When Motherhood Gets The Best Of Us

Some days it’s hard being a mom. Some days it’s difficult to explain. But some days, well most days it’s just love. Motherhood is love.

Kuya Seth has learned the joy of playing with our neighbors. Since we moved to a new place, he discovered new friends and they play outside the house (but still inside the compound). He asks for permission before going outside “mama, can I play outside?” and we let him as long as: 1- he has supervision and 2- he doesn’t go outside the gate. Those were our rules, aside from the usual “no fighting”, “no crying”, etc. But the emphasis has been on the “no going out of the gate” part, for “someone might get you”, or “you might get into an accident”. Of course we don’t expect him to do as we say 100%. He is a toddler, after all.

Last week I was watching over Seth when he heard his playmate go outside their house. He was beaming with joy, as always, and asked mama the question, “mama, I hear my playmates! Can I please go outside and play?”. Mama said yes, and put on a pair of shorts and towel for him. I told him I had to change clothes first – he was super excited so I let him go with the 2 golden rules at hand. I was changing my clothes when suddenly the kids playing outside turned silent and I cannot hear them anymore. I ran outside to check (just by our gate), the “big kids” told me he was at the main gate. I ran towards the terrace so I can see him (I have not changed my clothes yet!!!) and shouted, “Seth????? Where are you???”.

He screamed at me and said, “hi mama!!!”. I literally held back my tears (I swear motherhood makes me emotional all the time!) because he was just there, by the gate, waiting for his friends. I asked him, “why are you there????” Seth answered, “I am waiting for Kyla, mom! She went outside. I told her I can’t go outside so I stayed here.”

 

There are days when I feel like I fail at being a good mother. Sometimes I feel like everything is just soooo tiring and I literally break down and cry. 😩😭 I mean being a hands-on-mom while pregnant is just not a good combination. But most days motherhood is love. It gets the best (and worst!) of us but I’d like to believe that moms, we do not lose heart. By God’s grace, we can do this!

Here’s an advance mother’s day greeting to all the mothers out there. Remember: Our labor is never in vain. ❤

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Of course I had to document it so I can be reminded of the “fruit of my labor”. 🙂
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On Days When I Just Lose It.

There are days when I just lose it.

I was from a 24 hour shift the other day (whaddup, nurses!) and I was really, really exhausted. The husband fetched me from work and brought me home, changed his clothes and went straight to church. I intended to attend the afternoon service with Seth because well, I was sooooooo tired.

Seth and I were left at home. I never had any problems with Seth whenever I need to sleep. I would just tell him, “baby, mama needs to sleep okay? Don’t play or talk with mama”. Then he’d say okay and eventually, if it is a good day, he will sleep. But because Seth is in his terrific twos and is doing the exact opposite of what I asked him to do, and because a toddler is so full of surprises, he disregarded what I said and just played and played and played. He did let me sleep but he watched The Lorax (his fave movie now; he’s done with The Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter), with the volume too high it could pass as Dolby Digital Surround if we were a movie house. So I slept intermittently, waking up every now and then.

I was already becoming cranky and I was starting to get upset with the hubby. It was 11 o’clock and he wasn’t home yet (church usually ends at 10). I.WANTED.TO.SLEEP.SO.BAD!!! Seth was becoming his usual clingy self, mouthing “mama, mama” when he wanted (and not as needed!). He was following me wherever I went and the once cute clingy man turned into a monster. He was shouting and was just really cranky.

And then he started crying. I forgot how and why his tantrums started (sometimes it’s best to just stop rationalizing things when you’re a mom), but it did start. Usually his tantrums start when he’s already very sleepy. And this wasn’t just an ordinary tantrum. This was one hell of a tantrum. He started throwing things on the floor. This was what rang the bell in my head – ting ting ting ting!!!!! I was already furious.

And then I did it: I spanked Seth – in his cute little butt.

You see, I don’t believe in spanking. I have nothing against those who do. In fact, I have high respect for them. But spanking just isn’t my style. It is, actually, my husband’s. But it isn’t me. Probably because I never experienced being spanked and I turned out okay (thank God!). And also because I am a nurse and I believe in the psychological way of dealing with kids.

So imagine how uneasy it was for me to spank him. It wasn’t a cute spank. It was a painful one- I can tell by the sound. So Seth started to spank me too (the inevitable part when you spank a kid- they end up using violence on you). Then he started throwing his toys at me.

I threw one of his favorite toys: a green bucket (his favorite color) where we keep his shapes (his favorite thing). I threw it so hard that I ended up breaking the bucket. It was made of plastic, and we’ve thrown it a couple of times already. But that particular throw was the mother of all throws. It was too painful to watch, even for me, who did it intentionally.

