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Stay Mommy, Stay! (At Home With Me)

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Raising a one year old kid is a tough job. It requires constant patience and understanding. You have to harness all your energy in trying to do so, and it helps to pray for guidance as well. Playing with a one year old person needs creativity and imagination, things that most people tend to overlook (believe me, it’s not easy to be creative at all times). One must be armed with stories, backed with colorful yet meaningful explanation of how the world is. Yes, this is what I deal with everyday, being a full-time stay at home mom is a commitment and it’s more than a title and a job, it’s a lifestyle.

Like I said before, in one of my post  “…everyone can be a child but not everyone can be a mother.”  Having said that shows that I have great respect for all mothers out there. Working, working at home, full-time, part-time (if there’s even such one), stay at home moms. I believe we have greatly sacrificed something in order to become mothers. Now looking back the year (and almost a half) that has passed, I couldn’t help but evaluate myself and my life. Questions started pouring in, just like the rain Manila (and other parts of the Philippines) have endured the past days.

Have I been a good mother? What have I learned from being one? Am I becoming like my mother? Am I the mother my Mom & Mama want me to be for their granddaughter? Am I raising my child well? The questions are endless and with that I am too tired even trying to think of the answers. I tried to calm myself.

An advice once told me by my mom and my mom-in-law diverted my attention to all the questions circling my head. That I am lucky I get to watch my daughter grow and that she was lucky I have time with her. That made sense. Then my evaluation of myself and my life came to a halt when I realized & accepted the fact that I am a proud stay at home mom. I may not be bombarded with household chores & tons of errands yet (since my mom-in-law helps me & trains me to be a full pledge housewife and stay at home mom) but I have come to embrace the fact that I really am one. Whenever people ask me about what keeps me busy, I always say I take care of Gabbie (my daughter) and that brings me contentment. I do projects now and then but like I always say family comes first.

bringing G with me to work

So upon checking My Mom-Friday‘s page on Facebook, I came across a link she posted about SAHM (stay at home moms) and immediately read it. Allow me to share it with you all. Here’s her article on The Philippine Star » Unblogged. Thank you My Mom-Friday for allowing me to repost this. 😀

Best and worst part of being a SAHM

Stay-at-home mom. Work-at-home mom. Full-time mom. Domestic diva. Whatever you call us, we’re all the same potato. For this instance, let’s stick with the term stay-at-home mom, or SAHM for short.

Let me begin by saying I WAS a working mom. I’ve been there and I enjoyed it immensely. It was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had that helped me become who I am today. I really have high respects for working moms.

I believe that being a SAHM is a privilege and a choice. I have friends who can well afford to just “stay home and do nothing” but still chose to work. Whatever we decide to do, and to be, has its own rewards and sacrifices. A stay-at-home mom is not any better, or any less, than a working mom and vice versa. We should learn to respect each other’s choices since all mothers are, in fact, super women!

I was working full-time in advertising and PR before I had my first child. Circumstances led me to wholeheartedly decide TO BE a SAHM. It was a decision that my husband and I made, and that is very important.

It’s not easy!

It’s challenging, indulgent, exhausting, and fulfilling all at the same time. It also breeds procrastination. My time revolves around the kids’ and my husband’s needs, home management like running errands, trip to the grocery, tutoring, cooking, household bookkeeping, unending organizing, and the list goes on, plus a bit of “me” time squeezed in between. Of course, there are days when I fail to accomplish some things that needed to be done. I’m not perfect. The key is really time management and knowing my priorities.

At times, I still reminisce about my working days and how I was then, but I can never regret choosing to be a SAHM. I remember being told by our doctor that a child’s first six years is the “golden years” in which they can be molded, and the home and the environment can make the most impact in their development and overall well-being. I’m really fortunate that I was there for my children every step of the way, that’s the best part. It’s priceless.

