Hi, my name is Aisyah Rozi. This is my personal blog where I share my life experience, thoughts, ideas and occasionally, my projects. Recently, however, I share a lot about being a young mother. I'm also a YouTuber, so do checkout my channel! <3
Dec 04 2015

A mom who lost control; An apology letter to daughter.

Dearest Sara,

I hope this email finds you in good health. Today is 4th of December 2015. You are now about 2 years, 1 month and 3 days. I am now about 8 months pregnant with your sister.

As of now your father is not around, and is on business trip for 3 days, leaving you and I alone at home.

Last night you were not in your best behaviour, and I don’t blame you. Your cognitive development is still young and developing and this means you are unable to manage your emotions, you are lacking understanding of your own experiences and senses. I know that you’ve been missing me for the day and you need my love. On top of that, you are also missing your father whom you haven’t seen in more than 24 hours.

However, last night, I was really tired. Being heavily pregnant makes me get tired easily, and lifting all the heavy grocery, carrying my handbag and your nursery bag and you – all at once made me very tired. You were lovely when we had our quick grocery trip -helping me load the shopping basket and pulling the basket behind me. At home, after dinner, when I wanted to grab the the clothes at the backyard, you wanted to follow me. I knew you didn’t want to be left alone in the house, so I let you follow me but I asked you not to touch the cats. The cats gave you rashes and HMD. So the last thing I want is you getting any more rashes.

You obeyed my instructions, but the cats made it hard for you to reach out. You tried to shoo the cats away but in the process you were close to touching the cats and I had to intervene with little energy I had. I know your intention was to follow my instructions but the cats really got to my nerves. It was my protective instincts. As we went back into the house, you didn’t want to go in. You wanted to keep wearing your favourite shoes that Abah bought for you.

At that time I was already burnt out. It was 9pm, I was sticky and sweaty. I needed a shower -RIGHT NOW. On top of that, you had pooped in your diaper – and to me that calls for an immediate action. I didn’t have the energy to respectfully talk to you out of it. I lost it, and I demanded you to come in. My reaction has caused you to rebel and even worse, I forcefully carried you into the house, took your shoes off -and all hell break loose.

You were screaming on top of your lungs. I was at the edge of insanity. I picked up your nursery bag, my handbag and you your threw your bottles to express your anger. I was really mad and frustrated, but I know it’s not your fault. and in actuality I wasn’t even mad at you. I had to release my anger somewhere, I kicked your crocodile softbook that you were playing with earlier. I too, was throwing a tantrum. Unfortunately you saw that and you it made you frustrated, you picked up your softbook and asked me not to kick it.

Sara, at that point of time I really have lost it. In anger, I asked you to come with me upstairs but you refused. So I said, (yelled) “Up to you! Mama is going upstairs!” I went up, with all the bags and the fresh laundry. You cried even more, on the top of your lungs, crying for mama, “Mama! Mama!” My heart broke. Panting, I carried you upstairs and I undressed you to clean you up. I even gave you a quick shower. After toweling you dry, I distanced myself from you, just to take a moment. I texted Abah my ranting to let off some steam.

You are a smart girl. You found your diaper on your own, put it own, and you even put on your own chosen pants and onesie. It’s not your pyjamas, but as long as you get dressed, I didn’t mind. Then, I went to shower. I took my time, to gain back my control. The cool shower washed away the sweat and anger. I felt refreshed and regained composure. Then, I went out of shower to find that you are building a tall tower with your Megablock.

However, you still weren’t so happy. In fact, you asked me to go back into the shower, which meant you needed some space, too.

Abah called, and talked to you for a while. Once abah’s voice dissapeared, you cried again. Now I’m convinced that you are missing abah. I gave you your favourite treat, Pepero while I performed isya’ prayer. After that your mood slowly improved as I regained my composure. Perhaps the fact that you were able to sense my stress and disappointment made you upset too.

Sara,I always try to be gentle and respectful parent because I believe that will be best for your emotional development. However, sometimes I do slip and loose control. For one moment of lost control, it makes me worried for days – fear of being counter productive of all the work put into nurturing you. Fear of jeopardizing your emotional development and ultimately – the kind of relationship that we are shaping for each other. I also fear of damaging your trust that we’ve built since you were born.

I know that all you really need at this age is unconditional love – it’s the most important thing at this tender age to build trust, independence and healthy emotional development.

I will continue to improve myself. I will learn not to let the worst of me get to me. It wasn’t you, and I had no excuse to show my anger at you. You are kid -and throwing tantrums is what kids do -not adults. My only hope is that you forgive me and this won’t cause a dent in our precious relationship and trust we’ve built.

 

p.s, We created an email account for our daughter – it’s like a time capsule.

Nov 19 2015

Handling an Agressive Toddler

Sara is 2 years old. 2 years and 19 days to be exact. She’s a well behaved girl with usual cheekiness and curiosity but never a “problematic” one.

