Motherhood

To Moms!

To all the hardworking moms out there….

Exhausted? Frustrated? Feel unappreciated? Confused? Torn? Misunderstood? Overwhelmed? Stressed out? Feel like nothing is going right?

 

I have two words for you…..

 

 

 

INDOOR PLUMBING.

 

Yeah. Let that sink in for a while.

 

Even though you can’t just magically get rid of all the you know what in your life, you can flush the actual down the toilet!

 

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There is always something to be grateful for.

Happy mother’s day! ❤

 

Motherhood

Motherhood

Motherhood. It’s probably one (out of 3, I think) of the craziest things I got myself mixed up in. Fulfilling and life-altering, but crazy nonetheless. 🙂

From painful labor and difficult, scary, and potentially life-threatening deliveries, from bringing the breastfeeding baby wherever I had/have to go, breastfeeding while driving, playing, eating or homeschooling, drinking hot soup while carrying a sleeping baby, carrying a baby with one hand and pushing the stroller with the other, taking a bath with an audience (baby in stroller or crib right by the door), to traveling with an infant, traveling with a toddler, traveling with a pre-schooler and a baby without King, traveling sick with two kids, and then soon (hopefully never ever again sick) traveling with three!

From juggling schedules especially during summer, driving them to and staying with them at parties, play dates and classes, to homeschooling one child and then two, homeschooling two while pregnant, and then homeschooling two with an infant.

From fun, laughter, joy, interesting conversations, quality and quantity time together, playing and reading, making memories everywhere we go, to heartaches, disappointments, tears, fights, heartfelt confessions and heartfelt cries, deep conversations, and hard lessons on love and forgiveness.

I tell you, it’s a crazy ride, but one that I am willing to be in. Through the incredible ups, frightening downs, exciting loops, surprise turns, and even the steady (or messy) transitions, I’m all in. No matter how painful it has gotten or it might get, no matter how close I have been to giving up (a bit overdramatic maybe? hehe), no matter how many times I have actually said I give up (because trust me, the nappy changing and sleepless nights are the “easy” part), no matter if I could turn back time and other less crazy rides were offered to me. I would still get on this one. I love my children. They are each a blessing to me and King. And by the grace of God, I will get better and better at loving them the way He wants me to.

I am a perfectly imperfect mother and I pray that through my imperfection, my children will see and learn how much they need God. That God is the only One who is constant, the only One who is always there, the only One who is truly reliable, the only One who knows and gives what is best, the only One who loves perfectly and makes us whole. As a mother, even with the help of my most awesome husband, I experience this truth every single day. I need Jesus. I can’t do it without Him. And though consistently inconsistent me has had days or moments of doing motherhood without Him, I pray that He will enable me to always go back at His feet, humble myself before Him and give up the reins, receive His mercy, and entrust to Him the hearts and lives of my children. 😊

Thank you Lord for this gift of motherhood! Thank you for blessing me with three beautiful warrior princesses. Thank you for the honor and privilege to co-parent with King, to raise and take care of our girls. Thank you that even though it becomes overwhelming, your grace is sufficient. I am comforted by the truth that I don’t have to be everything to my children because YOU are everything. 😊

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HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY, BEAUTIFUL MOMMIES! 🙂

Family, Motherhood

Mothers’ Day 2014

Dearest Danae and Noelle,

You are two of the greatest gifts God has given me. I became a mom because you came into my life. It is my honor and privilege to be with you nearly 24 hours of every single day, loving you, teaching you, disciplining you, playing with you, goofing around with you, going out with you. It is exhausting and frustrating at times, but I will always choose to be hands-on with you two. No amount of money or potential of a career will keep me from being a stay-at-home mom while you are young. Those just don’t matter to me as much. I believe that’s how God wired me, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity and choice to live it.