‘You’re just at home, you’re not doing anything.’ (I hate this)

There are numerous scenarios where I get this kind of retort. I can’t blame them since aside from “taking care of the kids,” they can’t really see the small stuff that “color” our daily lives. I’m actually busier than when I was working!

At this point, I’m content with doing small projects on the side to keep me sane, and maybe when the kids are older, I can take on bigger opportunities that might come my way.

So what’s the best and worst part of being a SAHM / WAHM (work-at-home mom)?

I asked these moms to share their sentiments. Be enlightened.

C: Best part of a SAHM is personally caring for my kids; worst is the guilt for not contributing financially.

J: It’s tougher because we become the disciplinarian and not all the time the kids listen. We can become “losyang” (frumpy) so better take care of ourselves too. The good thing is the kids are more secure knowing their parent is always around.

R: Best and worst is being with the kids. Next best thing – NO dress code!

J: Best: Flexi-time (errands on non-peak hours), more active in schools, less stress, cheaper (no office wear, less eating out); Worst: Office hours are undefined; it runs into long hours and weekends, kids see you at home and tend to interrupt “office time” at the wrong time.

N: Best part: I saw every stage of development since they were babies, teens until after college. Loved every minute of it. Downside: Gave up a career, lesser income but temporary. I got it all back and more after kids graduated from college.

M: Worst: With kids 24/7, tendency to procrastinate, work overlapping with kids. Best: Flexi-time, with the kids as they grow, make healthy meals my way.

B: I’m where my son needs me.

C: Best part of being a SAHM is being able to see the milestones of my kids life and developing a close relationship with them; Worst is when we can’t have much time for ourselves due to high demand of our attention and nonstop work between kids, chores.

T: I get to supervise what my son is doing the whole day. However, too much distractions at home. It takes great discipline to be able to finish work.

K: Best thing is being able to watch my son grow, never missing a milestone or achievement. I can proudly say that whatever he knows now, he learned it first from me (academically). Worst thing: there’s a common misconception: “Andyan ka lang sa bahay, wala ka naman ginagawa; sarap ng buhay, housewife…” (You’re just there at home, not doing anything; good life, a housewife). But in reality, it’s difficult to focus on the kid, add to that the issues with managing helpers, and it’s so hard to think of what food prepare everyday!

M: Best thing about a SAHM – being able to see your kids grow up, and just be there for them. Worst thing? The trade-off is you feel like you’re stagnating at home!

C: Best: Spending time with your kids and being able to influence them.

Worst: There’s also a strong tendency to take them for granted because we spend too much time together.

P: Best: Seeing your kids grow right before your eyes. And also, it’s okay not to take a bath for days! Worst: Separation anxiety, not for the kids but more on my side since I’m a SAHM, it’s hard for me to leave the kids even under the care of my mother. “Hindi tuloy maka-lakwatsa ng madalas!” (Can’t go out more often).

C: Best about being a SAHM: More time for family. Worst: I don’t get to dress up anymore.

A: Best thing about being a SAHM is the joy of seeing your kids grow every second of the day. Worst thing is that it’s a non-paying job.

Enough said.

Read the full article here.

I could only tweet her (@mymomfriday on Twitter) right after I fully read her article. Everything that was written there is true. It is pure joy for me being a stay at home mom but with all the “free time” there is, ironically one can have none yet one can have too many schedules at the same time. Free time in the sense that you can only plan based on your daughter’s or family’s needs. Too many schedule means adjusting to a series of unplanned events (sudden trip to the grocery, bank with a little amount of time, very much channeling Amazing Race here).You see, SAHM are like doctors or any other professionals who are always “on call” and works 24/7 and even on vacations. Like any other choice, SAHM has it’s pros and cons as shared by the mommies asked by My Mom Friday. No matter how much we weigh the pros & cons in our lives, it really wouldn’t matter. As long as we are dedicated and passionate about what we choose, it is more than enough.

