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Confessions of a Working Mom
For almost 3 weeks now, the
hardest part of being a working mom has been leaving me totally wrecked.
Every weekday for almost 3 weeks
now, I am this cruel and heatless mother leaving my 3-year old son to the care
of my father-in-law and every day is a heartbreaking, tear-jerking (for me, but overflowing and totally
dramatic for my son) and painful moment that it makes me curse my job every
time I get on the motorcycle and ignore the painful screams and begging hoping
to come to work fully-functional….
“Dili ko bilin lolo ma ha, dili
ko bilin lolo ma.” (“Don’t leave me with grandpa ma.”)
I wake up at 4am to cook my
breakfast and lunch for work and prepare my son’s things for when he is sent to
my father-in-laws house and at past 5am, when I have to wake my son up or he
wakes up screaming because no one is beside him anymore, those are always his
first words to me. Not a “good morning”, not even a “hello” but instead mostly
teary-eyed pleading not to be left with his grandpa for the day.
It breaks my heart into a million
pieces everytime and I have to pick them all up everytime as well but what can
I do? I have to work! I have to earn a living so we have food on our table,
milk on his baby bottle, money to pay for all the utilities and if we were to
even survive at all.
And I am sure I am but one of the
many mothers out there who have to take this pain on a daily basis because
society (and we ourselves) has given us mothers a whole new level of
expectations and responsibilities - to care for our household, our children and
to bring in the bacon as well.
We have to be earning for our
families, must maintain our houses miraculously clean and our children well-behaved,
well-fed and presentable! Even for women (who happen to be the stronger sex),
that is still a big responsibility and to top it all off, we need to be
beautiful, sexy and all-smiles for our husbands and their friends and to be
excellent cooks! Even for someone who already has all these traits innately and
without effort, this is still a big shoe to fill! (If this were to be a job description, I don’t think any amount of
money would be enough to compensate for all this and yet, ironically we’re not
even paid anything, right?) Our only consolation is the hug and smiles that
we get and nothing more; although technically that is priceless too!
Gone are those days when mothers
just stay at home to care for the kids; mothers have to be tossed into the
workforce to earn a living because we just can’t afford that stay-at-home lifestyle
anymore. That is the biggest price we pay for being women and being mothers in
this age of smart phones and social media.
Our days and nights are always
seemingly longer than that of everyone else’s; we have to wake up earlier and
sleep later because there is just so much to do. Our notebooks and personal
folders in our PCs always consist of budget-related writings and household
stuff and every payday is just the day we separate the budget for everyone and
everything else but ourselves. (My
paydays or at least a day before always consists of cutting papers and labeling
them into payments for utilities and household budget with the able assistance
of my bff the calculator and the stapler!)
Amidst all these heavy
responsibilities that we have to carry around (literally) it’s the little things that I find are most annoying of
all – toothpaste caps left open, toothpaste squeezed in the middle of the tube,
dirty clothes lying anywhere but the laundry basket, deodorant placed where
it’s not supposed to be, lights that need to be turned off but are still on
even at night and gates that should be closed but remain open!
I don’t mean to be a too OC or
to be complainer but isn’t it just annoying that I have to pick up after those
little things (left by adults and not by kids) even when I have bigger
responsibilities to attend to? Wouldn’t it be great if I just had to attend to
the more pressing matters instead of all the re-work with the most trivial
Anyway, back to the initial topic
because obviously my ramblings are leading somewhere else.
Ofcourse, leaving work is not an
option for obvious reasons and neither is getting a nanny because nothing will
ever replace a mother’s personal touch. (Plus,
the risks in getting a nanny is higher now than it was before when people were
more honest and loved your children not just your money and there weren’t any
threats of kidnapping and selling of human organs in the black market.)
I have contemplated on getting a
work-at-home job so I can still earn and yet be there for my son but it isn’t
that easy as well. With the many scams proliferating everywhere, everytime you
search in Google for work at home jobs, chances are 80% are illegitimate and
Going into business? Well, that
would be easy if I had the money for capital but I’m barely making ends meet
and always have the pre-payday struggle wherein you pray that payday comes
early because you’re scraping your pockets for whatever is still left of the
last pay received and you secretly wish that while searching the nooks and
crannies of your wallet, cash magically turns up where there was none! The just
recent realization that my supposed “happy” 13th month pay would be
used to pay for the house rent which is delayed by 2 months just squashed my
little plan for a small home-grown vegetable business that would hopefully
allow me to earn extra money.
Sometimes, I wish life had a “Time-Out
Card” that you flash so you’d be allowed to sit on the bench and watch everything
unfold while sitting in the sidelines and then when you’ve got your much-needed
time-off, you can just go back to playing again like you never stopped but now
refreshed and rejuvenated and with a better perspective of everything else. It would
definitely take the edge off!
But wishful thinking never gets
us anywhere right and unfortunately time-outs are only applicable in the world
of sports (and yet not even in every sport…)
My only nuggets of happiness are
my OPM (One Proud Mama) Moments that
I would never trade for anything else in the world and so I am sharing a few
here…(because amidst all my ramblings,
being a mother is still really one of the biggest sources of happiness for me)
~ My son could already walk and
talk even before he was 1 year old. He first walked towards me while I
pretended I was crying and he wanted to comfort me in some way. That’s when I
validated that my son really did love me. ;-)
~ That he could count to 10, sing
ABC and many other nursery rhymes and songs even before he was 2 years old. ~
~ That my son, all on his own and
without any coercion from any adult, said “thank you” after his father bought
him something to eat after work. ~
~ That he could already count to
20, identify a lot of colors, animals, modes of transportation and a lot of other
things even before he was 3 years old. ~
~ That my son could already follow
instructions such as bring something over and clean up toys as early as 1 year old. ~
~ That my son is learning
independence early and doesn’t need to wear diapers at night anymore barely a
month after he officially turned 3. ~
~ That my son is ok and actually
likes me almost smothering him in my arms while he sleeps or while he rides
with us in the motorcycle. This is one of the most precious moments in a mother’s
~ That even the smallest of things (like silently looking at him while he is
sleeping) or pinching his face and playing with his mouth to make silly
noises or when he asks me to hold his hand while he does his morning ritual in
the loo makes me smile and just a little bit happier and contented no matter
how chaotic life has been. ~
Tomorrow will yet again be another
heart-breaking commute and late arrival to the office day but I guess it’s just
another day in a working mom’s life. And next year, it will be of a different type,
one that will consist of tearful goodbyes in schools but I am anticipating the
tearful goodbyes not just from my son’s end but possibly more from me as I look
at my son slowly grow up to become a man who will in the future cry over
another woman leaving that’s not me.. (And it breaks my heart into a million
pieces and but I have to pick them all up over and over again because it’s just
another normal part about being a woman and being a mother..)
Cheers to all the working moms out there fighting and winning the same daily battles - teary eyed or not!:-)
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I’ve decided to bring in some useful content to my blog rather than just my usual crazy thoughts or my weird ramblings.
If I run into a product or service that is worth reviewing (be it good or bad); I’ll add a review entry here.
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Name of Massage Parlor/Services: Baan Khun Thai (House of Traditional Thai
Location: Salinas Drive, Lahug Cebu City
Across Mormons Lahug before JY Square., & 100 meters away from USPF Salinas,
Lahug, Cebu City 6000
Telephone Number: +63 32 260 2500
Number of visits here so far: 3 times and counting
Open 24 hours a day and there is available parking space directly in front of the shop.
The facilities are new, clean and smell good. They have separate and distinct areas for shoes, foot bath, foot massage, and body mass…