Looking back, I might have known how different you were going to be from each other since the day Noelle was born. Danae was born tiny and brown, while Noelle was born big and white! You both of course have my trade mark lips hehehe. Your ways and personalities differ, but I believe you have the same qualities of being loving, kind, compassionate, generous, affectionate, thoughtful, grateful, obedient, and wise. You just display them differently and at varying times haha. It’s amusing to see my traits and your dad’s traits in you. Sometimes, you are walking contradictions really. And I’ve had that said about me too – that I’m an oxymoron (see dictionary for meaning hahaha). But no matter, I love you both so much anyway. I don’t think there is anything you can do (but please please please don’t deliberately try to find ways 🙂 ), to make me unlove you.

I know I have not been the “normal mom” for the past months, neither have I been the perfect mom over the years, but thank you for being so patient and understanding. Thank you that despite my shortcomings, you are excited for our baby and that you already love him/her so much. The greatest gift you two have given me through my difficult first trimester, though, is loving each other. Yes, you still argue and bicker, but I have seen you grow so much closer. The bond that I prayed that the two of you would have as sisters, I am already seeing with my own eyes. I am so blessed to see you help each other, depend on each other, serve each other, and just love each other.

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Mothers’ day! We were fortunate to catch the Art Attack event in Eastwood. Even though the activity was for the girls, this Mom was happy and content, watching and helping them do some art. 🙂

I am 36 now, but even as I grow older, as long as you need me to play catch, stay in the ball pit with you, skate or swim or zipline with you, I will do it. (Promise to do math and all the hard stuff with me too, okay? Hahaha). Your smiles, laughter, and squeals of excitement are a joy to me. I don’t mind getting tired or putting my needs and wants aside for you. Seeing you happy makes me happy. As long as you let me have my alone time with daddy, we’re good. 🙂

Thank you for appreciating me and loving me. I do what I do for you because I love you deeply. God entrusted me and your dad with you girls, and we are fully committed to obey Him, to do our part as parents in raising you. You may not completely understand our ways and our reasons sometimes, but I believe you will when the time comes. It’s a tough job being a mom, but I thank God that He gave me the best husband as my partner and He gave me two tough, but awesome chicks to raise and love. I know you will be tough enough to be awesome moms one day too.

I don’t know how you are going to choose to live your lives as wives and mothers in the future, but I pray that you will always choose to love and obey Jesus. That you and your husband will teach your children to love and obey Jesus as well. That family will be your priority over your careers (not necessarily giving up your careers, but being hands-on moms nonetheless – yes I see it with super moms nowadays – it can be done). That you will spend quality and quantity time with your children, getting to know them and their hearts by talking to them, dating them, playing with them, and taking them on wonderful road trips and vacations. That your children will give you as much or even more joy, as you two give me. That you will see your children as blessings, as gifts, as students, as the church, as the future, as individuals who need the Lord as much as you do, as individuals with God-given destinies. That you will see and experience that being a hands-on mom is wonderful and is absolutely worth it.

It’s mothers’ day and I thank you for your sweet greetings and notes, but you girls give me sweet drawings, notes, hugs and kisses every single day. Despite my occasional sighs and grunts and our occasional arguments, I really don’t need a special day for mothers to feel special. I am already special because I have the two of you. I love you, my princesses. Thank you for making my everyday a happy mother’s day. 🙂

Love,

Mommy 🙂

 

Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
    are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
    He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. 

Psalm 127:3-5 NLT          

Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Drama-free Momma

A friend and I were talking about families last week, and I realized that my family is pretty “drama-free.” There aren’t really any issues, at least none that I’m aware of haha. It wasn’t drama-free when I was a teenager and a young adult, pre-Jesus, but it’s been peaceful for a long time now, even before my Dad passed away. I told my friend that I think we are a family that doesn’t make issues out of little things.

I think it has a lot to do with my Mom who, like I’ve said before, is pretty low maintenance. She’s very independent. Being retired, she has control of her time and keeps herself busy with her own stuff. She doesn’t demand us to drop everything for her. She drives herself, comes and goes as she pleases. But when I need her help with picking up or dropping off the kids when she’s available, she’s always willIng. She doesn’t require much of her children, in fact, except to answer her calls, reply to emails, attend family gatherings and attend to family matters. She gives us advice, but doesn’t meddle in our affairs. She doesn’t demand from us financially. On the contrary, she often blesses me and my brother and our families.

