Saturday, December 03, 2005

I've just joined an online support group for stay-at-home mums today and introduced myself this way:

I'm a new member, Mima. At present, I am teaching full-time from Mon to Saturday 8.30 - 5 pm but am toying with the idea of quitting to pay attention to my 2 boys.

Irsyad is the elder one. 8yo, he's going to be in Yr3 the next schooling session. He goes to the religious school in the morning and the national school in the afternoon. In between, he will transit at the religious school. When he was in Yr1, I had a shock of my life when a mother called me to tell that he has been asking for his son's pocket money on daily basis for quite some time. My son is a very thin boy and he's not too tall either. It had never occured to me that he could be a school bully. That day was one of very few times that I caned him, and I did it really hard.

That problem settled, at the end of the year he gave me another shock. I was wondering why I did not get his report book for the final exam. It turned out that he actually had kept it for quite some time and when I checked, the parent's signature cell has already been filled up with a childish imitation of my signature. My 7yo son, already forging people's signature!! I was so mad and shocked that I instantly slapped his face left and right, left and right!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a child abuser. I don't normally hit my children, but those two events were really testing my patience.

I'm also worried that my son is not doing well in his school subjects since I don't really have the time to sit with him and go through his school work. I totally leave him to deal with them personally. He did have a few proud times, when he showed me that he scored 100 marks for Science, or 98 for Maths, but he's a bit weak in the language subjects like BM and English, scoring normally below 80s. There were times when I would suddenly asked him to show me his workbooks and exercise books, only to see that they are horrible looking (look as shabby like 10yo books) and with a lot of question marks inside with teacher's comments like "Siapkan!". I feel so sad and unworthy as a mom.

You see, I'm staying in a new township, very near Nilai and there's no school here. During schooling sessions, every morning, I would drive to Bandar Baru Bangi to send Irsyad to his religious school. Then, I would send my then "baby" to my aunt in Seri Kembangan, and after that only I go to Cyberjaya to work. After work, the reverse happened, from CJ I'd go to SK to pick up baby, then to BBB to pick up Irsyad's from his national school (when school ends at 6.30pm), then picked up his bags from the religious school and we'd reach home ard 7.45pm. For days when Irsyad's school ends at 6.00 pm, I'd take him first, then go back to SK to pick the baby, we'd reach there normally at 7 and wd end up reaching home at 8pm. By then I would be very tired, I would just buy "tapau" food, feed my two sons, and prepare them for bed. Coz both my younger son and I have sinus, I would at times clean the house at night, vacuuming and mopping the floor and ended up sleeping late.

My younger son, Naufal, is 2yo now. And he has always been sick from the day he was born. The first week of his life, he had the yellow fever. When he was one month old, he has already started having very high fever. Then every month he would be having fever due to immunisation. Teething would be the worst, coz he would have 4 teeth coming out at the same time every time. At 4mo, he had already have 4 teeth, at 8mo, 8 teeth and at 1yo, 12 teeth.

I initially sent him to my sister's maid (staying in the same township) to take care, but at 10 mo, he had pus coming out from both his ears. I took him to the nearby doctor, he said it's common, I didn't have to worry, gave my son antibiotic and the pus stopped. As soon as baby finished the antibio, the pus came out again. I took him to the same dr, and this time, he prescribed a diff antibio, baby took it, and the pus stopped. Right after the antibio finished, the pus came out again. This time, I took him to ENT specialist, with his treatment, it stopped but we had to take him to follow-up checks weekly for few months, because it appeared that both his eardrums were perforated. After few months of checking, the right eardrum which had few small holes, grew and closed itself again, but the left one which had 1 big hole, stays that way (even now). He still has 70% of his hearing though, and it seems that now he's beginning to talk so that's a relief for me.

So after that, Dr. advised me to get him away from any kind of pools, sea or streams - my son can never swim because we can't take the risk of having water getting into his ears. He has to have cotton covering his ears at every bath. That's when, I decided to send him to my aunt to take care. It's a bit far, but I knew she would take a really good care of my son.

