Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beacuse I Will Be An MIL Too

13 Things Your Mother-in-Law Won't Tell You

I remember telling hubs when Yakee was still an infant, that I can't imagine anyone loving him (my husband) more than I do, but that given the intensity of my love for Yakee, I'd have to concede that I can never love hubs as much as his mother probably does... because it just seems entirely impossible for anyone else to love my son more than I ever did, more than I currently do, more than I ever will.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Loving the New Lactum Commercial

I have to admit, I am wary of milk ads now, given what i've learned, given how i've realized they have exploited the misconceptions we've been raised on. But anyway...

I can't help but get teary-eyed with the new Lactum commercial, about the boy saying things like "You've never sang me a lullaby..." in the voice over. Turns out, his Mom was either deaf or mute and she signed to her kid about making a mess. But the commercial indeed celebrates a different kind of mother, and how each mother is different.

But my heart aches, not because I want to focus on the negative, but because I just really find it sad for a child to have never heard his mother sing to him. No matter how off key.

So I sing more songs to my child now. I have to. I may not always have the voice to do it, and he certainly won't always be young enough to want to listen.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Usual Double-Standard

I'm sure we've all acted the same somehow.

At the LATCH meet up we had last Friday, one of the moms had her son with her. The son was asking for this and that, even orders that were not technically theirs. All the other Moms were prety generous, assuring his Mom that it's ok while his mommy said, "No son, you cannot have everything you want."

We kidded her about how most parents are like, "I want to be able to give my kids the best, everything that they want, that they should never want at all." But the truth of the matter is, we are always more strict about and with our own kids. After all, disciplining other people's kids isn't our business nor our concern.

Hopefully though, i'd still manage to be more empathetic with my own kids :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Great News for Breastfeeding Moms

Thanks to sis Jen for sharing this piece of news!


It seems moms who breastfeed are less likely to develop heart attacks or strokes.

At least there's more and more studies telling us that breastfeeding really has long term benefits for mothers as well, one that, when used to our advantage, also assures us that we get to enjoy those babies we nursed till they have babies of their own.

Lower cancer risks and lower heart disease risks... what more enticement do we need?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Summer Mommy Project

Wondering what projects you can tackle this summer?

Go tackle your hard drives. Defragment, reformat, empty recycle bins, manage your folders, rename your files and back-up everything of worth.

Label CDs appropiately and compile what should be compiled. Many a Mom have wailed because of their disk drives crashing or losing files, especially pictures. Do not be one of them. Our memories may be in our hearts and minds but trust me, pictures help a lot in recapturing those wonderful moments.

Plus, it's especially gratifying to have tangible mementos of those tender moments.

In Praise of SAHMs

Comments and reactions to Dr. Laura's interview about her latest book, "In Praise of Stay-at-home Moms" (SAHMs):

WSJ: You're very insistent that mothers should stay at home as full-time moms for the sake of the child. But given our current economic crisis, is that feasible for couples who may require two salaries to make ends meet?

Dr. Schlessinger: Of course this is a huge concern right now with money issues being so tight. But what I have discerned is that people of modest means have been able to handle what's going on far better than people who are used to having a lot of stuff; it's the people who put their life's worth into products, and not people, that are probably the most shell-shocked.

One thing I've been happy as peach pie about -- because I'm all about the children and the happiness of a woman because that makes the happiness of the home -- is that nannies, day cares and babysitters are all collapsing, which is forcing moms and dads to raise their children at home. I've gotten a huge surge of mail and calls from people who didn't make the choice to be at home with their kids, but are just now realizing how wonderful and beautiful it can be. A home should be more than just a place to park yourself after a frenzied day of too much work. So even though there's less cash, people seem to be happier.

As a SAHM who is sometimes still struggling with the one-income setup we have, I won't deny that I do not feel insecure or threatened sometimes. What if my husband dies? What if one of us gets really sick? Where do we get the money to buy a house or pay for our son's education? Can we have more kids?

But the fact is, many households have survived on one income. Many households have survived with the father earning less than what my husband is making. Parents may have to settle for walks along Manila Bay or state univeristies but the fact of surviving/depending on just one income does not automatically mean the kids were shortchanged where it matters. Of course, living from hand-to-mouth is a totally different thing, but getting by with a little help from Pag-Ibig and SSS loans is also not that bad a thing.

