100th Post: How Motherhood Changed Me + Giveaway Winner

26 Jul

Little did I know what would await me as a mother that moment my little girl was conceived. I just knew one thing and that is trust — Trust in the Lord that I could do it because He entrusted this privilege and honor to bear the child.

Fast forward to February 2011, we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. And once this little stranger came into our lives, I knew that my life would never be the same — ever. I have never felt a love so strong and so complex at the same time. The more I get to be with her, the more I love her. Yes I am her mother and I ought to teach her and guide her, but actually, it is the other way around. I learn from her, and continuously learning with her. Motherhood improved me holistically. I became stronger — physically, emotionally, spiritually. I learned to be better for myself and for my family. The role of motherhood forced me into being a jill-of-all-trades, a woman who does so many yet summing up to one — a nurturer who fulfills my family’s needs.

Click Continue Reading and see how I was changed.

Prayerful. I am a Catholic and praying has been taught since I was a kid. Our family prays the rosary, taking turns on who to lead. We hear mass every Sunday and celebrate as one. I wanted to inculcate in my daughter this relationship with God and as early as now, I am teaching her the value of praying and going to church. As a mom, I learned the use of prayer all day long. I say prayers many times during the day — prayers of thanks and prayers of survival, prayers for others and prayers for my loved ones. I know I am armed for my battles when I had prayed already. I also try to pray the rosary and go to mass whenever I can.

Appreciation. Appreciating the things and people I have means not taking them for granted. I have been more appreciative when I became a mom. I am thankful for those people who help me take care of my little one — my dad, uncle, brothers and most especially, my mom who is my daughter’s second mom. I am grateful of even the littlest things. A bouquet of santan picked by my daughter to give me as a present, a shower of a million kisses before bed, the tight hugs that I didn’t want to let go of — are of no value to others but to me it meant a lot. After all it really is the little things that truly matter. When we say our night prayers, we make sure to mention at least five things we are thankful for the day and end up saying a lot more! Blessings are overflowing, we just have to open our hearts and souls to see them.

Patience and Sacrifice. Patience is the willingness to handle any delay. Only a few people (the lucky ones) can do everything and still have a healthy familial relationship. After having a child, it seems I can only do very little. Time is always not enough to do everything I want. I have big dreams that I may not pursue anymore. Having to put my dreams on hold is a much greater sacrifice for me. Then again, I believe that God has better plans for me than I have for myself. I have to make use of all resources and hopefully find my way where God wants to lead me. I don’t want to be stuck in a rut and let His gifts be put to waste so I still do things I am passionate about — like writing and teaching.

Prioritization. My priorities changed when my little girl came. I had to turn down most opportunities because she is my number one priority. Everything has to be set with my little girl. She is my fixed variable and I plan everything with her in the picture. I also learned to prioritize the plenty things on my to do list. They have to be labeled as urgent (cooking, preparing hubby’s baon), important (feeding my toddler, homeschooling), and can wait (doing the laundry, paying bills, blogging). I always choose the life saver and the need. With prioritizing comes time management and because of the two, I am able to identify the key makers of my day — those that will have an effect on us. I may put off doing one thing (cleaning the house) and finish doing another (cooking). Sometimes I can add a little overtime in cleaning when both hubby and baby girl are asleep and she is not breastfeeding. With all the responsibilities that a mom and a wife have to do, I need to be strategic. I plan ahead and get ready with my daily battles and I never forget to pray. Luckily, I am a survivor!

Limitation. What makes me human are my imperfections. I embraced the fact that there are things I cannot do no matter how I try. I am just making the most of what I have and do my best. I have limitations and I can’t do everything all at once. So I ended up with a personal mantra of “One day at a time, One step at a time” and somehow the work load is lessened. With little steps, I am sure I will get there. It may take awhile but I will get there. At times, when I feel like I am about to explode with all the stuff I have to do, I take a breather — I pray, take a shower or take a walk with my little girl outside. These help in relaxing my nerves!

Creativity and Innovation. As a mother, I spend a great deal of time thinking how my daughter and I will spend our day. I am always looking after what she is doing. I let her play, get messy, be independent. I let her enjoy her childhood the way I did. That’s right, the ‘old school’ way where there are no gadgets to play with and I had to be creative and inventive so as not bore to death. Know the words, “It’s part of growing up…”? We believe in that so instead of saying “No” to her ideas, schemes and high energy, I shift them from negative to positive. She wants to run around the house, so to prevent her from getting hurt, we join her games. We become playmates and we run together, chase each other, do all things together. We let her experience how fun it is being a kid! Since she is homeschooled, I always think of ways on how she can learn and have fun at the same time.

