Showing posts with label Mommy Diaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mommy Diaries. Show all posts

Much has happened the past weeks. I don't even know where to begin. But I guess, I'll start with the news that we now have two feral toddlers to keep an eye on. Our little girl, Isabel, turned one this month. And I know I have already said that we won't be traveling until she turns two. But here I am, creating a toddler-friendly itinerary for our next out-of-the-country trip.

I am sure no one is going to disagree when I say that traveling with a toddler is a pain in the ass. I've seen it, experienced it, and proven it an understatement. Yet, we find ourselves turning a blind eye to the thought that with these feral two in tow, we may never be able to relax—which defeats the purpose of a vacation.

Bakit nga ba namin pinapahirapan sarili namin? Ever since, I have been questioning myself why Jan and I always subject ourselves to pain and exhaustion. 

Back then we would go on regular hikes where we'd temporarily lose a knee, a limb, or a toe; then we trained Muay Thai until our bones literally cracked and broke; later on we plunged into the stress of parenting children with close age gap (I love my kids but parenting? I'd take a broken bone anytime); and now, we're taking this parenting to a whole new level of inconvenience, chaos, and frustration as if it was not hard enough.

We still have three months to prepare ourselves mentally, though I know there's not much we can do about it. By the time we embark on this medium-haul flight, these feral two will still be very hard to reason with. They will throw a fit when they want to and will do some theatricals 35,000 feet above the ground to show everyone how we are failing as parents.

But of course, that's only how I play the scenes on my mind. I ought to be an overthinker prepared just in case.

Anyway.

I know most people have a different idea on traveling with little children. Hold it off until they're old enough to remember, they said. 

But nah. 

Surely, kids won't remember that we cuddle and kiss them every night. They won't remember the books we read them nor the times we took them to the parks and playground. But we still do it anyway. I don't see how it's different from traveling.

They won't remember, yes. But the smiles we see on their faces when they experience something new? That will forever be etched on our minds.

This is going to be the beginning of us seeing the world together and I. CAN'T. WAIT!

Still wondering how can we take good photos though.



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I don't remember the last time I wrote something serious.  And I think this post will be serious. And long. and unrelatable. And boring. 

And... anyway. 

Let me start this with our daily scuffle: 


I wake up before 5AM and I only have ten minutes to finish a freshly brewed coffee before Isabel wakes up. But I usually finish a cup down to the last drop at around 5PM. It's obviously cold and more bitter by then. During those sips, I give myself time to think.

Today's thought is kind of bittersweet. Just like how I want to enjoy my coffee. And it goes...

Once you give life in this world, you cannot expect to keep yours.

As a mom of three, this rings true to me, and in two different ways. 

The Young Mom

The first time I became a mom was an accident. I was twenty-three years young, wild, and free. I was far too irresponsible. I have not achieved nor proven anything. I had a low-paying, unstable job. I was in a toxic relationship and didn't know it. I was unprepared, emotionally and financially.

But giving birth to my first-born, as clichΓ© as it sounds, certainly turned my life around, which also meant putting my dreams on hold and letting go of the life I had before. A life that was so full of adventure and freedom.

I took the risk of getting a job that is completely unrelated to my college degree just so I can do more. I worked two jobs (Writer and a Virtual Assistant) while having a side hustle by selling baby stuff online, which eventually killed my social life. I went out of my comfort zone and learned new skills to advance my career. I did everything I can to give my son a good life.

It was not easy. It was mentally destructive, to say the least. But I survived and it did pay off.

"Single"-Blessedness

Fast forward to many years, my first-born grew up and so did I. I learned how to love myself and walked away from a toxic relationship. I sashayed my way to a totally different career that I never thought I would enjoy, not to mention, get a better pay. I learned how to overcome challenges with grace.

My life started to become somehow relaxed. I raised a good, polite, obedient, and semi-independent son. Plus, I have a village with me. So single-parenting was fairly a breeze. I gained back a bit of my freedom too. And with that, I learned a few new sports, joined social events, made new friends, tried new things, and even committed myself to someone in a new relationship. I relived the life I lost after becoming a young mom. 

