped' themselves into it? Are they 'doomed' to end up victimizing their child because of  their 'un-prepared-ness' ? I sat down with my bestfriend, Nasya Badudu-Budiman, one of the very few young mothers who are very committed to her family, in spite of the 'complicated' circumstances when she first started.


It was my 23rd birthday eve, when my mom came home and brought the shocking news that got me crying in disbelief. "The baby is about 7 weeks old now," she said. I found the pregnancy news of this particular friend of mine to be impossible because she was someone that I, among many, looked up to since high school (and in our culture, this kind of thing is a big no-no). I was nervous for her and her family, I mean can they handle it well?

1-Nas Kuliah_1

She was always that girl who's good at everything, gets the highest scores on the hardest tests (Humanities and Literature, she even nailed the 'bonus questions' !!), designs all kinds of awesome graphic stuff (my wedding invitations included), sings at church etc! She'd never been with anyone in her life (at least officially) and she'd never 'defiled' herself with stupid stuff like most young girls (me, included). /p>

1-Nas Kuliah_2

Yeap, tough, dorky, smart, all in one person. she is not the type to cry in front of people (ever since she was a kid!), she doesn't even get moody during PMS (she thinks it's a lame excuse for girls to justify their mood swing).

1-Nas Kuliah_3

Nasya had just turned 24 that year when she discovered that she was with child without a marital status yet, though she had planned to get married to the baby daddy the following year. Assumptions, judgements, demeaning comments were said here and there of course, and the news spread so fast that before long, I was asked about her pregnancy too by people who didn't even know her that well. But that time brought us closer than ever. I was in tears (again, gosh) when she finally walked down the aisle to the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in June 3, 2012 :')


 2-Wedding (Parents)

Days prior to her big day, I was curious of what kind of mother she'd become. Will she stress out? Will she drown in regret and shame and frustration? But then again, this is Nasya we're talking about. She is good at everything, remember?


Well today, she is happily married with one beautiful daughter who just turned 1, Kharistia (derived from the Greek word 'Eucharistia' which means thankfulness) Nayyara (a Sanskrit name that means luminous/shining/joyful) Budiman. She quit her job, does not hire a nanny (in Jakarta, it's super common for middle class people to have nannies running around, taking care of their kids), she breastfeeds, she gave birth naturally, she doesn't have a maid, and on top of it all, she still manages to do freelance designing gigs here and there. Whoa! This is more than Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie I Don't Know How She Does It. This is a hardcore supermom right huurrrr!! When I asked her how she does it, she simply answered, "It's about the way you view and respond to your circumstances, it's about choosing between getting stuck in your 'incapability' of being a parent, or stepping up to learn to function as the parent you child needs you to be."

4-Baby Born

"To be honest with you, my husband (then boyfriend) and I had thought about abortion when we first found out about the baby. But we chose not to commit it and to adapt to whatever comes with having this baby. As my pregnancy progressed, I began to focus on how to nurture and raise my daughter in the best possible way," she explained. Well, what about shame, guilt, frustration? I mean, she wasn't ready to have a baby, this baby was 'unplanned'!

She said she is no longer battling those regrets. She had let them go for a long time, because what matters is what you make of you now.

5-1st Bday

Of course like many other great stories, it always involves a great team work, and in Nasya's particular case it involves her husband, Vedie. Today, by God's grace, they have thrived and turned what people saw as a 'failure' into an inspiration and so much more! She said, "Jangan jadi banci! We did what we did, now we gotta stand up tall and do what we gotta do." 6-Family Pic Bali

Instead of making up excuses, they learned to forgive themselves, they stepped up to give nothing but the best for their little luminous miracle, Kharistia, whose light is shining brighter and brighter everyday :)

If they, who were not ready for a baby and who's got a rough start in their marriage, can step up and give the best for their kid, the rest of us who are blessed enough to have an 'easier' circumstance ain't got no excuse to be lousy in our parenting. It's our choice to stop making excuses, though it gets so hard sometimes. Let us learn. Let us be thankful. And make it all fun!