Stage Mother

Stage Mother MomentsLast Sunday was my son N’s first time to join a church presentation. So giddy and excited because it used to be me and his daddy up there as part of Sunday School before. This was one of those moments that I’ve long been waiting to happen.

He was a bit shy, not moving much but at least he didn’t have any tantrums. (Anak, bigger movements next time. Haha!) I woke up early for this. We were at ICS by 7:30AM. That’s a feat considering we’re always late for the 10 am service (Sorry, Lord). That morning I realized that this is what parents are supposed to do: support their children in their activities, be present in the lives, and start them young in glorifying God—even if it means waking up early! Honestly, it was difficult for me to get up but I just had to. I’m his mother. Accompanying him in all three services even when I had to go home after the 10AM presentation because I needed to sleep (I only had 2 hrs, btw) was something I willingly did because he is my child and I want him to learn how his mommy and daddy met the Lord in church and what serving God means.

I was in the background this time and not up there on stage. It’s my child’s time now. I’m not sure if he would like to perform someday but I know I’d see him on stage someday, somewhere doing something.

We have yet to discover but my husband and I are determined to help nurture his talents. We know that he’ll be into music just like his mom and dad. How come? He couldn’t study without music playing in the background. He already has preference in music requesting for music with “boys only” singing, classical music to put him to sleep, and songs with lots of drums and guitar playing (Snarky Puppy, yeah!). Sometimes, he would request songs “for God and Jesus”. I think he already knows that music can evoke so many feelings.

If N wants to play the guitar, he can have all his daddy’s “toys” and more. That’s why I don’t mind if his dad “invests” in stuff because our son would be able to enjoy them someday. For Christmas, we gave him an electronic drums set–an Alesis DM Lite Kit. Too much a gift for a 5-year old? Well, much of the deciding factor was that it’s also his daddy’s reward to himself. Hihi.

Alesis DM Lite Kit

Sometimes, I think N has this recorder in his brain. He could easily remember songs. I know music but his daddy who’s got a sensitive ear for it and who is very musically inclined says the kiddo can sing out the melody perfectly. He’s not a prodigy but I know he’s gonna be good in music. Needless to say, he’s got a big potential to be like his daddy.

Is it too early to say I’m such a stage mother? Maybe. I just know I will always be there to support him. I think I’m gonna be a soccer mom. Hehe. His dad and I will be there for him–always.

We’ll be there in the backstage or on the front rows, on the bleachers, on the sidewalk, with him on stage, or wherever. We’ll be there for our child. All by God’s grace.

Being a parent is already a ministry. I believe that any Christian parent must first minister to his or her child before going out of great lengths to minister to other people. Right now, this is my place–to minister to this child, teach him the ways of the Lord, discipline him with love and grace, take care of his needs, and simply just be with him.

I also know that this is a privilege–to be able to take care of my husband and son. I see this as a gift–His GRACE in this season of my life.

“Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)

God Wastes Nothing

God wastes nothing and no one

Every act of love rendered for His sake is noted and has eternal consequences.

What powerful words. Oftentimes, I pity myself for being just a work-at-home-mom. I know most moms would want what I have right now but there are times that I’d wish I am out there doing bigger things.

Sometimes, I think about how I could be earning more than what I’m getting right now or how I could be driving my own car. Or if I hadn’t left the corporate world. I know I have so much potential.

And oftentimes it would hit me: God has placed me in my family for a reason— to serve my husband and my son. Not that women cannot serve their families while working but I know my boys need me most.

Joshua prefers that I stay at home (but still work). Liligawan lang daw ako. (LOL!) Of course, that’s not the main reason. (Haha!) My husband just likes to come home to his wife and son. It’s the most practical thing now since he also works-from-home but I don’t think I’d be going back to the office. Not anytime soon. God-willing.

My husband believes that I should be my son’s primary caregiver and not a yaya. I believe this one but I guess that would change when we have another baby (maybe next year? noooo!). Right now, I am too blessed to complain. Not changing our lifestyle anytime soon. Until the Lord allows it.

I know in my heart someday my child would appreciate me staying at home. That’s for both me and his dad. I know this kind of home-work setup we have isn’t forever. I also know there is a greater reason why we are together everyday. I know in my heart God is preparing us for something (as always).