Rhett's very first international vacay.

I achieved most of my goals, took those mini breaks by traveling to new places, and did most of the things on my bucket list. Inarguably, they were some of the best years of my life. I maximized the short season I became "single" again without, of course, putting my motherhood duties back seat.

The A-Little-Bit-Older Mom

The second time I became a mom was entirely different. At this time, I already feel complete and content. I reached a degree of financial stability. And on top of that, I married the best husband a wife could possibly have.

But...

I realized no one can ever be fully prepared for this because I was confronted with another challenge. For someone who is already approaching her forties, I no longer have the same energy I had in my youth. Pregnancy is risky and parenting tiny humans, even though I'm sharing the responsibility with Jan, is more difficult at this age. Back pain is inevitable, fatigue is real, and burnout becomes more common than ever—something I have not experienced with my first-born despite being a hands-on mom who worked sixty to seventy hours a week back then.

Rhett, 13. Chris, 2. Isabel, 10 months. Look at those tired eyes. But seeing these beautiful faces makes it all worthwhile.
And come to think of it, I will be forty-one when I drop Isabel off on her first day of kindergarten. And when she graduates in college, I will already be at least sixty. That is currently the age of my mama who is retired and just enjoying her pension and all her apos. I hope I will not be mistaken as my children's lola when the time comes. πŸ˜…

My mama and Chris.

I may be faced with different challenges now, but one thing remained constant: I had to let go of my old life. This time, I had to sacrifice a career I painstakingly built over the years. And to tell you honestly, it's driving me crazy.

But I don't, not even for one second, regret any of it—even though I know that we will never have that much freedom again to learn and try new things, work, and travel until the kids are grown. Hopefully when that happens, our knees are not yet wobbly and we are still strong enough to explore the world.

So when is the best time? 

I came across these two posts on Facebook today. Some people tell you to have children when you're still young and able (young ha like young adult, NOT teen). While others tell you to do it when you're content and stable. I've done both. I pulled through becoming a young mother, a single one at that. And I am surviving motherhood now.

I say, there is no right or best timing to have a baby. Do it young, you will be burdened with financial issues. Do it later, you will have a hard time conceiving and you will be dealing with health issues you didn't know existed. Some things are certain though: being a parent is difficult and exhausting, it will ruin your body, and YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME regardless of your age. You will be faced with different challenges but it's how you handle and take full responsibility after having a baby that matters most. After all, wanting to have a baby is, honestly, a hundred percent selfish. The least we can do is make life worth living and experiencing for our children.


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When you become a mom, you take on not just one, not two, not even three, but multiple roles. 

As a mom of a teen, toddler, and baby, I can be a referee, a teacher, a nurse, a storyteller, an entertainer, an event planner, a coach, a caretaker, a driver, a repairman. And if I have the whole day, this list can go on forever. And I am not exaggerating.

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It may not seem like it but, truthfully, I am terrible when it comes to parenting. A lot of moms probably feel the same way, too. It's just that people don't really talk about it.

The truth is, parenting is something most mothers struggle to enjoy. It is a hard and thankless job. 

Don't get it wrong. I love my kids—all three of them. The husband does a great job in supporting and helping me the best he can. And I do see the beauty in motherhood no matter what. But I still have my moments, too. There were those times I wish there's an OFF button for it. 

But of course, that is never happening. The most realistic thing I can do to keep me sane is to shop online or grab a favorite snack or two. 

I am glad I get to munch on Pocky and Pretz when parenting gets the better of me. A box can turn me from cranky to cheerful real quick. That wonderful surge of happiness you feel when eating a sweet treat? It is scientifically proven. πŸ˜‰


And that happiness is doubled when shared. So today, on Mother's Day, I'm sharing these to my mom, too! It's one of my ways of thanking her for putting up with us all these years. 

