My Sweet Little Home

Soon, we will be leaving the home I have loved so much for more than 5 years. This house is my first “home” after I got married. We lived in a house prior to this but I felt like it was just more of a house. A house is not always a home. But this one? I call it my sweet little home. This is the home of hopes, dreams, healing, joy, and peace. My family had a lot of happy memories in here.

They say, the only permanent thing in this world is CHANGE. So I guess this is another major change for us! Although we are sad because we will miss being in here, we are also looking forward to a new chapter in our life. Besides, they say home is wherever your heart is. Our family will be together so that’s all that matters. We will make the next house our home.

“I’m A Stay-At-Home Mom. Got A Problem With That?”

My hands are tired. As soon as I was done with my work, I had to sit down and write this down.

I just finished with my general cleaning in the kitchen. From the fridge to the freezer, to the tiles, cabinets and floor. Scrubbing. Mopping. Add all other details that has to do with the inside of each drawer and cabinet.

A lingering thought suddenly crossed my mind. I hold no grudge on these people but to be honest, their remarks annoys me very well.

This post is for all the stay-at-home moms like me. Sometimes we are called housewife, full-time mom, home-maker and others.

When I stopped going to work (the one where you get paid money), I had to focus on my growing son. Then followed by another baby girl. So I have been out of the work force for five years and 7 months now. When a cousin found out that I stopped working to take care of my child, he teasingly said “Wow, Doña.” In the Philippines, when somebody said that you’re a Doña, it means you’re rich and you’re living like a Queen. I do not remember how I responded to him but I can not forget that remark until now.

Another incident was when I brought my first grader to school while tagging my little girl along. This is a common sight in school. Moms with their  little ones  dropping off and picking up their older kids to school. Rain or Shine. Through the years,  I bonded with other full time moms too. And sometimes we would be in a group. As I and some other moms were approaching, a  friend who was a nurse jokingly told our other friend, “Eto na ang mga walang trabaho!” In English, it means “Here comes the ones who don’t work/jobless!” What did that suppose to mean? Of course it was petty. We did not have to confront her.

What are these remarks? I usually  hear people asking about what job I do since I had a Master’s Degree in Psychology. And when they hear that  I am a home-maker, one of the common reactions is “Wow, sarap!” In English something like “Wow, you’re lucky”.

I will be straightforward here. Yes, I am lucky because of one thing. I get to be hands on with my children. I see them grow each day. I personally take care of them. I am lucky because I now my kids feel secured and confident that I am there when they need me. A couple of instances my son was brought to the school clinic, in two minutes I am there to pick him up.  Child care is a lot of work especially when you have babies, toddlers, or preschoolers. It is more work if you have two or three or more kids. With the demand for constant attention, and responding to different needs, you have to have all the energy and patience in the world.

Home care is another thing.

Yes I will feel like a queen if I have a helper in the house. Or have someone else do all the daily chores inside and out of the house. Keeping the house clean and in order is an everyday thing. It actually feels like never ending. I even have a list of things to do for my home projects just like when I was going to a regular job where I got paid.

Yes I will feel like a Doña if I have a cook to take care of breakfast, lunch and dinner, a driver to bring my kids to school and to pick them up, a tutor to teach my children or a nanny to give them a bath and other things that they need.

I do not have all these help, and I do not get paid for every single thing that I do. I do not complain (sometimes to my husband), I feel happy that I am given this mission right now. It is all labor of love. Mind you, I do not just sit in the house and  have idle times. I do not sleep in the daytime because time flies and there are lots of things to do. But sometimes I need to recharge and have a break too. So I play the flute for a while or I write.

This is just a glimpse of what we do. This is the life of  a home-maker, a full-time mom, a house wife. I am not saying that we are better than moms who go out and work (the one you get paid money). They have different challenges too. I was once working out of the house.  I am just hoping that others will be enlightened that even if we are at home, WE ARE WORKING TOO!

Kudos to all women, to all mothers.

Now nap time is over for my girl. Have to wrap up my chores and time to get ready for school : )

 

UPROOTING

I am going to start off with some short definitions about the topic I am writing for today.

Choice. An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities

Decision Making. The thought process of selecting a logical choice from available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives.

For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.

Decisions can be made through either an intuitive or reasoned process, or a combination of the two. This means studying the facts and figures to make a decision, then see how you feel about it.

