And some tips for parents to work from home :)

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Malaysian government imposed a two-week Movement Control Order (MCO) starting March 18 to March 31, and now has been extended for another two weeks until April 14.

The Movement Control Order isn’t a total lockdown. It’s a partial lockdown that requires businesses to close the office. And if the business is to still continue, they are to arrange for employees to work from home.

Movement Control Order in Malaysia, at a glance

Under the MCO, mass movements and gatherings including religious, sports, social and cultural activities are prohibited. …

For the millionth time, son, I am sorry

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Photo by Huseyin Akuzum on Unsplash

That night, my son was not the oh-so-perfect toddler that people always seem to adore. He was not the one that always falls asleep right after the first letdown. That night, he was an inconsolable little ball of mixed emotions.

And I was a nightmare waiting to happen.

I had tried to put him to sleep probably for the fifth time that night. My son hasn’t weaned off so he sleeps with me — which also means that he would be clinging to me to find the comfort that he needs to fall asleep.

He hugged me close, his eyes were slowly shutting. But just when he was about to doze off, he would sit up and cry. …

Sometimes revenge is a dish best not served at all

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Photo by Silvestri Matteo on Unsplash

A breakup is already difficult, but it gets harder when it somehow gives you the idea that you need to ‘win’ it. I felt it before, but I must be honest that I actually have no idea how exactly to win a breakup.

When my 3-year relationship collapsed, I had a pretty good idea of why it ended. I knew what I did wrong. But I never realized that I could be more wrong when I was in recovery.

I was so focused on being better than my ex. I sort of tried to ‘win’ in life and decided to be so successful on a simple reason: I had the idea that my success would have been a slap on his face. …

It’s temporary, but necessary.

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Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Here’s why I moved from a free-hosted blog to paid hosting: I was sold the idea that it makes me seem credible if I have my own domain.

It was as simple as that.

It’s okay to judge me. Even I am judging myself now as I write this. But I was 22 years old. I was full of dreams. I read about overnight success stories and believed all of them.

All the ideas about earning from a blog made me very excited. I was all for it. I was ready to learn. …

Your childhood is in the past, and that’s the only place where it belongs.

There are moments when you were a child that shape your values, views, and behavior. I don’t know if it is possible to have a perfect childhood, but there is one thing I know for sure:

Your childhood scar should not hold you back.

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Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

I grew up being picked on and teased constantly for having a darker skin tone. It really affected how I see life as a whole.

It made me think and believe that only the prettiest girls will have it all. Pretty by my society’s standards — fair skin, slender, tall, etc. And I wasn’t pretty.

I don’t think it’s something that was only in my head, as I have been told straight to my face that I wasn’t pretty. A boy went ahead and literally called me ugly once. …

Two words: Fake Sleep

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Photo by Angela Duxbury on Unsplash

My son recently discovered an adorable way to avoid unwanted social encounters. He fake-sleep.

That’s right. My 19-month-old son pretends to be asleep when he doesn’t feel like socializing.

We first noticed this when we were at a funeral. Maybe it was the sadness and the unusual amount of hugging and sobbing that gave him the hint.

How should he behave? A giggle or a smile doesn’t feel appropriate. But as a baby, he doesn’t know how to be otherwise.

“What is the opposite of smiling, Mummy?” He didn’t get to ask.

So he closed his eyes, pretended to be asleep, and crossed his little fingers that he’s behaving just right. …

It’s a part of being human

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Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

Sadness is sadly underrated. It is always being discussed as a negative feeling. People want to avoid being sad and always rush to go back to being happy.

We force ourselves to shake it off. We tell ourselves to buck up. We want so much to get out of it and be better — like it’s a disease or something.

It seems like sadness is not being treated fairly as a human emotion — that is no different than being happy or angry.

The truth is, sadness needs to be viewed as a part of life as it should be. …

Falling in love with my own skin tone by loving my son’s

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The earliest memory of hating my skin tone was around 6 years old. A lady — a close relative pointed at me while asking Mom:

“Did you drink a lot of coffee while you were pregnant with her?”

Coffee can make the baby’s skin darker, she said.

I was too young to say anything. And my mother replied with a simple “No.” She was probably annoyed with the question too.

I don’t remember how the conversation ended. All I remember was the feeling of shame and sadness.

My skin tone must be very ugly and embarrassing, that it needs to be discussed at length.

However that you are doing it, you are doing great.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A breakup is like ripping out the part of your heart where the person you loved used to live in. It will leave a void.

Think of this void as a room. If you ever walked into it, you will find that the walls are still freshly wounded.

It’s no longer bleeding, but the flesh is pink and vulnerable. There is no way that you can move anything in just yet.

You have to make peace with the void. You learn to live without putting anything new into the room.

You learn the art of living alone.

You need to recover from the previous session before you start another. …

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Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

What is the first thing that you do every day as a writer? Is it making a cup of coffee? Reading a few passages to find inspiration? Journaling? Showering?

I do all of the above every day, but not the first thing. The first thing that I do in a day as a writer is to show up.

And I find it very difficult.

Showing up, in my opinion, is simply not care about all the factors that prevent you and just do your stuff.

You show up despite feeling rejected. You show up even on the days when you’re just not up for it. …


Maisarah Atan

Freelance Writer & Malay Translator. Work-at-Home Mummy. I write about Parenting and Relationship.

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