Gardening For Soul

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Time really flies so fast this year. It’s almost the end of March. It’s been a while since I really sit down and write for this blog. For April, I hope I would be able to update more.

The picture of the plant above was taken last week. It is the rangoon creeper I have at home. It has grown so big that it becomes a hassle every now and then to trim the branches and prune the leaves so that it won’t go into the neighbor’s side. But every time the flowers bloom, it is such a joy to watch all the bright red and white buds, and smelling the sweet musky weird smell those flowers emit.

This year, there were days that I was so busy indoor taking care of the children and doing house chores that I didn’t even get the chance to go out and water all my plants. I miss the precious me-time I occasionally get gardening, digging the holes, putting in new plants and seeing them grow each day.

I love sowing the seeds and wait in hope for those tiny creatures of God to sprout into life. We can only strive and pray for the best outcome in every action we take in life, the same concept goes with gardening. There will be days when nothing ever grow from the seeds we sow, but it doesn’t give the excuse for us to stop trying.

Never give up. Ask question, seek out answers, search for the truth. Eventually we will find the right way to make it work.

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The Rambling Of A Sweeping Mom

A few days ago, while I was sweeping the floor, I have this sudden thought of how wasteful my life has been. It could be because of the dust that I inhaled that went straight inside my head, Idk.

I told myself this is the kind of job that I could easily pay others to do if I decide not to be a housewife and be a career woman. What am I doing all these years wasting my education and intelligence for mundane house chores like this.

I should have send these children to daycare right after I completed my 2 months maternity leave or hire a maid to take care of them.

There’s a Malaysian woman aged 27, an astrophysics Phd candidate who found a supermassive black hole and here I am finding lump of black dust under the children bed. And occasionaly I do find black poop in dirty diaper as well. Where were I when I was 27?

As I tried to console the crazy thought that keep on growing inside my head which in reality is full of crazy hairs (as testified by my autistic son), my iman whispered about “pahala menyapu sampah di rumah umpama menyapu baitullah” and my head retaliated by saying, for all I know it could be one of the many famous hadis palsu circulated to keep Muslim women happy to do house chores. That I have to ask the hadith expert to clarify. And as I keep on sweeping more toys underneath the sofa while my second son kept on throwing his building blocks, I asked myself, why am I doing all this?

I never imagine growing up to be a housewife. Ages ago when I filled up the top 5 ambitions in the primary school personal data card, surirumah was never a choice.

In 2 months time, I will be 38. If some astrologer’s prediction that I die young really comes true, I hope I live long enough to see my second son grows beyond his 6 years of early life.

There’s a research that shows that for boys, a secure mother attachment in the first year is essential for optimal male socioemotional development. I hope for the past 8 years, despite the lack of sleep and constant battle inside my head, I have been able to provide both of them the attachment they need.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201701/be-worried-about-boys-especially-baby-boys

As I was sorting out the splattered toys from the dirt, it came to my mind about one article I read, written by a mom about how nobody knows who built the cathedral but most are awed by the majestic beauty of it.

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In 30 years time, as these boys will be all grown up, I hope my devotion won’t be a waste. If they couldn’t be as grand as the cathedral, I want them to be like a castle by the lake, quaint yet serene, strong and dependable to those who love them.

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On Being A SAHM

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This year marks the 11th year that I’ve been a homemaker. There were few years previously that I tried to be a WAHM, but for the past 2 years I have been a stay-at-home mom entirely.

There are times that I wonder whether all the years spent as a stay-at-home mom really makes a difference. I wouldn’t know because there’s no other option for me. My son is autistic and has never spend a day in daycare. The only other person ever to take care of him is my husband. We basically have no extended family support. I have never let my son stays overnight with any other family member, since they never offer to babysit him.

When women my age or younger said they would like to try being a work-at-home mom or stay-at-home mom, my unsolicited advice for them would be that they have to be tough mentally and emotionally.