Then he began to scream and said, “mama, what did you do? You broke it!!!! Say sorry to the bucket, mama!” He was still crying and I can see that he was really hurt. He hugged me and asked, “mama, why’d you throw it? Why’d you break it?”.

And then I started to cry. The once fierce mama broke down, and cried too. I hugged Seth as tight as I could.

“I’m sorry, mama.”

“No, no, don’t say sorry, baby. It wasn’t your fault. It was mama’s fault.”

I have always been a toughie when it comes to Seth. I can take it when he cries or when he throws tantrums. I can ignore him as long as possible until he folds. I am good in that department.

But this time it was different.

I explained to him the reason why I did that, and that he should listen to mama or dada all the time. I couldn’t stop crying and neither could he. It was a funny thing, actually, but at the same time, a very emotional moment for me (I am still moved to tears as I type this!). I hurt the one person who adored me more than anything else in the world. Then he hugged me and said sorry again. I kissed him and asked him where his booboo was, and he pointed his butt, which I blew and kissed. Then he asked me the same, kissed me where he spanked me – my back, my forehead, my face (he spanked me a lot of times!).

It really takes a tough woman to be a mother. It takes a tougher woman to be the mommy of a 2 year old.

Sometimes when we are very tired, motherhood can take a hold in us. We feel tired and overwhelmed at times. There are days when I feel like I really needed a break from all the mommy chores that I do. And there are days that I just need to be quiet and not do anything, just because. And it’s okay. It’s normal. And we should take a break once in a while.

Toddlerhood is a test of patience, for me, most especially. There are days when I think I know what I am doing, and I believe I am doing a good job. And then there are days when I just lose it. There are days when I just want to break down and cry.

I put Seth to sleep (finally! It was already nap time when all our drama ended). I kissed him and whispered another “mama is very sorry”. I promised myself that I would buy Seth a new toy. And then I prayed. I told myself that I would never, ever, let my exhaustion get in the way of disciplining my child. And then I told God that I’m really, really tired. He’s with me in this battle, after all.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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Our words and actions live in our child forever.

A Valuable Lesson From a Two-Year Old.

Sometimes I laugh at how my little one teaches me things. 

As you know, I became a full time mom to Seth when I arrived. Here’s one thing you should know about me: I love being a mom. I love nurturing people (even those who aren’t my kids lol). I enjoy taking care of them, cuddling them, sheltering them. I am that kind of person. I love kids; I get along better with them. So everything I do as a mom, I do it with pride and with flying colors. I am always on career mode: from feeding to bathing, to playing, to teaching, even as simple as talking to him, I wanna make sure I do it the right, excellent and wonderful (haha) way. If we were on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I would be Monica – Obsessive Compulsive, always competing with everyone including myself. 😜

One day I was trying to put Seth to sleep. I closed the door and began singing to him (haha I do that- there was even a time when I was trying to put Seth to sleep and he said, “mama, lalala!”, which meant that he was asking me to sing haha). I was patting his legs when a friend sent me a message in fb. It wasn’t super important and she didn’t need my response urgently but I felt the need to reply right away. You see, there are days in my mommyhood when I would feel like I need to have my alone time – that’s why I wake up extra early so I can run and have devotion otherwise the little one would ask to come -and that particular time was one of those days. I just felt the need to reply! So I grabbed the iPad and started replying.. while I put Seth to sleep. 

And then as I was typing, my smart, cute little one stood up, took my iPad and said: 

“Mama, no iPad. (Seth will) Go to sleep.”

I was shocked and amazed at what he said. He has never said that to me before, but I gathered that he may have learned those words because I have told him that phrase a couple of times already. I started to laugh and said, “oh sorry, baby. No iPad. Let’s sleep”. And then I felt guilty and ashamed. 

I felt guilty that my son had to remind me that we were having our quality time, and I was ruining it. I felt guilty whenever I feel like I don’t have time for myself or my friends anymore – when I know that family is the most important thing. I should never make my son feel that spending time with him or his dad is inconvenience to me. Time with them is precious. Time with them is a blessing.

I stopped for a moment and pondered upon what my son has taught me. I know that I feel like all I ever do is spend time with him (not forgetting other mommy chores like cleaning the house, taking care of my son, cooking), but I should be grateful that I am able to do so.

I’ve seen moms everywhere struggle with this. I’ve seen them shout at their kids who interrupted their gaming or their fb or browsing time. Sometimes I go close to getting mad at my son whenever he repeats all his questions I wouldn’t answer because I am busy doing something else.. When it is him I should be busy with! Our children should never feel like they need to demand for our attention. Attention should be given to them automatically; they should be our priority. 

