Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Being a SAHM

I am a SAHM, have been for four years now. The hours are terrible and there is no overtime pay. There are no benefits like healthcare. There are no vacation leaves, no sick leaves, no day offs. You don't get to wear nice office clothes; actually, you'd be lucky to get through the day without any clothes mishaps. You don't get to dine out on paydays. There is no office Christmas party to look forward to. There is no yearly summer outing. Nothing.

What you do have are kisses and hugs galore, priceless moments when a child achieves or does something for the first time and sees that you were able to witness it, the satisfaction of knowing what your children are up to, are interested in, and how their day went. You have firsthand knowledge of what goes on in their lives, what their interests are, how they would react to certain situations. The phrase "you are there for them" takes a whole new meaning as you are on hand to witness their activities, mediate in their squabbles, console them when hurt, and cheer them up when sad. It is exhausting work, but the rewards are beyond measure.

I have to admit that I was a sheltered SAHM because I used to have a yaya who helped me out. She was not a full-time yaya since I was still at home taking care of my children, but having her gave me opportunities to take small me-time breaks during the day. Whether it was for bathroom needs or to eat merienda or to watch a show on tv or to take my time doing my errands outside the house, those breaks kept me sane!

The yaya left us more than a week ago, 14 days to be exact, and it has totally changed what being a SAHM is for me. My patience is very thin now and my hold on my sanity is slipping. I am almost always in a foul mood and the slightest things irritate and annoy me lately. The almost unbearable Manila heat isn't helping either. I am tired, sweaty and sticky practically the whole day. I am seriously headed to a burn out. Yikes!

This whole being yaya-less made me realize that being a SAHM mom to an infant and a toddler is very, very hard. I am at wits end and my children make me want to tear my hair off. Thankfully, my kids are cute and they know how and when to make lambing. It is hard to stay irritated when Ally says "I'm sorry Mommy" in the sweetest way with matching big hug and kiss, or when Sofia leans her head on my arm in our love-love way, or when the two of them envelope me in a big girl hug. It is at moments like these when I know it is all worth it.

So yes, I am tired and eager to have a replacement yaya, but you know what? The past two weeks made me bond more with my kids. I know their quirks more now than when we had a yaya, and we are starting to find our daily routine rhythm. It is definitely not easy but I feel so much more satisfied and loved and needed at the end of the day. So much so that I am expecting to receive a really good gift come Mother's Day. Paging Jojo! Teehee!

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