Mom to Mom: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

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Credit: mamanyc 

Being a mom is one of the best things a woman can be blessed with; it’s momentous! Along with this high-flying experience comes the sleepless nights, exhaustion and overwhelming dramas. I see you nodding in there! To make it worse, most moms feel ashamed of getting help because of the supposed impression from other people of being “less of a mom” or lazy or she’s-not-cut-for-motherhood thing. I think it’s otherwise. Part of being a good mom (to say the least) is being able to take care of yourself; this will include your health & sanity! There should be a state of balance to achieve success in every thing, remember the yin yang?

Simply put, how can you take care of someone else when you can’t even take care of yourself ?  When you’re sick, unbalanced, unhappy and crazy?! I had to learn this the hard way.

We are human beings who get burned out and emotions play a big part of how we perceive things (the world, other people and our life in general)– whether we admit the latter or not. We all need that cup of coffee that we’re obsessed with, that good book to read, that beautiful and vibrant paint on the nails, those good times with girl friends to be able to see the good stuff this world has to offer. Although, ideally, we should always see the goodness no matter what our current circumstances are. But you get what I mean, right?

People around me are astonished (I’m also aware that some are not impressed at all. LOL) as to why I’m a mom to a young tot and yet I am able to go on business meetings, do my passions, have a cup of coffee with friends. Well, I love my kid so much that I know I need to keep my sanity to be able to function well and be there for her.

I have been blessed with wonderful parents and family who are always willing to help me out with taking care of Saehee. I assume that being a Filipino and especially living in the Philippines, I am fortunate to belong to a society where families are closely-knitted. We are large. Loud. Happy. Supportive.

It is apparent to me that in other countries, people pay other people per hour to take care of their kids while they’re at work or out for a segment of refreshment from life’s hustle and bustle. If you are fortunate like myself (doesn’t need to pay anyone for a few hours of their time so that I can do things that I have to do)grab the opportunity! You don’t know how many women all over the world who would “die” to be in our shoes!

Help can come from various sources and is not only limited to family members. If you have the extra fund to hire a good and trust-worthy nanny, I support it. You help your family get a balanced life and you also help the nanny to finance herself  and/or her family.  It’s a win-win situation. You can also ask help from your close & trusted friends; maybe you need to run an errand or be at a meeting of some sort, give it a shot! You can leave your child at their house or your friend goes to your house while you’re out and about. It depends on your agreement, you can always negotiate. I learned that in the US of A, this set up has become a popular one— why? It becomes a play date for the kids. There might be other ways of help that are available to you, go ahead and utilize it. Whatever works!

However, don’t be self-absorbed! Never forget to be always thankful and be willing to reciprocate the goodness of those people who help you. I make sure that I also help out in any way that I can–like helping my cousins do their home work, watch out for their kids when they need to do something and I also give tokens (if the finances permits, of course).

Don’t worry about what other people would think or say about it– chances are those people who think negatively of it are actually not parents! They have no idea what a handful it can be when you’re a parent.

Remember that it is your life that you’re living for yourself and you know what works out for you and your family. Chill out. Life is meant to be enjoyed at all times!

Don’t forget to give your thoughts at the comments section below! 

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How To Deal With Mommy Guilt

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Credit: pixabay.com

Mommy guilt is absolute. I feel it, you feel it. It seems that no matter how hard we try to be the best mothers that we can be, it sticks to all of us. A year after I gave birth to Saehee, I went back to school studying another major. I was away for a couple of hours each weekday and sometimes even on Saturdays ’cause we had classes; I was in school all right, but my heart and my mind are back home, with my baby bear. When I got home from school, I would spend all the time that I have being beside her, leaving my school stuff for granted for the most part. Then, there would be days that I wouldn’t go to school at all! Geeeezzzz louise!

Being a hands-on mom was my goal since I knew that I was pregnant and it disappointed me when I had to be away and miss some more of her milestones. I’d come home and my mom would report to me something that Saehee did that was delightful; and secretly I felt jealous and it crushed me inside. Why didn’t I witness that?? This mom guilt drove me to a decision that I don’t want to be employed— I want to have the time freedom and subsequently reach financial freedom, as well. I mean, yeah, I never really liked being employed to start with because it bored me to follow company rules, follow the boss, being stuck in an office 9-5. Mom guilt heightened that eagerness to shy away from employment.

Though mom guilt gave me a bit of positive outcome (at least for me), it’s generally not a good feeling. Unchecked guilt can even be dangerous, leading to unhealthy behaviors and depression.

Understand that parenting and perfection is ridiculous. Get real. No one and nothing is perfect. Know that you’ll make mistakes and just be honest with your kids when that happens. They’re smarter than you think; and as I always do with Saehee, I make a quick remedy by forgiving myself first then give her a loving hug and butterfly kisses.

Stop judging yourself. Stop comparing yourself with Mom X Y Z. Your story is different from theirs and the beautiful thing about living this life is that we get to co-create it. Write your own story and stop attempting to star in someone else’s. Which will lead me to…

Avoid the bragging game. This one I might say is one of the hardest habits of parents to abolish. I mean of course, it’s our kid! I don’t know of any parent who isn’t proud of their children. Resist the urge to engage in such because comparison leads to feeling inadequate and guilt. The next time a mom attempts to compare how long you breastfed, how early the kids start walking or talking, politely change the topic. Remember, you and your child are unique— embrace the parent that you are and the child that you have.

Surround yourself with supportive people. And stay away from those who don’t or judge you. This is one of the reasons why I created Ilongga Mommies’ Nook, five months on motherhood— this is an online support group for Ilongga moms around the world. The thrust is to share information about motherhood, parenting and just about anything under the sun; and yes, being each other’s virtual support.

Laugh and don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn to laugh at your shortcomings and don’t sweat the small stuff. Breathe in, breathe out. Tomorrow is a new day!

And when faced with a disappointing fact that you are not capable of providing your children with everything that you want for them, remember that no child that grew up with love in their home ever felt wanting.

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