Posted in family, parenting

Holidaze

So, it’s been a while since my last post. Why?! Oh my, oh my! The struggle is real! You know when some people say, “I need a vacation after my vacation.” Well, I need a holiday after the holidays.

The past weeks were just that… “a daze”… everything went by so fast… it was so busy that it all passed by in a blink of an eye… And just like that the holidays are over…. back to regular programming 😊

While those working go back to work, stay at home moms (and dads) are busy taking down the Christmas decorations, sorting through gifts, decluttering everyone’s closet to make space for new stuff.

All this is very overwhelming… I wanna Konmari my home… start the year right. They say if you’re surrounded by clutter your mind tends to be cluttered as well. Who wants to start their year like that? Not me! But New Year after New Year… my resolutions always included some form of “decluttering” in the list. A list that never really got fulfilled. I’ll start off well and just not have follow through then just get discouraged…

This year will be the year! was my mantra as the first few weeks of the year rolled by… here we are at the end of January and things are randomly piled around the house…clutter everywhere… even more than when I started… so now I’m at today is the day! Because whether it be refering to decluttering the house or starting my workout routine, I have to remember that each day is a new beginning and that I just have to push what I can each day…

Posted in family, parenting

Holiday Pressure

We recently bumped into some friends at the mall. They were buying Christmas gifts for their son’s classmates. They said that he would come home everyday from school with a new gift each day. So they felt “compelled” to reciprocate the gesture. 

I had it in my mind that I got that covered… I mean come on… our kids get so many presents from family and friends… a small token from classmates would be enough… so I pack a few pieces of candy in a cute little pouch and slap a sticker on it… I’m done!!!!

I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself! Quick and easy… 👍 “great job, Momma!”

Then, my daughter comes home and goes through the fantastic loot she got from her classmates… oh!!! We had the share of, “oh wow! That’s a big box!” Or “oh that is so sweet! They really thought about it.” 

Then there’s the Pinterest worthy token gift. My really close momma friends know how much I wanna be THAT mom! I quickly lay it all down and send snapshots of them to my core mom group… with the caption “I wanna be like her!” … then I suddenly felt envy in the pit of my gut… I sent my kid to school with those little pathetic packets of sugar… with a sticker with her name written using a plain old black Sharpie… and it was one of those stickers I used for a garage sale to mark the cheap items… (that should have been a sign)…

“Oh man!!!! What was I thinking?” 

Then comments like, “she probably only has one kid!”… (though I do have a friend who lives abroad that has 3 kids and the time to be a total Pinterest mom!)… but kidding aside… I found myself wanting to be THAT mom… the mom who not necessarily has the time but makes the time to actually print out tags and pack an assortment of goodies. 

Then one momma friend said something that snapped me out of it… “Come on, Gi! Be realistic!” And that was it! Be realistic… 

I have 3 kids… the youngest of which seems to be joined to my hip… he cries when I put him down… even just for me to pee… so when will I find time to actuallly do anything creative?! 

Then I realized that I should be happy for moms who are able to achieve such Pinterest worthy stuff.  I don’t have to be like then…  we all do what we can with what we have! 

So, let celebrate all moms (and dads) … That mom AND this mom!!! Merry Christmas to us all 😊🎁🎄

Posted in family

The Yaya Saga

It seems like everyone now has a yaya horror story or even a series of unbelievable tales about their yayas. I have a friend that can write a book about her encounters. So unbelievable I would think they were exaggerated … but they weren’t.

Why is it such a herculean task to find a … we’re not even talking perfect here… just a decent and reliable yaya? Are the days of yayas that truly stood as second moms truly gone? 

Back in the 80’s (okay fine late 70’s), I grew up with a yaya. A yaya I now call “Nanay”.  Back in the day, it wasn’t rare to find a yaya who truly had the heart to care and love your child as their own. My Nanay started working with my family a year before I was born. She took care of my siblings and me, did the cooking, and the cleaning. I never saw her complain, frown, or raise her voice. Though she never had children of her own… she was motherly.  

My nanay is now semi retired at the age of 61. I say semi retired because she has found herself back in our house each and every time these new age (seemingly fly-by-night) yayas walk through our lives. At 61, I want her to be truly retired and her visits here would simply consist of her sitting down and watching her favorite shows on TV. The most work she would do would be to bake cookies with my kids. But when? But will that day come for Nanay? 