Do you usually find it easy to make a choice/decision or do you find it challenging?

Making choices has always been a part of life. There are simple decisions we make everyday such as what clothes to wear, food to cook, what things to do for the day.   On the other hand there are what we see as major or big decisions. These are the ones that have a huge impact on our lives and can affect not just just us but the people around us as well. I call it, life changing decisions.

Studying myself, I find it very exhausting and stressful whenever I am about to make a big/major decision in life (which is opposite of my husband who seems to be very cool with decisions).  It literally takes a lot of my time. A lot of thinking. Weighing things over. I tend to be very cautious. I have to jot things down writing the pros and cons, asking why, what, how, or even where (this time I typed them on an Excel file). I feel the need to see that I am a 100% sure of what I am about to do.  I am thinking my personality is affecting my decision-making skill  since I tend to be obsessive compulsive, detailed, and organized. I tend to be anxious too of changes and of the unknown.  Moreover, besides looking at the facts, I also take into consideration the emotions, the heart. I rationalize, and at the same time, I believe that the heart should agree too. The mind and heart should at least meet half way. So can you imagine how draining it is? I do this every time. At least in the future I know that whatever led me to that path, I gave my all to think about the decision I made. It might not be the perfect choice but it was the best one at that time I made it. So in the future, I have no reason to regret or think about what could have been (although it is inevitable to ask that question sometime).  This happened to me when my Dad passed away five months ago. It feels like just yesterday when I was hugging him goodbye. He was standing stiff and won’t even lay his eyes on me. It was a sad goodbye. He did not want me to leave but then I followed my heart. What if I did not leave home 9 years ago? I could have spent more years of my life with him. But if I did not go, I will not have my family now: my spouse and my children, who are the most important to me. I lost weight thinking about that decision and at that moment I had to do it.  As I lived my life, there was a yearning in my heart to save money and come back home for him.

I dealt with a few major decisions in my life: Who to marry, leaving my work, family, and friends 9 years ago, a decision we had to make when my Dad was dying, and something that we have to do SOON.

My husband expressed his intention to retire soon abroad. I knew this plan from years ago. His goal has always been to retire early.  I wanted it too since I wanted my Dad to enjoy his grand kids. We were thinking, usually parents are busy spending their lives working while the children are growing up. This is true since we need to provide for their needs everyday. But at the time parents retire from work, the kids are gone. They are living their own lives. I guess this what drove him to work and save more so we can retire earlier and be around our children while they are still young. And we lived a simple life, not big spenders. I know that it seems ideal and I worry about resources too, if they will be enough and if it will last until the kids are  growing up.

What perplexed me more was when my husband said he wants to do it very soon, like after a year or two. My panic alert was on. It gave me mixed emotions. How come I was not too excited and did not say yes right away? I always wanted to go back and be with my Dad but he just recently passed. Maybe I felt the irony that I see the realization of the plan and my my father did not see it happen (although he knew about it).  I told hubby to give me more time to prepare mentally for it. I told you I need to see the whole picture, all facts and figures. Remember how I approach a major decision?

Uprooting will not just affect him and me but our kids. Is this a smart move? Is this what is best for my children? I finished writing down points to discuss with hubby. Some of them have already been brought up and we have different views. We have more things to talk about.  I am sure when we ask family and friends they too will have conflicting opinions about this matter. Of course in the end, the decision is still in our hands. And as I said, I have to be a 100% sure.

I searched the web and I read that before moving to a different country, there are things to consider: family and friends, language, medical issues, safety, culture, financial, employment, shopping, and amenities. Ask yourself too why are you leaving? Determine if everything you will be leaving behind is worth what you are moving towards. He is saying back there our children will have more support group. We have brothers and sisters there, our kids will have cousins to grow with. And as mentioned more time to be with them while they are growing up. And yet, there are other factors to consider.

A fellow blogger, Tony Burgess (http://tonyburgess1969.net/)  shared to me once “Life is about change, flux, fluidity. Grace and peace in the journey.”  And I remember talking to some of my fellow bloggers about how to dance with the music or go with the waves, do not fight it or you will drown, just float, and relax. These reminders help me to relax a little bit more and not to worry much (which I naturally tend to do). I know that nothing stays the same. Change is only the permanent thing in life. Although I am afraid of changes and of the unknown, I should have faith. Home is wherever your heart is.