So it's true. It's those who are used to the nice things that complain and suffer more in times of hardships.

WSJ: What do you tell women who are hesitant to leave their jobs?

Dr. Schlessinger: You know how when you try to quit smoking you chew gum? You replace one thing with another because it distracts you. What I would tell these women is that they're spending too much time thinking about what they have to give up, and feeling angry about not being valued. Look at me -- I made the transition from being a powerhouse to being at home, folding laundry. What they need to do is find value elsewhere. I tell these women to look in their children's eyes. When your husband comes home, wrap your body around him at the door and look at his eyes. What people need to learn is that it's not about the drudgery of housework -- it's about being at home for all of those incredible moments that make your life more valuable than the person who replaced you at work. No one can replace mom. Kids who don't have moms suffer a lifetime.

I am still struggling with finding value in being home. But it's really great to have a supportive husband. And there are very liminal moments where you're clear that you're reaping the rewards of having made that sacrifice.

Because it really is not easy losing money and friends and opportunities to impress other adults with your brilliance.

WSJ: What questions should working mothers ask themselves when deciding whether to quit their jobs and become stay-at-home mothers?

Dr. Schlessinger: The nut questions should be: Do I feel fulfilled as a woman? Do I feel like my husband's girlfriend? Do I feel like I have touched the soul of my kids? Those will help you decide.

Me... I asked myself, can you forgive yourself for missing your child's firsts?

WSJ: Where do stay-at-home dads fit into the picture?

Dr. Schlessinger: I recommend that during the first three years, the mom should be at home because all of the research shows that the person whose body you come out of and whose breast you suck at, at that stage, really needs to be the mom -- unless she's incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. After that, flip a coin.

And I thank Yakee and hubs for acknowledging that i'm not incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. But yes, darling guys, I could be more.

WSJ: What about the women who can't choose their hours?

Dr. Schlessinger: Well, everyone's capable of it. For everything in life, you have to make a priority list. This must be done. If we truly believe in something and cherish it, we find a way to make it happen. Women go from making seven-figure salaries to staying at home, and things just start to be less important. I remember once our house burned down, and another time there was an earthquake in L.A. and I'll tell you, this family [of mine] never had so much fun. My kid was still little so we played "Sorry" and card games and laughed and giggled and told stories -- none of which costs money. Families across the nation are starting to discover that it's the smallest things in life that make you smile. You don't have to work 9 to 7. If your priority is to raise your child, it's not just a matter of making sure they don't get killed or have food to eat. The question is, "Do you want them to learn what's moral and of value from your perspective?"

That's also the same question driving me to make homeschooling work. I want my son to learn what I feel are important, and the why of it from my point of view. That's not to say that he can never have a differing point of view, but he'd at least know the why of mine. Few kids ever had that with their parents. So if my children will be privileged, it's going to be in this area.

WSJ: Do you think it's possible for a working mother to raise a smart, successful child?

Dr. Schlessinger: I didn't write this book about working moms. I wrote it in praise of stay-at-home moms. It's a wonderful choice, but to be absolutely truthful, having been on both sides of this mentality, my heart hurts for what these women miss and what their children miss from them. No argument, no criticism. My heart just hurts -- because when you get those pudgy arms around your neck, and being told you're someone's lullaby -- the fact that a woman would miss that is so, so sad.

I believe SAHMhood isn't for every woman. And I am actually not entirely convinced that it's for me. But it is what I want and feel passion for. And it is what am trying to make work. And for the life of me, I really cannot be away from my child for so many hours on a regular basis. Not only do I feel like am shortchanging him, but I also feel that I am denying myself of really priceless moments.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Raising Scaredy Cats

This is a sort of reaction to a conversation I had with a friend, who was thinking twice about enrolling his son in swimming lessons, believing it's better his son is cautious with water and stay safe on dry land.

It reminded me of Kelly Clarkson's song, Because of You:

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I don't want to raise scaredy cats. I want to raise empowered children, even if it may mean that they'd want to climb rocks and sky dive. I want them to embrace what they fear and still do something with things they can control, even if the fears stay there.

