Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Gift of My Ordinary Days

Warning: It might get you crying...

Although it wasn't about being a stay-at home Mom, it made me realize yet again how blessed I am that I spend most of MY waking time with my boys and vice versa. SAHMs often get lost in the redundancy of routines, in the constant demands on them to play, wipe, tell stories, etc. I know working moms are exhausted by the same when they squeeze in the time at night... but it is really exhausting (and quite annoying) to be looked to for EVERYTHING 24/7. Yes, even if they already have a sibling (and yes, a little less compared to the time I only had one child).

We often wonder if we're doing good by staying home... we often wonder if we're not shortchanging ourselves, or even our own families, by staying home. And yet, the ordinary days are really our privilege, that slow unfolding of your child. Sometimes, you don't even really notice them crossing thresholds and reaching milestones, because the baby steps are just that, baby steps. And then you wake up one morning and just marvel at how your child who used to fit in your arm is now asking you about death, giving you gifts, and hitting his brother.

Heck, you even wonder how you got from one child to two.

It's like a dream, with moments of wakefulness, this role of parent.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Educationally... Where Do We Go from Here?

Since I have psyched my husband to the idea of homeschooling, we haven't really considered an alternative school for him.

Until I fell in love with Waldorf. But the idea of sending Yakee to one is a moot point since we live in Manila and the closest one to us is 1.5 hours of commute, on a good day. However, there is a Waldorf homeschooling curriculum but that would mean really veering away from the standards DepEd has imposed. I dunno, i'm not yet really sure.

Embracing Waldorf would also mean I have to backtrack a little on the things I am already doing for and with Yakee. I'd have to postpone teaching him how to read, and also maybe keep the storybooks away to focus on memorized short stories and fairy tales. We'd have to delay learning about the planets (he's already asked about them), and what makes an ms70 gold eagle coin special and definitely delay worksheets. It would be a whole paradigm shift and I am not sure if I should go there (seeing as I am attending a crash course on Waldorf Education) or just take bits and pieces of what I can use.

But more and more, the basis for Waldorf's unique academic approach is making sense to me. It has basis and keeps making sense every way I look at it. So, to take only this and that from it might end up doing more harm than good.... because part of Waldorf education's success lay in it's slow, purposeful progress from the basics.

I am just really praying for signs, and unmistakable nudges in the right direction.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome Back, Regular Wardrobe

On one hand, I am still happy about having invested in great nursing wear that I can continue wearing till now (though I've lost enough weight for them to be a little loose on me and not as flattering as before). On the other hand, I am looking forward to investing in very sexy lingerie again (think lace!) and tops that don't have to be accessible because my son is already over a year old.

Nope, I have not stopped breastfeeding him. But nursing him is not anymore what defines my everyday existence. He can easily be distracted now to nurse at more convenient times for me (like during the car ride to somewhere). It slowly creeps on you but you do realize that your wardrobe options encompass your whole cabinet again, and not just this few pieces that are getting a little frayed.

But yeah, I still seldom wear necklaces because my son is at a stage where he yanks everything, if not put it in his mouth.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Three Days of Waldorf Crash Course

The first three days of my Waldorf crash course with Ms. Bella and Jake Tan was very exahusting, but fun.

First, I have to use to getting up as early as 6, and travelling 1.5-2.5 hours to Del Monte Avenue. Then, there are all the lectures that require one to keep an open mind and stretch the imagination. On one hand, it tickles me pink to recognize a lot of familiar concepts and names, having come across them in my mythology and paranormal reading phases BUT to see them in Steiner's story requires a great paradigm shift.

Then, there's the art, music and movement component of it. Now, I have to tackle learning to play a recorder. Yesterday, we ended our session with clay molding (I have a chunk of clay wrapped in plastic in my bag and I don't know what to do with it). Next week, we're going to sew string puppets and tackle form drawing.

Talk about feeling intimidated and brought back to grade school.

I love my classmates though. We're a mixture of moms, teachers, community people and caregivers. There's a pregnant teacher at Kolisko who I've been dying to discuss Eden wear and babiesnbellies for maternity dresses with. There's an older one (compared to the rest) who's taking the course for business purposes 'coz they're going to establish one in Cebu, who looks like David Celdran. There's a mom to a child with ADHD. There's a clairaudience mom with a clairvoyant daughter. And then there's the assistant teacher at St. Michael who knew Yakee.

Suffice it to say I am feeling fulfilled with the course. But my sons have been acting up not having me for 3 days to care for them. They were okay the first day, but when I came home the 2nd day, I could tell from my cousin's expression that she was super challenged by the two. And when I came home Saturday night, darling hubby couldn't wait till I get past the door before telling me how his day with the kids went.


There was a fire near our street too and hubs texted me about it, but I was sorta chastising him for not giving my expressed breast milk to our son. He texted me something like, "I tell you there was a fire, and you're worried about your milk?"

Well... nobody else would understand, except a fellow breastfeeding Mom :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rules for Mom of Sons

This is a great read for mothers of sons:
25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

I was particularly alerted by these ones:
6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.

Apart from letting have role play as dinosaur or superhero, I have not taken the time to tell him about real men doing real good things... except maybe his Dad. And I should, I really should. Because I do want him to know about perseverance and hard work from such men.

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.

I guess he's really such a boy because he hasn't really been interested in female cartoon characters or what-not... but I should also introduce him to strong female types, so he'd be attracted to those and learn to respect them for what they can do, offer and stand for. It does make me smile when I remember that he wanted to be a teacher at St. Michael, which suggests to me that his teachers have provided him with such loving and gentle and encouraging presence that he wanted to be like them.

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.

Oh sons... this is why we threw a candy-less birthday party with storytelling as entertainment. Heaven knows I struggle everyday to be a woman of integrity, but I really want to be one. Because someday, I want you both to marry a happy woman, accomplished in her own right, who will value family life, health, nature as much or more than I do.

But I guess also have to work on being a happy Mom... and a persevering Mom. I have to be a good example in the way your father already is.

18. Answer him when he asks, "Why?"

My son has started on his WHY pahse but not yet as much as I was hoping he'd be curious. He sometimes just ask why without really asking a question, or maybe I just don't get him. But I haven't taught him where to look for answers... I have always just answered him. And while that's nice, it never occurred to me to TRAIN him into looking for answers from the right places.

23. Take him to new places

Sigh. It's a struggle to even just take him regularly to the park. And I did yesterday, knowing he has some running to do. But we were turned away from Paco Park because of an event... which resulted in copious amounts of tears from him. I apologized and explained... later on, I got sort of angry because he was scaring me with all the running he was doing while we were on the road, as he was throwing a tantrum. I offered grapes instead, and a promise to try the entire weekend.

He did settle down in the end and would even caress my head to tell me "it's okay". But yes, I should take him out more. I have to push for wonder in his eyes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Like Some Sort of Criminal

Yesterday, hubby asked why I got up at 5 AM to use the computer. I told him about a conversation the other day with Yakee, wherein he was asking me to close my computer because he "wants a Mommy that plays with him and his baby (Yamee)."

I need not mention that I was on the computer that morning because I was coordinating with my sister the purchase of Ball-Stick-Bird books for Yakee. It wouldn't matter to him anyway that I was online for him, because what matters is I wasn't facing him and Yamee.

So, now, I am up early again to do some minor blog tasks.

I guess, if he's not allowed TV time, then I shouldn't be allowed screen time as well. And it's really okay that he's forcing me to be ever more present with him. That is what I want, anyway, since we're homeschooling this year. And I want to be his joyful parent again.

Though... truth be told, I am getting sick of playing Lego. Hehe.