Our kids will never be kids forever. Eventually they will grow up, and they will not let us put them to sleep anymore! They will not let us kiss them in the armpit, nor chuckle and make that sound as we kiss their tummy. 

So as I put Seth to sleep, I was laughing silently, thanking God for the wit that my son has. And for using the simplest things (not to mention the simplest of hearts!) to share a very valuable lesson to me. Minsan lang sila bata. Best to spend more time with them while we can. ❤

Love how goofy and how happy we both are in this picture!

Mommy Diaries: The Diary of a Tired Mom.

Today I am just extremely tired. 

My little man has been sick since last Sunday. It started with something viral- his cousins were sick with flu (we went to the province last week, stayed there until Monday) then the hubby was sick, too, then him, and then my mother in law. My sister in law has been feeling a little under the weather, too. I am the only one who’s not sick (for now) but my throat’s itching as if there’s an elephant wanting to come out. 

My clingy baby has been even more clingier, wanting me to hug and carry him all the time. Like multiply the clinginess by 10 times. He does not want anyone else to carry him and put him to bed but me. I mean he has always been like this but his ‘mom calls’ are more frequent. His fever subsided but yesterday the fever’s at it again. From no coughing to now coughing like crazy, vomiting (due to the phlegm) and from already dancing to nae nae to just wanting to lie down in bed. We brought him to his pedia again, this time the focus were cough and colds but his blood sample was taken again to rule out dengue. 

I have been a full time mom for a month now (on terminal leave, many thanks to the boss!) and you would think that I get to sleep and rest and eat but no, I only got to eat a lot. I have been doing nonstop folding of clothes- mine, the hubby’s and the baby’s, cooking breakfasts (sometimes lunch and dinner too), preparing the milk and bottles, washing the dishes, cleaning the house. You get the idea. But I do these things with a twist: with my little man beside me or in front of me so the folding takes half day (he throws the ones that have been folded already), cooking means carrrying him as I cook, washing the dishes means I have an audience and sweeping the floor means him getting the broom and sweeping by himself which only makes the dirt go all over the place. 

Not that I am not really complaining. I love that I am the center of his attention. But right now I am just officially tired. 

Being a mom is never an easy job. Like what they always say, “motherhood is a 24/7 job”. IT SURE IS. We get to raise our babies (to some of us, with the help of our partners, of course). I haven’t had a decent sleep since my little man came. I used to do graveyard shift and that was not easy because Seth’s nanny has to go to school in the afternoon and I have to take care of him when I get home.  For mommies who have husbands we also have to take care of them- their health, the things they have to do. 

So today as I woke up, I prayed for all the mothers. I prayed for strength, and thanked God for you. You, the mother of a newborn baby (God knows how sleepless you’ve been!). You, the mother who is breastfeeding full time (I breastfed for 8 months and it was never really easy). You, the single mom. You, the mother who has to work full time. You, the full time mom. You, the mother of 2 kids below 5 (I can only imagine the riot!!). You, the mother dealing with teenage children. You, the mother of grown-ups. You, the mother whose kids are also parents themselves (my mom won’t sleep too when my baby is sick). You, the mother who has more than 2 kids (I only have one and I can just imagine the noise and exhaustion). 

Today, I pray for all the mothers. And I honor you for all that you do. 

I recall how life was without my little man. Was it happy? Yes. Was it peaceful? Yes. Was it fulfilling? No. Was it the same? Heck, no. Was it meaningful? Yes, but not as meaningful as it is now. 

Today, I am extremely tired. And what do I do? I think of my life without my little man, and then I think of how everything changed when he came. Life had so much meaning when I became a mom. My eyebags may have 3 layers now but I have never felt this beautiful and loved until this cutiepatootie came to my life. I am still tired but I am very much fulfilled. 

And yes, I sip on my coffee to cure this nagging headache. I close my eyes, and wait for the ‘mom call’.  

Mommy Diaries: Why I Love Being a Mom.

I am still sometimes in disbelief that I am now a mother. It’s been 7 months today (woo-hoo!! Happy 7th month, babylove! :)) since I gave birth to a very adorable baby boy. There are times when I realize things are no longer the same anymore- the dawning part comes out naturally. And there are times when I had to remind myself that oops, I’m now a mom.

I know all I ever talk about is having a son (duh! Talk about flooding :D) but I just can’t help it. REALLY. Every time I realize that I am called for a higher, more lovable task- mommyhood, I thank God, and I am overwhelmed. Because even though there may be times that I wish things were different, I will never regret being a mom. Here’s a couple of reasons why:

I am reminded that I always need to be a better person- I became selfless. Motherhood has changed my outlook in life. I always strive to do good and be nice, but there’s always this selfishness in me because I always want to win. Yep. Competitive much! 😀 I am such a brat. But now that I am a mom I just shrug my shoulders off and let go of things, and issues. I think of what the outcome will be. I think of others and how my actions will affect them. I became more giving, and I think less of myself.