I admit there were times I wonder what it would be like if I was working. I’ve been working even before I was in college (a talent for advertisings- “raket”; most of the time referred to as a “raketera/raketeer”  -wherein the work isn’t regular but pay is good). My rakets got me to send myself to college. I am obsessive-compulsive  and dedicated on the things I like doing (I was doing pretty well in school), so people assumed after I graduate that I would do well in the world of media & advertising. My family, my friends even my professors thought so, even I thought so myself. I know I would’ve done well. But life has shown me the other side of the fence and that’s what I chose. My then boyfriend (now husband) proposed, we got married and after six months of trying, we got pregnant. No matter how I think about finding a regular work, I just can’t seem to do so. I am too weak to even dare try, I was becoming too motherly and too adapt to go back to that track. Now I could say I am OC and dedicated on being a mom and a wife. And if life presents me the other side of the fence I didn’t choose, then maybe someday I might go out there and look around. But for now, I’m right where I wanted to be.

So, whenever people ask me who from the Desperate Housewives do I relate to the most, I always say it’s Gabrielle Solis (coincidentally she has the same name as my daughter). I may not live luxuriously like her (waaaaay not) but I identify with her in terms of choosing family over career. Just like her, I am still in the process of being fully domesticated but that doesn’t hinder me to become the best mom I can be for my daughter. Yes, just like Gabby Solis I wear my heels while I sterilize my daughter’s bottle and paint my nails after cleaning the toilet (yes I sometimes do that just because, heehee) You see, we SAHM are indeed busy, it has become our nature to multitask ya know *winks*. So please, spare us SAHM the notion that we are not busy because believe it or not we really are, promise! 🙂

I have so much to learn and so many things to do with so little time. But I know I can do it! Armed with a good pair of shoes and a nice well-groomed and shaped nails and eyebrows, I can go by motherhood with a smile make that a smile with a wink! 😉

Gabbie now at 1 year and 5 months old. Who could resist this cutie patootie?! 😀

Now that my little one is so used to spending time with her mommy, I couldn’t imagine not being by her side. What more if she learns to say  “stay mommy, stay!”. Uh-oh!

Thank you again My Mom-Friday , check out her website  My Mom-Friday. Follow her (@mymomfriday on Twitter

Happy Midweek everyone! Stay dry & safe! 😀

I love Tina-Pay! este Tina Fey!

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As I was blog surfing for topics about motherhood, parenting and the like, I stumbled upon the Topaz Mommy’s post about Tina Fey. I remember laughing (my tummy off) so hard while I was pregnant watching her on SNL and her movie Date Night. This witty actress,comedienne,writer,producer has been my  one of my “secret” peg in becoming a grown woman (or at least an all around funny & successful woman,heehee) Upon reading her prayer for her daughter and can totally relate, I must confess that it’s no secret anymore- that I love her! haha beyond being my peg, she’s just something more.

Here’s the excerpt from her book: Bossypants

“THE MOTHER’S PRAYER FOR ITS DAUGHTER”

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. 

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty. 

When the Crystal Meth is offered, 

May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half 

And stick with Beer. 

Guide her, protect her 

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. 

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. 

Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes

And not have to wear high heels. 

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. 

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. 

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. 

Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, 

For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming 

Magenta for one day — 

And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait. 

O Lord, break the Internet forever, 

That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers 

And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. 

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, 

Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, 

For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. 

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, 

That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. 

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. 

“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget. 

But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. 

Amen.

I still smile whenever I see a mom & daughter holding hands, that bonding is just to precious. I hope when G grows up she & I would be just like this. 🙂

ooo,

J.

Motherhood

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Motherhood is the most fulfilling yet hardest job EVER.

Mother and Daughter

Now that I am a mother to a 7-month old baby girl, I’ve been asked the same question far too many times in the span of 7-months: “What do you do now?” and I always answer with confidence that I am now not only a housewife but a mother.

I don’t like it when people have this weird awkward reaction when they learn that the women they know are full-time moms or housewives. People tend to have this look that they’re thinking: why-be-ONLY-a-mother-when-you-can-do-so-much-more?!

