Monday, April 21, 2014

When Inspiration is Elusive...

Do you know a time when you would like to write down something but you just couldn't do it? It's like you're stuck and no matter what you do , you simply can't write? Well friends, I do. Before, about 3 months ago, my mind was brimming with ideas, it's so full I had to write down my thoughts or I might just forget about them. But now, I'm just... I don't know... Stuck?

A lot of things are happening right now and the more I want to share it with you (I know there's just a handful of you, but I still would like to communicate it with you. Who knows, an article or two might be a blessing to you), the more I struggle on how to do it. I just simply don't know where to start or even how to.

I believe that this thing will pass. I am looking forward to being able to write again. It may take another day or two or even a week but please, dear readers, just hang on in there... I know we'll "see" each other again... soon. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why I Love Being a Mom

I am a fan of beauty pageants. Ever since we had a television set, I together with my Ate would always watch beauty contests (international or local) on TV. One of the Ms. Universe pageants that I have seen was in May 1994. The most coveted beauty title and crown was given to Sushmita Sen. Does anyone of you still remember her? I have never forgotten the question put to her: "What is the essence of a woman?" I believe she gave a most poignant answer. She replied: "Just being a woman is God's gift". The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman." 

As I have understood it, the essence of a woman is being a mom. Being able to carry life in your womb, protect that life and give birth to a tiny (not to mention cute) living creature that will change your life because at that moment when you see her/him and hold her/him in your arms, suddenly love, care and sacrifice have new meanings. That was what I felt when I brought forth my daughter into this world. It was a special and beautiful birth. And I know that she is mine and I am hers.

Being a mom is not just having a kid or kids in tow. As I have always said, it's not an easy job; it's hard work. But as someone said, you don't consider a job work if you love what you're doing. So, you don't consider mommy-ing a work if you love doing it. Well, I love doing it. Although sometimes, as a human being, I still need to take a break just so to keep me sane (You can read here how I stay sane as SAHM). So, if it's not easy why do I still love being a mom? Here are my reasons:

Being a mom is a miracle.
I don't know if you have read my post on breastfeeding. I mentioned there that I didn't get to be a mom right away after the wedding. I had two miscarriages and my third pregnancy was not without prayers and tears before it happened. So when the day finally arrived that the Lord remembered His promise to me, my husband and I were in tears. We treasured every single day of our pregnancy journey because we knew it was a miracle.
Maternity Photo by Great Image
The other night, right after our dinner, I looked at some of my stuff and saw one of my preggy pictures (photo above). Our baby saw it and began asking questions. One of the questions was, "Baby, mommy (where's baby, mommy)?" "You're inside mommy's tummy, baby.", I replied. Then she looked at it again and looked at me. She said, "Ahh, mommy? Amazing!" And I believe she is right, being able to carry a baby inside of you, that is, being a mom is indeed amazing.<3

Being a mom is a privilege.
I always hear our church pastor say this, "Hindi po lahat ng babae ay mabibigyan ng pagkakataon or pribilehiyo na mag luwal at mag aruga ng sanggol. (Not all women are given a chance and privilege to give birth and take care of a baby). I agree with him. For me, when I was told by my ob-gyne that I was indeed pregnant, aside from feeling so ecstatic about it, I felt so honored and privileged to be chosen as the bearer of this wonderful baby. It's not because she is someone special or great. It's just the thought of carrying a child in my womb. What an honor! <3

Being a mom is a blessing.
From the olden even biblical times, it was always thought that married women were considered blessed if they were able to bear a child and give birth even to just one. Remember, Sarah (the mother of all nations), Rebekah (the mother of Jacob and Esau), Rachel (the mother of Joseph and Benjamin), Hannah (the mother of Samuel) and Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist)? All of them had been barren and then eventually blessed with children.