There might come a time Noah would wish his mom is a hardworking woman wearing nice clothes but I know he would appreciate what I’ve done— just as I am grateful for everything my mom has done for me and my siblings. Grateful that she stayed home to be a full-time mother and housewife. Thankful that my dad provided for us without having to leave for another country. ( Trivia: I remember wishing before that my dad would go to Saudi to work so I could have more Barbie dolls. Haha!)

I’m not saying this is how all moms should be. It’s a matter of choice and needs. All in accordance to God’s will.

There will be more times that I’d feel I am nothing but I know God doesn’t make mistakes. HE WASTES NOTHING. I am thankful for what I have and what I am right now. With Him, I am everything to my boys—my family. I am a wife. I am a mother. What a privilege!

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
1 Corinthians 15:58

 

How I Became a WAHM (… and How My Husband Became a WAHD)

I’ve lost count of how many times I answered the question, “What work do you do?” I used to answer, “I do SEO Consultancy”. And then it became, “Web Manager”. But now, I just say, “I work from home”. I would always get a “wow!” as reaction. In my head I would say “it’s not that easy”.

I’m a WAHM now– short for Work-At-Home-Mom. It hasn’t always been this way but I got into this WAHMderful career easier than others (I think). Even before I got married and had a son, I was already working from home.

I would always refer to my resignation from my last office job as my”retirement”. It was in April 2007 when I decided to leave the corporate job as an SEO Manager. I was about to get married soon but without any definite date yet. I had a job waiting for me at home. No, I wasn’t getting ready for being a homemaker but a UK-based company was needing an SEO Consultant. I don’t remember where I saw the job but I got it. I didn’t even know it was a telecommuting job. I guess it was just God telling me to heed a new direction for yet another different direction–marriage.

I worked for a European startup. It was a web design company who wanted to offer site optimization. Six years ago, every web company was into it. I helped the company start the service and worked for them for about nine months. On the side, I was also helping a Korean employment agency and was pro-blogging for a tech website. The latter has grown into more than just extra work as it is now my full time job— has been for more than five years.

When the consultancy work ended, I wasn’t thinking about my next job. I was about to get married in a month. Fine. It wasn’t time to apply for a new job yet. I had the wedding and my groom to worry about. But God, in His goodness and mercy, blessed me with a new one five days before my January 20, 2008 wedding. My Managing Editor e-mailed me, saying the company was seeking for an editorial assistant. I accepted the offer immediately but told him I was about to get married and will be going on my honeymoon the following week.

What perfect timing! I didn’t even think about the salary because I was glad to be offered a job. I could go on with the wedding without being ‘jobless’. It’s been more than 5 years since then—same job, same salary. I do problogging– writing tech news, gadget and app reviews, and now about cars. I used to have a fixed schedule working from 1pm to 9pm but ever since I gave birth, my boss said I could work from 1pm to 4pm and then come back at 9pm.

I see this job as a blessing. I used to accept a lot of projects. Before the baby came, I used to work from 7am to 2am the next day. I was that busy! I would even outsource some of my projects to my husband and my friends. I was on a roll and I would earn almost twice my salary when I was still in the office. That was before.

When I had my son, I suddenly didn’t have enough time. You know why. I was blessed to have my mom come in during the afternoon to take care of the baby while I work. But as the months and years go by, I had to let go of my projects so I decided to focus on only one– my full-time blogging job. I have no regrets but still it wasn’t easy.

My husband became a work-at-home-dad soon after our Noah turned one. His getting this job was also interesting. I was tired of him getting home from work so one night, I stopped working and decided to send his resume to whatever job posting I’d see. A few weeks after, he received a call, got interviewed, and was offered a job. We didn’t even know it was a telecommuting job. We only found out during his final interview.

We were only praying for a new job that would allow him to go home earlier but God blessed our family with more than what we asked for. My husband has been working for a Canadian software metrics as a Business Analyst/Team Leader for almost three years. His is a more serious job because he works with other employees based in Canada and the US. It’s a “real job” because he travels every year for their annual conference and training. Next week, he’ll be going to India to conduct a training. His company has started to form a Philippine team because the owner of the company, who is a Filipino-American wants to give back to his mother land. My husband now reports once a week in their office in Ortigas where he meets with all the other Filipino employees.