A week ago, after our quick gateaway to Pangkor, she caught high fever. The fever went up to 40.3C, Alhamdulillah, she didn’t get febrile fit. Her doctor said she’s older now so her threshold is much higher.

Now, upon recovering, she had been really fussy. Sure, I understand, she’s probably feeling fatigue and still sore from the fever, so we put up with her fussiness and tried to be as gentle as possible.  The thing is her fussiness came with aggressive behavior. She started hitting and kicking both of us. Whenever we try to calm her down, she would hit us even more and cry to leave her alone. I tried telling her gently that hitting hurts mama and abah, but it seemed she chose to ignore it. The best bet we had was to distract her attention by reading her some books.

Being the mother, I knew something is not right, something is bothering her because she is usually gentle. Plus, we don’t believe in hitting.

So I offered her favorite teether several times a day and sometimes she took it. Okay, she has 4 teeth coming out all at the same time, so that’s probably it. We went her grandma’s house so that my mom could give her a massage. My mom said she is having a lot of wind everywhere in her body.

After that, her mood improved significantly, but not entirely.

She was still aggressive whenever she was fussing. If something is not right, she started hitting us. My husband has started to lose his patience but I told him we need to remain gentle until we find out what’s going on with her. I reminded him that this is not her usual behavior so we need to be careful on how we handle it because the last thing we want, is to make it worse.

It baffled us. So I asked around, and everybody around me said it’s because she’s going to get a sibling. While I don’t deny that, I don’t think she fully comprehend what it means to get a sibling. So to say something like that for a 2-year-old is quite simplistic thinking.

There must be deeper, underlying cause.

So, I looked up to google to see what the experts are saying. I was all ready to find a children phycologist to fix the problem. From my finding, it turns out toddlers her age want more independence and power, yet they are limited by their vocabs and capability.

I wanted to test this to see if it’s true.

Yesterday, I was very careful not to force doing her anything that she doesn’t want. I tried to respect her wishes and let her do whatever she wants.  She threw foods around for fun, instead of nagging at her, we showed her how to clean up the mess. She helped a bit and then moved on (something we need to work on). She insisted to watch ipad, I let her watch one song and then we negotiate for other entertainment. Then, she didn’t want to get out of the car, because she is tired and she wants to sleep in her car seat. So, we said we’ll give her a treat (Garret popcorn to be exact, lol) if she’s willing to sleep on the bed.

Guess what?

It worked! She stopped being aggressive altogether! She did fuss a little for milk in the middle of the night, but that’s it. No hitting, no aggressive behavior. She went to bed with no problem, and woke up in a fairly good mood. Alhamdulillah.

Let’s recap how we handled agressive behaviour. 

1. Respond gently. Tell her hitting hurts and it’s not okay. Always remain calm, and if she vocal, ask her what she wants by guessing a few things. She may point or stop crying when you guessed something right. Don’t try to ask a toddler what they want when they are mad, they wouldn’t know how to answer.

2. Be more observant and attentive to her behaviour.  Try to think of any triggers. Is there any changes in her life or daily routine recently? or;

3. Consider where could she have learned such behaviour (daycare, tv shows, etc) and if possible, fix it.

4. Once I think I might know the underlying cause, work towards it.

Parenting is a path of a crazy roller coaster ride. Once we figured things out and everything is okay, things just flip and turn around and leave you hanging again. It is just all the transitions and phases of a child, on top of us trying to keep things together. The key is, like my husband like to remind me, to always celebrate the small victories and worry tomorrow’s problem, tomorrow. At the end of the day, we need to cherish the moment, because our children is not going to be little for long. Sara is a living proof, she is 2 years now and I barely felt the 2 years gone by.

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Sara wanted to wear baju kurung instead of her pyjmas. Ok darling, as long as you are not naked.

May 07 2015

Keeping the toddler in a carseat

In Malaysia, carseats for children is not a requirement by law. However, Malaysians need to realize that accidents happen. Sure, you’ll never think that you’ll ever get into accidents, we all think that way.

And I bet, those people who did get into a car accidents didn’t think they would, too.

There are many cases in Malaysia where kids and babies are involved in car accidents flew out of the window due to not being buckled into car seats.

Among the excuses are, my child hates it.

Well, so does mine. And we still put her in carseat, despite the screamings.

For small babies, it may be easier. Well, what about toddlers? After many months of struggle, I’ve finally found my answer. So, this is how we figured her out.

1. Consistency is key

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The rule is simple. Car = car seat. Every time. No matter how short the trip is.

I admit. We are not perfect parents. Sometimes we slack off and abandon the car seat. At that time, it may seem easier that way, but guess what? Every time we do that, we found it harder to put her in her car seat in the next trip.

