Live in Jeddah

I have been living here since February 2017. This city has a lot of surprises to me personally. Experiencing live in Saudi Arabia is a kind of strange thing because frankly speaking this city has a very different life style. My second foreign life is still on going here.

Working Mom vs. Stay At Home Mom

Every mom wants to be the best for her child: to do what is the best for her child. However, the judgments of society continue to be there and drag the moms down out there. I am writing this post after I get many people curl their lips at me. So, for moms who are experiencing the same thing, here is my toast for you.

I decided to go back to work after giving birth to my first child. My husband is busy in the lab, then I also work. The question is: who is looking after our daughter? This question is coming from my friends and family. Since we don’t live in Indonesia, of course our big family and friends knew perfectly well that we don’t have any extra help unless we hire a babysitter which we don’t. My mom has stayed with us for almost 3 months but she has to get back to Indonesia. Thus, the only option we had is leaving her in the daycare.

Many have questioned my decision to return to work and my husband allowed me to work. But, I don’t care enough to stop myself from doing what I’m doing: being a working mom. I return to work for many reasons. For me, working gives me intellectual stimulation, keeps me connected to the outside world, and makes me less stressful if I stay home 24/7.

But there is this very powerful thing that we call a social media. It has brought moms out there to sneer at each other. I am well aware that Stay At Home Moms is a formidable mom because they are able to overcome a human’s main enemy: boredom. They are able to spend valuable time at home and take care of the family’s necessities from A to Z.

To be honest, I  feel tired with all the debates about these two types of moms.

We are both parents. We want the best for our children. We recognize ourselves better than others. Whatever decision my husband and I take is the best we think and we realize it is not necessarily good for my cousins’, my friends’, my neighbors’ family, or any family in the other side of the world. Vice versa. So, I don’t care.

I spent my 5,5 years in my universities for my degrees. My parents fought for us to live off in our hard time. I just don’t want to give that up. Therefore, I work. I don’t want my daughter feel the same. It’s just a natural feeling. I decide to ‘help’ my husband paying our bills, movie tickets, or pizza delivery because me cooking a proper dinner is only happened on our weekend. I really appreciate the Stay At Home Moms who always get up to date about what is a good parenting. They can capture every single move their children do. They can cook a good meal for their children and husbands. They can have their own time to try a newest skincare.

But again, there is a price to be paid. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, my dear self.

There are some of my friends in social media who almost always indicate that they are a good example of parenting because they are a Stay At Home Mom. Yes, Dear. You are good for your child and yes it is according to you. But that’s not necessarily good for me and my child. I don’t want to look down your decisions for all the reasons behind that you may not work not out of self-will but a compelling condition: your husband forbids, you don’t fit to any job offer, or you just fail to get a job. The thing that really annoys me is that you simply point out that I’m a type of ‘failed and worst’ mom.

I just want to say that we all want our children to grow up healthy and happy. We work hard for it whatever end we use and how much we spend. We are both mentally and physically tired at the end of our days in the office or at home. We are both short of time with our husbands. We are equally self-doubt about our decision. We are equally afraid that our child wants a different mom figure than we are today.

But, we are equally responsible for our little darling, our household, and the work outside. Mom is the first one to wake up in the middle of the night if the child is starving or in pain. Moms will stay up all night waiting for their children when they are sick. Don’t forget that we, moms, went through the pain when we delivered our little lives that we’ve created.

The debate about who’s the best mom and who’s the worst mom shouldn’t be a trend. The commonality of moms should make all moms out there reinforce each other instead of tearing down each other. Sometimes, the power comes from an unknown person who is equally suffering the same. So, you could be my strength and I could be yours. We should be an ally no matter what kind of mom you are and I am.

We have our own preference and live with that. So, please don’t be so teachy in that mean way.

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Why I don’t post my daughter’s picture on my social media? (They call it Sharenting)

I found myself in a quite difficult situation when I have to explain to my friends and family why I likely never put my daughter’s pictures on my social media. It’s seems like I don’t share my happiness with them when I have this little darling coming to my life. The ‘sharenting’ phenomena has brought my sense back that if I don’t hold myself posting those pictures of her, I would be ended up having thousands of hers running wild in the social media. My thing is, this is not about my wish. This is about her and for sure, under her consent.

Frankly, I would think that my daughter lying naked while bathing would be a funny moment to be kept. Yes. I kept it. I’ll show her someday. But make it public? No. This is my and my husband’s decision to go with after we went through our own thought and research. I am sharing this personal decision because I was amazed with the question of us not sharing our moments with the new baby. They might be thinking that we are not happy with her or ashamed of her. The reality is that I and my husband are so happy to have her right now. Sharing this happiness doesn’t mean that we should post her picture online, at least that what we believe.

Posting up the pictures of your child is a commonplace right now. The proud feeling of how cute their children are or the thought that they are doing a good parenting (and it is necessary to tell people as many as possible) is something that parents have. This is the very basic reason why they post very often (as what I could see so far). Of course, every parents would think they are doing the right things and they believe that sharing it will, somehow, ‘help’ other parents. I don’t blame (and never will) their doings.

When I dressed her and I found it very cute, the first thing I want to do is to share that. Sharing that here look at my baby. Isn’t she cute? When she smiles or laughs, believe me I really want to share it. But again, I think twice. At the first time find myself very hard to not to post it. Later on, I could get in to this line: never, or very rarely, put her picture on my social media. Let alone setting a new account for her.

