I love being a mom. I can shout that many times for all to hear. I LOVE BEING A MOM!!!
I’d be a hypocrite if I say I love every bit of it everyday.
I don’t. I get bouts of sadness from time to time.
Longing to work again, wanting to earn like I used to again, yearning to continue the career I’ve started – you know, all those things that took a backseat when motherhood started.
Sometimes I ask myself, “What have I become?”
And here I am now, looking at our pile of dishes on the left and pots and pans on the right, choosing which set to do first.
I miss going out with friends without a kid in tow, taking vacations without thinking about whether or not I packed enough sand toys, doing the groceries without feeling rushed, going to the mall without needing to come home right away.
I guess it will take a few more years before I can have that luxury of time and freedom again.
The days are indeed long… and monotonous.
The routine, the feeding sessions, the park, and the repetitive pretend play, though all beneficial to kids, can be dull and boring for us adults when done day after day.
Mary Had A Little Lamb is fun, right? But singing it 48x makes me want to wish Mary also had a T-Rex who scared everyone away just to put a stop to it.
Pretending to be pirate is exciting too except when you have to act like one after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner, for 2 weeks in a row.
“Ayoko na [I don’t want to anymore] Mia…. No more Captain Hook. The crocodile gobbled him up!” said the jaded me after the nth request.
There are days when I can’t take any more of Ursula, Maleficent, or any wicked witch that exists.
I get tired of repeating… and repeating… and repeating…
Too bad, there isn’t any stop or pause button anywhere around here.
I guess for now, we can just hope.
Hope that one day, this will all matter.
The sacrifices. The long pause from pursuing our own dreams.
Hope that someday, this will all be worth it.
That guiding our children now will make them not just good adults but adults who know themselves well.
I hope choosing to be here with them in their most important years of shaping can mold strong yet caring individuals who’ll inspire and influence others to do as they have been taught.
I hope the seeds we plant today will be deeply rooted in their hearts and minds.
If only it doesn’t get to us. The blues. The isolation. The feeling of being tied down.
But you know, the reason I wrote this post is because one Lola at the playground taught me how to pull myself out of the sadness spell every time it attacks.
She gave me the most wonderful advice and it is too good not to share.
We were both seated on a curb, watching the kids play and I casually told her how lucky her grandkid is because she’s there to watch over him while her daughter is at work. She frowned and said,
“No! Your daughter is lucky because you are right here with her. You should enjoy every minute of it. Pag lumaki pa yan, hindi mo na yan mahihila. May sarili na yang mga lakad. Hindi na ikaw ang gusto niyang kasama.”
[When she grows up, you can no longer convince her to go with you. She’ll have her own places to go. She wouldn’t seek your company anymore.]
I gave her a faint smile… She must have sensed that I wasn’t too convinced so she continued and said,
This isn’t a bad time. It’s actually your prime.
In my head I was like, you call this prime??
Again, a faint smile… So she further followed it up with,
“When you’re old and you look back, you won’t ever think of this phase as a difficult time. What’s bad is when you miss their childhood and they formed bad habits during your absence and you got a lot of fixing to do.“
“Look at all these troubled kids. Madami dyan kulang sa pansin. Kasi laging wala ang magulang. [Many of them lack attention. Because their parents are always out.] I’ve been telling my daughter to cut down on her work hours but she wouldn’t. Bakit? Income daw. Tsaka future. Kaya I’m filling in. Ayoko mapabayaan ang apo ko. Kasi siya napabayaan ko noon. Trabaho din ako ng trabaho.”
[Why? Because of income. And also for the future. So I’m filling in. I don’t want my grandchild to be neglected. I neglected my own daughter before. Because I kept working and working.]
“Kaya ano… Sabayan mo lang. [Just go with the flow.] Embrace everyday.“
I left the park that afternoon with an enlightened mind.
Her words have put me back on my feet again!
If you are feeling low, I hope this pulls you up a step higher today.
I have to remind myself all the time too.
I look forward to the day we’ll envy the tired and exhausted mom that we are now.
Because today matters. All that we do, no matter how small, matters.
It may not seem like it does, but someday it will.
Tama si Lola, sakyan lang natin ang alon.
[Grandma is right. Let’s just ride the waves.]
THIS IS OUR PRIME.