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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The Power of Why

I came across this article yesterday on the AsianScientist.com about the Phil. Department of Education dropping science from its Grade 1 and 2 curriculum. It’s actually an old story but when you look at the reactions online, you’ll see that it still hits a raw nerve.

I think the reason why we’re so offended by this issue is because of what it implies. It implies that our government thinks that our children (and by association, us their parents) are not smart enough to understand complex scientific concepts. It implies that our government doesn’t think that our teachers are capable of teaching science to young children. It implies that we, Filipinos in general, are afraid of science and that it’s beyond our simple comprehension.

I understand that the Department of Education did this to follow the educational model set by our Asian neighbors. There’s nothing wrong with that because we can see in their cases that the K-12 system does work. Science education would be strengthened, they claim, because science would be taught at an age where children are better equipped to understand it and t’s easy to integrate science topics in other subjects.

But that’s not really the case. Rather than just following the system, why not improve on it? Why be content with just catching up with our neighbors? Why not introduce science early so we could bypass them?

Killing Curiosity

This decision saddens me because it greatly underestimates our children’s curiosity and desire to learn. What parent hasn’t complain about how inquisitive their children are? They can’t stop asking why. Why do we eat? Why do we sleep? Why does the sun shine? Why is the earth round? Why is the night dark? Why do my fingers wrinkle after I bathe? Why? Why? Why?

No one is too young or too old to learn science.

No one is too young or too old to learn science.

They can’t see that these questions are about science. Teaching science isn’t about spoon-feeding children science concepts. It’s about answering these questions accurately, in the way they understand so they’ll ask the right questions and learn how to find solutions.

When we foster our children’s curiosity and encourage them to ask questions, we’re teaching science. When they express the desire to know more about themselves and their environment, we’re teaching science.

When we tell them they’re too young to understand science, we’re teaching them to fear not just the subject. We’re teaching them to be afraid of learning and exploration. We’re telling them that they’re not good enough to learn and we’re not competent enough to teach. We’re basically killing their curiosty, telling them they’re too young to ask questions. When we take away science and turn away from the power of why, we’re not just failing our children, we’re also depriving them of all the opportunities they deserve to have.


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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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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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Missing Nanny 3: Children and Chores

Teaching your child how to do chores not only gives them a sense of responsibility. It also lays the groundwork for good habits and it makes them feel like their contributing something important to the family.

Since I’ll be spending more time with my daughter and I won’t be able to get a lot of work done on the afternoons, I figured this would be a good time to put her in the habit of doing chores.

The way I see, getting her in the habit of doing chores is a long term investment for me. I figured the more things she can do for herself, the fewer chores I have to do. And maybe this would keep my daughter busy enough and give me time to work.

My dishwasher in training. Next I'll have her do the laundry.

My dishwasher in training. Next I’ll have her do the laundry.

I’ve been trying to teach my daughter how to do simple household chores since she turned 2.  I know it’s possible to teach toddlers how to do chores, as seen in his video here. It’s not easy and it’s not something that they can do consistently. Chores, for a toddler, is still part of play and once that game starts to get boring, they’ll leave that and want to try something else.

Now that my daughter is 3 years old, I really want to get her into the habit of doing chores. In order to do that, I had talked with my husband and my nanny to develop a plan that we all can agree to and implement.

First, we agreed the best way to do this was to give her easy, age-appropriate chores. We all agreed that she has to get into the habit of doing these chores before we can teach her new ones. The chores we selected were

  • putting away her toys and books after use
  • putting her shoes and slippers back on the shoe rack after use
  • putting her dirty clothes in the hamper after bathing or after changing her clothes

To make sure she does these chores, we all agreed not to do any of these chores for her. We also agreed not to allow her to do anything (like have a snack or play) until she finishes her chores.

I, on the other hand, had to promise not to nitpick and clean up after her. What’s more important is that she gets it done, not how she gets it done.

It’s been 4 days now since we started implementing this and I can say the results are promising. I still need to remind her to do her chores but at least she does it right away and without complaint.

My intentions are good and my plan is solid. The only thing I can do now is wait a few more months and see if these lessons would stick. I will update you guys to let you know if this works. Wish us luck!