Want to give your moms something they will surely love? Go get your mom these Glico sweet treats! You can conveniently shop for these online at Lazada and Shopee.


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"Kamukha ng tatay noh?" 

Those were the doctor's exact words when I gave birth to our daughter two days ago. 

I rolled my eyes in disbelief.

That was the most difficult pregnancy and the most painful (albeit the fastest and shortest) labor experience I ever had. Tapos magiging kamukha lang ng tatay?!

"Not again!" I thought.

But how am I supposed to contest this?
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Although there is no solid evidence that Facebook hears our private conversations, I am still convinced it does. And as much as I hate the snooping, I am still on it because I see it a necessary evil. 

Truth is, Facebook did help me emotionally, mentally, and even financially. And if not for the suggested pregnancy and birthing articles that keep on popping up on my newsfeed since it is what Jan and I mostly talk about, I would not know that Push Presents actually exist.

To those who have no clue what it is (since it is also not a known practice here in our country), a push present (also called a push gift) is a present a partner or family gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room.  (Source)

Most push present ideas suggest flowers, clothes, bags, or anything the mother loves. The ones that remain most popular are jewelry. But I think those gifts that help make the first few weeks with a newborn extra cozy and easy, like a bed sheet with at least 500 thread count (as if the mother can sleep pa noh?) or automatic appliances, are better.

I already gave birth twice and I would say push presents may not be necessary because the new addition to the family is already a gift better than anything else. But now that I knew about it, I honestly like the idea. I think it's thoughtful and sweet.

So, needless to say, I made a list of MY PUSH PACKAGE

Note that I said package because one present is not enough to honor the difficulties of going through all the discomfort, weird cravings, food aversions, raging hormones, labor pain, and pushing a 6-pounder human through a smaller-than-a-fist hole (CS moms count too).

And that is just the easy part.

Nobody tells you about the horrors of pooping and sitting down after giving birth, of sleep deprivation that would last until God knows when, of probably losing the sex drive, but most especially, of motherhood.

And frankly, everything I have mentioned above does warrant a momma-you-did-an-amazing-job-you-deserve-this present. It's a bonus that can make a sore momma feel better.

Anyway.

I do not desire for anything extravagant, not even something that is sentimental. I just want whatever makes me feel like a human and not some milk-making machine. So here goes in the exact order:

1. Tokyo Tokyo bento meal 

Funny how this made it on my list. I don't remember what I ate after I gave birth to my eldest child, probably a hospital ration food. With the second one, I just had a 7-11 rice meal. A lot of food establishments temporarily ceased operations due to the alarming number of Covid cases back then, so choices of food deliveries from my favorite restos were also very limited. 

I hope it's different this time. Well, after denying myself those midnight runs to the kitchen whenever I think I'm hungry, the first thing I want to do after giving birth is EAT A LOT.

2. Whole body massage

Need I say more?

3. Foot spa and pedicure

I haven't been able to reach my toes for four or five months now. I know how much my feet badly need all the pampering and cleaning.

4. Brazilian wax

I have been bare down there ever since I was offered free sessions in 2014 (blogger perks, yay). I love how it makes me feel clean and sexy all the time. Haha. 😁

The last time I have shown my intimate bits and let every hair around it stripped by a total stranger was pre-Covid, two years ago. 

I just miss how refreshing and freeing it is. 

5. Total wardrobe overhaul

Every time I get pregnant, my body is altered in some way forever. For sure most clothes would no longer look flattering on me after I give birth. And I know it could take a while before I get back to my pre-pregnant body. Does anyone want my crop tops and body-hugging tees?

For someone who's turning 37 with three children, I now want something that screams "mature" but at the same time "stylish, comfy, and still hot". It will be a huge boost to my self-esteem and a good practice for dressing well in PTA meetings when the time comes.

Hence, the thrifted dresses.

Popping anytime now. No sleep. Hagardo Versoza. Laspaghetti beauty.

That's it.