I want my son to continue trying to engage kids to play with him, even if they don't want to half the time. I want my son to learn how to ask for things he wants and needs and likes and loves, especially since I never had that wisdom. I want my son to test his limits because I believe I am providing a safe anchor for him to know that he has someone he can always turn to, somewhere he can always come home to, someone who will always know and love him.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I felt Yakee and I needed a break from each other. He's taken to toying with my breasts when he's bored and we haven't spent a minute apart for over a week now so I went shopping and doing errands without him. I figured it would do us both good.

I had visions of maxing out hubs' credit card on a new wardrobe since everything I own is more than snug.

I went home with a new pair of shoes for my little one instead. Because it was on sale. And mostly because i've gotten used to him owning many pairs at once.

Babies grow up so fast and little boys outgrow their shoes in a jiffy. But not that fast... I know. Still, my son has a new pair of shoes. And I settled on shoes because I said he has to maximize his Crocs as sandals.

And I still don't have any new clothes. Not even new undies.


I also bought a new set of flash cards for baby! He proceeded on throwing them about as soon as he had them.


He was included in the baby gallery of "I Love the Water" (?) of Baby Magazine (April 2009 issue).

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Moms Talk About

When mommies gather, what do they talk about?

1) Babies and Kids, of course. From pregnancy highs and post-partum blues. From breastfeeding to weaning and teething. What they feed their kids. What they don't. Their standards in choosing OBs, pediatricians and schools. Their favorite instructional videos and play gyms.

2) Losing weight (especially after delivery). The best diet pills or exercise regimen. Cleansing diets. Going organic. Healthier recipes.

3) Shopping. From kids' clothes to lush rugs. From pashmina shawls to the cutest pets. From brag bangles to the most expensive bags.

4) Relationships. In-laws. Husbands. Exes. Jealousy between kids. Sibling rivalry. Parents and how the dynamics have changed after we became parents ourselves. And how some things remained the same.

5) Gossip. From celebrities to common friends.

6) News.

7) Money. Handling it. Spending it. Saving it. Making it multiply.

8) Esteem. Because somehow, whether we're high-powered career women or stepford wives, we always seem to wonder if there's something better, greater we have to be doing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthdays are for Mommies

I have a friend who's organizing the first birthday of her daughter. She still hasn't decided on a theme, wondering if she'd do the generic princess/fairy themes or go for something more.

It made me smile to remember just how much I put into my son's first birthday party planning. I made newsletters, for heaven's sakes! He was wearing a Quidditch Robe and I even had Gryffindor badges made! So I totally get parents looking for ships to rent, or equestrian apparel, or paying thousands for balloon decor.

Well, apart from directing her to suppliers I know are good, I just wished her well. And yes, I offered to digiscrap the invites for her too. She's a friend after all.

Mommy Wars

Well, it wasn't a war exactly.

After all, I was blessed with an MIL who knew her boundaries. But still, vacationing with her proved a struggle in its own way. She parents differently than I do, and her son and my son were caught in the crossfire lots of times. Thankfully, hubs was always on my side, since we talked about and continue to talk about how best to parent our child. And I managed the grace to pick my fights.

So my son ended up drinking a lot of juice (because i'd rather he drink water and eat fruits, not drink sweet drinks that are never really that healthy). And eating fruits before meals (and not eating much of his main meals). I also had to allow for more mess than usual, and tolerate more spills and stains on my son's clothes.

I still really enjoyed our vacation even with this particular stress. At least I can't fault my MIL for not being a doting grandma. And I know that there are worse kinds of MILs out there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Health Conscious

When I became a wife, I became more health-conscious. More so when I became a parent. Now, I literally compare ingredients and caloric content. Now, I consider drinking softdrinks sinful and seldom give my child juice (unless he squeezed it himself using his own hands when he's eating fruits in season). And always, I try to go for healthier options.

Popcorn was the ultimate junk food i'd allow, but that was till Holy Kettle Corn changed their packaging and compromised the quality of their product.

And though I love it when my son eat fruits, I don't let him snack on them generally (especially since he loves mangoes and grapes and bananas) so as not to spoil his appetite for veggies and main meals.

