My 2-month long service leave will officially ends in less than a week. Looking back at what I set myself to do, I said I wanted to (1) spend more time in nature, (2) go somewhere new, and (3) do good. Not the SMARTest objectives, I know. And if I assess it vis-a-vis what I did, I’ll give myself a “below the line”.
Half of the time is spent at home, trying being a stay-at-home-mom (epic fail), help around the house (more like lounge around) and basically trying to do nothing (workaholics unite!). A feat for someone who practices zero inbox and always on field work.
I’ll be lying if I didn’t say that the other half of this sabbatical is about me. Conceited and selfish? Maybe.
You see, the last 3 years is navigating motherhood. Establishing what kind of parent I want to be. Building safety nets. Motherhood and parenting is new that’s why I gave myself space and time to be able to learn the ropes, so to speak. It’s never ending so now I’m planning to just wing it!
I now feel that I have more space to do personal pampuso endeavors. I should not let other parts of my life on hold. And that’s alright.
In the course of 40 working days (I have 4 more remaining), I facilitated a workshop while my daughter tagged along. I got myself waxed all over. You read that right. The last time was a day before I went into labor. I watched plays and movies, went to museums. I’ve expanded my social circle. Hello, Tinder! Malaia and I have done 2 collaborative artwork. I’ve got new pasta recipes. I’m learning to play the ukulele while learning with friends. You’ve probably seen my home videos. And I finally able to let go and accept that some things are not meant to be. And again, that’s alright.
I failed reaching my objectives. But I gained so much more. Cliche, but true.
I’m down to 4 working days. And I am excited as hell to get back to work. But for now, let me smother my daughter some more.
As single parents, we have this guilt drive to make our children the center of our world. We often feel that since another half of parenting is gone, we need to double our attention, our efforts and our love. We make our children our world, losing ourselves in the process.
And same goes for your children. They are not your world as you are not theirs. Our worlds will forever intertwine. We journey alongside each other, learning and feeling. They would look up to you, emulate you even. They would, in a short period of growing up, maybe want to be you. But they would still be their own person. As we are to ourselves. Let them be.
We can nurture courageous, independent and loving children if we give them space and freedom to be so. And same goes for us, give yourself space and freedom to continue your dreams. Nurturing yourself is not selfishness. Nurturing yourself helps nurture others.
Dear co-single parents, you are whole. You are enough. Your love overflow with abundance. You are what your children need. Nothing less, nothing more. Everything done with love is enough.
Another single parent learning everyday.
Note: This is originally posted in my Facebook last 2 June 2018.
So Bakotoy is now 19 weeks old. And I am now back to work.
One night when I was nursing her, I suddenly had these random thoughts:
- Maiksi lang ang pisi ko pag dating sa ibang bagay. Kaya nagugulat na lang ako na kahit sipain, lawayan, gisingin o iyakan lang ako ng iyakan ni Bakotoy eh di ko kayang magalit o mainis sa kanya. Kasama na siguro yun noh? Ginawa mo, panindigan mo!
- Fear and awe. Yan ang nararamdaman ko tuwing tinititigan ko siya sa madaling araw.And I don’t think mawawala ito any time soon.
- I made big and random decisions for her that I would never even consider before. And I will continue making them for her and with her when she’s able to make them.
- Isa lang sa birth plan ko ang nasunod. Room-in siya kaagad. Ito ay pagkatapos ng mahabang labor na nauwi sa emergency CS. Lesson? Mag unang yakap agad pero bigyan mo rin ang sarili mong mag-recover beyond recovery room time. Or better kung may next time pa, VBAC!
- Take as much suggestions from people around you. Pero sa huli, ikaw ang nanay. And ultimately, ikaw ang magdedesisyon.
- Not doing what other people “suggests” does not make you an asshole. Not listening to them will.
Mothering and motherhood is a lifetime job. It requires full commitment. It requires that you make decisions that may or may not be favorable for other people. But that’s okay. How I do things, is how I do things. I have no right to judge how other mothers mother. I can only judge myself (with note that I should not be harsh to myself too).We have our own journey in ensuring that our children becomes the best version of themselves, and if not, to love them anyway.
My cute little bunny ❤