I have a strong feeling that I will not have the luxury of time to do these once our daughter is out. But if there is one thing that is realistic for me to have, I would love a bowl of miso soup or authentic takoyaki or a half dozen of choco wacko right after this one last giant push. πŸ˜‰



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Women my age don't get knocked up easily. Or so I thought. It takes a lot longer to get pregnant again. Or so I was told. So we made love unprotected. And surprise, surprise! It only took less than two months to miss a period. While the news was one of the best we received, it honestly got us a little bit alarmed than excited.

Oh shit, are we ready for this? 

Obviously, we're not. But anytime from 4 to 7 weeks now, we will have two handful kids with a 19-month age gap, and a twelve-year old who will probably start to disagree with me in everything sooner or later. 

I haven't really been writing regularly on this blog like I used to. But if I turn this into a parenting blog, I'm pretty sure there will be so much to write and share. A lot of things happen every day when you try NOT to get a toddler killed as he expresses his free will and goes all feral; imposes his preference to play electrical plugs and sockets over his actual toys; exhibits his speed faster than lightning to get him to places he shouldn't be like the bathroom, kitchen, or outside; or shows his determination to become the next Spiderman as he climbs on surfaces impossible for our 36-year-old bodies with 63-year-old back pains to reach. 

But then, I'm already far too busy fussing about this pregnancy and the hundreds of unidentified emotions that come with it to write about anything.

Also, Jan and I are exhausted. We barely have time to do all things we used to do pre-parenting days. We do not have a household help or a nanny (because trust issues + pandemic). While we get some help from both our moms (mostly during weekends), we do everything ourselves. 

Picture this:

• Jan works full-time. Since he works remotely with people coming from different time zones, his working hours are flexible and spread out. He can work as early as 6am and end with a 2-hour meeting at midnight. In between, he does ALL the household chores because I am not allowed to lift objects heavier than our fat cat or do anything that is physically draining (even breathing has become a workout for me).

• I do not have a job right now but I accept web development and blogging projects from time to time (because the world can stop, but not our bills). I also help our 7th-grader with his school modules the whole day all the while keeping a toddler fed, bathed, and entertained. 

• Jan and I take turns with the toddler who can turn the house upside down like a tornado in a matter of seconds and just after we tidied up. 

• We both do not get enough rest. Our little boy wakes up in the middle of the night (at least twice) so Jan puts him back to sleep. And our little girl loves throwing a fetal rage at 2 in the morning. Those tiny jabs and squirming limbs coming from all directions do not exactly feel delightful especially when she hits my kidneys, bladder, liver, or ribs. But of course, I am not complaining because I expect to have that every day. 

Before anybody thinks we've been doing a great job for staying sane despite all these, let me tell you that we have also prepared ourselves to embrace judgment from others because we have not subscribed to the super mom/dad ideals. We acknowledge our limits, and so, we gave in to screen time and fast food deliveries (and we've been doing it so often) to lighten our daily load because, well...

Exhaustion is an understatement and burnout is real.

And that's only having two. It gets trickier when there will be three (I wonder how parents with five children with one-year age gap did it). 

Pero ginusto namin 'to eh.

Moments like this though. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
This is going to be my third time as a parent and I'm still trying to figure things out. If only parenting comes with an instruction manual, this would have been a lot easier. But we all know it doesn't. And even if it did, it still wouldn't work that way because every child is different. 

But heck, we're already here. There is no getting out of this and the best we can do is just wing it.





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It was twelve years ago when I pushed a giant papaya out of my lady parts. And fifteen months ago, I did the same thing. I wish I could say that having a baby at 24 isn't all that different from doing it at 35. But nope. I sneezed my first born out. The second one, however, felt like those exaggerated, nowhere near accurate depictions of labor and childbirth in movies. Except, it was real albeit there was no moaning, screaming, or howling on my part. My doctor had to break my water because my labor was not progressing and a few hours later, I was still stuck at 6cm.

It was excruciating. 

