Hi Jihan Muse, you need no introduction. You’re a popular comedienne, TV host and a mother of a two-year-old son, Ungku Arsalan Haq. Walk us through – who is Nuur Jihan binti Musa?
- I am also a wife to Ungku Hariz, who is very family-oriented and hard at work.
- Started my acting career under the tutelage of Fauziah Nawi.
- I moonlighted as an actress when I was still a full-time technician at Majlis Perbandaran Shah Alam (MBSA).
- Joined Maharaja Lawak 2011, where I was later called Ratu Parodi and the rest, as they say, is history.
Describe your journey of becoming a mother. What was the most surprising thing about motherhood?
- In the beginning, I was very nervous and excited all at the same time. While I prepared myself as much as I could before Arsalan was born, I understood that not everything would go as planned and that is alright! It is important to remind ourselves to not get stressed and to go with the flow, enjoy the moment as it is.
- Motherhood doesn’t always go as planned but mothers have strong maternal instinct, we know what’s best for our child. Remember to trust that instinct.
- I enjoy being a mother to Arsalan, it is a journey that I hold very dearly. To me, motherhood is happiness and genuine satisfaction. I value my relationship and time with my son and I love seeing him grow up.
- As a mother, I definitely want the best for my child and I want to be his best form of support whenever possible. At this moment in time, he is my utmost priority and his needs come first, even before mine.
- Having Arsalan has made me more self-aware and a better person. I hope that he grows up to be a well-mannered person and someone that respects the elderly.
- We, parents are our child’s first teachers in life. Our children look to us as role models and to instil these good behaviours, we have to set an example for our kids to follow.
What are the favourite things you do with your son? Favourite moments in a day?
- All moments are precious and priceless to me. One of my favourite moments of Arsalan would be first words ‘bonda’, however during that he can only say ‘bomba’. That is something I will always cherish and never forget.
- The MCO period was a good time for me as I have been busy from work lately and we managed to spend more quality time together. I definitely value the time we have as a family and it is the time where I get to see my son grow up every day.
- Time passes so fast! As Arsalan grows up, I want to witness and be a part of all of his milestones in life. He’s two years old now and I feel like he is growing up too fast.
- Some of our family activities – My husband and I take him swimming every week, teach him ABCs, numbers and learning to draw as well. Arsalan loves Dinosaurs at the moment, we sing Dinosaur themed nursery songs to him, so he is able to learn the name of the dinosaurs.
- During the MCO period, since we could not go swimming, my husband and I decided to setup a mini swimming pool in front of our house for him to play. We had a lot of fun and it was great to see him happily playing.
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your career and family time?
- It is important to maintain a healthy work and family balance in life. Time-management is key – ever since Arsalan has been in my life, I have made some arrangements at work to make sure that my working hours are only eight hours long. Currently, I have one job booking a day as I can no longer work the whole day like I used to.
- Dividing attention between work and family can be difficult for working parents. I try my best to make use of the pockets of time in between work. For instance, if I have a job booking at night, I will dedicate my mornings and afternoons to family quality time.
- Being organised helps bring structure and routine to my daily life. I usually plan my day ahead and I would create my son’s food menu and activities for the day, this helps me save time and prepares me for any unexpected bumps later in the day.
- Raising a child is no mean task, it is also important for the family to work as a team – to lean on each other for support and to share the responsibility of parenting. It is easier to get through the hurdles in life when you have a support system in place. My husband is a great team player and I am grateful that we are in this together. The teamwork between us has definitely made parenthood easier to deal with.
The relationship between nutrition, health and learning is undeniably strong. Walk our readers through the importance of nutrition in toddlerhood.
- Personally, I believe good nutrition plays a role in a child’s development. The value of time is so important when you have a child. They say the first few years of a child’s life is an important period of childhood development – it is when the brain undergoes rapid growth. As Arsalan is in his early years, I try to make sure that he receives proper physical and mental stimulation and adequate nutrition to support the growth.
- Eating a balanced and nutritious meal can keep us healthy, nourishing us from within. Usually, I prepare his food menu ahead of the day and it includes a variety of food groups like vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates such as rice and noodles and proteins like lean meat.
- To complement his meals, he usually has three (3) glasses of milk a day with key nutrients such as MFGM complex and DHA from Enfagrow A+. These nutrients can help with the physical and mental development like IQ and EQ as well as building a stronger immunity against infections. Lesser sick days means more time to learn and play for Arsalan! Besides this, milk contains other important nutrients especially calcium and protein which can support his growth and develop healthy and strong bones.
- I find that being aware and continuously learning about the ingredients and eating habits in my child’s diet helps me plan for better and healthier meals. Like any other child, Arsalan goes through a ‘fussy eating’ phase and I was worried that he might not have gotten all the nutrients. Recently, I received some good advice from a Facebook livestream event I did for the Enfagrow A+ MedTalk with Dr Rajini Sarvananthan, a Consultant Developmental and General Paediatrician from Baby and Beyond Child Specialist Clinic in Kuala Lumpur. Dr Rajini shared her tricks with fussy eaters and I liked her recommendation on making fun food art to make the process of eating fun for children as well as incorporating MyHealthy Plate as a guide to create balanced meals in the right amounts.
- During this period, we experimented with many types of food with Arsalan to understand what his likes and dislikes are. I learned to have patience with the process and at the same time ensure that he is receiving the adequate nutritional requirement that he needs during this phase. Hence, I do feel it is important to be attuned to your child’s needs and also learning nutritional knowledge to make informed choices for our health.
- Beyond nutrition, proper sleep, active lifestyle and good hygiene have an important role too in making sure the body is functioning properly.
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