“It seems that I don’t need you for that anymore.”

Some days, I want her to grow up so she can do more things on her own. But most days, I just want her to stay little and need me a little more.

It’s been a week since Monica started to wash on her own every after bathroom business. I can’t count how many times I asked when will she be able to do it. Not that I want to rush things, but just so she won’t bother me when I am asleep, at work, or simply resting.

Lazy mama you must say, but yes. I have days when I don’t really want to function as a mother. 

One Sunday, when I was napping and Beej was in a meeting (he has Sunday work), Monica woke me up because she wanted to poop. Awoken from a very rare nap, I snapped and her and said “I hate that my sleep is now interrupted! Don’t talk to me first! Let me rest!” I know, I know, too bad of me. I felt guilty after and explained why I got mad.

Almost the same scenario happened again, but this time, Monica did not wake me up. She waited for her daddy’s meeting to finish before calling him even if it meant waiting in the toilet for 30 minutes. I asked why she had to wait, “I don’t want to disturb your sleep, mommy.” My heart was crushed. 

A few days after this incident, she asked me to teach her how to wash herself. So I taught her; showed her how to use the bidet, soap, and so on. At first I was so excited and proud. She learned fast and she seemed to enjoy doing things on her own. Until last night when I decided to secretly watch her wash.

She seemed uncomfortable; imagine, a small built trying to reach the bidet, the soap, while making sure her shirt won’t get wet. It took a long time for her to finish. But as soon as done, she ran to me and shared how she did it as usual. That’s when I cried.

Monica: Mommy why are you crying?

Mommy: Why are you washing your pwet on your own already?🥲

Monica: It seems that I don’t need you for that anymore

Mommy: 😭😭😭😭

Monica:

Oh no don’t cry mommy! I still need you in learning new things. I still need you to take care of me.🥰

I am sorry for being emotional but it really made me cry. Now I wanted to do all things for her but I know I shouldn’t. No matter how much I stop or delay, this stage will come. I felt guilty for being so lazy but at the same time, I know it was needed.

Haaaaaay. My baby who used to be so clingy and needy is now a big girl. Haaaaaaay. BRB crying again.🥺🥺🥺

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 — 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 cliché 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.

Din♥️

“Anak, fight back.” When do we need to say that?

This question has been bugging me the whole day. So let me ask you, when do we urge our kids to fight back and how? I honestly don’t know. I want to raise a kind human being but I don’t want her to be a push-over. It’s so much easier said than done. How do we discern?

I attended a mom and baby event yesterday – kids playing everywhere. It was fun of course. But then, Monica cried twice. Yes twice, different kids but same scenario. Inagawan ng laruan si Monica.

I was just observing as always – I know I am not in the position to meddle. Bata yan, syempre mag-aagawan sila ng laruan. Very normal. But observing how my Monica helplessly cried that time was just heartbreaking. I heard her say “hey that’s mine. Hey, can you please give it back to me? I am still playing.” She kept begging the other kid. Nakakaawa tapos umiyak na sya at lumapit sa akin when she saw me looking at her.

I don’t blame the other kid, what do they know right? Well Monica, as far as I know, never pa nang-agaw ng ganon and never rin naman sya nanakit pag may ginagawang hindi maganda sa kanya. Pero syempre bata sila. Sisishin ko ba yung isang bata? Hindi, diba?

But on the second instance, nangyari ulit. She kept saying “please give it back to me, I am still playing” tapos naiyak na naman at lumapit sa’kin. I told her, “Monica, you already asked them nicely, this time, you get it from them. Get it, it’s yours!” Tama ba ako? Mali ba? I don’t know.

In my mind, I should teach her how to assert herself and that she shouldn’t let others make her cry like that. That she can fight if she must. BUT mabait syang bata. She would rather cry and go to me kesa lumaban or manakit or whatever. Hay.

What do you do, moms, dads? Haha. I honestly don’t know. I want her to fight but I don’t want her to think it’s always good to fight. She’s 3 years old and whatever I teach and show her, she easily absorbs so I am extra careful. I don’t want her to be the kid moms are worried about. Gets?

Am I right? What is the better way to deal with this?

Thanks in advance! <3

Parenting Tips and Tricks

Wow big words. Let me just put a disclaimer onset – I am, in NO way, an expert in parenting. I only have 3 years of solid experience plus I don’t think anyone can be called an expert because parenting is a life-long hit and miss. Always a work-in-progress.

So when Dette Zulueta, founder of @millennialmomsph, asked me to be one of the mommies who will share for the MMPH segment in #MommyMundoWorld3, I got so excited and nervous. Like, anong sasabihin ko diba? Aside sa shy type ako, hindi ko sure if may maii-share ba akong worthwhile. Haha.

I, together with Dette, Ley, Doc Gellina, and Kalai, wholeheartedly shared our tips and tricks about parenting. Such an honor to share the stage with all of them!

