I took two days off and I could find the time to observe people and their lifestyles – a thing that I do from time to time to make me in sync with the consumers. This time I was accompanied by an accomplice, my friend Wenda – who has a solid background in consumers’ qualitative research.
Around half past five in the afternoon we sat in Canton Bay – waiting to break the fasting (buka puasa). The restaurant was not really full yet. But, all seats and tables in Bakmi GM and Bakso Malang nearby Canton Bay were already occupied. We placed the order immediately so she could break her fast when the time for buka puasa came.
While we’re waiting for buka puasa we had this discussion – why bother to be a mother if you don’t want to take the responsibility as a mother? This issue came into discussion after we spot a number of young mothers with babies and babysitters on their entourage. It’s sad to see these good-looking young mothers eating and giggling and laughing and smoking and having their good time while the babysitters had their sleeping babies on a sling.
Couple hours after dinner we moved to Bakerzin to have coffee. We waited for Christi who had just arrived to this get-together. Well, to our surprise the entourage of young mothers that we saw couple hours ago were having coffee and smoking cigarette in this place too. We watched the babies and felt sorry for them. They should be tucked in bed couple hours ago not in this place waiting for their mothers having fun! Emak-emak, apa ente kagak kasian ama anak-anak bayi ente? Kalo masih pingin senang-senang ya jangan brojolin anak dulu lah. *sigh*
I think it’s very common to see affluent young mothers in Jakarta go to malls or restaurants or places to meet with their small entourage (their babysitters and children) on their tails. While they’re shopping or talking on their stylish cell phones, the babysitters run after their little kids to feed them…. or, while they’re eating with their husbands or friends, their babysitters feeding their children on separate tables. Emak-emak, itu anak-anak ente atawa anak babysitter ente sih? *sigh*
When I spent my weekend in Bogor’s Novotel Coralia couple months ago, I saw twin babies with five – I repeated, FIVE – babysitters took care of the twin while the twin’s young mother stood by!
I’m not against babysitters, but I think you better spend more time with your children when they’re small. (Go find the books that would tell you that the tender age is the best time for you to instill good values and educate your children.) Kids nowadays grow up quickly – you’ll miss the time when they still want to go for family-gathering with you.
A friend of mine from a well-to-do family was once said that she wished her mother was with her when she’s little to teen age, she wished her parents could be a bit hard on her, she wished her mother could teach her how to socialize among people from all walk of life… and many more unfulfilling wishes. She said she felt so helpless and such a dumb-ass when she left home to study – she didn’t know how to iron her clothes, she didn’t know how to mop (she threw a bucket of water in her room and then mopped the muddy floor), she didn’t even know how to cook instant noodle.
I think if you’re not ready with the responsibility as a mother why bother to be a mother?! I hate to imagine what their children are going to be when they’re ready to enter working life… Sometimes I’m wondering... am I too old fashioned on this? (Thank you, Mom. I know you traded your dream for us your children.)