However, I guess because Naufal is a weak child, he couldn't take the daily travels. He kept having fever monthly. In April this year on a Sunday, the fever was so high, I guess more than 40 degrees. I was taking care of him, then my mum came, and I left him for a while to serve some drinks to my mum when suddenly he had febrile fits. It was a scary experience. When it stopped, we took him to the nearest clinic which was opened, and the dr. referred him to the Putrajaya Hospital. His fever was a yo yo, and it wasn't until another Sunday before he and I were allowed to go home.

Just two days later, on Tuesday, the fever returned, so I took him back to Putrajaya, only to be dismissed by the outpatient nurse harshly. My son wasn't even given the chance to see the doctor after cueing for so long! So we took him to a private medical center, and he was diagnosed with HFM, something that the dr. suspected he contracted while in Putrajaya hospital. So I stayed for another week at home, since he needed to be quarantined. There went all my annual leaves for the year.

Eversince that incident, everytime he had a fever, I would be on emergency unpaid leave to take care of him, and because I am teaching, the leave affected my classes and my colleagues, who would have to replace me. By then, his fever was more frequent, about fortnightly.

There was once that I thought his fever was very mild, so I left him with my aunt and went off to work - and it also happened to be the day when my aunt decided that it was safe for her to leave my son with my Form 3 cousin, to go to IKEA. When I got back from work, having picked Irsyad up, I found my son alone with my cousin, and his temperature was very high. So I put him at the back of my car, and asked Irsyad to sit with him. After driving a few minutes, I asked Irsyad what his brother was doing since he was very quiet, and Irsyad answered that his brother was looking at him. I quickly turned my head and saw that Naufal's eyes were rolled up and his body was shaking - another fits. I freaked out, stopped my car by the road side, took the bottle of water I had in the car and wet his head with the bottle. Then in panic, I just hugged him until the fits ended.

I was so affected by the incident, and I was sad at the same time. My aunt, whom I trusted so much, had the heart to leave my son when he was having a fever. And I hated myself for rushing to work, to attend to my students, when I knew Naufal was having a fever, even before I left for work. Then, my aunt suggested that perhaps, Naufal couldn't take the travelling, and asked me to send him back to my sister's maid. I did that, but the first week she took care of him, he had pus coming out of his ears again. Then followed by the fever. And the PCM can't help my son anymore. It can only control my son's temperature for two hours, and the Dr said my son is already immuned to antibiotics. My son was given ponstan and scott's emulsion. The dr. asked me to help nourish my son and rebuild his antibody.

My immediate reaction was to take one month unpaid leave. For one whole month my son didn't have a fever. Then I got broke. Dear hubby couldn't help much, he had already taken care of rental and other household expenses, and I got quite an amount of bank liabilities due to my misadventure in property investment when I was younger, that I need to take care of monthly. So I got back to work, and my son started to have fever again.

Lately he develops fever almost every week. I feel guilty to skip working so frequently, but I don't trust anyone else anymore to take care of him when he is sick. So I am toying with the idea to be a SAHM, or WAHM but I don't have the courage yet. Even my one-month unpaid leave was a secret I kept only with my hubby, I didn't let my elder son knew about it coz I was afraid he might tell others in my family. I am sure my mom and my sisters will freak out if they know that I plan to quit and be a full-time mom, or even work on part-time basis as a unit trust consultant. And I won't blame them, coz DH has th history of being very irresponsible, and they were the ones who rescued me with my elder son in those difficult moments.

I am in a very difficult position, and that's why I am here today, looking for your advice and support. I just want to make sure both my sons grow to be righteous, and healthy.


XMOCHA! said...

hugs Mima, my heart goes out to you... wishing for sunshine and clarity for you.

ninuk said...

life has not been bed of roses for you huh ! don't know what to say but do know that i can lend my ears to you - anytime .