Being a mother for less than a year is surely not valid to say much about parenting. Thus, I prefer writing it from my experts. My parents.
I was raised by great parents. Surely, they were not flawless, but who were perfect anyway?My mum liked talking a lot. About everything. She had strong characters, a decision maker, in short, the centre of her family before and after marriage. She had been always right in everything she judged. She was the best multi-tasker I have ever known.To her children, she was pretty strict and stern. Most of the time, or maybe almost always we did what she told us to do, in everything. Especially me. I hardly do everything without my mum’s approval. At first maybe because of fear. But, as I grew up, I found too many truth in every words she said. For small things, such buying clothes or things I used, I didn’t wait for her approval, but I always let her know. But, for things like the one whom I was seeing (well, actually, the only one I was seeing in the past was le husband), I asked her. When she was against it, I stopped. Of course, not just like that. I did tell her my arguments, and things became awkward between us, but I chose her.
We had more time together than my siblings had with her. I was glad I spent so much time with her. Even on her last breath, I was the one who was with her. For me, it was a greatest honour I have ever had. To be with her on her last moment. Since she liked talking a lot, she left me with many advises that really stuck on my head. What I have been done taking care Langit alone, half of it based on her lectures. Maybe I know now why she had been talking a lot in the past. To guide us through her words since she was not able to be present physically.
Not only to us the children, she was very chatty too with others. Her colleagues, or even random people. My mum was widely known in our neighborhood. They called her Bu Haji Salma. Of course, not only because of being chatty, but she was very generous and helpful. She had a sharp mind. She could see things in a long-term way. She could think something that no one can do. Let me give you example.
Do you know when someone dies and the family wants to bathe the body in the house, we need curtain to cover the bathing area, and after that the body needs to be covered with kafan, we also need another curtain to it? She saw this after the death of her father. Thus, right after that, she went to Tanah Abang buying fabrics to make two different curtains. She asked someone to sew it. Then, she told some people and the mosque keeper, whenever someone needed the curtains, just came to our house. At first, It startled me. Why, what for and who would use it? But, as I told before, she had been always right. Not long, the first person I asked to borrow those curtains. Only once? Nope. Every time our mosque announces the death of a person, the family shows up to our house to borrow the curtains. Until now. Her invention could be compared with those who invented electricity and telephone,hehe.
My father is kind-hearted, more flexible, and a great family man. During our childhood, I remembered him as a scary father. He was very strict about school and scores. He could make us sit for hours just doing maths problems that we couldn’t solve and being angry for that. So unpleasant. He was so discipline in everything. Really, my father in the past was no cool, at least for me. Well, for us. As I grew up, he changed, pretty much. He became more relax, flexible, royal, in short, be more like a dad than a father. You know the difference between a dad and a father, right,? Of course, it made us happier. But, in certain things, he is as strict an discipline as before. We don’t mind though.
Mostly, my dad followed what my mum decided for us. He had been always said ,” Ask your mum first,” when we asked him buying us things. He was financially stable and had good position, a good and respectable career as a government’s officer. When my mum wasn’t a good student at all, my dad was a very bright one. He had been a chief of student body at school, at campus. When my mum was known because of her social skill, my dad was known because of his brain.
My feeling towards him was not as good as mine towards my mum. But, after my mum left, I took care and spent more time with him, although it is not always easy, I grow fond of him much more than before. Took care of my mum on her last days had great impact to the way I feel toward him now. I want to take care of him as long as I can, as best as I did to my mum. Because, he deserves it as well. I see that in spite of the difficulties, it is lucky that I am given a chance to take care of him. I will just use it well as long as I can.
My favorite time as a family was mostly happened in the kitchen. In our dining table. There, most our best conversations were happened. Values were shared. It was a happy feeling reminiscing what we had there. Especially during weekend. We had breakfast together, made plans, or just talking about everything. Even gossiping, haha😁
Of course we have our ups and downs too. Bien sur, it were not happy moments. But, once everything was settled, then we were good.
So, what are those I most learn from my parents? Here I list from the most considered important :
1. Shalat, and other religious things
Shalat becomes the most often thing my parents being annoying about. Yes, I use term ‘annoying’ since they are really concern about that. It doesn’t stop there. We were obliged to learn Qur’an every week with a teacher, from primary until we graduated from college. Nonstop. After we all earned our own money, my mum asked us to pay our own zakat and every year do our own qurban during Idul Adha. It didn’t stop there, after that, they encouraged us to go Hajj before getting married. Thus, three of us are done with the fifth pillar in Islam before married. I went in 2012, others two went in 2013.
2. School, school, and have another soft skill
We were sent to the best schools from kindergarten till college. We went to good private school in primary, went to the same junior high, (semabels), went to unggulan high schools (81,68,81), and went to reputable universities (IPB, BINUS, UI). Other than Hajj, another thing that we were being encouraged to do before marriage was pursuing master degree. Then, I went abroad to UPM, Malaysia took Curriculum and Instruction, my sister went to Binus Applied Finance and my brother got scholarship from UI continuing his bachelor to master degree in Industrial Engineering.
Really, up to until this standard, I am not really sure whether I can do as good as them. Not many parents can do as good as they were based on my experience. Is that all then? No. See more below.
3. Earn your own money, as soon as you can.
Earning our own money had been sounding for a very long time by telling us how they were already earning their own money since very young. They told us so many times until we were very bored hearing that. But, later, I knew that was their way to implant this spirit into our mind. All those courses we went to, so we could have many options to sell ourselves better in the future. See my Piano post.
They were repetitively reminded us we had to have a job before we graduated. It was compulsory. No matter what job we do, but we had to have that. Why? Because they knew, being jobless was tiring and uncomfortable. Thus, three of us graduated with a job that paid us quite well. We seeked our ‘serious’ job with another job in our hand. It was true. Not only us felt different, the interviewer looked the same way. We had our pride, they saw with respect.
4. House works duties.
We had our house helper but since primary each of us have our own tasks to do. My mum started teaching me and my sister preparing for breakfast since the third year of primary.
Few years later, she didn’t go to the kitchen until breakfast was ready. So was for dinner. After our house was rebuild, we had our own room and bathroom. Me and my sister were sharing a bathroom. Thus, each of us, including my parents cleaned up our own bathroom.
5. Be happy, go shopping, go seeing the world
This one maybe is the easiest and most pleasant. They allowed us to do whatever we want with our money. Me, I liked saving and using it for travelling. I regularly bought dollars after I had two jobs (even three). With those money, I went to several countries, went Hajj and funded half of my master degree cost. My sister likes shopping a lot. She spent her money mostly on bags, watches, clothes, or other things. My brother is more like my sister, plus he likes eating out a lot.
Fiuh, it is a very long one. But, it worths my time writing it all. It helps me remember better. And I also write this for my children so they will know later how good their grandma and grandpa were. It also becomes my guideline so I can have this standard and hopefully no lower than this. Amin.
Guess I can face my mum with a bright smile if I can do as good as she was once we meet again later insya Allah. So help me God. Let me show her I can do as good as her. Fighting!