That’s how I became a WAHM. I am a Work-At-Home-Mom/Wife to a Work-At-Home-Dad. As to how we’re thriving, I have yet to write about that. 🙂

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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

Hello, I’m a WAHM!

How I Became a WAHM (… and how my husband became a WAHD)
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Hi! I’m Reah and I’ve been working from home since 2007. I was single when I started working from home. I used to do SEO Consultancy but am now working “fulltime” as a blogger/editorial assistant for a German-based publication. I write tech news, gadgets, reviews, and just recently about cars. Salary is fixed but no change for more than five years and am on a flexi-schedule.

I got married to my childhood friend Joshua and we now have a super active pre-schooler named Noah. My husband is a musician at heart. He is a Business Analyst for a Canada-based software company and is a Work-At-Home-Dad. Yeah, that’s a WAHM living with a WAHM. I find our setup challenging because we do not have a helper (just a cleaning lady who comes in MWF) and a yaya for the little boy. It’s our choice not to get a yaya for many reasons. It’s difficult but we prefer it that way. Less stress. It would be different though when we decide to have another child. We’ll see.

I used to get other freelance jobs, mostly writing and web management, but I decided to focus on just one ever since I had my son. I can say I am blessed to be working with my boss who is very kind and understanding. I don’t know until when I’ll have this telecommuting job. But if and when my work ends, I want to start a buy-and-sell business or maybe take up my Masters.

This year has been challenging for me as a WAHM because after more than five years of “hibernation”, I have to go out everyday to bring my son to school. You see, we’re so used to sleeping and getting up late, both my husband and I, because of our work setup, but now we have to adjust everything for our son. I would say, “This is it. We’re no longer baby-sitting our son. Real parenting starts now.”

I realize that it’s not easy to become a homemaker. Mothers now have it easy though because we can still work from the comforts of our home and help support our household. I also think it’s not for everyone. I know a lot of people who tried telecommuting only to give up their jobs and get back to working in an office. It requires a lot of sacrifice financially, emotionally, and spiritually. How I wish all the moms I know could stay at home and be with their kids but sacrifices need to be made.

I’ve been a part of  the Manila Work-At-Home-Moms Facebook Group since last year. I got to meet some of you during the WAHMderful life seminar back in January. It’s really nice to read about how others are coping as a WAHM. Different women, different challenges…with same desire to become the wife and mother God wants us to be. 🙂

Read: How I Became a WAHM (… and how my husband became a WAHD)

 

Ten Suggestions for Maxed-Out Moms

Ever since I started to read parenting, mothering, and self-help books, I have become more conscious about my choices and reactions to outside stimuli. This year, I asked God to help me develop this Fruit of the Spirit: PATIENCE. Earlier this year, He gave me patients that would require me to extend my patience.

And then there’s Noah. Our little bundle of joy that has turned into a little tornado. My being a stay-at-home mom is perfect for him or so I thought. It’s not easy and I need all the help from my husband. It turned out, the things I know about parenting and taking care of my nephews and nieces are different when it comes to your own offspring.

I’m not yet a Maxed-Out Mom but as early as now, I’d like to avoid being burned out when it comes to managing my family.  A change within is more of what I want to happen.

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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2
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Intentional Parenting. This is what my husband and I want to do. I believe parenting is not rocket science but thank God for His Word to serve as our guide.

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Here’s a continuation of my sharing the things I’ve learned from Linda Weber’s book “HELP! I’M A MAXED-OUT MOM”.  I pray that you learn a thing or two from this list. May these words give you hope and a renewed strength.

  1. Never give up. You don’t always have to overcome every obstacle. Take a break. Comparisons are deadly, each one has her own problem.
  2. Grieve your loss. Deal with and go trough a process of coming to terms with the situation. There’s so much to deal with as we experience loss.
  3. Get help. Never grieve alone. You need another perspective, insight, or training. Don’t be embarrassed to ask help.
  4. Cherish your relationships. Don’t cut yourself off. Don’t destroy relationships through neglect or rejection. Don’t let the Maxed-Out Mom Syndrome continue.
  5. Admit your failures–then move one. Choose to avoid gulit and rid yourselves of dysfunction.
  6. Keep loving. Disapprove foolish choices, but don’t reject the child who made them. Real love is given despite the circumstances.
  7. Don’t dominate. Don’t try to fix the people involved. Don’t try to manipulate people into acting the way she thinks is best. A domineering mother can be one of the most dangerous and damaging parts of any crisis.
  8. Be creative. Bring creativity into the situation. See from a different angle, think of new solutions and ways to handle the problem.Creativity is stimulated by need. Find a group of women who can help you. Learn and profit from others’ experiences. Learn to duplicate the good and avoid the pitfalls. There’s always a way to lighten the load. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  9. Let the process refine you. Fire can destroy or purify. It’s up to you if you will let circumstances to change or forever make you feel bitter.
  10. Stop looking back and wishing. Too much of the past can keep you to move forward and change for the better. Stop blaming others or yourself for your misfortune. You can do something about your future.