We’ve had a yaya that stayed for 3 days or maybe 2.5 days…and all she did during her staycation at our house was sweep the kitchen floor… once… then she fained  some illness. So many have walked through our doors that I have truly lost count.  I don’t bother remembering names or faces. Maybe I’ve had a yaya apply twice and I wouldn’t have even noticed. 

Nowadays, we have those who 

  1. Use their gadgets too much… like all day, e’ry day!!! Whether it be playing Candy Crush or making video calls to family…or Facebook (oh the amount of selfies they take… with pouting lips and whatever poses they do around your house).
  2. Seem to tire and fall ill so easily… I don’t always doubt illnesses but sometimes you just know it’s just an act to get out of the day’s chores.
  3. Can’t take constructive critisism… ummmm… I’m not sure how being corrected or being told how to do something constitutes as being malupit… as the story to the new family they apply with goes…
  4. Couldn’t care less for their charges… ummmm… excuse me… but caring for the kids is actually part of your job (unless clearly agreed upon)
  5. Demand such a high salary that it’s like you’re hiring a battalion. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if the work done is decent enough to deserve such a high price.
  6. Leave at a whim… “ah ma’am hindi na po ako makakabalik galing sa day off ko po…. kasi ahhhh….ummm… may sakit po ako… ay tatay ko po pala… ay yung pinsan po pala ng kapitbahay namin…..” 😩

When will the saga end? We’re not looking for the perfect yaya because seriously finding an actual unicorn is probably easier… We just want one that is compasionate… one who is willing to treat us like family just as we treat them… It’s so difficult to open your home, your lives to complete strangers … it takes so much trust and respect… why can’t it just go both ways?!  

Posted in family, parenting

Our Toy Box Overfloweth

20171123_020733.jpgAs the Christmas season approaches, we begin to ponder about… where to put the new gifts our children will be receiving.  Of course, we think about the reason for the season.  Wherein the virtue of generosity and the importance of giving becomes the center of the celebration.  Each year since our eldest had her first Christmas, our tree has been filled…filled with beautifully wrapped gifts.  Now that we have 3 children, I can only imagine the amount of space their gifts will take up.  (Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way bragging about how much gifts they get… I am just grateful that we have such generous family and friends who have so much love for all our children).

With this in mind, my husband and I try our best to purge and declutter our small home to prepare for the coming gift-filled holiday.  As we purge through each room, year after year, we are faced with unopened boxes of toys, unused clothes, (sometimes) even still wrapped gifts.  We are at a loss on what to do with them all. We mostly donate, share, to those who we think would need them or put them to good use.  We try to teach the children the importance of sharing and living simple.  How decluttering our surrounding acutally declutters our lives and our minds to make things simpler.

However, after this year, comes another, and another.  Going through the receiving, keeping, sorting, giving, every year will be tiresome… and, I’m sure at time, wasteful.  So what can we do to get the most from this season?  In the recent years, we have realized that family and friends will give gifts, whether it be for birthdays or Christmas, even if you, in the best way possible, let them know that there is no need to send or give gifts.  Our eldest is 9, and we have kept the best toys in good condition that her siblings are able to enjoy them until now.  So, if each child would get the same amount of gifts our eldest would, we may not have space in their room.

So what can we do about all this? Do we send out a message via email or sms or even a post on social media to tell everyone not to send our kids gifts? It’s not about telling them not to give our kids gifts because we still want our children to enjoy the season.  I say just don’t be ashamed to talk to those close to you, maybe your kids’ god parents, their grandparents, close friends. Let them know your kids have a simple wishlist.

Take time to sit down with each child to ask them what they’d want to get for the Holidays… but there’s no harm in guiding them with leading questions to make that list 😉 “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a movie date with Ninang when a nice movie is showing?” or “A double scoop of your favorite ice cream would be cool on a hot day.” Build a simple wishlist. It could include a small toy, a book, a dress, or even an afternoon playdate to be claimed later on (think home-made massage coupons you’d get for Mother’s Day).  Something they’d be excited about that they could claim thoughout the year. Just remember to keep it simple. 🙂