I have observed even before I was a mom that most women I know (that are moms) when asked this question starts to have this uncertainty & disdain over their answers. It’s like being bullied secretly by men (not only men) and other women who have careers & count singlehood as their priority.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire people who are successful in their chosen career but I admire more the women who have chosen family above everything else because it’s hard to give up on something you know you’re good at and something you can call your own, yet it is even harder to focus all your energy and knowledge to your family’s needs.

Why motherhood is the most fulfilling yet hardest job ever? Let me give you a few random reasons why.

  • Mothers literally carry their children for 9 months, creating them in her likeness & ability.
  • Mothers’ primary role is to raise their children.
  • A human being is depending on you, and not just any human being but someone who is linked to you by body,blood & soul
  • Mothers are on-call 24/7 and may require overtime without.
  • Everything mothers do is without monetary compensation.
  • Mothers instinctively become their child’s stronghold & protector, even if the mother thinks she’s weak to be so.
  • In the world of motherhood, “bahala na” and half-cooked decisions/doings are not accepted.
  • Mothers exert more effort to give their best and their all in everything they do.
  • A mother and child share the same identity in the child’s first few months of living. They go together as one.
  • Mother’s job is to take (away) all the pain, fear & doubts of their children.
  • Mothers are role models not only for their kids but for their kid’s friends, their family and everyone immediate to her members of the family.
  • Mothers are teachers and guidance councilors, sometimes they also tend to be a tutor and even the principal.
  • Mothers are also the best friend, the first girlfriend, the playmate, the classmate and the shopping buddy of their kids.

I could go on and list down all the things that mothers can and are willing to do for their children. I am one of them, I believe there is no better job description motherhood entails and the reward could only result to one: on how the child grows up to become somebody somewhere through the mother’s guidance.

Now here are a few good reasons why I love being a mom and housewife:

  • I don’t need to work regularly to provide for my family.
  • I wake up late in the morning or sleep late at night without worrying about my job.
  • I get to bathe,feed,burp and put my daughter to sleep.
  • Afternoon naps and playtime with my daughter.
  • I control my own time & schedule.
  • I get trips to the salon, spa and gym regularly.
  • I get to see my daughter grow before my eyes (literally).
  • I get to see my husband appreciate the work I’ve put up in maintaining a good household & in utilizing my skills.
  • I am stress-free.
  • I wake up each day with a smile, looking forward to a spontaneous day.
  • I get to appreciate the simplest things in life.
  • I get to watch my favorite series everyday.
  • I have a free time.
  • Best of all, I am closer to my child and have a bond (with my family) that time cannot bring back nor money cannot buy.

So to all mothers and soon-to-be mothers, next time you’re asked by someone that question. Answer it with pride & confidence because everyone can be a child but not everyone can be a mother.

Tried & Tested: Pigeon’s Breast Pump & Feeding Set

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Breastfeeding. a phase every mom goes through, but nobody said it was easy.

Both my mom and mother-in-law (MIL) didn’t breastfeed. Both of them was traumatized and that using manual pump (which was the only thing available then) didn’t really helped them express milk.

I have undergone all the bumps in breastfeeding — Mastitis , Breast engorgement , nipple sore, nipple crack, and so on, you name it. No matter how prepared I was reading books and researching (while I was still pregnant), it’s just not the same when you actually experience it.

I promised myself even before I was pregnant that I would breastfeed. So when I gave birth I immediately practiced breastfeeding, the colostrum letdown was easy but then the first milk letdown was another story. My ob-gyne Dra. Rebecca Singson is pro-breastfeeding and she believes that every woman can produce milk, it only takes encouraging, support from family or friends and the right tools.

Right. Right tools. So this got me to try a breast pump that would suit me and so I found Pigeon electric breast pump.

