Family

Things I Wish For Dad

I wish Dad…

could be more patient with the kids.

would always remember that the kids are still just toddlers, and well, they would act like toddlers.

would know that the kids look for him everyday when he’s at work.

would realize that the kids will not be toddlers forever and soon will not need us as much.

would know that (having said the 4th statement) he would lots of time for himself as soon as the kids hit grade school age, and more so when they enter highschool.

would listen to me more.

would think before he speaks.

would have more initiative.

would be more considerate.

would be more of a team player.

would read this, reflect and understand…

 

i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife

i enjoy reading a lot of parenting blogs because it’s fun knowing how other parents handle very familiar situations and i also get a lot of tips and also, because it’s nice to know that you are not the only one who feels that way about something. however, i just realize now that it’s also great to read about marriage blogs; after all, i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife.

us in college

dad and me in college

i want to write about this blog and a particular blog post i really liked today by Pamela King. i’m so thankful that she found my blog first when she checked out my post “and just like that it was 2002 all over again” yesterday. i headed over to her blog Still Dating My Spouse and absolutely loved it! one post touched me though, it was Creativity in Marriage. sure, it was written beautifully by Pamela and her tips were great but most importantly, it got me thinking (don’t you love it when a post gets you thinking?)…about my own actions, about my complaints, about the things i wish that my husband would do, and finally, about what things i can do differently.

i realized that there are a lot of things i could be doing. despite our hectic everyday life, there are a lot of things i could be doing to have even just five minutes of sparkle with my husband. i have also realized that these tips Pamela mentioned…we used to do all of that. and somewhere along the way, we just lost track or we just started waiting for the other one to start.

out of town

out of town for our 3rd wedding anniv

recently, i have been spending hours and hours online. yes, i work from home but even after my work, i would still be in front of the computer for several hours more. i even think, the internet is now my bestfriend but then again, it would be very easy to delegate even just a few minutes from all those hours to sneak in some QT with hubby.

i am really glad i was able to find her blog around the same time hubby expressed his feelings about us and or family. that way, i know exactly what to do to add on to what he initiated: letting me know how much he still cares.

new yr 2012

dad & me new yr 2012

The Grudge and Me: Parenting Politics

There comes a time in your life as a parent when you need to employ strategic politics.  It has come to mine several times already and one in particular happened some months ago.

Both my kids have always been so active, always lively and very loud. I know, most toddlers are like that and when I see a mild-mannered kid it can feel like, “oh, now that’s new.” But my kids are like most toddlers who can turn the house from tidy to what-the-hell-happened in seconds. My eldest is only a year and a half older than his sister so they would always be partners-in-crime or worse, they’d be rivals. Our house is always noisy, we can’t watch anything properly, it takes me forever to get work done because I’d always have to check what they’re up to when they’re unusually quiet or break them up from a riot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly complaining. I am very grateful that they are lively, healthy, happy kids. I am merely recounting events that have become “facts of our lives” as parents of these two active kids. Sometimes though, you need even just a few minutes of peace and quiet to finish something; or today’s episode of your favorite soap is just too juicy to miss; or you need the kids to sleep so you can have some time with your partner already.

So some months ago, I think that was September, JBdad decided to unlock our emergency secret weapon #1. After dinner, he made the kids watch The Grudge. (oops, stop. a disclaimer for would be critics: i’m not saying that this is a great thing to do and I am in no way telling other parents to do the same. and this is not a “perfect-parenting-blog). The objective is for them to get familiar with “The Grudge” and maybe the name can be strategically used in the future to get them to listen.

taken from trailers.apple.com

The actual movie watching was uneventful. They were pretty brave and sat through the whole movie quietly. JBboy (3) would ask occasional questions and JBgirl (not even 2 then) was either quiet or not at all that interested. But it has since then given us a great convincing tool; you know like, when they are getting too loud, when it’s way past siesta time and they’re still jumping about, stuff like that. I don’t really think they’re scared, I think they just take it to mean like “okay, they’re serious now.”

When I was a child, parents here used almost the same “strategic secret weapons” and a lot of them were scary creatures (our culture has lots of them that I wanna mention now but it’s 4am and I’m the only one awake). Others and equally popular were unfortunately a bit racist or derogatory, the most popular of which is the “bumbay.” During the 90’s, there were a lot of Indian nationals who ride around neighborhoods in their motorcycles and there are the go-to’s of those needing cash and fast. They were really friendly, tolerant and at times “abused-for-their-kindness” men who unfortunately, because of their wardrobe became an easy target for parents who need a convincing tactic for their kids. So popular tactic #1: Don’t get out of the house, the bumbay will carry you away in his motorcycle. I know, not very nice; but it worked really well for parents back in the days. (for possible Indian nationals that may come across this blog, please do not get offended, our parents loved the jewelry and the umbrellas and all the other stuff and they tried to keep up with the installment payment because you were all really nice and understanding. it’s just that, sometimes, parenting was hard and lack of imagination prompted them to do that).

