Or so I thought

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After giving birth, I thought my only role in the world was that of a mom. I thought I was exempted from performing other responsibilities because I was taking care of my child. I thought I didn’t have to be sensitive of the feelings of others because being a mommy requires an infinite deal of sensitivity. I thought it was absolutely fine not to spend precious time with people, family in particular, because, after all, every bit and part of me was oh-so-devoted to first-time motherhood. This baby is family!

I thought I was doing a great job. But I was not.

I forgot that I was also a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a wife. Realization rushed in late, and with it came circumstances that were unimaginably tough for wee little me — tough enough for me to not talk about it for now.

Nevertheless, the assurance of God’s sovereignty was present, and His message in Romans 8:28 was clearer than day: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)

Despite the uncertainty of things, I have this verse to hold on to. There might have been a few setbacks, but somehow they seemed to work together for the better and paved the way for an enlightened and encouraged me.

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Ang Anak Kong Hindi Mahilig Matulog

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Yung anak ko, marunong nang matulog nang tanghali. Marunong na rin siyang manatiling nakapikit at hindi dumilat agad kapag naalimpungatan. Marunong na siyang kalabanin ang liwanag ng araw para maituloy yung tulog niya. Yung morning at afternoon nap niya, tumatagal na ng higit isang oras. At higit sa lahat, marunong na siyang magpababa.

Siguro nagtataka yung iba — anong klaseng bata ba yung anak ko?

Sabi ng mga magulang ko, nung baby daw ako, hindi ako iyakin, at kung umiyak man, madali lang patahanin, kaya nung nag-maternity leave ako, nag-uwi ako ng raket kasi naisip ko ang haba ng 2 months, imposibleng di ko matrabaho yun. Madali lang naman siguro mag-alaga ng baby; matutulog lang naman siya palagi. 

Pero hindi pala pare-pareho ang mga baby. 😱

Nagkataon na yung binigay sa amin ay yung clingy, iyakin, at hindi mahilig matulog. πŸ˜‚ Siya yung baby na gustong laging nakadikit sa akin o sa nag-aalaga sa kanya. Siya yung baby na gusto lagi ng atensyon. Siya yung baby na nakakapagod alagaan, kasi nga mahilig siyang maglaro at ayaw niyang matulog. Sa sobrang hirap niyang alagaan, yung pag-ihi at paliligo, pati pagkain, pahirapan pa.

Yung prinsipyo ko sa pag-aalaga ng baby na hayaan sila at wag buhatin pag umiiyak, hindi ko pala magagawa sa anak ko. Kasi ang totoo, hindi siya ganung klaseng bata. Hindi uubra sa kanya yung ganun. Hindi siya katulad ko nung baby ako o ng ibang batang ilapag mo lang sa isang tabi ay ayos na at hindi iiyak.

May mga panahon na pagod na ko at naiinis na at hindi ko na kayang makipaglaro o makipagbolahan sa kanya dahil mainit na ang ulo ko. May mga panahon ding tinatanong ko ang Diyos bakit hindi na lang yung mabait na baby ang binigay sa amin — yung baby na tahimik lang, hindi iyakin, hindi malikot, natutulog sa umaga at hapon, at natutulog ng soooobrang haba sa gabi.

Pero baka nga kasi dahil sa init ng ulo ko kaya siya ang binigay sa akin. Baka ang dami ko kasing oras para sa sarili ko kaya ilaan ko naman daw sa pag-aalaga sa iba. Baka kulang ang pasensya ko kaya habaan ko naman daw ang pisi ko. Baka masyado akong nakatuon sa sarili kong kaalaman kaya puso ko naman daw ang gamitin ko.

Iyakin siya nung maliit, laging nagpapakarga, at malikot hanggang ngayon. Gusto niyang laging nakadikit sa mga tao, laging gumagala o lumalabas, at laging nakakakita ng tao. Kung may girlfriend na high maintenance, si Samsam yung high maintenance baby.

Ang daming pwedeng ikapagod sa batang to. Kung susumahin ko lahat ng hindi ko makita sa anak ko, lahat ng kahinaan at kapintasan niya, mapapagod talaga ako, mabuburyo, at susuko na lang.

Pero pag tiningnan ko kung anong mabuti sa kanya, kung saan siya magaling at anong kalakasan niya, siguradong kaiinggitan ako ng ibang mga nanay na may “mababait” at “hindi iyaking anak.”