I never feel out of place. Most of the time the hubs and I would scramble over who gets to carry the baby boy. 😀 We love being with our son. And yes, we love the attention. Haha.  My son is so much of a people person that sometimes even though I don’t feel like being Ms. Friendship, I become one. I mean, you know how there are times wherein you just want to hibernate and shy away from the crowd just because you don’t like to mingle? Being a mom takes that hibernating feeling from me. I am always with new friends- friends who we meet at the mall or resto because the superstar baby just befriends everybody.

My loyal fans are now three: my mom, my husband, and my son. 🙂 I know sometimes I am not that funny (even though my husband tells me I am- awwwww. :D). And most of the time the hubs and I would compete as to who is funnier (we compete over jokes- I told you, I am competitive!!). But being a mom just makes me an instant clown. A little of my goofy faces and voila! There is laughter everywhere. I love how I make my son laugh, and smile, and giggle, and drool. 😀

I look at things differently. I’ve always looked at things differently. I always look at the bigger picture. But now that I am a mom I just look at life with so much perspective, so much hope, so much ‘muchness’ (if you know what I mean).

I take my job (more) seriously. Before, I would not go to work just because I feel lazy, or sleepy. Okay, not so much- my old bosses might kill me :D. I’m always perfect in attendance. 😀 But before it’s so easy for me to be late, or to miss a day of work, because I just feel like it. Before I didn’t really feel like being promoted because I’m used to the comfort that my job brings. Now it’s different. So much different. I applied for a promotion and got it (thank you Jesus!), and welcomed the challenge of the new ‘job’. I desire to always be early to work, I don’t want to be late, I don’t want to be complacent. I’ve always wanted to excel even before- I’ve always pursued excellence. But now it’s 10x the excellence that I used to give. And not just because of the money. (Yep. Not about the money, money, money.) It’s the feeling that you are working hard for somebody else. ❤ I work hard first for the Lord, and second, for my son. ❤

I get to manage my time wisely. I love to sleep. I can lay in bed and sleep all day. Like alllllll dayyyy longgggg. Or sometimes I can just do series/DVD marathon all day. But now it’s different. Not that I am deprived of all the fun bumming brings. It’s just that now, I get to manage my time. I put effort on the things that are more important. I learn to prioritize. I make sure I get to do all that I need to do so that I can have time for my son.

There’s a reason to be happy always. I am a very joyful person. I laugh a lot, I make sure to look at the goodness in whatever situation I am in. But you know how sometimes you just get all sentimental for the lamest reason? I’m over that. Though there may be times wherein I still feel sad, all I do is look at my baby and then the sadness just fades away. I instantly become happy again, giddy, and thankful.

I get to practice what I studied. I am a nurse by profession as you all know, but due to economical reasons (crisis!!), I gave way. I may not be the nurse who goes to the hospital and feeds and gives medicine to patients, but I still get to practice all the theories (from Maternal and Child to Pharmacology to Med-Surg) that I have learned. I get to watch every milestone and deal with them scientifically (although there’s a lot that Science can never explain.) I get to practice nursing my son. And that practice is lifetime.

I realized I am capable of being patient. I have always prayed about patience. I am never the patient person. I sometimes get upset because of the littlest of things. But now, I can say God has answered my prayer. He’s put me in a situation where I can practice patience, and work well on it. I love the fact that I have become more enduring, and loving, and kind. Ahhh. Motherhood. ❤

I love my husband more. And he loves me the same. ❤ Being parents is definitely a leap of faith. We are newbies and well, we struggled and there are instances wherein we argue just because. I remember the time my husband was telling me he wants a son already. He said, “mahal, mag baby na tayo, para di na tayo laging nag-aaway.” (love, let’s have a baby already so that we won’t fight all the time anymore). I told that to a friend and she told me, “that’s what you think! You’ll definitely fight more”. But I would have to disagree with my friend. We may still argue, fight, and all that jazz, but we fight for the right reasons. Before it’s just because we don’t agree on a certain thing. But now we just learned to let go, and realize there’s a lot bigger issues in life. And definitely a lot to be thankful for. Like our son who is loved by all. 🙂 Sometimes it may show as if my world revolves around my son, but the truth is, my world revolves around my two boys. I love that I get to show my husband how much love there is in me for him. And I love how he’s become a very wonderful dad. He is for sure a newbie, but he is but the best. He works hard and prays for our family. And that just makes me love him more.