"a man in need will cling to the bumbay." taken from geekofalltrades.wordpress.com

another one would be the neighborhood eccentric. i think this would be popular everywhere and each one would have their local version. ours was this young man (then) who used to walk around pushing his cart to collect pig feed (i was also scared of him).

neighborhood eccentric

taken from emilovesshushi.deviantart.com

I think using The Grudge is us staying away from the racist and the derogatory. I know you have strategic secret weapons of your own. Care to share?

 

every mom is also a daughter

i found another blog post i wrote years ago and i just wanted to share it…

ON MOM Sep 7, ’08 4:48 PM
for everyone

Written: 03 September 2008 17:19

I went back to Manda last Sunday night feeling a bit closer to my mother. I was sure then visiting was a great move to have done last weekend. Although my relationship with Mama still isn’t at its best, I feel that we both have greater respect and understanding for each other now. I can only imagine the pain she is going through as a mother to live each day with her family torn apart, not to mention all the lies, the embarrassment, the denial, and the betrayal of trust. She doesn’t realize how strong she really is to have gone through everything and to still have her spirits intact. It just hurts me that she still has to undergo more pain; it seems to me that there is still more to come until she hasn’t found enough strength to heal. As much as I try to maintain my respect for my father, I can’t deny the fact that he has been and is still being so unfair to my mother. Seeing Mama now, at first glance you’d see a strong, indifferent, even intimidating woman… but look closer for even just a minute and you’ll see that she truly is soft and still hurting inside. She has but simple wishes in life; she wants her family whole, her husband thoughtful, caring loyal…  she has her eccentricities  but who hasn’t? It doesn’t change the fact that she has cared so much for her family. I have gone through so much pain in the hands of my mother, but now, being married myself, I finally understood (almost completely). I now know where all the “hostility” had come from. It isn’t easy being a wife and a mother. You always have to give, give, give, and if you’re not careful enough, one day you’d realize you have nothing left for yourself. That probably was what happened to my mother. Now, slowly, she has found a way to experience the caring, the attention, and the “love” she so longs for… but for how long? I now know that it should be from us, her children. I wasted no time and texted her “I love you” last Sunday night. I didn’t expect the burst of emotions. Before I knew it, I was confiding to my husband about my guilt feelings. I regret having to leave my mom during the time she needed me the most. I could have been the one to support her, to pick her up. But now that I have a family of my own, I am pressed with my own obligations to be there for her as much as I would hope to. For now, I can only offer emotional support, which I do plan to give. I know that even if she tries hard to hide it, she embraces all the love and support we can give and appreciates everything. She is my mom, and I’ll love her forever.

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mama is doing much much better now. she has been enjoying herself with her sisters, friends and of course, her grandchildren. : )

even superheroes need help

one of the things i swore not to make my children feel is that they would not be able to count on me when they need help.  i think more than anything else, it came from personal experience.

growing up, i guess my parents saw me as this smart, independent girl who can take care of everything by herself. while that may sound as a compliment, it was actually very hard. i learned early on in life that i should look for solutions to my own problems instead of asking for help. luckily, i made it through most, but that just showed them that i really can handle everything. on the few times that i did ask for help, my pleas fell on deaf ears. it was always like nobody took me seriously each time i asked for help because they were thinking, i could do it anyway. (god, the unshakable memories of school programs without presentable costumes, art projects that lack materials, figuring how to get home on your own because no one would pick you up). as a teenager and until now, it’s still the same. many times i have been let down from asking for help with people dismissing everything as something i could do myself.

people always tell me that i’m a strong person and that i can handle a lot by myself. while that’s true, i just want people to know that there are times when i need help too.

now as an adult, my husband has told me a dozen times that i have problems with asking for help or even assistance. he said, i try so hard to solve something myself when it would be much simpler to ask someone for help (like asking for directions, assistance from someone). but i’ve just so gotten used to that. it’s like i have learned that it’s better to work my ass off on doing something myself than asking someone for help and getting disappointed.

although there were a lot of those “feeling-overlooked-childhood memories” i know now that those experiences taught me to be strong and independent. i believe i’m pretty good at solving problems and that i have commendable analytic skills. i want my children to be just as independent but i do not want them to learn it the same way i did.

i want my children to be able to explore and do things on their own. at the same time, i want them to feel that if they ever need my help, then i am there to guide them. i do not want them to hesitate with running to me for their problems. i want them to feel that i am here to listen. i want them to be strong, but i don’t want them hard as rocks. i want them to feel that it’s okay to sometimes feel weak because there will be people to help them be strong again. i don’t want them to feel the pain of being disappointed or let down by the people who are supposed to have their backs. i don’t want them to feel alone.

