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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! 😀

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