And that's coming from someone whose pain tolerance is considered at a dangerous level. You know how many times I brushed off pain only to find out later that it was a more serious injury? Like how a whole durian fell approximately 4ft. from the truck to my arm, ignored it like it was nothing because I was worried about the durian that I already paid for when it rolled from my arm to the canal. I didn't know I was bleeding until a friend pointed it out. Instead of crying "ouch", my initial reaction was, "uy, akong durian!" Yes, I had my priorities sorted out.

This probably stemmed from being born a walking disaster that I got exposed to physical pain at an early age. I have ran full speed into walls, dislocated (probably broken) a few bones here and there, and had deep cuts without flinching or tearing up. If anything, it was the earful, what-have-you-gotten-yourself-into-this-time scolding of my mom that scared me more.

But back to where we were...

I got over that horrifying 17-hour labor without epidural. Of course, it goes without saying that the child is going to hear this story for the rest of his life and I declared I am never having another baby ever again.

But here we are. 24 weeks in and still willing to go through all that labor pain after all. Plus, pregnancy when you are nearing 40 comes with a lot of risks. I do pray that everything will go smoothly and safely though—for I am excited. Really. Because after two boys, we are finally having a girl! Yes, quota na ako.

Anyway.

I am running on autopilot. I refused to believe that mom brain is real until recently when I squeezed lotion on my toothbrush... twice (it was on the second time when I learned what a lotion tastes like). I always find myself pouring water into a glass, leave it on the kitchen table, and never drink it. I oftentimes ask the husband the same question at least three times in less than five minutes. I have an extensive vocabulary but I was reduced to someone who fails to retrieve simple terms on the tip of the tongue. If my recent posts came out incomprehensible, now you know why.

I already gave birth twice. And even though I had few lutang and sabaw episodes, it was only in this pregnancy when I noticed that my brain went AWOL big time. Legend has it that I will have it back one day. Someday. When all three children are old enough to pay their taxes, I guess.

18 weeks (2009, 2020, 2021)


 

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I have been solo-parenting for almost a week now. 

And that's because our cat, Appa, bit Jan on his left leg. While Jan thinks the biting was an accident, I think otherwise. That cat has been plotting to kill me since day one but was miserably unsuccessful so it decided to take it on the husband who has a softer spot for animals than I do.

We have been bitten by the same cat a thousand times. So why is it suddenly a big deal? Jan's leg got infected that it rendered him useless—at a time when I needed him most. SMH. He had high fever, his entire leg got red and swollen, and he couldn't walk. Yes, it was that bad. Judging from the grimace on his face every time he moves a muscle, I could say it's another near-death experience, probably worse than his man flus. But you know what's worst? I had to get my lazy ass up and do everything. 

Okay, I lie. He still did the laundry.

Tip#328 for a lazy wife on how to let the husband do the chores without the reluctance and side comments: Try not to be good in what you do and you'll see him insisting on doing things himself. In this case, the clothes he washes look and smell cleaner than the ones I did. I am a genius, I know. You're welcome.

But still. 

I have been solo-parenting a heavily caffeinated mini dictator who turns into an adorable toddler a second before I lose my sh*t while my hormones are on crazy overdrive because another one is on the way. You see the ordeal I had to go through? Anyway, I am now thinking of fabricating a sob story so I can guilt the husband into giving me a daily massage because once he gets well, I need all the pampering and takoyaki I can get. 

If not, I'll just find ways to screw him up by asking for unreasonable pregnant wife demands. You know, just to spice things up a bit. A sineguelas during this season should do.

Had to drive Jan to to hospital in my pambahays, unkempt, and with a toddler in tow because we don't have a yaya. We had to patiently wait for a few hours outside the hospital. Good thing I was able to transform the back of the car into a makeshift playroom. I can't imagine how hard it for those who are in the same situation-when you don't have a choice but to bring a baby with you-but are taking the public transport. Damn this corona. I really hope this pandemic is over.
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