When you are being amazed with their growth and then get used to post your children’s pictures on your social media, you will find yourself addicted and perhaps, couldn’t stop. Having their childhood moments (embarrassing or not) available online would be something harmful psychologically for them in the future. Someone they know might end up searching their embarrassing childhood moments that you’ve posted. Imagine how upset they are when they know their parents share publicly what they don’t want other people to see. Bullying is a real thing. Life is hard for kids now, I don’t want to make it harder by providing something that may drag my daughter into that thing.

I would prefer spending hours on the phone with my mom telling about my daughter’s new move each day. It is a perfect way to share and keep your privacy in the right track, for me at least. It will strengthen my bond with my family and friends, especially my mom, because they know about my daughter from me directly not from the picture that I post online.

For parent, children are very important. Of course, my daughter is my most precious possession I have and putting her on social media with all the risks that could happen is a very hasty decision. Why would I bring my very vulnerable little princess on a public attention?

I believe no parents ever want or even think to harm their children. None of them does. I do things that I believe it’s right for my daughter and I respect their rights to do differently. I totally understand that this post is kind of creating an image that I’m judging them for doing differently. But here is the thing, by posting their children’s pictures on their social media they just open a potential injury to their children. Posting pictures could unfold the features that shouldn’t be known by strangers: their full name in their uniforms, school’s name and address, favorites (animal, food, and etc.) that could attract them to the strangers anywhere, and some others extra features that the parents may less cautious for.

Sure, I have many moments when I do take a pictures with some family, friends, and colleagues (with my daughter in it). Then I start to construct the idea of there should be a parent consent before posting a picture where there is their children’s feature in it. I don’t want my daughter’s picture being posted by others without my consent. That’s it. The fact that most of the parents don’t care about this thing really terrifies me.

As a parent, I would be happily tell everyone that I’m proud of my daughter and share the achievement she has. Posting it to my social media is very tempting –believe me- but I realize once it is in there, there will be no control over it. It is simply because I don’t want my daughter becomes a subject of people’s attention or judgment (based on her picture) while she doesn’t have to (want it) only because my itchy finger on my phone screen.

And as a person, I’m an old school type in the sense of going online. I don’t post my daily life very often and yes, personal (and family) matter stays personal. Whether I’m happy or not, sad or not, excited or not, I will try to make it personal. You won’t easily find my personal matter online. I don’t have any desire to keep posting daily and being sick if I don’t post anything. Until my daughter could understand the privacy policy of the social media and be able to sign in herself, I wouldn’t put her picture online with full and/or important features of her.

What is that I am afraid of? As a person, I will feel a satisfaction when I reach the number of likes (of my posted pictures) and get addicted to post that again and again. As a parent, that likes and comments will make me think that I am doing a good parenting. Then, I will keep posting my daughter’s pictures and perhaps won’t be able to stop. So, before I trap myself in, I’d rather to stay away from doing that in the first place.

And oh, I really really am confused with the fact that the parents don’t want their children playing the social media themselves without their advice. Yet, the parents keep posting their children pictures online. Have you ever ask these question: why do you put their picture online when in the same time you don’t want them going online themselves? Is it a parent’s ego? Why would you wish your children a happy birthday when they are not in the social media? They are too young to be able to read all those posts (and yes they aren’t on the social media yet).

We, as a child, often think that our parents are selfish. Then now, as a parent, would we think and ask ourselves whether we are being selfish or not towards our children?

Please note that I’m not judging anyone here. It’s just my explanation and rational thought of why I don’t post my daughter’s pictures online.

Spouse Visa of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hello there!

Last month was so hectic. It’s a good thing to know that I am now able to get together with my husband in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Well, I’ve got the visa. I was applying the visa from Indonesia and it’s not a fast process thou. I’ve been waiting for almost two months. Have to admit that that country is quite strict for visa issuing. In this post, I’d like to share on how to get spouse visa for KSA.

My husband is a student in KAUST. Since, he was graduated from Turkish university, he had to maintain stamps from KSA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education in Turkey on his diploma. To get that, he had to get back to Turkey as well. Yet, he didn’t. His master diploma was refused since he didn’t have those stamps. As he got admitted in KAUST with his bachelor diploma, in which he already got those two requirement stamps, he was allowed to use its making an application for a calling visa. This calling visa is highly required for me to get an actual visa on my passport. Actually, this process took almost two months.

What do you need is to provide:

  1. A calling visa
  2. A passport with expire date no less than six months on the date you apply the visa
  3. A copy of your sponsor’s (spouse) residence permit
  4. A copy of certificate of marriage
  5. A certified translation of certificate of marriage, a translation issued in KSA will be rejected and you should provide a translation made in the country where you are applying the visa
  6. A medical check up result

After obtaining all of these requirements, I went to the visa agency and paid around SAR 2,660 or IDR 9,500,000. For the medical check up, I spent around SAR 364 or IDR 1,300,000 in an appointed private medical centre named Salamat Medical Centre in South Jakarta. It was Tuesday afternoon I applied and my visa was done by Thursday afternoon. I get a single entry for 90 days stay. It’s a plenty of time to apply for a residence permit here.

The agency was good and fast. The problem was in the initial process in KSA in issuing a calling visa. After getting this, you would be having no problem anymore. Except, if you have an issue in your medical result.

I hope this information is helpful enough. Just drop me an email for another questions that perhaps I could answer regarding this post. (: