Friday, May 30, 2008

Ante-natal class

I'm so glad I finally managed to drag my husband to attend ante-natal class. He missed the 1st one 4 years ago because of his work commitment and distance that kept us apart.

To me, attending an ante-natal class is a very important part of pregnancy period. Although I have attended before, I chose to attend again on my 2nd pregnancy because I believe the knowledge that I received is very valuable to prepare me and my support person to care for our newborn later. Besides, I needed to know any updated information regarding babies/children immunization, sicknesses and how to prevent them, and also great information on what to do/give and not to do/give to babies.

My 1st ante-natal class was provided by Birthcare (great postnatal hospital) in New Zealand. It was a free (fully subsidized by government) 3-day class from morning 'till afternoon. I was given 2 books containing the course material, one book for the father and one book for the mother. The 3-day class was very elaborate and the information given was great especially for 1st time mother like me who had to care for the 1st born by herself. I learned all about to go through my pregnancy, the birthing methods available, the painkiller options during labor, equipment used during delivery, tips on easy-quick delivery, the importance of breastfeeding, how to breastfeed correctly, and parenting education. Too bad my husband couldn't join me, so for 2 sessions my partner was an empty chair then on the final session, one of my good friends agreed to become my temporary birthing partner.

My 2nd ante-natal class was in Malaysia. It's provided by the hospital in where I am going to give birth later.
It was a half a day class. The fee was RM20 per couple in exchange of buffet lunch and all important things to bring to hospital for delivery. The speakers for this ante-natal course consisted of a paediatrician, an obstetrician and gynecology, a nurse, an anaesthetist, and a physiotherapist. I learned a lot of new things in this class especially things regarding breastfeeding, babies, and parenting in Malaysia in addition to the same knowledge I received on my previous ante-natal class in New Zealand.
My husband and I agreed that joining this class really gave us more knowledge about taking care our children. We learned many things that most people take for granted thinking that they already know when actually they know the wrong things.
It's great that my husband was there with me listening to the same information so that when we face a problem concerning our children, we will react the same way and not blaming one another instead. This is a very important point to highlight why it is very important for me to take my support person to attend an ante-natal class.

If you are pregnant, I really suggest you attend an ante-natal class with your support person (your husband, your mother, your mother in-law) so that every one will get the same knowledge and you, as a mother who only wants the best for your children, will not be blamed for doing things that consider new to your support persons. Your mother/mother in-law always think that they know everything better than you do because they are experience mothers, but if they never update their motherhood knowledge, then they will teach you all the wrong things (old information) which can be dangerous for your children. The knowledge you receive during ante-natal course will act as your mythbusters so you know for sure what to do/give to your children.

By attending ante-natal class, you and your support person will be more prepared and relax to welcome the wonderful addition in your family.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My mother's day prayer this year will be focused on mothers all over the world who are facing difficulties in their life and in their journey as a mother and will also be focused on mothers who were forced to become a mother against their will.
May God give these mothers strength, guidance, and patience, to pull them through each and every day of their lives.
So that with their big heart, these mothers will still be able to give their unlimited amount of love to their children and family and in return, their children will be able to learn how to love others.

To all mother in the world: Happy Mother's day.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Malaysia Airlines VS Air Asia

From 5th May, Malaysia Airlines has been introducing a zero (0) Ringgit fare (passenger only needs to pay for airport tax and surcharges) for its domestic flight tickets. According to the letter from its Managing Director/CEO, Dato' Sri Idris Jala, his airlines has put aside up to 30% of the seats for the these Special Everyday Low Fares.

This is an important move by Malaysia Airlines to be able to compete with Air Asia, which has been giving away zero Ringgit tickets on any special occasions, such as its birthday, since long long time ago.

So now everyone traveling within Malaysia is able to enjoy Malaysia Airlines 5-star service on board of a world's 5-star airlines. They just need to purchase the ticket online at, at least 30 days before the flight departure, and cannot change their mind.

With a ticket price a lot cheaper compared to the normal price, passenger is allocated 20kg check-in baggage allowance, free meal on board, and an allocated seat with seat number (you don't have to fight for your preferred seat).

Air Asia fired back this campaign by offering to pay the difference to any of its passengers if they can find any MAS airfare that is lower than the cheapest offered by Air Asia. This airlines is going to even lower the price of its ticket by introducing sub-zero Fare campaign that will be launched soon.