Saying goodbye is always sad. Especially now that I have learned to love my home now. After seven years of living in Carson CA, we moved to our new home on May 17, 2013. I took care of every detail, arrangements, and I consider it as my first home as a family woman. I felt very happy and at peace in here. I have invested emotions.  It is true what was said in the book, the Little Prince, “It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important…People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

Over the years, I have found lifelong friends who I love and I will miss a lot. I have loved the country. It has taught me a lot especially how to be independent. I  learned to do things on my own. I appreciate the culture how the people are responsible citizens ready to go out of their way to help if you are in need. I like the thought that people are not too self conscious or nosy. You can wear whatever and go to the grocery without being criticized if your clothes match or if your make up looks nice. There is freedom. I enjoy the conveniences: online shopping, the fast internet connections, the discipline on the road, less traffic, libraries and its books, the parks, and Southern California weather. I finally adapted. I adjusted and blended in.  But soon I will bid farewell.

I know if we finally make that choice, there is a lot of work/things to be done. I have already listed them down…  It will be a new chapter. Hopefully an adventure… I am worried but I am also hopeful. Pray for me. Wish me luck!

Airplane-luggage-travel

Photo credit: www.pointchaser.com

 

What Every Human Should Remember

My alone time. My quiet time. So precious. I have more or less an hour. Done with the morning routine. Sent off hubby to work. Sent off my dear son to school. The little girl is taking her morning nap.

I have never ending chores just like any typical stay at home mother. But I told myself, today I will do my best to take it easy. Chores will always be there!  So this one hour (or one and a half hour) is very precious to me. This is my prayer time. My blog time. My treadmill time. Sometimes chores time when they can not wait. I debated if I should run on the treadmill just like what I do whenever I get a chance. But the mind and the words are stronger. They just want to be out here.

This morning I had some news from home. And I had some reflections.

What should I pick? Image of crocodiles or some predators in the wild?

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photo credit: www.sci-news.com

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photo credit:www.care2.com

To be clear, these are just images in my head. I mean no harm. No offense. These pictures are part of nature. Maybe part of human nature as well. And that is the reality.

They are watching, observing from afar.  It is a waiting game. Some are moving closer. Discretely. Slowly and quietly.  Some are sniffing and fishing around. Waiting for the perfect time to get what they want.

article-0-15128387000005DC-329_970x572photo credit:www.dailymail.co.uk

Can this really be part of human nature? Can people just be assertive protecting what they think belongs to them? Will it be possible that sometimes people just want to acquire more? Power, assets, money, properties. All these worldly matters that matter so much? For me it is alright as long as no one gets hurt or harmed in any way. As long as these things are never the source of disagreements, hate, or divisions.

This part of life makes makes me feel a little sad. The important things that matter so much to a human being. Suddenly I thought of the pale blue dot by Carl Sagan.

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Photo credit: www.patheos.com

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

PLEASE VIEW THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO

Ordinary Day

I wish I can talk about something else just like before. Seeing beauty in simple things, so much positivity striving to live a more meaningful life. 

Honestly I am not sure what I feel at present. Definitely it is not vibrant and lovely.  There are days it feels just so ordinary. I go on with my routine taking care of my family and our home. Alongside with it, there are minor distractions. At least I try to convince my mind that it is just minor and does not deserve my energy… But yes, life goes on. It will never pause, never stop even if you lose something or someone. I am living the reality of life. Trying to just move along, going with the flow. Ignoring what is inside, maybe a turmoil, some sadness and darkness. 

The other day I just burst into tears. I usually do not cry. And if I do, it is just for a while. A memory suddenly came to me. I remember maybe it was last Fathers Day, when I was on the phone with my Dad. I just told him I am planning to visit him next year and I could not figure out yet the schedule. I had to wait for my son’s school calendar and work out my visit. I remember he said, “Okay, I’ll be here…” 

A Sad Night

I am double sad…. First, my dad is still in the hospital. I still hope he will be better. I hope he will be healed and will regain his health. The good thing is I will be flying back home but I have to leave my kids behind. It is my very first time to be away from them and it drives me crazy. Separation anxiety. But I should keep thinking that all these things happen for a reason.