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

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!

And I am Back – Like, For Good!

And the China Adventure has ended. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I may or may not go back there in the future, but for now, I am back.

One of the questions people ask me is, “how did Seth (my son) react when he first saw you?”.

When I was away Seth doesn’t talk to me. He sees me talking to his dad and he reacts when I’m gone (“dada, no more mama” or “dada, where’s mama?” when the connection lags or when the call has ended). But when it’s just the two of us, he doesn’t talk. He goes away. Although there are days wherein he is very excited – like, once in a blue moon.

So when they fetched me from the airport, people thought he won’t come near me – like most of my friends’ experiences. But he did come to me! When he saw me he was shocked – like he literally put his palm on his face shocked. And he was kilig. Like for real. 🙂 Then he hugged me, and sat on my lap. He wasn’t talking at first, but he was hugging and kissing me all the time. Ah.. priceless. ❤

Another question people ask me is “what now?”. I mean, I get that people want to know what I’ll do next. But right now I’m just enjoying being a stay at home mom to my terrific two. I’ve been a full-time wife and mom for 2 months now! I can’t believe I survived – I have always been a career-driven person. I’ve had a lot of realizations while I was away.. and I can’t wait to share them with you! 🙂

So yeah, I am sooo back. And I am so looking forward to more awesome, beautiful adventures!

But first, let me do the dishes.. and clean the house. Being a SAHM rocks! ❤