Pero syempre, sa susunod na yun. Nagising na siya eh. πŸ˜‰

Of Mother’s Day and First-Time Moms

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Mother’s Day this year is not like any other.

Why? It’s my first mother’s day as a full-fledged mom! Aside from my birthday, this one is another special day dedicated to me, so hurray for that! πŸ˜‰

The other reason makes more sense though. Until last year, I always prepared something for the special women in the family, be it a small gift, food, or a card. This time, since I am too tied up with our little ball of chubbiness, I wasn’t able to come up with anything. πŸ˜”

I never really got to fully understand why parents have their individual special days until I bore and started to raise my own child. Giving birth is one thing; being a mother — which is craftily subdivided into showering her child with unconditional TLC; guiding their first steps; caring for their physiological, spiritual, mental, and social well-being, instilling discipline, and so, the list goes on — is a whole new level. Now that I reflect about it, I think there’s no end to being a mother. The day starts and ends with only one thing in the mind of a mother — her child.

Whoever thought of dedicating a whole day to mothers should be recognized. You are a genius! However, given the chance, I would propose to turn it into mother’s week. One day is not enough to pay tribute and show gratitude and appreciation to the mothers in our lives. It’s not even enough to reminisce their sleepless-nights-turned-sabaw-moments, their numerous sidelines just to provide for our needs, and the immeasurable amount of blood, sweat, and tears they have shed for us. Heck, even the greeting, ‘Happy Mother’s Day,’ does not seem enough.

Now if I were to customize that greeting, this would be it:

“Hey, Mom! Thank you for the things you do and do not do for my welfare. Today, please rid your mind of us, your children. You are free to relax and think of yourself and of the time when we were not yet around– your needs, your wants, your dreams — and tell them to me. Perhaps, that might be a nice mother’s day present.”


However, as much as we ask them to think of themselves only — even for a day– in the end, it will always be about us. Why? Because motherhood is a lifelong duty, not an 8 to 5 job. It molds a woman and gives her a new perspective. And it never ends. πŸ’–

I know, because now I am a mother too. πŸ™‚

PS. After much thought, you know what else I think? Grandmothers should be celebrated, too. It doesn’t count that we celebrate grandparents’ day. A whole day should also be devoted to grandmothers as much as one day is dedicated to mothers.

Growing up with my grandmother, and now living with my mother-in-law, who just happens to be Samsam’s grandma, I can never, and I mean not ever, fathom the strength and endurance they have, even at their old age, to care for their children and their children’s children. They must be Gal Gadot in their younger years. πŸ˜‰ 

Blue and Dainty

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Samsam always gets mistaken for a boy — I think it’s not only because of her nickname, or her spunky badass (AKA semi-kalbo) hair, but also because of her OOTDs.

When I go to the department store to look for bibs, socks or shoes, which are supposed to be gender-neutral, sales clerks tend to point me to all things pink and cutesy, and immediately come to my rescue when I deliberately opt for a more rugged style saying those stuff are “for boys.”

Sure, she looks soooo dainty in pink, and it is certainly eye-candy to have all her baby stuff in the same shade, but what’s wrong with other colors?

I refuse to let my little girl grow in a world where the norm is “Pink (or purple) is to girls, as blue is to boys.

Why set stereotypes when her mom loves blue and her dad loves pink? Why limit her vision with pink and purple when she can see the world in way more than just the colors of the rainbow? Why give her ribbons and dolls only when she has the capacity to choose the toys she wants or if she actually wants any?

Since she is my child, my goal is to raise her in an environment void of stereotypes, be it color, style, or gender-specific responsibilities (Hello, career counseling! I think this calls for a separate post. πŸ˜‰). 

For all the parents who are pressured (by who knows who or what) to make their baby look more female (or vice versa), you are not alone. Just remember this one thing: nobody knows your child like you do. Your child, your rules. πŸ˜‰

PS. This was supposed to be a short post on Facebook, but I got carried away. Hurray for my first blog post ever since I gave birth! πŸ˜‚

Faith Restored

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Anyone who knows me like family is fully aware of my fear of hospitals, doctors, injections, and almost any health-related stuff for that matter. It was because of a traumatic experience at the hospital when I was barely two years old. Ever since I can remember, I would get chills and palpitations whenever I’m inside a hospital.

