Sunday, November 26, 2017

What They Didn't Tell me About Motherhood

I received lots of advice on motherhood since I became one in 2010 when I gave birth to Johan. Back then, I was told how to raise a kid, how not to spoil my child, how to discipline. The advice changed when I became a Mom to two boys in 2014 after giving birth to Jeron. Now, the advice vary from how to prevent sibling rivalry, what to do when the boys start fighting, how not to show favoritism.

Yet, 7 years into this and still there are more than a few times that I surprise myself with the learnings, my emotions and my patience (or the lack thereof). So, here I am, listing down the good and the not so good things I learned while being Mom.
  1. What social life? I used to see more of my friends when I was single. I was able to meet them up for a game of bowling, dinner and coffee afterwards, have a drink when friends from abroad come home for a vacation or eat out with office friends during Fridays. Now, I missed meeting up with my overseas friends when they came home at least twice, I have declined invites for birthdays and other occasions either because the kids are sick or the Yaya did not show up again and Fridays are spent rushing home after work barely escaping the Friday Gimik Night traffic. I even see my bestfriend only once every year now, maswerte pa kami kung magtwice yan.
  2. I don't read books anymore. Or at least the ones that I really like. I still do but the books I read these days are 1st grade stuff, when I have to help Johan with his assignments and when making him reviewers during exams week. I used to read more than one book a day, my bedtime ritual not complete until I finished at least a couple of chapters of my current read. How I miss going to the bookstore to buy a new release because now, a trip to the bookstore means that I have to buy another box of Mongol pencils because Johan has given all of his pencils (yet again) to his classmates who lost theirs. 
  3. Trips to the bathroom will never be again something private (at least until the kids are in highschool). Just yesterday, I was surprisingly having a quiet moment updating the header of this blog for hours, mind you, hours. The kids are playing inside the room seeming to forget that I was home with them. Then I needed to use the restroom. It was like an alarm went off in their heads and they just had to request for everything they think they needed - food, water, a certain toy - and the right timing for all of these is while Mom is using the restroom. Both kids, banging on the door, the older one talking at high speed while the younger one just screaming "Mommy, Mommy!". Oh well, number two will just have to wait until both are deeply sleeping.
  4. Meal times are exhausting. Johan is a picky eater, Jeron wanders while eating. Our meal times inside and outside our home is chaotic. It will always be about begging Johan to have another spoonful and running after Jeron to feed him. By the time both are done, I would have lost my appetite already.
  5. Time with the husband is close to none. Trips to the grocery without the kids is considered having a date, watching movies requires both of us filing leaves from work just to make it happen or if  not we would be rushing home as soon as the movie is done, no more time walking leisurely around the mall.
The first five listed above are the not so good things about motherhood but I can certainly live with. The next ones will be all about the good stuff, the ones I cannot live without.
  1. Hugs and kisses are unlimited. As I come home from work, both kids will be all over me giving me welcome kisses and hugs. Jeron is the kisser, stopping in the middle of his playing to come up to me, say "Mommy" and gives me a kiss out of nowhere. Johan is the hugger, he likes hugs and gives it out as often as he can.
  2. Hearing my kids laugh makes me happy. Not just happy-happy, there's something deep that tugs at my heart whenever I see them having fun, either together or playing on their own. 
  3. Planning activities and parties for the kids will always be special. Kidzania trips with Johan is about teaching him to spend time with his extended family, surprise birthday parties will now be a staple after we gave one for Johan on his 7th birthday and Jeron's 3rd birthday cake was planned after seeing how he loves superheroes.
  4. Cooking is not impossible to learn. I thought this will never happen in this lifetime. But because Johan is a picky eater and his preference vary greatly from Jeron's, I have to make an effort at least every weekend to prepare meals for them that both will get nutrients from. So far, Johan is now eating fish and some pork, it is still difficult to feed him vegetables but we will get there. Jeron, on the other hand, eats almost anything but he prefers his rice with soup.  
  5. Love is abundant. I don't remember how many times a day "I love yous" are being said in our family, but it is a lot. In the middle of watching TV or playing a game, Johan will just shout out to me, "Mom, I love you!", in a span of a day countless I love yous are being exchanged and this Mom is definitely not complaining.

Motherhood is really not for the faint-hearted, you have to be strong physically and emotionally to keep up with the demands of the kids, schoolwork and career. Motherhood is not always rainbows and butterflies, there will always be days that you will question yourself, your choices, your temper. But difficult as it may be, I know that the kids can see that I am doing my best to be a good Mom to them. 

I have two demanding boys, both active, both loud. My hands are definitely full, but so is my heart.

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