Simple baby shower given by office mates

Gifts for my little fashionista

I consider myself blessed because I am a mom to our little fashionista. In fact, I feel like I have never been blessed before the way I am being blessed now. From the time of conception until today, everything has been faithfully provided to us and to our little one. But more than the material and financial blessings, it's the blessing that you can't see or touch but you can feel. It's the unexplainable sensation you perceive inside. That kind of blessing cannot be compared or even paid. <3

Smart Parenting Baby Shower

Bringing home some freebies

My loots from Pregnant Pause sponsored by Mommy Mundo

Felt so blessed to be bringing all these stuff home
On May 7th, a group of mommy bloggers will gather together to meet and support the expectant mothers of Nazareth Homes. We are enjoining everyone specially mothers out there to promote and endorse this cause. If you are interested to be one of the event sponsors, please contact Jennifer Lopez Gana for more details. Thank you so much and I hope to see you there. <3


Friday, April 4, 2014

Stay Sane as SAHM (SSaSAHM)

About a decade ago, I had been dreaming of becoming a homemaker. You know the kind that bakes fresh bread everyday for my husband and child/children; cooks sumptuous meals; keeps the house smelling fresh and looking spic and span; knitting sweaters and the likes and making quilted blankets. I have always admired mothers like this, those who chose to stay and "work" at home full time. At that time, I would always talk to some of my married female colleagues and ask them why they chose to work instead of stay at home and "be" there for their families, specially their children. Although majority of them said that they need to do it rather than they want to, one of them, who happened to be a very good friend too surprised me when she said that it's because she wanted to. And like a dormant volcano that is reawakened by some geophysical changes (I know, big word, right? Never mind it, heehee), my friend gushed out her "acceptable-but-made-me-think-about-it reasons. While she was relating her experience to me, I could feel her pain and disappointment. I could tell, she was not happy at all.

Fast forward to today, I am blissfully married to my husband and joyful (ha!) mom to a 2-year old girl. I was, in a way, waiting for that time that I would feel the same way like my friend did 10 years ago. To be honest, there was a time I felt like I didn't want to be home just taking care of the baby and running a household 24/7. I missed getting dressed, wearing high heels and putting on makeup. I missed traveling and going to different places in and out of the country. I missed meeting and talking to a lot of people. I just missed everything that comes along with working outside the house. I was beginning to think that maybe, what my friend told me a decade ago was really true: it's horrible to be a stay-at-home mom. It would "ruin" you. It would make you insane.

Then it dawned on me that I didn’t have to feel that way, in fact. Yes, I didn’t have control over what’s happening around me but I had a choice, I was given a choice. In reality I believe, everyone is given options. I could either choose to feel despondent, discouraged and a “loser” OR I could be thankful for this rare opportunity and privilege to be together with my baby; to take care of her and observe every milestone she achieves. I realized my home has a lot to offer me (aside from seeing my baby’s smiles and enjoying her kisses and hugs, heehee) so I could enjoy our little nest. I have listed down 4 ideas/activities which a new stay-at-home mom could do while… you’re a stay-at-home mom.

Rekindle your old passion.
I have always loved books and reading them. I started reading at the age of 5 or 4, as I remembered it. I would read everything I came across with from the sari-sari store sign board to a scrap of newspaper or comics that were used to wrap some stuff from the market bought by my Mamu. I could read English story books and a fast reader of Tagalog books at the age of 6. In fact, my Grade 1 teacher even told me to help some of my classmates to read. I was like her little assistant teacher at that time. Long story short, I really love to read. However, as time went by and I grew older and became busy with work, I found myself drifting away from this fondness of mine but it didn’t stop me from accumulating a number of books. My thought was always, “I’ll read this when I have time. I know I’ll be able to read this when I take my vacation.” But it never happened. I was busy all the time. Then I became a mom (yes!). It’s a blessing in so many ways than one. One of these is I get to read the books that I have in our shelves and other books that I borrow from friends. I have set a Reading Project goal for myself this year, that is, to finish 1-2 books per month. So far, I’m doing well. Although I must admit that sometimes the mommy duties get in the way.

