Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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Isn’t She Lovely?

Got a lovely gift today from A Gracious Life. My first blog award =)

And what I love about this award is it’s the kind of gift that you can give forward. We moms can do everything and we often don’t get a lot of credit for what we do. Motherhood isn’t easy but it has been worthwhile and rewarding. Having a network of moms who I know can understand and empathize what I’m going through has helped make me realize that despite the challenges, motherhood is magical and it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Without further adieu, here are 5 beautiful mommies that I know deserve this award.

Sustainably Single Parenting

The Life After Single

Parenting and Stuff

The Milk Lady

Life As A Mommy

To get your award, all you have to do is:

(1) Click the above image and use it in your acceptance post.

(2) List three things you love about motherhood.

(3) Nominate as many moms as you like and let them know of the award

Why It’s Lovely To Be A Mommy

Baby, you're funny!

Baby, you’re funny!

I love a lot of things about motherhood, but the top 3 would have to be:

  1. My daughter’s antics. Everyday, my daughter does something or says something that makes me laugh. Whether it’s her complaining that her nose isn’t working, loudly declaring that she’s a monkey, or having philosophical discussions with her toy cars, she’s always looking for ways to tickle my funny bone. Everyday is a laugh riot with her and I’ve never been happier.
  2. Grooming my baby. I enjoy grooming my little girl: brushing her hair, cutting her nails, cleaning her ears. She doesn’t have a vain bone and she doesn’t like it when I comb her hair. I know she’s only letting me groom her because she loves me and she’s Mama’s girl.
  3. Playing with my girl. It’s like life gave me a chance to relive my childhood through my daughter. Playing with her relaxes me, makes me feel young, and makes me believe that anything is possible.

 

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Forever Grateful For My Child

"Wakey wakey, eggs and backey!"

“Wakey wakey, eggs and backey!”

This weekend was a stressful to say the least. I wasn’t feeling well last Friday, which was the reason why I wasn’t able to do my regular job post. And my daughter was being a little difficult. It’s not that she was being naughty. She was just being her same old active, cheerful self and I simply didn’t have the energy to keep up with her.

I know a lot of parents that feel the way I do. Parenting is a marathon. The daily grind does take its toll on you. And no matter how nice or even tempered your child normally is, there will be days that you just want to take a break from it all, have a drink, vent, and go somewhere you’re the one babied for a change.

I wanted to wallow and vent over the weekend, but a barrage of news from friends and acquaintances over Facebook made me realize I had more to be grateful for than anything.

I wanted to complain about how tiring it is to have a child. It sounded selfish compared to couples I know who wanted to have a child, who would have made wonderful parents but couldn’t. And I know they would give anything to feel the way I’m feeling right now and for that I’m grateful.

I wanted to complain about how my child would wake me up so early on the weekends. Hearing “Wake up Mama! Wakey, wakey eggs and backey” every few seconds stops being cute and starts to become annoying when you don’t get enough sleep. But then I heard of friends who just lost their child. I know if I was in their situation I would have given anything just to have my daughter wake me up every morning and for that I am grateful.

I wanted to complain about my daughter’s incessant chatter and her seemingly never ending need for hugs and kisses. Then I found out from some parents how painful it can be when your child refuses to run into your arms, when your child can’t return your affection either through words or actions. I have a child who can’t stop hugging me and always wants to talk to me and for that I am grateful.

She's a handful and she knows it.

She’s a handful and she knows it.

Lastly, I wanted to complain about my daughter’s boundless energy. She’s always ready to run and jump and I simply can’t keep up with her anymore. The I realized there are parents out there who would give anything to see their child stand up and play; how it pains them that their child can’t enjoy what most children take for granted. I have a child who is always ready to play and is  living her life to the fullest, for that I am grateful.

 

Yes, I was exhausted over the weekend but I was able to salvage it. My husband, daughter and I focused on having a relaxing time. We quietly played paper dolls, bonded over ice cream, Phineas and Ferb, and Dr. Who. We had food delivered and postponed chores for Monday. We had a good weekend and for that I am grateful.


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Out On Their Own

Yesterday, my husband and I cried like babies. We were on an emotional roller coaster that started with intense anxiety, followed by alternating bouts of fear and doubt which eventually ended with an overwhelming rush of bittersweet joy and immense pride.

Yesterday was my daughter’s assessment and entrance examination for preschool.