Photo Credit to: Alfie Saniel

So here’s what I talked about:

PARENTING HACK I SWEAR BY:

I answered just one but there’s actually two I want to share:

CHILL. Relax momma! Chill lang momshies. Hehe. I know it’s easier said than done and I don’t think moms can really chill, but hey, we need to breathe, too. Motherhood is already chaotic, will it help kung lagi tayong stressed?

What I meant by chill is, let’s try not to over-worry or over-think. Pero syempre, if being an “OA Mom” does not stress you out, that’s completely fine. On the other hand, if thinking too much about, let’s say the food that your kid should eat, the toys your kids should play, etc, brings out the monster in you, then time to pause and think. Time to chill. Are you the type who can’t let go? Like palagi kang nakabantay sa anak mo? I am not. Are you the type na palaging punas sa katawan at kamay? Or sanitizer every minute? Or linis every hour? Haha. I am definitely not like that. Simply because, it stresses me out. And when I am stressed, it’s gonna be worse than the effect of Monica eating dirt. Lol.

Plus a mom has already 100000 things on her plate each day, so we deserve to have a breather every now and then. If have to check on every little thing, mabubuang tayo. Remember, our child needs a happy mom the most. <3

WAIT FOR YOUR CHILD, STILL, CHILL. FOLLOWING THE LEAD OF YOUR CHILD. I always keep in mind that I should follow her interests and not mine, wait for her time and not get pressured. Follow what she wants and not what I want. Haha. Hindi ba obvious that all I want is to chill? 😛 What do I mean by this?

I mean, just stay put and let your child be a child, a baby. Don’t rush things. They are only little once and it won’t help if we will insist things to happen our way. Iba-iba naman ang bata. Hindi porke’t nangyari sa anak ng kaibigan natin at a certain age, ganon rin ang anak natin. Syempre wala namang bata ang parehas. Like my story on Potty Training . I just waited for Monica to be ready and then when it happened, it’s better than what I expected. Normal lang naman na umasa of course, pero what I find not helping is, if we pressure ourselves and our kids just so we can say that we are on time or even ahead. Stress yun.

Another story I wanna share is, yung pagsusulat ni Monica. I actually felt she’s a bit late in writing. After all, hindi naman sya super galing kumain and hindi rin BLW so I know hirap sya how to hold a pencil or crayon and doodle. I thought oh no, late sya. But then I didn’t let that thought get into me. And hello, 3years old lang sya. Hindi naman pwedeng hindi sya matututong magsulat lol. So I waited. Few weeks ago, she started showing interests in doodling so I just gave her materials so she can practice. One day, I witnessed her drawing a person, not the stick version like what I do haha! With eyes, nose, etc. Imagine my surprise and happiness! I thought to myself, had I forced her to write, I wouldn’t probably feel that delighted and she would not have enjoyed the process as much as she did.

I swear and stand by my hack: Just chill. Parenthood is chaotic and messy, but it is also beautiful so let’s all enjoy it. <3

CHALLENGES I FACE AS A PARENT

Every day is a challenge to be a better mother. There are days when you just wish you are not one. That’s true. No matter how much I love being a mother, there are still days that I wish I am still my old self. But then reality kicks in and I am a mom who is privileged to raise a kid.

In my 3 years as a parent, with no helper and no relatives nearby, I have encountered countless challenges already. Feeding Monica, putting her to sleep, cleaning the house, sickness, and many more. Those are valid ones and it really happens every day.

But there’s one thing I consider the most challenging. How to toughen up Monica. I guess all parents want all things beautiful for their child. Who does not want the best life, right? While I see nothing wrong with that, I think it’s a potential downside in the future. In the video clip below, I explained how we, as parents, only want good things for our children. Pero syempre, we cannot always do things for them. Even if we want to make things easy and simple for them para hindi sila mahirapan, we can’t and we shouldn’t do it. Otherwise we are not helping them at all.

https://www.facebook.com/Mommy-Din-2551228561767723/?modal=admin_todo_tour

In this generation, it’s a challenge for us parents to make sure we raise strong and kind individuals. After all, sila ang mahihirapan pag wala na tayo diba? And I don’t want Monica to be sheltered. I don’t want things all easy for her. She won’t learn from it. If that is not challenging enough, ewan ko na lang.

Do we share the same thoughts? 🙂

Hope you learn something from this. Super thank you to the amazing #MommyMundo team for coming up with events like this. Truly #TheUltimateMomResourceDestination <3

SPECIAL MENTION TO MY FRIENDS WHO CAME AND SUPPORTED, EVEN DOCUMENTED OUR TALK – Shella, Akira, Seyrah, Alfie, Vianne, Miles, Cherry in spirit, Irene, Iam, and Lara, and the whole mommy community who cheered us on!!! Love you all!!!!! <3 #NAKS