I personally find this battle very amusing. It's funny to see how Malaysia Airlines reacts to the hard competition given by Air Asia.
It should not feel threatened and compete with Air Asia because these two airlines are in a different class/group which supposed to serve different group of people with different tastes of traveling by air.
Why don't MAS try to focus on giving hard competition to Singapore Airlines (SIA) instead? Try to see any opportunities beyond what SIA can see.
But looks like MAS chooses to abandon the fight with SIA and admitted that SIA is a better airlines. So it shifted its focus to go head-on with Air Asia instead knowing exactly that Air Asia has to go to the battle with its own limited force.

This battle will leave SIA smiling because then SIA will be alone in its class. When there is no competition in the market, passengers will have limited option and this can't be good for them.

I personally has been an Air Asia fanatic because so far I have been able to save a lot and still enjoy traveling to my favorite destinations.
Now, I will have to consider MAS because I would love to enjoy the 5 star service with a cheap ticket.

If I fly with Air Asia, I'll get cheap ticket with budget-style service.
I have to pay more to get any services such as: my check-in baggage (15 kg luggage allowance), priority boarding, and for my meal on board) but then I will fly with new planes (safe, fast, and comfortable).

If I fly with MAS, I'll get a little bit more expensive ticket but with 5-star service.
I don't have to pay for anything extra. My luggage allowance is 20kg. I'll get to board first when traveling with my children (free of charge) and I don't have to fight for my seat.
On top of that, there's free meal on board. sounds a better option than Air Asia.
But then, I will fly with old aircrafts.

Let me calculate again everything and see if at the end MAS will win my choice... : )

Malaysia Airlines is starting its Everyday Low Fares for ASEAN routes today, 21st May 2008 until 3rd June 2008 for travel period: 1st July - 14th December 2008. HURRY!! HURRY!! It's a very good deal not to be missed!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Maid or no maid?

As a housewife and a mother, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is facing the dilemma whether or not to have a maid (domestic helper) to assist us in our daily chores.

Personally, I do not really need a maid because I can do all the housework by myself. Thanks to my parents who have done great job for allowing me & my brother to participate in doing the housework since we were very small and we grew up to become a clean-freak.. :) (I think my brother is worst than me.. :)).

But then my other half is the total opposite of me. He can't live without a maid or a helper or someone that picks up his dirty cloths on the floor. He said he has no time to do unimportant things like cleaning up papers from his desk or do the dishes. He prefers to have someone else to do the job.

To me, having a maid is a very serious expense that a family needs to think about more than just twice. The cost of hiring a maid can already burn a big hole in my pocket, not to mention about providing her with health care/insurance and personal necessities which she can just ask for top up anytime, plus, of course, her salary and bonuses. I take it like I am hiring a professional worker but then unfortunately, the maid that I hire is far from a professional worker. She did graduate from a high-school but then just like most maid from Indonesia, my maid comes from a very remote area where electricity is something that the people there are longing to have.

Since this is not my first time having a maid, I can understand her situation. Since the first day she started to work for me, I have been teaching and coaching her so that her work performance is able to meet my standard and expectation. Along the way, I constantly have to lower down my standard and expectation and close one eye if I don't want to get depression.
Not just that. I also need to work around the budget to make sure that she won't burn more holes in my pocket because she just couldn't care less about working carefully with my kitchen & household equipments. Before she came to work with me, I had all electronic fancy household and kitchen equipments to help me doing my chores faster and easier. The expensive things I bought are supposed to last at least more than a year. Though I have constantly reminded my maid NEVER TO TOUCH my fancy equipments, it's just her habit of ignoring my instructions. So, I had to hide away those expensive stuffs and bought the cheaper version or just provide her with the simplest equipment possible.

But then, this will also present me with another problem. Since it's cheaper, the quality is also less. And since my maid works like a robot with no control, she is able to destroy things in matter of days!! Nothing lasts at least a month! So, I have to keep on buying the new ones so that she can continue her work. This is not to mention her attitude problem that I have to bear every time. Oh well, what to expect? I just have to treat her professionally in 1 direction. I can't hope to get a professional work attitude from her since she doesn't even know what it means to be a professional worker... :\

To my other half, all these things are just small matters because to him, the most important thing is that he doesn't have to clean up after his mess and can keep on creating a mess as often as he wants to.
To me, this is a nightmare because I am the one that has to deal with her everyday and I am constantly worry about controlling my expenses.

But then, I have to admit, the maid helps me so that I can do other things such as updating this blog and taking care of my child and my self.

Oh what a dilemma!!Only I and those having the same experiences like me will understand how it really feels... :| Definitely not my other half. We are in a different boat... :(