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. ❤
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.
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’.