There’s rarely an issue with her because nothing’s ever a big deal. She isn’t over emotional. Sure, we annoy each other at times, just like all moms and daughters, but neither of us holds grudges. Not anymore, at least.

I really appreciate my Mom for who she is. Our methods of motherhood are different, but many of the values I hold and teach my kids today are from her and my Dad. I appreciate her for being a great mom-in-law to King. I want to be as cool as she is when I have my own sons-in-law one day. I appreciate her for being a loving grandmother to my girls and my brother’s boys. I want to be as generous as she is when I become a grandmother.

I love you Mom! I thank Jesus for you and for making a way to restore our relationship. Happy Mothers’ Day! 🙂

Family, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

My Mom

One of the most important things I learned from my mom ever since I was little was INTEGRITY. She always exerted effort to make sure she was truthful and credible, and that her name was respectable. She was, still is, also one who could be trusted with certain information. I remember we were together on a trip when I was a teenager, she told me a sad secret about a friend of ours. It wasn’t gossip because I knew she cared about them and she was trying to teach me something. I guess I got from her the same value for trust and keeping one’s word (as much as I possibly can; I’m not perfect) because to this day, I still keep that secret. I don’t even know if I’ve mentioned it to King.

My mom is simple and somewhat low-maintenance. I love that about her. I am the same way though I think I may even be more low maintenance haha, and proud of it.

She’s not the type who needs to stay at a 5-star hotel when we travel. She likes to splurge sometimes, but she’s very sensible about her finances. I wish I had her incredible business sense, weighing the value and the cost. I only see things as cheap or expensive haha, and I almost always want to go the cheap route. She is extremely intelligent too even at her age of 63, though she eats too much pork — memory gap hahaha.

When I was a child, I didn’t get elaborate birthday gifts, fashionable clothes or cutesie patootsie stuff, but she and my dad took us places. I may have felt deprived of the cool toys and clothes, but we were never deprived of fun family trips. I will always be grateful for that.

My mom is so different from me in terms of motherhood, but I think she’s a pretty cool mom, a really cool mother-in-law, and a really really cool grandmother! She gives us advice but doesn’t overstep her boundaries. She respects King’s leadership over our family even though we live in one house (when she is in town, that is). She is so generous to us (and other people), but she doesn’t lord it over us. She’s very independent and quite modern. She doesn’t have that mind set of wanting her children to pay her back for all that she’s done or to support her financially (though of course that is what we want to do for her one day), but she wants to continue being a blessing and help to her children.

My mom may not be a picture of a typical mother, but she is the best mom to me and my brother.

Happy mothers’ day, mom! What I teach the girls I learned from you, so thank you. And I want to be like you when I become a mother-in-law and grandmother. I love you! 🙂

Motherhood, Parenting

MY JOY

Last Monday, our family went on a day-trip to the beach. It was absolutely awesome. And in the afternoon, as I was sitting on the shore, soaking up the sun, I just couldn’t help but look at my eldest daughter. Noelle was resting in the dining parasol at that time. I was just quietly watching how Danae played in the sand, how she swam in the water, how she interacted with her cousins, how she stared, how she walked, how she crouched down to get or pour water, how she smiled. I was also marveling at how beautifully tanned she was. I tell you, I could have watched her all day. I was just in a state of gratitude and inexplicable joy, knowing that I have such a beautiful daughter in front of me and another absolutely adorable one in the back of me, and that I am their mom.