Be the Miracle by Regina Brett

Not Even a Hint by Joshua Harris

Reading Project 2014

Another hobby which I have put in the back burner for a long time is doing embroidery specifically cross-stitching. Ever since I have learned how to do it I was hooked. I was in college and a friend and classmate taught me. I have done quite a few projects but then again, for some reason, I stopped. Now that I’m a mom and have some spare time (only when baby is asleep, heehee), I “sew”. I am glad to say that I have finished one project and starting with another one. I am also joining the Dare Your Mind to Create Promo. Of course I’m doing it for the prize (let’s be honest here, haha) and also for the satisfaction of being able to finish a “masterpiece”.

My first cross-stitch project since I became a mom

Be craft-y.
Am I serious in saying this? Does it mean you have to be sneaky and follow your husband wherever he goes? A big NO! Haha! That’s not what I mean. What I mean is do arts and crafts even if you don’t consider yourself craft-y or even an artist. There’s a wealth of inspiration you can get from the Internet (especially Pinterest) and it will motivate you to make or create something out of the ordinary. Who knows, you may discover that hidden talent that’s been waiting to be revealed? You can also do crafts and arts with your kid/kids. I love it whenever my li’l fashionista and I do something craft-y. It’s one of our bonding moments. Whenever she sees me holding colour papers, a pair of scissors, washi tapes and pens, she would stop whatever she’s doing and would ask me, “Mommy, that? Mommy, try baby please?” Isn’t that a lot of fun? You get to do what you want to do and at the same time you get to bond with your kid.

DIY pompom

Paper butterflies

Our li'l fashionista

Meet with like-minded people or kindred spirits.
Being a stay-at-home mom 24/7 is no joke. Sure it feels great to be with your bundle of joy from the time she is born and every moment after. However, reality strikes that moms are also human beings which means that we are by nature, social beings. We need to associate with other people. We should also see the world outside our “world”. Because if we don’t do that, we are slowly but surely heading to our own “devastation”. That is why I am so glad that there are workshops and events for moms nowadays. I would say that mommies these days are blessed because there are women/moms who had “been there, done that” situations that are proponents of several advocacies and campaigns that could really help or inspire other moms.

One of the workshops I had attended this year which started my “blissful blogging” was the “Blog your Bliss” Workshop by Martine de Luna. It was so inspiring that when I got home I thought about my blog and how to make it more meaningful. I always look at the hand out Martine gave us and it’s like my reference for everything that I need to do in my blog. What’s more, she gave us a free blog critique (after doing and submitting our assignment) which is very substantial and useful. The best part is I got to meet a lot of wonderful blissfinders like me; one of them is my Alemars Nadia.

Blog Your Bliss Workshop

BYB Handout

Me and Martine

Another workshop is for the SAHMs who would like to be WAHM (Work-at-Home Mom). I have gone to the 1st one last January 18th and I have never regretted attending it. In fact, there’s another one coming up on April 5th and I’ll be there too. The first workshop made me see what really matters, the clock or the compass. It's one of the things I have learned about time management; how to prioritize your activities as a SAHM or even a WAHM. The event this Saturday is about “How to Run an Online Store”. If you are a SAHM, you feel like your hobby/passion can be profitable and you would like to make a living out of it at the comforts of your home, then come and join me (and other moms as well who will be attending this workshop). This must be “it” that you’re looking for.

Stop and smell the flowers... in other words, treat yourself for some "me" time.
I believe that it is never bad to love and think of ourselves once in a while. We can never give what we do not have. How can we love our family and the people around us if we don't love ourselves? Being a great wife and awesome mom doesn't mean you have to forget about yourself. It means being able to take care of your family without losing yourself in the process. So, please don't be afraid to "live a little, love a little... that's the glory of love." :)

"Me" time at La Creperie
It is never too late to enjoy and SSaSAHM. These are some of my ways to stay sane as one and I hope I am able to give you some inspiration. How about you? What are your ways to keep your sanity as SAHM? Would love to hear your thoughts.