To cope with it, I have already decided since the start of my pregnancy to visit my OB at her home clinic and not at the hospital, despite the wonderful airconditioning system hospitals provided. πŸ˜‰

I’ve been on and off a bad cough for a few months now, and while the first few weeks weren’t quite alarming as I was just advised to drink plenty of water and eat citrus fruits, these days proved to be more dreadful because of the merciless summer heat and my growing tummy that gets way too painful whenever I cough.

This is the first time I’ve had a cough that lasted more than a month. You don’t call it a viral infection anymore — so my nurse friends say, but I was so afraid to be prescribed of antibiotics because we know how expectant mothers shouldn’t take them, right?

Anyway, since I’m already 22 weeks on the way, I decided to just visit a pulmonologist and get this cough over with. I was supposed to go to the doctor last Wednesday, but was disappointed that the doctor had such an early cutoff. Imagine, his clinic hours were 4pm to 6pm, but all slots were already filled by 4:15!

You know how two people are not meant to meet each other? Well, that’s me and that doctor.

Which proved to be the best for scaredy-cat me after all.

For someone who’s afraid of hospitals, checkups are the biggest challenges.

Today I went to the hospital 15 minutes earlier than the doctor’s clinic hours. I’ve had an awful experience with the HMO, so I took care of that first. So far, so good. Got my form in a matter of minutes.

I went to the doctor’s clinic and was relieved that there were only 7 patients before me and clinic hours were far from over. The best part? The waiting area was airconditioned and was just the right temperature for me. You see, that floor is divided into two — the airconditioned area and the natural air-ventilated area. And for some reason, the doctor I was supposed to visit early in the week was in the less comfortable side.

Upon consultation with the doctor, who has aged beautifully from my first consultation with her 5 years ago, I was kinda sure she was keeping herself from giving me a good scolding. “3 months ka nang inuubo, tapos tubig at fruits ka lang?!” Err, uhm… πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚ It was like getting reprimanded by my grandma who’s a former teacher. It feels good getting scolded by grandmothers sometimes. I think it was mainly because I was pregnant that pissed her off. πŸ˜‚

After a series of inhale-exhales, the doctor told me to get an X-ray; she said I didn’t have to worry because the baby’s already five months in my tummy. I asked for approval at the HMO, and for the second time, it was unbelievably quick of them to release the form.

I went to the radiology department and was warmly accommodated by the staff who told me to wait outside X-ray Room 1. The attending technician approached me and asked if I was the pregnant patient. She was so kind as to provide me with 3 levels of shield, as I would like to call it, to cover my tummy from radiation. She was also talking to me throughout the procedure which made me feel more at ease.

Right after the x-ray, the technician told me to get the results on Monday, 5 pm. I responded with a hesitant, “Ay, sa Monday pa…” I guess she had a hunch that my pulmo wanted the results today, so she told me that she would just have the results printed out in a few minutes.

At that moment, I just thought, Wow, where’s all this favor coming from? 

For some reason, I suddenly had the urge to take a look at the shirt I was wearing, then it struck me. On it was written: I AM A CHILD OF GOD in Chasing Embers font. Of course! How could I forget? Being a child of God means being highly favored — that I am sure of.

Out came my x-ray results. The whole procedure, including the waiting, took only 20 minutes. There’s God’s favor right there. I went back to the doctor with less worries.

The doctor looked at the print out and muttered, “Okay naman pala…” Man, those words were the only ones I needed to hear. 😏 Plus, her mood has already lightened up. Haha. I was expecting my asthma had come back to haunt me — thank God it didn’t. I was prescribed with an antibiotic, Cefuroxime, which was generally safe for pregnant women, and Fluimucil, one of the best medications I’ve had in my life. 😁 

I went out of the clinic with a smile plastered on my face — a smile of relief, one might think, but it was actually a smile of gratefulness. God has indeed placed His hand on every part of my hospital experience today. Not only has He reminded me of His sovereignty in my life, He has also been gradually restoring my faith in doctors, hospitals, and hospital staff. ❀

Before the x-ray procedure, I was scared for my baby as much as I was for my traumatized self. But after the whole ordeal-turned-faith-restoration-process, if you ask me, now I am fully certain that my baby will be a bouncy and healthy one. How do I know? Because I am a child of God. 

What’s wrong, millennials?

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Before I rant, ​here’s a video of Simon Sinek talking about the Millennial Paradox.

Sinek is on point about everything actually. 

I sincerely hope this message reaches this generation — the millennials — their parents, and even millennial parents.

