1cm cut on the tongue

A 1 cm cut on the tongue was what Joaquin got yesterday. I was in school when I got a text reply from Joaquin’s yaya that he had slipped while taking a bath. I immediately asked if his head had hit any hard surface. It was a good thing that she had the presence of mind to “secure” Joaquin’s head as he fell down. Only his shoulder had hit the floor. It was a good thing also that we were staying at my parent’s house for the weekend and Dr. Ginger was at home. She checked Joaquin and texted back to me that he was fine – was eating well, happy and jumping after some time. In the evening, as Joaquin was playing with the phone’s flashlight, I saw the 1 cm red colored cut on the tongue. Ouch, that must have hurt earlier. Praise God that it wasn’t painful anymore.

At 1 year and 5 months, Joaquin has had his share of bruises, bukols, scratches from running very fast, tripping, falling off a chair, bumping the headboard of the bed, hitting some toys, etc.

The first few times it happened, Wally and I, as first time parents naturally panicked and worried. The next few times it happened again, we just shook our heads, got some ice from the freezer and tried to remove the “danger” zone that Joaquin had discovered. Even Joaquin is used to it. Whenever you ask, where’s the “ouch,” he points to his head because that’s where the “ouch” usually is. Oh, and  he can even hold the ice pack over the “ouch” part by himself.

 

A happy baby even with the “ouch.”

As parents, our primary concern is the welfare and the safety of the children. But the reality is that no matter how big or small our homes are, we really can’t baby proof everything 100% at all times.

Boys will be boys. Toddlers will be toddlers.  We can only do so much. Haaay…..So, thank you dear Lord  for the guardian angels that You have sent to be with our malikot and makulit children at every moment each day!

A taste of the WAHM life

One of the effects of the heavy rains brought about by the Habagat and Typhoon Maring for me was being able to stay at home with my 1.5 months old son, Joaquin for a “very long weekend” of 10 days. The suspension of classes, public holidays and a school holiday allowed me to have a taste of the Work at Home Mom (WAHM)’s life.

If I was to grade myself as a WAHM on the first few days of that “very long weekend,” I would give myself a failing grade. Being a college professor, the week after midterm exams is a very busy period. I had only finished checking 60 out of 200 exams. Computing for the midterm grades was another matter. My husband, Wally & I made it a rule that we will not bring work home (as much as possible) so we can truly give quality time at home. But alas, I had no choice. On the first day, I actually left the house and headed to my favorite milk tea place but there was a nudging feeling in me that I could have spent more time at home with Joaquin.

And so the next few days, I was actually at home but was really focused on checking the exams. Since I was at home, Joaquin was constantly beside me, copying everything that I was doing. I gave him a blank exam booklet and some pens so he can check along with me. Apologies to some students whose exam booklets were checked in 2 different shades of red and purple pens because Joaquin was constantly getting the pen I was using.

When I got to inputting the grades on my laptop, Joaquin was trying his best to reach up the table and type along with me. With it, you’ll hear a very cute little voice saying “mom. . . . . mom. . . . . mom. . . . . ” (on an indefinite loop!)

And with that, I have come to three realizations about this so-called WAHM life that I desire to have.

1) IT’S NOT AS EASY AS IT SEEMS. Three cheers to all the fulltime stay-at-home moms and work at home moms! There is of course the notion in me that when I work from home, I’ll have all the time in the world to spend with my little one.

Wrong.

Yes, there’s no need to travel to and from the office. No need to wake up early or even take a bath. But there’s a ton of things to do at home – office work or for the home. Oh and there’s the baby who is the main reason for wanting to work at home. When that adorable baby comes up to me being his cutest self just so I’ll mind him, I’ll have to say goodbye to all the other things. Mommy duty calls.

2) THERE MUST BE A PLAN. A eureka moment for me was when I realized this. I should make a schedule or a list of activities to do while at home. Of course, I’m sure that the schedule won’t be followed 100% but at least there’s general guide to follow.

Spur of the moment activities are always fun but there must always be a back up plan. Joaquin is in the stage of play and he easily gets bored with what he’s doing. There should be a lot of activities lined up. I’ve learned that we shouldn’t pack our children’s day with activities here and there. It’s a healthy developmental milestone for them to learn to be able to play and entertain their own selves. So, some quiet time and safe personal play time for him will surely be part of the plan.

3) I SHOULD NOT FORGET MYSELF. It seems like a noble idea for mothers to give up everything – career, finances, social life, etc – to care for the children. Yes, it’s a calling to be a mother and we are perfectly capable of putting everything else on hold for the sake of the children.

But I’ve realized that we shouldn’t totally give everything of ourselves, we should always leave a part of us with us so that we will not be empty. We actually love our family better if we love ourselves well. Quiet time outside the home, meet up with dear friends, shopping or time at the spa will work wonders for mothers, especially those who do work from home.

With much reflection, I know that being a WAHM is something I really desire. I hope to be able to prepare myself for when that day comes. It won’t be happening anytime soon but I know that with God’s grace, it will come at His perfect time!

Motherhood

Learn to teach, teach to learn

As first time parents, my husband and I are still both excited and worried about this new chapter in our lives. The world of parenthood is something that we have both desired and we are truly grateful for the gift of Joaquin in our lives. One of the important “gifts” we want to give Joaquin is to have the love for learning.

 

Education is something important to Wally and I. I’ve finished my Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry in 2010 while he is currently finishing his Masters Degree in Religious Studies. And as early as now, we are both looking at further studies for both of us in the future. How we hope that Joaquin will also love to study and more importantly love to learn.

 

At 1.2 months, I brought Joaquin for a trial play class. Since it was summer, it was just an informal gathering of the school’s students from last school year. He was a “saling-kit,” being the youngest in the group. But it was a sight to enjoy seeing him participate with the class (at least 80% of the time!) He went up to the teachers and sat on their laps as they read some books. He joined the group’s snack time and sat in the circle eating sandwiches with the other children. He watched the short movie that was shown (with full attention!) He even joined in creating his very own little acquarium and had his first pet fish! (Will make a new post about this soon!)

 

At 1.5 months, I wanted to enroll Joaquin in a once- a-week play school just for some informal school experience and the interaction with the other children. We checked a school near our area and inquired about this. But alas, they did not offer any weekend play classes for toddlers. I feel that it’s too early for Joaquin to start going to school for 2 hour classes 3 times a week. We’re looking at next school year to start any school for Joaquin since I personally started studying at 2 1/2 years old.

 

As I look forward to the WAHM life to spend more time with Joaquin, I know I have to make the most out of the time I do spend with him now. We know that the foundation years is very crucial so Wally & I want to equip ourselves as much as possible. We are looking at two events in the next two weeks which we think will help us in laying the right foundation for Joaquin.

 

On September 14, 2013 (Saturday), Manila Workshops’ Parenting Pals series will conduct “How I learn: Early Childhood Developmental Milestones and Learning Activities. The workshop will tackle the roles and responsibilities of parents in their children’s development; developmental characteristics from 0-6 years old; and helping young children develop and learn through play.

I am personally looking forward to the new creative activities that are age appropriate for Joaquin. At 1 1/2 years old, he is really very inquisitive and loves to explore anything and everything around him. Engaging him the proper way can really help in his personal development.