I know what you guys are thinking, why are we so emotional over our daughter getting into preschool? It’s preschool, for crying out loud! Nobody fails in those “assessment” tests and all they do in preschool is play.

My husband and I are very involved and a bit overprotective when it comes to our daughter. Although we allow and encourage her to face challenges by herself, this was the first time we felt like she was facing this completely alone. As a parent, you know you that you should let your child work things about by themselves but we’re usually at the wings ready to swoop in whenever our child is in trouble.

This time we felt helpless. We weren’t allowed to go with her to the testing area and she was tested by complete strangers. They didn’t know our daughter and we couldn’t tell her what her quirks are and what makes her tick. We wouldn’t know if she was scared or nervous until after they let us in the room.

Our daughter is smarter and stronger than me and my husband combined. I’m so proud!

She proved us wrong and she passed with flying colors. She even enjoyed the challenge! The guidance counselor and principal were charmed because she told them that she wanted to go to school and she will go to school even when she’s sick!

And I was really thankful that the staff was very professional. They really knew how to put my child at ease, which surprised me because normally my daughter is very shy among strangers. One of the counselors made the effort to make us more comfortable and reassured us by saying that our reaction is normal and that a lot of the parents there actually felt the same way we did.

It’s not you, it’s me

It’s not because we didn’t trust her abilities. It’s more like we didn’t trust ourselves. I think despite all the things we did to prepare her, we’re never completely sure that we did everything that we could or we did everything right. We’re human and we makes mistakes and it scares us that our child would be the one to suffer for our mistakes.

It’s a good thing children are forgiving and they often come out stronger and better than what we expect of them.


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Missing Nanny 5:Super Playdates!

Playdate at the Pod! With my cousin and her baby in the background.

 

Nothing, and I mean nothing, completely drains a toddler’s energy than a playdate with other equally restless toddlers. It’s not an exact science and it varies from child to child. But in my child’s case, one hour of uninterrupted play is equivalent to a 4 hour afternoon nap.

So when my cousin Julie Faith invited me to her weekly playdate (which was set for Valentine’s day that week) at the Pod, I couldn’t say no. I figured if she was able to drain most of her energy that morning, she’d be asleep by 2 pm at the latest and I’d have a few hours to work without interruptions.

It worked.

After lunch, my daughter took a nap with minimal fuss, slept for almost 4 hours, and woke up refreshed. I actually had time to work and hang out with my friends. Best Valentine’s day ever!

But that’s not the only reason why I love playdates. These  playdates  gives us work at home moms and stay at home moms the social interaction we need from people who understand us the most. There, I met other work at home moms and mompreneurs, as well as stay at home moms and working moms.

It was really refreshing and encouraging to see a big group of women that are always ready and willing to help one another with just about any problem. It was nice to be in a room where everyone is cheering you on to make your own choices because they’re also going through the same thing.

Another great thing about these playdates is that it teaches kids to interact with other children early on in a setting that’s comfortable for them. The babies there weren’t afraid to approach other kids and adults because they know mom’s right there. I guess that’s why the babies there are so affectionate. They learn to share their moms and to share affection in a safe environment.

I was also surprised at how gentle my daughter was with the babies in the room. She’s usually a bit rough with her neighborhood friends (who are mostly boys her age) but at our playdate she was very gentle. She was better behaved than I expected, which motivates me to attend more if the opportunity arises.

I had so much fun. I want to thank my cousin Julie Faith again for inviting me, Alex for making me feel welcome there, and to all the “Peas” who were so warm, friendly, and patient with me and my daughter. You made my date-less (hubby had to work) Valentine’s day really memorable and enjoyable. See you guys at the next playdate!


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Missing Nanny 4: Going to Grannies

(From left) My sister, my mom, my daughter, my niece and me on New Years

(From left) My sister, my mom, my daughter, my nephew and me on New Years

The reason why Filipinos have such close family ties is because each generation is in one way or another completely dependent on one another. In most Filipino families, the primary caregivers of children, in addition to the parents, are the grandparents.

This is still the case for most families but it’s not as predominant as before. Which is why some of us have to look for nannies or consider working at home.

This was the case when I was pregnant with my daughter. My in-laws were both working at that time and my mother was on the other side of the country. The grandparents on both sides wanted to spend more time with my daughter but they were all too busy with their own jobs.

