“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 : )

 

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What the US Has Taught Me

I was born and raised in Cavite (a province 30 minutes to 1 hour from Manila – depends on the flow of traffic). Our father was a lawyer and he worked in a prestigious government office. We had a decent life. My brother, sister and I went to “exclusive” schools when we were in high school and went to reputable Universities. When we moved to our father’s house, I remember growing up with people who helped us around the house. Someone was helping in preparing food,  washing our dishes, doing the laundry, ironing the clothes, folding the clothes,  and putting them in our dresser/cabinets. Someone was sweeping the floor, mopping it, and waxing it. There was even a time when I remember we had a good driver who helped us go places.In the Philippines it seems usual to have helpers at least when you belong in the middle class. Even if we had the help, my father and mother did not forget to teach us how to be responsible. We tried to help in our own little ways.

When I moved here in the US, it was quite an adjustment. Here, we have to do things on our own. There was no help. I learned so many things. After I got married, I learned how to cook (my hubby would always say my cooking is perfect!), do the laundry (& folding), iron clothes, sweep or vacuum & mop floors, clean the bathrooms, do the groceries, drive the kids to school and to their activities. Clearly, I became domesticated and independent. Whenever I would go visit my family in the Philippines, I know I have changed. It feels a little weird to be helped with things I normally do everyday. I feel so capable and I am happy with what I have become. Of course there are a lot of things moving here in the US has taught me. There are a lot of things we learn in life as we come of age. We actually never stop learning as long as we live!

Have a wonderful day everyone!