Original Article Contribution published in Smart Parenting, October 2010 Issue
Hello! It’s another weekend, oh well, it doesn’t really matter. Remember, it’s about staying hopeful and making the best lemonades (I can’t believe I was using that line since 10 years ago!). 😉I’m looking at my updated popular posts, and it’s just unusual how all most are from 10 years ago, just when I started blogging, and were basic connection building posts…very much so relevant as we all try to stay emotionally connected, mentally grounded and just here, ready to pay it forward. Here’s a post I wrote 10 years ago.This goes out for all of us.
The phrase “working mother” is redundant. Regardless of being a corporate employed mom or a stay-at-home mom, it’s really all the same. It doesn’t make one better or lesser as a mom. Being one or the other either by imposition or by choice, no matter what, either with the trade offs or with the opportunity that goes with it, the possibilities worth celebrating and exploring are endless. If you just seat back, take time to enjoy the ride, and marvel at life’s greatest pleasure –motherhood.
A year ago (2009), I took a break from my seven year-corporate employment stint and opted to be a full-time homemaker. I want to celebrate it! I want to cherish this moment while it lasts just in case, I decided to pursue corporate employment again if the need and the opportunity arise. Without the clocking in and out demand of an employee, now, as a family, we can reinvent ourselves and we have all the time to enjoy being at one another’s company 24/7. More so, becoming a stay-at-home mom enables me to explore all possibilities and adventures there are as a wife, a parent and as an individual. This is me being given a lemon, and not only do I make lemonade, I concoct lemon sherbet!
Well, for a “newbie” like myself, I don’t think that it’s just walk in the park, but at the end of the day, with practice, the demands of a full-time homemaker seem to be all in a day’s work. Also, contrary to what others would say, I still do care about holidays, because I also welcome breaks when my son, Chase, doesn’t have to wake up early to school, so he can sleep as much as he wants. Everyday for me is an adventure of trial and error of learning how to instill discipline, study habits, eating habits, etc. and deciding which is just the right attention without being overprotective, or boring, or a “party pooper” at some time, while making sure he gets just the right slack. And yes, I still do get stress at times, like on the time when Chase cut his hair during his art class, on constantly reminding him to do his assignments, on getting him to eat healthy, on making him sleep on time, and of course, most stressful is when I play nurse and worries most on the days that he is under the weather.
|Then: 2010 Our first time in San Francisco for Vacation. Taken at Pier 39 and Reno Circus Circus
To any parent, the challenge of having a greater weight in molding one’s son is there! But to be able to do that is most definitely an amazing experience, and worth missing my monthly dose of retail therapy, which I did indulge as an employee. For a full year now, I get to be a part of my son’s key developmental milestones. I get to meet his teachers, friends and classmates. I meet fellow moms and have the luxury of time to indulge in endless chatters about our little ones.
And I say that motherhood is simply an addiction, that during the few moms’ night out that I allow myself to have, over bottle of beers and shots of tequilas (now soju), and on our tipsy moments, we drank and laugh our hearts out over our little ones’ antics. It would even appear that we are having a parents’ conference. And I never run out of stories to share. I truly can be a Stage mom to my heart’s content!
Everyday is a “date” day with my son. Just because we are together after school hours, we are free to engage in debates on even simple things such as choosing which kids’ channel and show to watch best, and then to talk about these shows and characters as if they truly mean the world to us. To make him sit still in his car seat is never a thing of the past; he never gets tired of contesting it, and me imposing it, since we just have the time to bicker on about almost anything. Most of all, having the luxury of time to do things my way, I just have the energy not to pass up on every opportunity to take part in developing my son’s reasoning skills; hence, we argue and fight our hearts’ out, like there is no tomorrow on even silly things and occasions. Of course, the best part is the kiss and make up.
My son is at the age of discovering things, he never runs out of questions to ask and ideas to talk about – the ABC’s of why’s and how’s. I’m happy to indulge him with these musings with him regarding me as his ultimate walking dictionary, encyclopedia, World Almanac and Atlas, and even sometimes his debate partner. With this, I engage myself to commit in being a part of my son’s primary education. I marvel at things I rediscover, even at simple things like the color of the rainbow and that “I” in ROYGBIV is Indigo, which is supposedly Red Violet. I think that in time, I could even say that I could confidently say that I’m smarter than a 5th grader, which I realized from the show that it’s really easier said than done.
My heart flutters when I hear him say that he’s willing to forego buying toys as long as I stay at home with him. This is the adult me that still can’t help rationalizing things. But being with my son constantly allows me to revere simple things and how simple gestures can mean so much and bring such happiness to both of us. The competitive and teamwork in us shine the most during party parlor games, when we want to win most prizes (and who doesn’t?). And then we take time to strategize to win most tickets and prizes on amusement parks’ games and machines. Daily dose of hugs, kisses and “I Love Yous” comes in unlimited quantity and availability. I remember attending a team building seminar that we all need at least 3 servings of power hugs per day. In a year’s time, I think I got my supply to last me a lifetime.
I cannot say that it’s all peaches and cream. Some moms stay at home because they find themselves in this situation. Nevertheless, for me, it’s simply meant that my cheese moved, and like in the Who Moved My Cheese Story by Dr. Stephen Johnson, I’m Haw and I’m just simply loving every moment of it. So, when I find myself face with this adventure, I lovingly remember my take on that simple, yet delightfully heartwarming and witty story (plus I love cheese…with wine, please!)
Allow me to share why from these excerpts and learning from the story…because in life, no matter what;
- Change Happens – They Keep Moving the Cheese
- Anticipate Change – Get Ready for The Cheese to Move
- Monitor Change -Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old
- Adapt to Change Quickly -The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese
- Change – Move with The Cheese
- Enjoy Change! – Savor the Adventure and Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!
- Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy It Again & Again – They Keep Moving the Cheese.
So, I say, since I committed myself to do just that, I hold this experience to bond with my little one with the highest regard. Becoming stay at home mom allows me to capture and share family moments that are all scrapbook worthy. And as a bonus, I find time to reinvent myself. That it’s never too late to explore and develop a passion, like for myself, writing. And then at the end of the day, I say, lucky me, now I’m doing what I love doing best.
Present. Time flies…some things never change, but some did. It’s so hard being a parent, let alone parenting a teenager
and a husband. 😅Props to every parent out there…my love goes out to you. ❤️