When we moved to Davao, the situation was reversed. My mother went back to

My daughter with her Grandpa

My daughter with her Grandpa

school and my in-laws, now retired, was on the other side of the country.

My mom and in-laws may not be able to take care of my daughter full-time but I know they’re often willing to help when able. That’s why, when we went back to Manila for a week-long vacation, I took advantage of my in-laws willingness to take care of my little girl and was able to keep working full-time that week.

As wonderful as it was to have grandparents that are always ready and willing to take care of my child, I try not to take advantage of it too much. First and foremost, they all have their own lives, plans and activities everyday. I’m extremely thankful every time they rearrange their lives to accommodate my daughter. I want the time they have with their grandchild to be a joy and not a chore. So taking care of their daughter should be a break from the day-to-day and not their day to day.

My daughter with Grandma in the park

My daughter with Grandma in the park

So to my mom and my in-laws, thank you so much for all those days that you took care of my baby for me. You have no idea how thankful and touched I am every time I see you welcome her with open arms. I don’t think I would have survived the past 3 years of motherhood without your support. I know we sometimes clash but I understand and I know you only want what’s best for your grandchild. My daughter is extremely lucky to have the most loving grandparents who spoil her rotten and tease her incessantly.

Thank you, thank you, thank you…


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The Physical Hazards of Attachment Parenting

There are days when parenting feels like going to war. And like most soldiers, parents like to share war stories and battle scars with other parents.

Today, my daughter almost broke my nose. I was helping her wear put on her underwear. She figured things would probably go faster if she jumped into her panties rather than put them on one leg after another.

I first heard the crunch of her head hitting my nose. Then the intense pain. I started to freak out after I saw the blood run down my shirt and on my fingers.

This is just one of the many injuries my husband and I have suffered ever since I had my daughter. It wasn’t enough for her that my body has been forever changed because of the stretch marks and the few extra pounds I couldn’t lose. No, she had to leave her mark on all of us and boy, do they hurt.

To my fellow attachment parents, I share with you my inventory of injuries. If you have any unique parenting injuries I would love to hear about them. Misery loves company and it’s always nice to know we’re not alone as we lick our wounds.

Head Injuries

  • Kicks to the head while sleeping
  • Accidental head butts while playing or lifting the baby
  • Migraines from all the screaming

Neck and Shoulder Injuries

Photo-0046

No children were hurt in taking this photo. The adults, well, that’s another story.

  • Neck and shoulder pain from carrying a constantly moving (and increasing) weight

Back Injuries

  • Back pain from piggy back rides (my husband)
  • Back pain from carrying and restraining my daughter when she has a tantrum

Breast Injuries

  • My daughter thinks my breast are like pillows and that plumping them would make them a more comfortable head rest.

Groin injuries

  • My daughter liked to kick her legs when we put her in the baby carrier and she always aimed for my husband’s groin. We don’t use the baby  carrier anymore but when we do carry her, she still takes an aim at her dad. She also enjoys running into my husband and giving him a head butt down there. My husband often joked that we don’t need birth control anymore now that he has been rendered sterile by the numerous injuries sustained by the family jewels.

Foot injuries

  • The older the are, the heavier they become,the more painful it is when they step on your foot.
  • Cuts and bruises from the toys my daughter “forgets” to put away.

This must be what they meant when they said love hurts.


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Finding Freedom With Attachment Parenting

Now that my baby is has grown up into a little girl, I can finally look back on my attachment parenting experience with a more objective eye.

There’s no denying the benefits of attachment parenting. But I can also understand why a lot of people would be reluctant to take on attachment parenting. I understand because I was one of the people before who didn’t want to become an attachment parent.

Two day old Nicky

My daughter at 2 days old. We’ve been through a lot together since then. I can’t wait for what’s to come.

When I became an attachment parent, I was surprised at how liberating the experience was. I thought the experience was going to be restrictive and exhausting. It was but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

For the most part, attachment parenting was really good for me because it allowed me to parent my child in the way I see fit. Having your baby beside you all the time does more than create a strong bond. It allowed me to know my baby better, understand her completely. Being close to her all the time taught me how to communicate with her and anticipate her needs.

Ultimately, it did make me a more confident mother and I learned to trust my own instincts. The experience also helped me to accept the fact that I’ll never be a perfect mother and there are other mothers better than me, but I’m doing the best I can and that in itself is making me the best mother for my child.