I learned so much from this list. Most of us may have already read or heard about such but we forget them when “real life” happens. Relax. There are ways to handle your family.

If you haven’t experienced being stressed as a mom or a wife, let me tell you: life isn’t always sweet. Sure, you may avoid these mommy-challenges by either getting a lot of help or depending on your parents or in-laws, but ultimately, it’s your job as a mother (or as a father) to “disciple” your child. 🙂

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The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 9:9-10

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HELP! I’m a Maxed-out Mom!

Bought this book for only P75 from National Bookstore. Good buy! Good read!

Nope. I am not. Not yet. But I knew picking up Linda Weber’s book “HELP! I’M A MAXED-OUT MOM” will definitely help me gain a new perspective in my special role as a mother. I’ve got too many mommy anxieties especially now that my son is going to preschool. Allow me to share with you the nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from the book.

Like any career, it’s important that one’s skills be updated and knowledge to expand. I can never emphasize how important it is to read, read, and read but I’m sure you know why.

I’m making it a mission to share with young and new moms out there what I’ve learned about motherhood and marriage so far. Talking and writing about the latter is a bit challenging because there are two of us, me and my husband, in that journey. As for this mommy-hood thing, I find it easier to share the things I’ve learned, heard, or read.

I take notes when I read. Doing so makes me remember the ideas and wisdom easily. Me sharing these stuff here doesn’t mean I am a supermom. I am far from being one. I can’t say I apply each tip as I am still new in this motherhood. Some mothers may not understand how family life can be that stressful but believe me, time will come when you will struggle with discouragement whether you are a non-working stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home-mom, or a full-time working mother. Sometimes, you will doubt your role but remember that there is a way to make things better. Allow the Lord to sustain you because He will and He can.

All mothers wear different hats: wife, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, friend, relative, minister, career woman, etc. Because of your many roles, there will be times you will really feel maxed out, stressed, discouraged, and disappointed. The past few weeks for me have been stressful as I learn to adjust my schedule. Stress effects are evident on my face now: breakout to the nth level. The last time I experienced this was when I was pregnant (or maybe I really am pregnant..haha!). I am always like this so when you see me with red spots on my face, you know I am super stressed.

Looking into the mirror these days is depressing for me. I know I need to do something about it. It’s either I get back on that expensive beauty regime or let go of my stresses. I always tell myself “this isn’t stressful, this is part of that beautiful gift called motherhood”.

I received a comment on my previous article on motherhood:

“Life involves finding a delicate balancing act between being yourself, a spouse, a parent, a friend, a son/daughter, and a worker for the Lord. In finding this balance, you will discover a whole lot about you and your God. It’s a great journey filled with a roller coaster of experiences and emotions. But it’s a journey worth taking.” – Ardie B.

I so agree. The key to life is balance.

Moms, don’t let stress take over your life. Don’t say I am just a homemaker. Or if you are working, know that your sacrifice will go a long way. Do not underestimate your impact in your children’s lives. You don’t have to be someone to make a noteworthy impact on someone else’s life. You’re a mother so you have your child to influence, raise, and teach the ways of the Lord.

Our husbands and children, bosses, or parents and other people for the single mothers, will always have demands and insatiable needs. You won’t be able to answer to all those needs. It’s essential that you learn to prioritize those in a healthy and balanced manner. Don’t say ‘yes’ to everything. You only have 24 hours in a day. Make the most of it by focusing on things that really matter.

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Next: Ten Suggestions for Maxed-Out Moms

Mommy Anxieties

mommy anxietiesI’ve shared what I’m learning about motherhood a few times already but this time, I can tell you it hasn’t been easy lately. Motherhood so far has been a big challenge for me. You see, Noah is this very active toddler that sometimes I don’t want to bring him out of the house.

