How are you feeling today?

Happy? Sad? Annoyed? Tired? Angry? Excited?

Asking this question is always a part of Monica’s class and each student is given an opportunity to express what they feel. At first I thought it was just a routine in the school just so kids will be trained to converse. But it’s only recently when I realized and appreciated what it really means. Acknowledging our feelings is very vital especially nowadays. Kids feel different emotions and we should label each one of them. They are free to feel anything and they should be able to express it. This is why I love Monica’s school; it’s not just Monica who learns, but me as well.

And as we acknowledge our kids’ emotions, let us not forget ours, too. Let us not forget to label what we feel and let us not take it as lilipas din naman ito. We feel it as we go through it.

Last Saturday, I got to attend a webinar conducted by Monica’s school in collaboration with Mindwell PH. It was so timely as it discussed Parenting Challenges in the New Normal. I know a lot of us are having a challenging time and as the speaker, Doc Maria Lourdes Medina, mentioned, PARENTAL BURNOUT is real. It is really happening.

Here’s a part of her discussion, credits to GVS photo:

If you feel exhaustion, fatigue, anxiety, depression, frustration among others β€” then it can be really a sign that you are experiencing Parental Burnout. And when we feel that, it’s just right that we shift our focus and look after ourselves. Doc Lou knows that it’s not easy but she suggested a different way on how we can look at things. She reminded that we should prioritize Self-Care to avoid Parental Burnout.

I cannot agree more on all the points discussed. I kept nodding on each word Doc Lou mentioned. Then I asked myself, how am I really doing these days?

Honest to goodness, I feel okay. Fortunately, I don’t feel the parental burnout yet (hoping I won’t feel it lol). I did a self-check as to why I am doing okay and here’s what I came up with:

  1. I allow bad days. I don’t try to have it good everyday. Whenever I feel bad or annoyed when things don’t go as I wish, I show it. I let it out. Beejay and Monica know this side of me. They, too, are allowed to have bad days as well.
  2. I give time to myself. Whether it is a 5-minute lock out in the bathroom, a few minutes of watering the plants, an hour of workout, late night Kdrama marathon, random social media tinkering, naps, and a lot more. I recognize MYSELF as the first person to think of before anything else.
  3. I never aim to be the perfect parent or to be the coolest and nicest mom. Monica needs a happy mom, not a perfect one. If we keep pushing to be perfect, we will get tired. And the more we get tired, the sooner we’ll give up. We cannot afford to give up.
  4. I don’t intend to raise a perfect kid. Monica is allowed to see us getting mad or sad — she knows emotions like these exist. Therefore, she is allowed to feel mad or sad and even have mistakes, too. She is given time to play and explore on her own. We don’t control. What we have is a routine and that includes her freedom to nourish her interests and likes. I guess this is why Monica has been doing okay as well. Yes, more kulit but so far, no meltdowns, no tantrums.

These are the things that work for me. As clichΓ© as it sounds, I want to say, “it’s okay not to be okay.” We have different circumstances and setup. I may have it easier than others that’s why I can chill, but I hope that telling you to allow bad days will help in making your days a little better. 😚

Sending you love and light even on bad days.

Dinβ™₯️

Please follow and like us:

School Set-up in a 27-sqm Home

Adjusting to this “new normal” is very much challenging for all of us, including the young ones. If it’s hard enough for adults, think about the children and how this whole pandemic has affected their socialization, routines, outdoor time, and a lot more.

I am speaking based on our experience. Monica is an only child. We live in a small condo unit. Enrolling her to school at an early age was our way for her to meet friends, be exposed to different cultures, and such. School definitely helped improve her empathy, socialization, and self-expression. This whole community quarantine has greatly affected our immediate plans for her.

What choice do we have? I see a silver lining in all these; it is a way for us to strengthen her foundation at home — that’s where everything starts anyway. This new normal gives us a chance to become more mindful and more present as parents. It also reinforces our partnership with the school to help Monica develop her skills and abilities. Her school is offering 100% online curriculum for this school-year. This means she gets to be in a class with 30 to 45 minutes per session thrice a week. Everything will be purely virtual. And the rest of the time, we learn about practical skills. Why did we still enroll her if I can teach her on my own? I want to, because Monica loves her school and I respect that.

PREPARATION FOR ONLINE SCHOOLING

These are the things that so far worked for us. I understand it’s not the same for everybody — but sharing still in case somebody wants to know.

  1. We enrolled her to an online summer class for a month just to see if she’ll get a hang of it. Luckily, she did and she adjusted well. So my advice if you want to continue formal schooling, go ahead and look for free trial classes and see how your child will respond.
  2. Online schooling requires a “venue” for a child to feel that he/she is in school. Focus matters. In our case since we don’t have a spare room, I make sure to clear a space just for her classes. Then we just revert to the original setup after each class is done.
  3. Inasmuch as I want all her school supplies to be in just one storage, we only have a limited room space. So I made sure she knows where her things are (all within her reach) so she’ll be the one to get and return those. This way, it gives her responsibility in keeping her things together. So far, so good.

OUR HOME AS HER NEW SCHOOL

At first I was really worried on how our setup will be. We don’t have much area so a “study room” is not possible. But then again, I realized why not make our whole space a place for her learning? Since she’s already able to understand and perform small chores, I make sure to involve her. Learning is not only done in school so it’s now the perfect time to teach some life skills while maximizing every corner in our home!

  1. KITCHEN: She helps me prepare the ingredients for a recipe, arrange utensils, and a lot more. During our time in the kitchen, I make sure to engage her in different conversations, which improve instant vocabulary and confidence level enhancement.
  2. LIVING ROOM AND DINING ROOM: Since we have the same space for both, we do activities here together. Her daddy works at home so it teaches her how to respect time and how to focus on one area for play, at least for a certain time. This is why routine and schedule really play a big part.
  3. BATHROOM: I also let her help me do the laundry. It’s all play for her. Yes, it often results to added mess for me to clean, but it yields extra happiness for her. She also knows she needs to wash her hands thoroughly after every bathroom use.
  4. BEDROOM: This is where her toys and books are, so play happens here most of the time. She knows she has to pack away and clean-up on her own every time.
  5. BALCONY: Luckily, we have a small balcony and it’s been our source of “outside world” ever since this whole quarantine started. We started growing plants recently and this experience is giving Monica simple lessons on biology. I get to explain things such as why we should wait, why we should water them, and the like, as she sees development on the plants each day.
  6. Even though she has a small space for physical activities, I think of ways to make it fun. We exercise, jump, or just do silly things together. We may have missed the fun outside but it doesn’t mean we cannot improvise.

My description above feels like we live in a big house, but really, it’s just a 27-sqm. one-bedroom unit. So you see, just because we have a small place does not mean we cannot make it conducive for learning. I love the idea of going to school, but I also love that our home is where she can learn the basic values first — quarantine or not. πŸ™‚

Please follow and like us: