Tag Archives: Parenting

mrspcuyugan

On Frogs and Other Fears

Fact: I am a worrywart and a scaredy-cat.

A lot of things freak me out. I’m easily startled by strange noises and sudden movements. I jump like a cat when someone sneaks up on me. I worry all the time about a lot of things, and I’m a worst-case scenario thinker.

You’d never think this about me because I’m generally a cheerful person, but it’s true. I spend 50% of my day lost inside my own head. If it sounds like I’m kinda crazy, that’s okay. I think the best people are all a little bit nutty anyway.

mrspcuyugan
No, this doesn’t look like a worrywart’s face.

 

My greatest physical fear is most definitely frogs, and I’ve said this several times before (like here, here and here.) I’m also scared of the idea of ghosts and I never want to see, feel, hear or smell one, ever. Same goes for demons, and stuff or people possessed by them.

Just as I typed that, my mom’s phone rang and I literally jumped. See what I mean? I really am a scaredy cat. It doesn’t help that her alert is The Count’s laugh with matching thunder in the background. 

More than these seemingly silly fears, I also worry about bigger, more serious, meaning of life things. I worry about MrC during his daily commute to and from the office.

I think about Little MrC while he’s in school, whether or not he had enough time to finish his lunch, and if his immune system is strong enough to battle the germs and viruses that live on campus.

mrspcuyugan
I can’t help but worry about this little big boy whenever we aren’t together.

 

I think about myself and my own health, wonder if I am getting enough sleep, and scold myself over my lack of daily exercise. I worry about oncoming and overtaking cars while driving. I am scared that my gas oven might explode when I light it.

I guess it really is a mom’s nature to worry, and my own personal nature to have these fears.

Oh, I could go on and on with these things but I know that I shouldn’t. Worrying, fretting and fearing wastes a lot of time. At the same time, I know that every once in a while it’s important to think about them and acknowledge these fears.

I believe that, as long as they don’t paralyze you, fears will keep you on your toes, careful and cautious with every step. Then again, I could just be fooling myself. A result of watching too much Divergent. 

Photo from Pinterest
Photo from Pinterest.

 

I only hope that I don’t pass my own fears on to my son. There was a point where it looked like I would. I’d see him panic at the sight of lizards. I’d hear him run across the hall to our room at night because he didn’t want to be alone in the dark.

Then he did something that made me feel like he’ll be okay, and that I’m not such a bad role model after all.

The other night, it was rainy when we drove home after dinner. We all got out of the car and I went straight for the front door, which was locked.

I tried digging through my bag for my keys but MrC stopped me and walked quickly to the door to unlock it himself, which was unusual. The entire time, the kiddo quietly stood behind me, which was unusual. Of course I’m only realizing these strange things now!

The husbandry finally unlocked the door and I took a step towards it. Then of course a little frog just had to cross my path! It was really small, only about the size of my big toe, and dark. I thought it was a bug. Then I realized it was hopping and the freak out ensued.

mrspcuyugan
It used to be my job to protect this little one from creepy crawlies, and now he’s the one who’s saving me. (Photo by my dad.)

 

When we were safely inside, the kiddo told me that he had seen the frog right away but chose not to say anything because he didn’t want me to get scared.

The following day, he checked around the car before I got out to make sure that Froggy Friend wasn’t back to get me. He unlocked the house for me, closed the gate, and brought his own stuff inside.

I went straight in because I could hear a chorus of frogs croaking all around us. Oh the joys of being surrounded by empty lots in the rain. 

All of a sudden my son is braver than I am. All of a sudden I see more of that big boy and less of the baby that used to live in his skin. I know that he has his own set of fears, too, but I see that he is learning to face them.

I suppose I should take a cue from my little one and learn to be braver in the face of all my fears, too. I guess it would do me good to lighten up and step outside of my head more often.

It’s times like these that make me think that I learn more from my son than he does from me. More than anything it makes me feel happy and proud to know that I’ve somehow done something right with that little guy.

Still, I dread the day when he will come home and say, “Mom, I need to bring a frog to school for Biology class.” Oh, kamote.

What are your worries and fears, and how do you handle them?

Homework, Then and Now #MotherhoodMonday

The little boy and I are just about done with the first term of this school year. As I’d expected, the third grade is a lot more challenging than last year was, and there’s a lot more work that needs to be done, too. I can’t help but compare how things were during my time as a student with my son’s, after all, he is going to the same school that I went to. I’m also the one tutoring him and helping him with his homework, so I see exactly how fast their learning pace is, and how advance their lessons seem to be.

At the same time, things are also easier on the children now as compared to before, particularly when technology is factored in. I remember having to manually sift through thick, dusty library books all the way til college, just to be able to gather information I needed for reports and projects. Now, the kids have the internet and awesome search engines at their fingertips. Back then, even filling out the bibliography pages of reports was a complicated procedure. Now, tools like cite.com make it so quick and easy to create citations. Oh if only we had these things back when I was in school!

 

As a parent, I still can’t help but worry sometimes that the curriculum for the school year may be too tough for my 8-year old to handle. And I completely sympathize with other parents who feel that way. I often see them voicing their concerns out in our parents association Facebook group. I’d like to think, though, that these little guys have brains that are a bit more advance than ours were at that age. And I really am pleasantly surprised when I see my son learning more and doing more. Sure, it’s difficult for me to tutor him because I find the topics quite advanced for a third grader. But that’s me. Since he is more than able to keep up in class, I guess there really is no cause to complain. Maybe I’m the one who needs to adjust.

Parents, do you tutor your children? Do you feel that the things they learn at their age are a lot more difficult than what you had to study at that grade level? 

Parenting and the Art of Flexibility

Why is it that parenting is filled with so many “unexpecteds”? Please tell me that this isn’t just true for me. It just feels like life enjoys throwing curve balls so often at parents. Or maybe it just feels that way because we not only need to think of our own lives, needs and wants, but also those of our children and our spouses as well. Oh, and sometimes those of our parents, too, and even siblings for some. Am I right, or am I just ranting? Okay, this is coming from someplace, and it’s also going somewhere, don’t worry.

So finally, it’s the last week of school.

Time to celebrate, and be all merry and summery, right? Well, yes and no. See, after our super fun Saturday at The Mind Museum (which I was supposed to blog about yesterday), my kid woke up on Sunday with a fever. This is not unusual for Little MrC, who often gets sick for a couple of days after a full day of activity.

Mind Museum Saturday! Blogging about this soon!
Mind Museum Saturday! Blogging about this soon!

Thing is, Monday came and he was still feverish with bloodshot eyes and patches of rashes. By Tuesday morning, his fingers started to swell up. With the memory of our 2013 Easter “staycation” at St Luke’s still fresh in our minds, we decided to not take any chances and just go ahead and take him to the doctor already, especially since last year’s sickness also started with swollen fingers. 

As seen on our pediatrician's office wall.
As seen on our pediatrician’s office wall.

The good news is that we are home and there was no need to be admitted. It also doesn’t look like it’s the same virus as before, but it is a virus nonetheless. The doctor requested for some tests, and I hope that we can find out tomorrow what the partial results are. Meanwhile, this little person is restless and hyper even though the virus comes with a low-grade fever that comes and goes. We were told that until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours straight, there will be no going to school. Ah, but tomorrow is the last day of class, and the fever was still here today. So that means…

We need to take make up days some time next week.

Unexpected occurrence #1. That’s okay though, because I can take care of enrolling Little MrC for next school year while he’s taking his makeup days. Thing is, I’ve had him with me all week so far and he will be with me all the way until Friday (unexpected occurrence #2 and #3), which means I’ve been a little unproductive where work and blogging are concerned. Thank goodness I have nice, understanding, easy to talk to partners and clients. (Thanks, guys!)

Fortunately, the doctor said that as soon as the fever is gone, we can continue on with our normal activities. That means that soccer is a go for us beginning next Friday. There’s still one more test result that we need to wait for though, and that won’t be out until Thursday next week. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that there won’t be any more unexpecteds until then and afterwards. We’ll be going back to the pediatrician for a follow-up checkup on Tuesday, which means I need to cancel the plans that I previously made on that day. Oh well, needs vs wants. Mommy duties come first.

They needed four vials of blood for all the tests!
They needed four vials of blood for all the tests!

Since summer basically came early for us, I guess it’s time for me to activate my planned summer schedule and adjust already. I do need to get work done, after all. That’s the thing with parenting, I think. We need to be flexible. We need to learn to think on your feet and adjust on the fly. It’s not easy, but we just have to learn to go with it. Sometimes I think that maybe if I were a bit more organized, if I could actually be a step ahead of everyone else, or at least think that way, that things might be easier to manage. Then again, if I end up being a control freak, then the constant need for change would drive me nuts, too. It’s really not a matter of being one or the other then, more than it is learning how to dance to the beat. Ah, metaphors.

There are good unexpecteds, too.

Yes, there is a silver lining. There always is a silver lining. Today I got an invitation for the boys and I to share our story about a certain something. Yes, I know, that sentence was vague. Anyway, I love it because all three of us are involved, and it’s exciting, and it’s gonna be super fun. I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it, but that kwento is gonna have to wait until Saturday. I am also enjoying the time that the kiddo and I are getting to spend together now, since he’s on house arrest. I may not be getting work done, but that’s something I can make up for. I chose to work from home so that I can spend time with my kid, and that’s exactly what I’m getting, so yay.

Today, we made aliens for Ben10.
Today, we made aliens for Ben10.

Really though, in parenting and in life I guess it’s really our perspective that makes all the difference. And when it comes down to it, I would always much rather choose the sweet side. That’s why my Darna balls are Maltesers. Not just any bato, but chocolate bato! Sorry, that is an inside joke. I promise to tell you about it if we ever get to chat. 

Have you been hit with unexpecteds lately? Are they good or bad? Oh and yes, I know that “unexpecteds” is not a word. Kthanksbye!

Building Better Family Routines and Habits

This is my second post about the #BetterMe session that I recently attended with Coach Pia, The One Core and the SoMoms about strengthening and developing better family habits this summer. Part one is here.

Before anything, I want to share what I had for lunch during our session.

Yep, two plates. Burp!

I love that the Dads, Saisaki and Kamayan restaurant chains are run by a family. This is such a family place to be, after all. That explains why these restaurants do celebrations so well. I love how Mara Villavicencio, now the Managing Director of Dads Ultimate Buffet, told the story of how the restaurant started in Megamall 20 years ago, and how it has innovated over the years. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by their new offerings that include shakes and juices, plus Milo for kids, oysters, a seafood grill, Chinese food and other Asian selections. In my opinion, all that’s missing now is a branch in the south! Haha. 

Mara Villavicencio, Managing Director of Dads Ultimate Buffet

Now, back to the session. The reason why I decided to write this part separately from my first post is because building better routines and habits for the family is something that I know I need to work on, not just over the summer, but for the entire year. I tend to completely wear myself out with overloaded days filled with family time, celebrations, errands, homework and review time, cooking, writing jobs, blogging, and all sorts of other activities. And then I end up with a series of totally unproductive days where I’m burned out and unable to do anything but play video games, blog-hop and watch movies on TV. And then things pick up again, and the cycle goes on and on. 

A question, moms and dads, and tell me the truth. Who’s more excited about summer being so close ahead, you or your kids? Between the kiddo and I, I’d say it’s me. Just look back at my blog posts and Instagram feed over the last few weeks, and you’ll see how truly stuffed our first quarter was. I need to learn to pace myself, not just for my sake, but for the boys too. We need to develop a good flow of activities – daily, weekly and monthly – and I know that I should take charge of this. Thanks to the #BetterMe session, I now have a pretty good idea of where to start.

Start with zero doubt in your mind that you are capable of deciding what is best for you and your family.

This is where to start. You need to empower yourself to take charge of building the best routine for your family and household by knowing that you can do it. And, as Coach Pia says, it is in proper planning that this self-doubt is eliminated. Doubt happens when you are exhausted because you either have no plan or have over-planned. So, by believing in yourself and going ahead and planning well, you take care of yourself in the process and eliminate your self doubt.

Second, get organized. Map out your year by quarters, then plot out all of your major activities, celebrations and family events.

Coach Pia gave us all pie charts where we could write the various activities we had in each quarter. Plotting it out this way helps you see just how loaded a month is compared to other months within the same quarter. Just the same, you can also compare one quarter to the others in the year, and there you’ll see when your peak and lean seasons are. Then you’ll know when you have time to spare for things like general cleaning, maybe a garage sale, a vacation, or whatever. It will also help you balance out your major tasks and activities for your family, your personal stuff, social life, work and school. Assess each month or quarter, and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, simplify. Focus on making the quality of the time spent worthwhile for everyone.

Coach Pia and her helpful charts!

Set aside recreational time for the family.

Find time to play games, have a picnic, or simply share a meal together with your loved ones. Not only does this give you time to bond and strengthen your family ties, it also gives you a valuable opportunity to gather data from your family members. If you pay close attention, and listen instead of talk, you’ll discover the things that they want to do and where they want to go, and it will help you in your planning as well. Try to plan a unique activity that you can do with each of your children and your spouse. These, too, are great opportunities for you to gather more data. Remember, don’t just talk. Listen. And be receptive too.

Evaluate and be open to change.

Take the time to think about how you have been spending your time with your family. Also think about the activities and events that you have planned out for yourself and for the group. Have these been working out for you? If your answer is yes, then great. Keep on keeping on. If you feel that there is room to change, then adjust. Be open to change, and know that it could be for the best.

View from my seat.

Finally, don’t forget to set aside time and energy for yourself.

Time and energy, okay, not just one or the other. There have been times when I would schedule a foot spa for myself and fall asleep halfway through it. Yes, I made time, but I forgot to allocate energy, obviously. An unless you have both, chances are you won’t really enjoy your me-time. Remember, at the very start we said that you need to take care of yourself too, and that exhaustion brigs about self-doubt? Well, that’s why giving yourself a break is important. See? It is a cycle.

Now, excuse me while I go sort out our messy schedule.

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Thank you again to The SoMoms and Your Brand Story for inviting me to this event. Thanks also to The One Core and Coach Pia for making amazing sessions like this available to mommies like me. Also to Unilab, for supporting activities that aim to help us become better versions of ourselves. And finally, to the people behind Dad’s, Saisaki and Kamayan for hosting us and treating us to such a yummy lunch. Thank you.

For the latest promos and offerings from Dads, Saisaki and Kamayan, check out their website and Facebook page.