It’s compact and easy to use, perfect for first-time moms like me. It’s complete with a 4 oz. bottle, nipple, bottle stand, breast pump motor and battery compartment, gasket & breast sheild, nipple stimulator, and motor flushing tube.

Pros: lightweight, compact, battery operated, adaptor operated

Cons: it doesn’t come with an adaptor, manual press & release suction

I’ve also noticed that with the use of an electric breast pump, it stimulates the nipples, helping moms who have inverted nipple alternate direct breast feeding with expressing milk.

For moms and moms-to-be I think Pigeon has one compact and easy to use electric breast pump.

Over-all this ain’t bad for a price of P2,200 you can’t go wrong with it.

Mother’s Day

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May has always been a busy month for me and Mr. Go. It’s his dad & mom’s birthday, our annual visit to  Antipolo Church , our beach trip, our Ninang’s birthday, and now added is his boss’ birthday, the election (for 2010) and Mother’s Day.

We don’t really celebrate Mother’s Day, just a simple lunch with my family and dinner with his, that’s our traditional Mother’s Day but this year is different. This is actually my very first Mother’s Day and I was somewhat not used to getting messages in Facebook, Twitter and on my mobile phone. Mr. Go surely knows how to do last-minute things, since I don’t really like flowers and I’ve been wanting to cut down on sweets the only thing proper to do is treat me to some shopping! Thanks so much for that! 😉 How wonderful it is to be a mother knowing you have the best husband and the most adorable daughter! Now, that’s a Mother’s Day treat!

Mother’s Day is a way to celebrate how much we love and show how much we appreciate our mothers. It is true the saying that “we will only understand something once we’ve been in that situation”.  Yes, I am one of those daughters who can never understand the traditional kind of “love” a mother shows her daughter. How conservative a mom is, how eager they are in giving us the best of almost everything in the world, how all out she can be in supporting you in what you love to do, how she can be your best-est friend yet worse enemy, how she can be your secret-keeper and your secret-spoiler at the same time. Eventually I learned that every mother is different, now that I am one myself. It’s our unusual yet unique way of loving and showing that love, it is our passion not obligation to instinctual care and protect for our child, and it is our undying and unconditional love that sets us apart from all the other “titles” or “roles” in the world.

I salute all the working moms for they manage to juggle between motherhood and career. I salute all the OFW moms for no matter how hard & difficult it is to be apart from their child/ren they still manage to do so. I salute all the full-time moms for their ultimate career is to take really good care of their child/ren. I salute all single moms for they do well raising their child/ren all by themselves. I salute all the mothers in the world for without them we wouldn’t exist! I have nothing but respect for all the mothers in the world.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO OUR MOMMIES !

WE LOVE BOTH OF YOU!

Mommy Tong

Mama Go

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mommies! 🙂

Don’t ever take for granted the people you love. Say you love them and show you love them, it’s never too late to do so 🙂 YAY!

Ctrl+C

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Pregnancy & motherhood, it’s  something I’m quite familiar to. In my teenage years I practically helped my sister during her pregnancy at the age 16. From dealing on how to tell everyone that she’s pregnant, to coping to feeling all the hormonal rush & imbalance, I’ve witnessed it all. Imagine a teenager being pregnant without any knowledge in motherhood and having enough resources of her own (and her then boyfriend now husband) to take full financial responsibility of taking care & raising a baby. My sister’s pregnancy was totally unplanned. Living a carefree life then one day it all turn around, she needed to be focused.

People always thought I’d follow my sister’s foot steps. Well, I did follow her. It was her who actually did commercials & print ad stints, I just used to tag along & was her alalay in all her shoots when school permitted to.

But on the being-a-teenage-mom just when everybody expected I’d be, they were all wrong. I didn’t Ctrl+C my sister when it came to that. I’ve proven to everyone that I was different but did not brag that I was better.