Keen Observation. I learned to be more wary of my actions because I am setting an example. I observe myself and constantly critic myself if I have been the woman I want my daughter to be. I practice being polite, respectful and nice to everyone I meet because it is the right thing to do. It is integrity to do the right thing even if there is no one looking. I tell her that there Papa God is always watching us and we should do the right thing all the time. I greet and say thank you to taxi drivers who drop us off, tricycle drivers who help me carry the groceries and market goods, doctors, anyone who helped us for that matter — no matter how big or small. Hubby and I also talk to each other with po and opo so it will be a habit for our child to do the same. My mom is actually happy that my little one knows how to respond to people. She always says “Thank you”, “Welcome”, “What po?” “Excuse me.” Also, watching how others respond to my child allows me to be more objective on how we interact. For example, when I am busy cooking and she wants to play, I have to refuse. But when I saw hubby respond to her for the same thing, I felt upset for her and I pause to reconsider.

Understanding. For moms of toddlers, tantrums are part of daily ordeals. Instead of letting it blow my head off, I ignore the tantrum and when all is calm, I address it accordingly. I always try to look into the reason behind it — crankiness because she is sleepy, snob because she’s busy playing, bratty because she can’t fix her things, etc. I always try to understand how she feels, I listen to her reactions and ask what her they mean. I always give myself the chance to experience how she sees everything around her. Most of the time, it amazes me how she can understand what is going on without me explaining in detail.

Loosen up. For an OC gal like me, I am easily stressed over little things like when I did not meet my own deadline for an errand, disorganize collection of books, cranky little girl. Before I let them affect me. On top of being frustrated with these, I also feel disappointed with myself. I hate the negativity and heaviness I feel. Now, I tend to let things go. I don’t worry to much on the ‘non-important’ stuff anymore. Before I let my eyebrows meet and get stressed, I ask myself if this will affect me in the future. Eighty percent I answer no to that question so I learned to just go with the flow and be flexible if my plans did not happen. If I wasn’t able to cook because I did the laundry, hubby helps me cook or sometimes we just dine out. I also incorporate wit and humor instead of reprimanding my daughter.

Focus. I am a great multi-tasker. I can do five things simultaneously. I breastfeed, listen to songs, surf the net, blog and plan what I’ll cook and which chores to do first.I think my little girl felt that it was not really bonding time with me. Then I realized, to do something worthwhile, I have to put everything to it. When I do things one at a time, I finish earlier and get the work well done. I always go for quality now rather than quantity. I now savor the times I spend with her and make sure that when we are together, there are no distractions. After all, children grow up fast and no way I am going to miss out on her just because I am busy doing other stuff.

Firmness and Consistency. It is tough love to be firm in your values and have your heart broken. Hubby and I are guilty of being strict at home because we want her to grow up with the good manners. When we say no to something, we stick to it. We don’t change our minds on the serious stuff, the other things we let go. For example, we were about to go to the mall and she has been acting bratty and we tried our best on dealing with her, we cancel going out. But we don’t go to the mall anymore even after she has pacified. Also, we don’t teach her spanking and hurting others but others find it funny. I have to re-teach her and make her understand that it is wrong. We always explain what, why and how she should respond when something like that happens again.

Self preservation. I learned to take care of myself more. I have to give time for myself — to preserve what’s left of me, to recharge and to keep me from going berserk. I have a lot more to give to my family if I have time to give myself. Taking care of myself does not involve too much drama. I make sure I have enough sleep, I eat healthy food and take vitamins and supplements daily. I also opt to switch to organic products whenever I can and I use the right products suited for my skin type. When it comes to being a beauty junkie, I feel that it is not at all vanity, rather it is self preservation. It helps me build confidence, cheers me up to know that I enhanced my features and that I look presentable.

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With motherhood, learning never seems to stop. At first we may feel that children stand in the way of our growth. Truth is, it is they who propel us forward by demanding more of us than we could have ever demanded ourselves. My child is my teacher… Because of her, I found out that I am capable of so much more…

The winner of my Birthday Giveaway is

sherry ann gole cruz

Congratulations!

Note: Please email your shipping details to writingismyhappyplace@yahoo.com.

If the winner does not send her detials within 5 days, I will announce a new winner.

Again, thank you to all those who joined!

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