Now, i'm even checking out a natural health forum sometimes, just to keep up with news and options. I especially frequent the threads on diabetes because hubs' parents both have it and my Mom has it, so the chances of both hubs and I developing diabetes later in life is big.

True, I have not gone totally organic or vegetarian... but apart from binges, our daily fare is generally healthy food. Which is why I love being applauded for my son's voracious appetite for veggies.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mother's Day Gifting

Mother's Day is fast approaching. It's halfway through April already. I'm pretty sure hubs will be asking me again what I want.

Most probably i'd ask for gift cards or credit card use. Gift cards for new books, pampering and primping, shopping for new clothes and shoes and maybe a fancy dinner date again. I'd use the credit card for much the same things.

This reminds me though that I haven't decided yet if i'd buy brag bangles for the mothers in my life. And since we're contemplating yet another trip this May, I may be strapped for cash for this. Hmmmm.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Frozen Diapers Don't Cut It

I blogged before about chef Jamie Oliver freezing an adult diaper because it supposedly increases the chances of making a boy.

Well, it seems it didin't work for him for the latest addition to his family, Petal Blossom Rainbow, is another girl. Born last April 3, she joins sisters Poppy Honey (6) and Daisy Boo (5).

Source: Babyrazzi

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rejected Madonna

Madonna's bid to adopt another Malawi child was reportedly rejected. Her ex-husband Guy Ritchie said in an interview that he was saddened because he believes Madonna is a great mother.

I don't know Madonna. And true, between a life of poverty in an orphanage somewhere, i'd rather rich people just give these kids a home, even if they will be absentee parents. At least they'd be given good nutrition and education which can allow them to make good decisions about their future. At least they will have options and opportunities to exercise these options.

Still, just because someone's rich and wants another kid doesn't make her a good parent. And though I don't expect parents to stay with their kids 24/7, I also really frown upon those who do have kids but let their nannies raise these kids.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beyond SAHMhood

Babies grow up.

And usually, they really need less supervision once grown up. At least, us SAHMs don't have to hover over them anymore, nor take them to and fro places. Which is why it is really good to have some sort of sideline to occupy you (and contribute to the family income). I also understand why some mothers start going to nursing vocational colleges or training for culinary arts, massage therapy and other possible income-generating skills. The bakers can sell their goodies as fast as hotcakes with the right pictures and rates at multiply. Some go into party planning instead, after mastering several rounds of birthday parties.

Some I know master photography and become professionals. Usually, these new careers are offshoots of mothering but some do return to their former industries.

Some further elevate mothering into a new level, that of full-time mentor through homeschooling. Hopefully, I am really up to the challenge. In any case, I am doing my best to follow what the homeschooling moms have advised me to do: to enjoy my son right now since he is really too young for structured learning.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Motherhood's Reward

I was having a hard time sleeping due to a headache that's been constant the entire week. But my son insisted on nursing while he slept. After more than three hours in the side lying position with him, I snapped and refused to nurse. He cried, was restless, etc.

I gave in, in the end, and managed to fall into a fitfull sleep at around 6:30 AM.

We both woke up just before 11 AM, with my son's eyes twinkling wth delight. As we were about to go down the stairs, I hugged him in my arms and told him, "I love you." Imagine my surprise when he replied with a distinct, "Ay Wab Wu" in the same singsong tone I used.

Talk about being sleepy and drowsy one minute and being fully awake the next!

And yes, without prompting too! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Teaching Violence

I think I accidentally taught my son violence today. Or at least, tapped on it.

I was playing with these heavy plastic tiger and lion with him and got them 'fighting' with matching roars and stuff. That delighted my son. Later on, I started going after my son with the toys, roaring while tickling him with it. That delighted him further.

Then suddenly, he'd fuss and point to the toys and sign eat and point to the toys again. I knew he wasn't really asking me if he could eat the toys. So I went after him with the toys again. And he cheered and giggled and cackled with delight. When i'd stop, he'd sign EAT again. Amazing how he made the connection that the animals asre supposed to be eating him, right?

So I tried to insert his finger inside the tiger's open mouth and roar again. He'd say, "Oh no!" and laugh again.