Came the time I met Mr. Go through the usual friend of a friend,  we both knew our relationship’s the one for keeps but I didn’t expect we’d tie the not after 3 years of dating. To my surprise he knew, everything that he planned & see himself in the the next years of his (including mine) life, he pretty much accomplished.  Get married after 3-5 years of dating, have a baby after a few months or a year, even his career. Everything was on track.

But we didn’t know that getting pregnant wasn’t easy. We thought all along it was easy peasy, given that my sister got pregnant & everybody else who’s not trying. Maybe that’s the problem, we were trying too hard. Of all the times we’ve been “careful” in not getting me pregnant during our dating years, now that we’re carefree it didn’t do us any good. A few people advised us to just let things be in it’s natural flow.  We were to eager & to excited to build a family of our own. We were impatient, assuming & pretty much getting stressed out about it. So after 6 months of trying, I was delayed for a few days but we didn’t bother get excited about it for it already happened to me a month before & got my period then. But a week has passed & I was somewhat anxious about it. Then after getting a pregnancy test, there it is two red horizontal lines vividly seen. Yay! The moment I showed the kit to Mr. Go, he immediately smiled, did a hi-five and said “good job!” & kissed me. Haha. Funny I know but I guess after months of trying & really wanting to get pregnant I think “good job” is just appropriate 🙂

"the unexpected joys of motherhood"

So if  you hear stories about pregnancy & motherhood and you’re initial reaction would be fear of the unknown & the pain that goes with it, don’t say you don’t wanna get pregnant. You might take it back once you’ve fallen in the pit of how impatient & utterly excited you are to be a preggo and soon a mom.

Pregnancy & motherhood, it is different in every woman and as much as you want to press Ctrl+C you just can’t. The only thing you can Ctrl+C & Ctrl+V is the unexplained happiness every mother has felt right after they hear their babies cry for the first time.

accidental naturalization

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"the start of a blissful domestication"

Based from my comment on the post  inadvertentlydomesticated.com » Sunday Morning of all the things I have ever imagined happening to me & my life, being blissfully domesticated at the age of 23 was never one of them.

Although I have experienced some of the “physical” attributes of domestication one thing is for sure, that I wasn’t prepared for the emotional side of it.

I’ve learned to take care of a baby when I was 18. I’ve taken care of my sister’s daughter from the moment she came home from the hospital up until before she turned a year old, it was because my brother-in-law was working away & my sister needed help. Since I am fond of babies I gave it a try & actually liked it. It was our mom who taught me how to feed, change nappy, burp, and bathe a baby.  I was in charge of the night shift, since I am a night person everything was  easy peasy.

When it comes to home making I think I am also pretty good at it. Mom really loves fixing the house & I together with my other sister are her assistants when it comes to it. She taught us well when it comes to proper decoration, assortment,organizing & storage of things.

Cooking on the other hand needed no forced lesson from my mom. We love eating & cooking is one of my mom’s specialty. She’s a kapampangan & it is proven that Pampangeneos are excellent cooks! It’s second nature for her to cook & for her it’s not a task at all. I remember my sisters & I would watch our mom cook & would let us assist her & actually earn from it during summer. With that I’ve learned to marinate & cook steak at the age of 13 and bake at the aged 10.

So if you ask me, what’s left to be accomplished? I say the emotional side of being domesticated was something I wasn’t prepared for. Sure all these “chores” are easy to do once you’ve learned & mastered it but nobody can teach you how to feel & react to things & issues that comes with being domesticated. Of course advices & stories from parents, relatives & friends are helpful but at the end of the day it’s between you, your husband, & children but most especially, it’s the emotional battle within yourself that you have to face & figure out.

I’ve always included in my prayers that if there’s something I need strength for it’s not to endure the physical pain but the emotional struggle that I might have to face.

Yes, everything seemed natural for me & being “accidentally domesticated” at a young age by my sisters & mother really helped me to become a mature person. It’s the emotional naturalization that I needed to learn for myself, and it began when Mr. Go proposed to me 2 years ago, now that’s blissful domestication. 🙂