You know, when I became a mom, things sort of came naturally for me. I had some help in the beginning, as my mom’s sister was here to teach me the basics, but even then, I did most of it myself. I didn’t want King to clean Danae when it was time for a nappy change because I didn’t want to risk her getting an infection, especially since she’s a girl. That was my choice. I did not want a nanny because I wanted to be hands-on and I don’t think I could trust anybody with my precious baby at that point. The only people that I trusted to change Danae’s nappy and bathe her were my aunt, King’s mom, and King’s sister. And that wasn’t often. King started helping me bathe Danae when she was probably a year old. And even when I finally surrendered and we hired a reliable nanny when Danae was 2 years and 4 months old, it was still King and I who bathed her, changed her, fed her, and put her to bed.

When Noelle was born, it was pretty much the same, but because she was bigger and easier to handle than itty bitty Danae, King was able to wash Noelle early on. The bathing was still left to me, of course, until Noelle turned 8 months or so. We lost our nanny when Noelle was almost a month old, and survived without one for almost a year. Right now, we still don’t have a full time nanny, but the old reliable nanny came back as our household help. She helps me out with the kids from time to time. I’m grateful for her because she knows my standards already and my kids love her, but King and I still wash our girls, bathe them, and put them to sleep almost every single time, every day and every night.

I must say that since our old nanny came back, King and I have been able to go out alone more. When Danae was born, my motto was “where I go, Danae goes”. So she was with me in nearly every meeting, every party, every trip. It was difficult, but I couldn’t stand the idea of my baby being left alone with someone I couldn’t trust. Plus, I breastfed and was not successful at pumping, so it was hard to often leave her with the in-laws, aside from the fact that they lived miles away from us (Caloocan, then Pasig). When we had our nanny, the motto became “where I go, Danae & Cendy go” hahaha. I still couldn’t leave them at home unsupervised, unless they were going to be with family or close friends. When Noelle was born, it was doubly difficult without a nanny, but wherever I went, both girls were with me also. But then I didn’t go out as often anymore, and the motto became “if King’s not with us, don’t go out”. That still applies today, except that we can choose to leave the kids with Cendy, our trusted helper, when we need to but only for a few hours. Although I experience some resistance on the very few times that I or we go out without them, I am grateful that I am secure that my kids will be okay while I’m momentarily gone.

I am a mother. I am called to be a mother. I am grateful that I have been there since the very beginning, able to care for my children & take care of their needs, to foster their growth & development, to teach them their amazing tricks, to witness their milestones & be surprised by them, to see and help them experience new things, to help build their character by disciplining them, to disciple them and impart to them our love for God & watch their love for God grow. These are the joys of motherhood. These are my joys. No material wealth nor a successful career can entice me to leave my kids and let them be raised by anyone else. Every juggling act I did in carrying Danae while pushing the stroller around the mall & up the escalator, every muscle ache I got from carrying Noelle in Negros, in Disneyland and in Caliraya, every scab I got from breastfeeding Danae, every back ache I get from breastfeeding Noelle all night, every sleepless night from putting the girls to sleep when they were newborns, every inconvenience from changing dirty diapers in public restrooms, every moment I spent at home instead of going to a wedding or a meeting or a party that I really really wanted to attend, every stressful moment I spent breastfeeding outside the comfort of my own home or car (only when I still didn’t have my breastfeeding poncho, which means 10 months with Danae & a few months with Noelle), every discomfort in taking care of Danae in the hospital while very much pregnant, every postponed small group meeting because I had to attend to an infant or a sick child, every ounce of energy in my body used to talk to and play with my girls – get on all fours with them, jump around, run, dance, sing, read, teach, look like a total idiot, every bit of patience I have to use when disciplining them, every single second that I could take for myself but do not because my children need me……they’re all worth my effort. I can’t even call it sacrifice because it isn’t. To me, it’s commitment. Though it is difficult, inconvenient and stressful, and though I may whine & complain at times, I am totally committed and fully invested in raising my kids with King. I love my children and I love being their mom. There’s nothing in this world that brings me greater joy than being my girls’ mother. What a truly wonderful gift from God.

I wrote this blog a year ago (May 6, 2010). Today, without a nanny again, I still feel the same way, and I’m pretty sure each mother does too. Happy mothers’ day beautiful mommies! 🙂