He doesn’t have ADHD. I know because: he is not easily distracted, he can focus on one task for minutes to hours, he doesn’t struggle following instructions, and he doesn’t have any difficult performing quiet tasks when needed

But then again we still haven’t brought him to a doctor to be tested. Naaah, he doesn’t have ADHD.  (Tell me if you think I’m wrong though.)

He is 3 and 1/2 years old. Next month, he will go to a nursery school our church has put up. I am excited and at the same time anxious.

I thought that it would be easier for me and my husband when Noah goes to school. That we’d have more time for each other, ourselves, and be able to do other things. But I don’t think that will happen. Our kid going to school will require more of our time and efforts–mine especially.

I am afraid. Sometimes I feel that my “life” will be over come June. Why? Because after more than six years of having the freedom to sleep and get up late, I now have to wake up at 6AM to prepare my son, myself, and our meals. That would require a big effort on my part. You may say it’s no big deal but it is to me. I have always been a night owl but soon, I will have to set some boundaries for myself and my son. (Dapat naman dati pa talaga. ) Continue reading Mommy Anxieties

What type of mom are you?

 

8 types of pinoy moms.jpg

According to 8List, there are 8 Types of Filipino Moms:  (8) The Homemaker, (7) Teleserye Mom, (6) The Rockwell Mom,  (5) The Stalker Mom, (4) The Quasi-Soccer Mom, (3) The Famas-Award/Stage Mom, (2) The School Principal, and (1)The Best Tita. I think I’m a mix of all types except for number 7 and 2. According to my husband, I have lost my showbiz powers.

different types of pinay moms

I’m thriving to be a No. 8 and I wish to be the best. Just like my mom.

No. 6 is true because Power Plant is my favorite mall. I don’t do the fitness stuff though just the shopping and the groceries. And we have no car and driver.

I’ll be a good No. 5 because of my expert stalking skills. Thank you to my SEO background. (Lagot ka Noah. Be very afraid.)

Excited to be a No. 4 but I don’t think I could ever surpass what my mother did. (Thank you mommy for always being there!) Pwede rin naman mag-soccer si Noah.

I’m sure with No. 3 but I won’t scream. You’ll just see me always teary-eyed and ready with one or two cameras. I’d probably make Noah his own website. Haha.

No. 2 is tough. I hope to discipline with love and care.

It’s so easy to be a No. 1. Kunsitidora with my nephews and nieces but not with my own child. Hehe.

How about you? What type of Pinoy mom are you?

The world may define mothers and categorize them into groups but one thing I know, being a mom is an important role given to us by the Lord.

Titus 2:4-5 says.

“…and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Being a mother isn’t easy. It has been challenging for me lately but I thank the Lord for sustaining me with His Grace.  Madami pa akong kakaining bigas. Pero sana hindi ako tumaba. Hehehe.

 

Baby Ava

I dream of having my own daughter but I’ve come to a point that it’s okay even if I don’t. Our family already has AVA, my niece, my sister’s daughter after 8 years of waiting.

I believe that she is an answer to our prayers having been conceived after our dad’s passing. Amazing God.

happy family
Baby Annaleigh “AVA” with me and Joshua during my brother’s wedding. 🙂

Blow Up Babies

Last Saturday, my sister-in-law treated Noah to a photo shoot at Blow Up Babies in Serendra. It wasn’t a first for Noah as we took him to The Picture Company in Rockwell when he was only five months old.

It was a fun pictorial even if coaching Noah was quite a challenge. He was jumping and running around because of excitement. But after a while, he became a bit shy perhaps realizing that all eyes were on him.

I was a stage mother taking behind-the-scene photos while my husband directed Noah’s moves– also a stage father. Noah had four sets: Cowboy, Rock Star, Cars, and Family.

I don’t have the prints and files yet but here are the outtakes:

 

blow up babies serendra family pictorial

blow up babies toddler pictorial philippines

little rock star photo shoot blow up babies fort
blow up babies photography

The shoot lasted about 40 minutes while the selection of photos took longer. We have yet to claim the prints this coming Friday. I can’t wait to show you all the photos!

Blow-up Babies Facebookwww.facebook.com/blowupbabies

www.blowupbabies.com

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Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
 Psalm 127:3