Now we know that every time we get in the car, this little one goes into her car seat.

On weekdays, I transfer her car seat into my mum’s car (as she’s taking care of her) so that my mum could take her out safely. You know how our older generations don’t even use car seats right? So make it easy for them.

2. Ignore her fight and buckle up
My daughter would fight hard every time I put her in the car seat. She straightens her body and scream which makes buckling up difficult. I have to work my way through it even if it takes more than a min just to buckle her up.

Then, she will cry and scream as if she’s being abused for a good 2mins.

We just let her cry and I will explain her why she has to be in her car seat. Every time.

However, I’ve noticed the post-buckle crying time gets much less. And less. It eventually became seconds.

Now, She still fight during buckling up but I guess she’s just trying her luck in case I would let her out of the car seat. Then she fusses a lil’ and move on.  Sometimes she still makes fuss mid-trip but that’s where distraction comes in.

The reason behind this is, toddlers are curious little beings. They will always experiment and explore, and that includes parents’ limits. If you keep giving in to their cries, they will know how to make you meet their demands.  Yes, their brains may be little but they are SMART. So, what you can do is show them what’s right and reward their good behaviour.

3. Distraction strategy

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Toddlers have short attention span. So, to really get them distracted is to simply figure out what they enjoy.

In my daughter’s case, she loves reading (flipping) books. So we’ll always keep one in the car and make up stories. She enjoys them.

I also give her some random things to play with such as empty plastic bottle, or cups. Sometimes when I ran out of props, I have to play peekaboo with her and it keeps her entertained.

Snacking food is a must. I will give her something to nibble on to buy more time before she’s distracted again. Or to buy more time before I could nurse her.

So there you go. Some tips for those who are struggling.

The funny thing is, sometimes my daughter will still try to trick me into taking her out. She would tell me that she had pooped when there’s no poop (lol). Or she will ask to nurse. I know she’s just tricking me cause when I actually offer her, she would jump and start exploring the car. So of course I’ll have to put her back into her car seat and resume driving.

Well, best of luck! As parents, we all want the best for pur kids right?

Aug 15 2014

Getting myself back

I had so much to write about. However, during Ramadhan my schedule was so packed and breastfeeding during fasting had made me so exhausted, I had to take naps everyday. Then, after Eid, she fell sick and you know how tiring it is to take care of a sick baby.

Alhamdulillah, she’s all well now. Except for some remnant of coughs.

Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit a rock bottom. I don’t know where to go, what to do. All I have to do now is take care of Sara. Make sure she’s fed, make sure she’s changed, get her naps, get a good playtime, and oh the list goes on.

With the little time I have left, I have to cook for her, wash the dirty diapers and clothes, do work. And if I’m lucky, I get to have extra time to clean up the room. Otherwise, cleaning up has to wait till weekend.

This is on good days. On less than good days, I’ll be running up and down the house with Sara on my arms, figuring out whether she wants to sleep, nenen, eat or changed. Sometimes I can’t even figure it out.

Then, I look at Sara. MashaAllah, she’s already 9 months and 1 week. Yet, the state of my emotions still feel like 8.5months ago when I was in confinement. Fuzzy, emotional, unstable, overwhelmed, full of fear. After I’ve given birth, I don’t feel quite the same anymore. Sure, I have a child now so that’s totally the reason why. but no, I just don’t feel like myself. I don’t know who I am. and that… is one of the worst feeling. If I could travel back 2 years ago, I would be asking myself, who have I become now?

I feel like I’ve lost function to this world.

Except to take care of Sara.

Is that it? Am I just nothing to this world? Am I doing anything to change, or even play a role in this fast paced world?

There are so many tough challenges being a young mother. While all my girl friends are out having fun, wearing nice clothes, yet I’m home with a baby. Or, when I’m out, I’m wearing my little collection of nursing-friendly clothes with my nursing BRAS. (Nursing bras are horrible looking yet expensive). Here I am, with a baby in my arms, wearing just a tiny bit of eyeliner, clumsily done because getting ready in an hour with a baby is just a miracle. I need two hours if my husband is not around.

I’ve poured my heart out to my husband. He’s doing a lovely job to encourage me to get back on my feet, do something to change. Yet, I keep going back to this same feeling, like a viscous cycle that’s eating me alive, slowly.

Then, I read a blog entry about finding happiness by a dear friend of mine, Zayana Yusof on being happy.

MashaAllah.

It was just what I needed. She just summed it up. I need to stop feeling self pity (because I have a kid, what?!) and get up on my feet. I need to take a break. Get myself busy for work, send Sara to a babysitter and just take a break. When I say, take a break, I mean, get out of routine.

Like how my husband advised, I may not know what I want to do, but atleast I should do whatever that I CAN do. and, just do what I NEED to do.

and I need to get myself back.

and oh, Happy 24th Birthday, Aisyah.

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