Category Archives: motherhood

What happens when busy moms decide to meet up with their kids along?

My friend has been on my blog since our outdoorsy, beach, hiking, spelunking, canyoneering and mountain climbing days. Our stories revolved around fun and YOLO – the millennial meaning and implication, yes.

Now she’s back in my blog.. tamed. We both are, not because we lost our natural spunk and spirit but instead, we are now overpowered by two highly-spirited, no-rules-allowed, always giggly and curious little humans we call our kids.

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So we meet for “lunch and coffee..” and by the end of it, I post a photo of us on my Facebook.. all smiling, beaming and looking fulfilled. What the camera didn’t catch though are the following:

1. Me almost not making it to the meet-up

Not because I don’t want to meet, but since the beginning of the day, I’ve coordinated with furniture shops (aka Carousell lol), delivery guys, thought about pending articles to send, a class to go to (which I ended up canceling), a party to attend all while doing my laundry pile.

The whole morning went by too fast, and I found myself checking on my phone and saying “What? nandito na agad? What? Nandun na sila? What? 2pm na?” 

2. That moms (and dads) have suddenly developed the skill of talking with no eye-contact

Because the eyes are on the littles, who are running around the restaurant like it’s their home; one kid removed his shoes while the other slumped to the floor like he would on a bed. All while the parents discuss essential stuff like childcare and maybe outdoor schools.

Sometimes our trail of thought gets lost somewhere between airing our novela stories only to fade into the background noise because our minds cannot wander out for too long. Presence of mind (towards the kids mostly) is key.

3. Meeting up was more of a workout due to the number of times we stood up to catch our children

…before they open that door to escape at least. Or before they bother other people dining.

4. That moms shushing and shouting their kids’ names over a room filled with people is real.

I used to think it’s not ok, but when I caught myself doing it, I had to forgive the many parents I judged in the past.

5. The food ordered was for decoration only

Either we (well at least for me) were not hungry, or I didn’t have the time to eat at all because “I have work to do.”

But at the end of the day, we realized that parents who meet should have their own community, ya know? Like a group who perfectly understands the situation of “multi-tasking” while moms try to finish their coffee (while it’s hot = major win).

A team that will give one another the support they will need even during busy schedules. People who know exactly what it feels like to try to come to work with the kids or to meet with single friends who don’t know anything about the little heart jumps we get when we try to take our eyes off the small ones even for a second.

A community who will never judge you like everyone else.

I realized that it helps when moms meet up more! Despite our busy schedule, an hour of talking and catching up could do great wonders in life. Because the kids also have fun with that.

Psalms 127:3
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb a reward.

These six traits are the most important things our children should learn.

If I were to choose only six traits to instill in my son, it would be these:

HUMILITY. SELFLESSNESS. WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. RESILIENCE. DISCIPLINE. FAITH AND LOVE.

1. HUMILITY

Knowing that we are “nothing” in this world helps us be more empathetic with others. But the most important thing that humility brings is that DESPITE ONE’S STRENGTH (ie. successes, money in the bank, achievements in life etc.), one would know that in the end, HE CANNOT DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD.

Believing in the power of God and allowing ourselves to succumb to His glory will get people through any form of difficulty in life.

Because in reality, I want my son to realize that the world is not perfect but we can rise above it perfectly with God’s perfect love and guidance.

Bonus feeling that comes with humility is happiness. “I got nothing to lose but more to gain” attitude.

2. SELFLESSNESS

The worst trait anyone could have is selfishness. Learned this first hand. The moment we become selfish, we become proud. And the higher we get, the more we realize our own destruction. Selflessness on the otherhand allows us room for improvement. Everyday we learn not just from ourselves but also from other people. Selflessness doesn’t mean undermining one’s self. But it means we do not exist in this world for ONLY ourselves. We have a community to take care of. We think about world-wide success and not just our own interests. We get involved. We reach out. We care.

3. WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE

Knowledge involves learning facts and ideas from school, from books, the internet and the people around us. It is hard based evidence that includes maybe trivia, science, technology, technicalities, math and all its branches. We need to KNOW how things go and (as much as possible, though of course, we have to be kind to ourselves) we have that responsibility to not get lost in any topic simply because we did not read up much on it.

Wisdom, on the other hand, is one’s discernment that influences his choice for the right thing – especially when faced with difficult situations. It’s when reason ends, and we are left grasping for the right answers. It could be tricky. Where do we find wisdom? From your own experiences and from others’ of course. Also in the book of Proverbs.

4. RESILIENCE

Of course, mistakes will be inevitable as we are only human. But I want my son to learn that mistakes don’t mean the end. It only is a stepping stone for more knowledge and wisdom. Mistakes, no matter how big and small, can be completely turned around if you are resilient enough to return to the good path and get the great life God has promised us back.

5. DISCIPLINE

I want my child to learn that the quest for knowledge MAY NOT BE EASY. The path to righteousness does not always involve rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, it’s a difficult and a sad path. It will entail sacrifice. But because you trust in God, you are resilient, and you believe that things will be better, you will learn to endure the now. Use wisdom to discipline yourself. NOT ALL FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS ARE TRUE OR RIGHT AT THE MOMENT. Control yourself.

6. FAITH AND LOVE.
I combined these two because love carries faith with it. If you truly love someone, you are faithful in that love. But should you make a mistake, be wise, be resilient, have the humility to accept wrong, and the discipline to walk the right way again.

 

Parenting: Why we feel that we don’t know a thing.

Last weekend was the first time, after how many weeks, that I have truly spent the day with my toddler – even if it were just within our bedroom. It was also when I got a closer look at how he’s been behaving these days.

We all know that our kids have their share of mischief and “misbehavior” and mine’s in the phase of finding comedy around throwing random things to the floor – because we react in such comic horror! Hehe.

Though in my heart, I find his laugh cute and amusing, I knew I had to “correct” the behavior. In a way, I believe that by curtailing our reactions (AKA ignoring his ‘bad behavior’) we can stop reinforcing it. But also, I know that if I were to correct something, it has to be immediate.

At one point, my toddler threw my powder to the corner of the room – and I responded by asking him nicely to retrieve it. “Get the powder please, give it to mommy,” I said.

But this little guy is stubborn (gee, wonder whose genes that came from? :D); he didn’t want to. And each time I carry him closer to the object, he just kicks it further away. I felt I had to be stern so I did.

It lasted about 15 mins. – of him just standing there; afraid to pick up the object and to ask angry mommy for forgiveness.

I kept repeating my instructions, just to remind him of the goal. When he refused to budge, I closed my eyes for a bit to give him the idea that the decision is his, and I am not watching.

Finally, when I opened my eyes, he picked up the powder, and with a shy but adorable smile, ran towards me to hand it over. “Thank you!!!,” I say proudly. Just when he burst into tears as he finally got to hug me.

Being tough to someone we love, especially a little kid is heartbreaking. Sometimes, it makes us doubt ourselves whether it’s right to impose concepts like “discipline” to such a young and naturally playful mind.

As for my child, I do not want him to cry. And believe me, I resisted every urge to come pick him up and let the incident just slide. But as parents, we are gifted with such a precious and enormous role of leading our children into the path of goodness. We need to love our kids through discipline (Proverbs 22:15).

In the three years that I’ve started out this parenting thing, I can confidently say that there are a lot of things I still don’t know. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing because we continue to learn.

Sometimes, I feel the guilt of not being able to supervise his growing up years 24/7. But I am thankful for God’s promise to care for our kids even when we can’t (Isaiah 54:13). Thankful too, for other people who become instruments of learning for our kids on our behalf.