Growing up, I would always hear this from my mom, “Kung alam mo lang kung pa’no kami pinalaki noon,” and some parents would do their best to shy away from the parenting style they were raised in by being lenient, in fact, too lenient, towards their children. Then they suddenly get mad and strict when their kids go overboard. There you have it — inconsistency.

I am a millennial, and even though the generation before mine is not as tech-savvy and assertive, I admire them for their perseverance and hard work. They do not easily give up, they cope with stress well, and they maintain good relationships with others. Thanks to their parents, our grandparents, for raising them up well.

It’s time to break the curse of the millennials. And I think it should start in the home. 😊

Kawal ng Tadhana

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​It’s been almost eight months since I last wrote anything on the blog. I usually post random thoughts and rants on Facebook only because I think they’re too short to be blogged.

Anyway, here’s a piece I wrote for Destiny Church Cavite’s 2nd Anniversary and Thanksgiving on December 11. πŸ˜„ And yes, thank you Lord for people who trust in me and push me to write. πŸ‘Œ

KAWAL NG TADHANA

Mapait.
Mapait kung tawagin mo ang kahapong minsan nang nanakit sa ‘yo,
Ang kahapong minsan nang sumira sa mga pangarap mo,
Minsan nang naglubog sa ‘yo sa kumunoy na tila wala nang pag-asang makaahon pa.

Walang kasiguruhan.
Walang kasiguruhan kung ituring mo ang hinaharap na tila hindi naaayon sa dikta ng puso mo,
Na tila lihis sa nais mong makamit para sa sarili mo,
Na tila puno ng kadilimang dala ng mapait mong kahapong pilit mong tinatakasan.

Walang saysay.
Walang kabuluhan kung isaalang-alang mo ang kasalukuyan mong parang nakatapak sa kawalan —
Ang kasalukuyan mong bihag pa rin ng mga anino ng mapait mong nakaraan,
At umaalipin naman sa hinaharap mong puno ng takot at alinlangan.

Ngunit sa buhay mong inakala mong wala nang patutunguhan ay mayro’n palang nakatadhana.

Isang tadhanang naisulat na,
bago pa man ang paglikha ng mundo;
Isang tadhanang nakaukit na sa mga pahina ng aklat ng dakilang Manlilikhang may gawa sa ‘yo.

Isang tadhanang pinag-isipan,
Pinagplanuhan,
Pinag-ubusan ng oras,
Hindi lamang ng iisa,
kundi ng tatlong persona.

Isang tadhanang pinaghirapan,
Pinagbuhusan ng dugo,
Pinagbuwisan ng buhay,
Upang ang bawat luha,
at bawat tangis na dapat mong maranasan ay mapawi,
Upang ang bawat pait,
at bawat sakit na dapat mong sapitin ay maibsan,
Upang ang bawat mali,
at bawat kasalanang dapat mong pagbayaran ay mawalan ng halaga.

Dahil ang tadhana mo ay maging malaya,
Malayang maranasan ang pag-ibig ng dakilang Manunubos,
Malayang matamasa ang nag-uumapaw na biyayang kaakibat ng pagiging anak Niya,
Malayang lupigin ang kasalanan at pagtagumpayaan ang kasamaan,
Malayang maibahagi sa iba ang mayamang pag-ibig ng Diyos na gumawa ng langit at lupa.

Kaya’t tumindig ka, kawal ng tadhana,
Dahil nilikha kang may tungkulin —
Tungkuling makibaka at ipaglaban ang tadhanang nakalaan para sa ‘yo,
Tungkuling hindi sumuko,
dahil mismong ang Hari ng mga hari ay hindi sinukuan ang buhay mo,
Tungkuling magtagumpay,
dahil ang kamatayan ay pinagtagumpayan na, dalawang libong taon na ang nakararaan sa krus ng Kalbaryo.

Dahil ikaw, kawal, ay may tungkuling ibahagi, at iparating sa iba,
Na ang plano ng Diyos ay para sa kanilang ikabubuti at hindi ikasasama,
Na ang plano Niya ay magdudulot ng kinabukasang puno ng pag-asa,
Na ang Diyos na makapangyarihan, ay naglaan sa kanila, ng tadhanang higit pa sa kanilang inaakala.

PS. I might share the recorded piece if I can somehow find a good audio editing app. Using my laptop is such a hassle. πŸ˜„