Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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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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4 Things Every Family Restaurant Should Have

Just because the place has a kiddie meal with a toy doesn’t mean they’re a family restaurant.

Families love family restaurants because it’s a place where they can celebrate and have a break from home cooking. As a working parent, I truly appreciate family restaurants especially when on days when I’m simply too tired or too lazy to cook (or too tired and lazy to do the dishes).

But I find it so frustrating that some “family restaurants” have no idea what amenities families need when dining out. Children are not miniature adults. You need to make a few concessions to make them more comfortable. And when the kids are comfortable, the adults are comfortable. And when everybody’s comfortable, everybody will want to go back to your restaurant.

Families don’t need much. As a parent, I only look for 4 things in a restaurant. The first 2 are essential, the second 2 are optional.

1. High chair. It infuriates me when restaurants promote themselves asEnglish: Baby in antique wooden high chair

family friendly and yet they don’t have any high chairs. It’s like they have this idea that families with infants and toddlers don’t eat out.

It’s also annoying that some restaurants that claim to cater to children and toddlers only have one high chair. Seriously? One high chair? You want to fill your restaurant with children but you only have one high chair?

I do appreciate the effort that some restaurants go through to provide several high chairs for their guests. They even go through the trouble of having these chairs custom-made to fit their decor. But when I tested out their high chairs I get the impression that chair was made by someone who doesn’t know how rambunctious kids can be. For the most part, they look like glorified bar stools.

Restaurant owners, please, have more than 1 high chair per restaurant and make safety a priority for your high chairs. We don’t care how pretty or ugly it looks, as long as it can strap them in and keep them there for the rest of the meal.

2. Restrooms. Children, especially toddlers in potty training, can’t hold it in for as long as most adults. And parents need a private place to change and dispose of diapers. Some restaurants, especially mall restaurants, don’t have their own restrooms. You often have to go to the common restroom, which for some reason is always really far from the restaurant.

Restaurants owners, please provide a restroom. I assure you that even a teeny, tiny one within the premises would be much appreciated. We would much rather go back to restaurant that has its own clean restroom so we can have a bit of privacy than one that’s located a block away from a large common restroom.

3. Smaller utensils. I admit, watching a toddler try to eat her food using a tablespoon is funny. But I also know how uncomfortable it is for my daughter to do so. It’s a good thing most restaurants do have teaspoons (or coffee spoons, dessert spoons, or plastic spoons for take out, which are smaller) to make eating more comfortable for toddlers and small children.

4. Distraction items. Things to help keep our kids occupied while waiting for the  meal isn’t necessary but very much appreciated. Kids hate waiting and they can get restless when they know they have to wait for their meal. As parents, we usually pack stuff like this (crayons, toys, books) but we do sometimes forget. A restaurant that has these items available will earn our never-ending gratitude and patronage for helping us keep our kids on order.

Best Family Restaurant Ever!

My daughter 2 years ago in one of the best family restaurants we encountered

What motivated me to write about I know how hard it is to eat out with a baby or toddler in tow. I also know how hard it is to find a restaurant that can make  eating out a fun experience of everyone.

I do know for a fact that there are some restaurants out there that do make an effort to do this. Most franchise restaurants and fast food places have this down pat. Yeah, these places can be boring in the long run but families go back to them because they make dining with children easier. Although, there are some restaurants that have surprised me over the years for being unexpectedly child friendly. I want to share one of those places with you.

When my husband and I were still dating, we liked going to Muang Thai in Quezon City. It had the right ambiance for romance and great Thai food. Eight months after I gave birth, we went back to Muang Thai with my in-laws to celebrate my daughter’s 8th month birthday.

I was surprised to find that they had custom-made and sturdy high chairs that fit their decor (we did reinforce it a bit though because it didn’t fit my daughter’s frame). And to keep my baby occupied, they lent us a wooden toy frog  that she can play with. They didn’t have a kiddie meal and my daughter was still on semi-solids so she couldn’t eat anything that was on the menu. But the staff did give  recommendations on what Thai foods didn’t have too much spice in them that children may like. Their restroom didn’t have a diaper changing table but the restroom sink had counter tops wide enough so I could easily change my daughter’s diaper by myself. They even offered to let me use their plate and teaspoon to feed my daughter so she could feel like she’s part of the family meal.

It’s usually a date place but the restaurant and its staff really went out of their way to make eating out with my child a fun experience. That is the mark of a true family restaurant. Great food, great service and a wonderful dining experience for families.


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The Terrible Twos And Why I’m Loving It

Today was just one of those days my daughter simply had to have her own way. Yes, she’s toilet trained but for today, she’d rather pee in her pants because the warm urine felt nice. I made her favorite nilagang baboy with sweet corn but she refuses it eat, simply because she can. And just when my sister and I finally found the time to focus on our work, that’s when she decided to throw a tantrum.

Me and my baby on our first ferris wheel ride

Me and my baby on our first ferris wheel ride

It’s days like these that make working at home a challenge. I know I could easily complain about how hard it is to work with a toddler at home. God knows how badly I want to complain about how my daughter’s terrible twos are ruining my job. But a while ago, she did something that made me change my mind and made me appreciate the way she is right now.

She tried to bathe herself and dress herself today.

She’s growing up so fast. Just last year she couldn’t walk or talk. Just two years ago she was just a baby. I was able to spend most of that time with her but I can also see that time wasn’t enough. I miss my baby. And in a few years, I’ll be missing my toddler. I’ll be missing how she would try to distract me from work by bribing me with her snacks. I would miss how much she enjoys picking out her own pajamas. I’ll miss the time we spent together, just reading and playing, without a care in the world.

Working at home with a toddler is probably the hardest and the most challenging thing I’ve encountered in my professional life. But I’d much rather be stressed out with work than miss these wonderful moments in her life. Yes, even the tough moments. They’re all too short and I’ll miss them all.