Most women who used to have their own money from working a 9-5 job will think that the main obstacle being a SAHM would be the lost of income. Yes, that’s true. But if you have a supportive spouse who is not stingy, you wouldn’t need all the money you used to earn, to survive basic life. There will be sacrifice on your side, I admit that, like not being able to splurge on branded stuffs, buy impulsively, things like that. But for the past decade that I’ve met people who decided to become SAHM, none of them ever been destitute on the street.

The main problem with being a SAHM is how happy you could be at home, juggling life with kids and house chores, mundane routine that at the end of the day seems like you are doing nothing all day. At one point, you will start asking yourself whether you are wasting the talent and education you got, by being a homemaker.

So for those who would like to choose this path of life after years of being a career women and mothers, I would say give it a try. The first 6 months would be the hardest phase to get through but eventually if you are meant to be a SAHM, you will find the peace in such vocation.

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Legacy

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Many years ago when I still couldn’t decide whether I want to have a child or not, people keep on telling me that I should. For many different reasons.

Some are religious wise, some are more selfish, like who will care for you when you are old and sick if you don’t have any child, well, you know what I mean.

Now after 7 years plus of being a mother, I know why I want to have children. It’s for the legacy you pass down upon your flesh and blood.

You can see it right after the child come out from you. It’s in the feature, the skin color, the temperament, the personality. The fact that he cried his lungs out making demand the first night at the hospital, not wanting to be separated, having forced to sleep on his own in the tiny cot in the nursery.

As the child grows, you can see how the nature brings out the best and the worst of you in him. The fact that he refuses to sleep even though it’s way past the normal bedtime for a 2-year old toddler. Or how he can throw a really terrible tantrum just like how your mother described you at his age, sigh!

These things humbled me. It makes me realized that unconditional love really exist in this world. Beyond the obligation and responsibility of being a parent, there lies a bond that could not be severed.

The legacy you pass down will remain as long as the bloodline continues.

The fact that he inherits your love for reading by stacking all the hardboard books on the pillow after reading them, just like you used to do long before he was born. And the mess he loves to pile on the floor and every empty space possible, just like what you used to do in your old bedroom.

Legacy..that’s a legitimate reason on why every one in this world should have children of their own.

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Garden Mission For 2017

I came across different kind of tools for soil sampling while doing research the other day. For a newbie in gardening like me, all these gadgets and technical terms sound so confusing.

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Well, the reason I think to get some soil sample is because I have been trying to plant a different kind of fruit trees at this space for the past 3 years but every time it grew as tall as a few feet, it died for no apparent reason. Last year the papaya tree was already as tall as me, even started flowering when it suddenly shed all the leaves and eventually died. I even tried planting lime and lemon trees at that patch of soil but after a while they just withered and died. Perplexing, huh?

So far the only type of plants that thrive over there is the flowering type like portulaca, jasmine and ruellias. Oh, and the green herbs have been growing really well there to the extent that I have to prune them every month to avoid the area looking like a crowded bush.

From the reading I’ve done, soil sampling could help to determine the need for aeration and to select the proper fertilizer for root development. The soil sampling should be done before doing any new landscaping so that if the soil test report recommends lime, you will have enough time to apply it and have it adjust the soil pH before you can plant.

If an established area exhibits abnormal growth or plant discoloration, take a soil sample right away. You may want to submit matching plant tissue samples or separate soil samples for nematode assay. After reading this, I thought maybe this could be the main reason why the fruit trees died – because of the nematode problem. Some nematodes are beneficial, controlling grubs and other insects in the soil. Other nematodes are harmful to plants, burrowing into roots and making their way up the stems and leaves.

One of the solution for the nematodes problem is to amend the soil with plenty of organic matter prior to planting. Till or dig the organic matter several inches into the soil. The organic matter will help suppress the nematodes and keep them from causing as much damage.

Well, I have to try one of these many suggestions if I would like to go further with the fruit tree mission for the year of 2017. Will let you know if any of the solution work out. :)

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