 

 

looking back…

i was reading one of my older blogs, this one was from when i was just a new mom. thought i’d share some of the posts (although now, i can see i could’ve done a lot better at my style of writing then) that were the most meaningful to me…

ON MOTHERHOOD

Written: 29 August 2008 23:56

I was re-organizing my three-month old son’s cabinet earlier this evening, taking out those he had already outgrown, some were very rarely used, others not at all. Surprisingly, it was a very sad task. It was hard for me to put them in a plastic bag and transfer them to the bottom most drawer. I felt so bad I wanted to cry. I just felt that a phase of my son’s life had already passed, and that time just goes by so fast. I wish I could hold on to every moment of my child’s life because I am scared that before I know it, he has grown. When I think of the fact that he will soon be a toddler, it saddens me. I know that as my son grows up, there will be much more fun to look forward to, but looking at him now, as a baby, I can’t help but just want to hold on to this… he is just so adorable I wish he can be my baby forever. Having someone depend on you completely, and smile just upon seeing you, it melts your heart completely.

Motherhood opens your heart to extreme levels of emotions that are the hardest to contain. You never know you are capable of so much love until you have a child. Sometimes, my love for J just overwhelms me, I don’t know how to express it. Hugging him or kissing him is never enough. I want to let him feel how much I love him but you can never find enough ways to express your love to your child.

I am so excited to teach him a lot of things, to take him to places, and to simply shower him with love. I am forever complete now that I have my son.

ON “I LOVE YOUS”

Written: 27 September 2008 13:00

My mission to make mom feel loved continues. Courageously, I’d shower her with “I love yous” and “I miss yous.” I still haven’t broken her barrier. Either she won’t reply or would talk about something totally different. But for some reason, maybe due to the cosmic connection of mothers and daughters, I always receive her replies directly to my heart; and for that, I’m happy. I still wish she’d say it though. NOT because I need to hear it, but because I know I know it will do her good.

Saying “I love you” liberates us from a lot of hidden pains and grudges. It enables us to let go of the past and to start with acceptance, and to continue on with healing. The problem is, saying “I love you” is easier for most of our loved ones but a mile harder for loves deeper and more intimate. What can be deeper than the love between a mother and her child?

Having a son freed me from the “no-I-love-yous” prison. It’s like a hidden valve was unlocked and unleashed a kind of love I never thought I have. My son cured me of a lot of hurt. And knowing how my mom must be hurting, I wish for her the same liberation from pain. So I continue this mission of assisting my mother through healing…

Someday, “I love yous” will come easy for her too.

ON BROKEN FAMILIES

Written: Aug. 22, 2008

When I was younger, I don’t get all the fuss about having a broken a family. I always maintained that better to be apart than staying together wanting to bite one another’s assess off…

But after “the fall of the DC family” around the end of April 2008, I finally understood. There I was, turning 24, on the family way myself, feeling the impact of a broken family. I felt so alone.

I am married, expecting a son, but yet a certain hollow ache gnaws me from inside. I, juggling myself between WC (my true home) and Manda (my new home), Jl staying in WC, Mama & Apol in Vista and Papa…elsewhere. I can’t help but think of the old days with a longing ache.

What hurt me most is having to be separated with my siblings. For 23 years, we have been inseparable; yet now we only see each other a few times a month…or not at all.

I am past having to blame any of my parents. I’m too old for that. But how I wish we never have to be this way. I never thought it would hurt this much. I can only imagine how this must be hurting my younger siblings, when even I, the one mature enough to understand, am secretly hurting inside.

Even now that I am enjoying my status as a new mom, and with my husband’s support, I can still feel the heartache of seeing my family shatter into “my bro-my sis-my mom-my dad,” and not a single unit.

I have put off crying over this for much too long… But now, I relinquished the false appearance of strength. I needed to vent out. I have to vent out. Or else, I won’t be completely a mom to my son… won’t completely be a wife to my husband. I have to welcome the full extent of the pain… Only then will I be able to heal.

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Enough with the nostalgia.

restlessly invisible… invisibly restless…

it’s Saturday and i’m bored.

yeah, i know,how can i still be bored when i have two toddlers to take care of and a home to manage. i don’t know, but i’ve been feeling bored lately, almost restless…like i’m looking for something or something’s missing, i’m not sure.

well, alright, i don’t exactly not know. it may be because i didn’t set up a family-day-out budget this month so i can’t take the kids out. may also be because i, of course, do not have a personal budget this month so i can’t take myself out either. or maybe, it’s because the hubby is not interested in anything else these past weeks other than Shogun II Total War.

what do you do when you feel invisible?

should you nag, bicker, demand? (tried)

should you go sexy and distract him from the daimyo? (not in the mood; not deserved either)

should you send a message to an old crush? (maybe)

should you rant about it to your girlfriends?  (who may or may not care)

should you just leave him with his personal time and space? (probably..but then again…)

i know what i should do. i should take a bath and get myself some fries and ice cream.