I don’t know if many people will agree to this but we Filipinos are known for having close-knit family ties, wherever we might be located in the world.
We cherish our relationships with the members of our family, and love spending time together — eating, chatting, laughing, even singing together (even if we sound off-key)! One of the relationships that I personally treasure is the one I have with my own parents — and, in effect, the relationship my kids have with them.
You see, growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with my own grandparents. My parents, like many Filipinos I know — were what we call “OFWs” or overseas Filipino workers. They worked for the Brunei government for many years, thankfully, my siblings and I were allowed to join them.
Because of our situation though, we would only see our relatives, including our grandparents, during the times when we would go home to the Philippines. So I didn’t really get to have many bonding moments with them, unlike my cousins (and my older siblings, who went home to the Philippines for further studies).
Fast forward to the present time. My grandparents on both sides have already passed away (and oh, how I miss them). I am also a mother now, with kids of my own, who absolutely love being with their grandparents!
In fact, they are thrilled every time they are allowed to sleepover at my parents’ place, and I am happy about it too. They get to build lasting bonds with their lolo (grandfather) and lola (grandmother), plus play with their cousins, because my brother and his family live with my parents.
It’s a win-win situation actually, my kids and my parents get to strengthen their relationships with one another, and this mama gets some “time off” (though now, with the newest addition to our family, it’s not really “time off,” if you get what I mean!).
I know not many families are as blessed as mine is — to have grandparents around who are always there to help out with the grandkids, and this post isn’t meant to make anyone feel bad. It’s primarily to emphasize the value of the grandparents in our lives… and I guess, indirectly, the value of the elderly in general. The generations before us — those who are wiser and know better.
On a personal level, this one actually goes out to my kids’ grandparents, especially my parents. You see, our family has been having our share of trials lately, especially after our youngest was born, and my mom and dad have been our strongest allies, supporters and prayer warriors. Honestly, I don’t know how we could have “survived” the past few months without them!
So yes, if you’re reading this, and your parents (your kids’ grandparents) are still with you, I encourage you to find ways, even simple ones, to tell them how much you value them. Even if it’s difficult to do so. Even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait till the last minute — till someone is on their deathbed — to speak of love, forgiveness and gratitude. Realize the value of grandparents, and help your kids do so, too. It could possibly be one of the greatest lessons you’ll teach them.
How is the relationship of your children with their grandparents?
Picture Credit: Author
I have a (rather embarrassing) confession to make: Lately, I have been guilty of being that mom who seems “addicted” to social media (gasp!).
You know, the one who finds herself reaching for her phone when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and immediately checks her Facebook feed. (*Sigh*)
The one who won’t look up from her phone when her child is talking to her, excited to share her latest creation, because she’s too busy reading what her “friends” have shared online.
The one who seems distracted during playtime and read-aloud time, because she is thinking of what she should post next on social media.
Yup. That mom.
Although I don’t consider myself as “badly addicted” as others might be (cough, cough), reading this CNN article about how you can check if you’re addicted to Facebook made me rethink how I have been spending my time online. I am ashamed to admit it but I sadly found myself checking off most of the items on the list! 🙁
Because of this, I’ve decided to declare to the world (fittingly, through this post, because, well, this blog represents people from all over the world, yes?) that I am going to do my best to be a more intentional mom…specifically when it comes to my use of Facebook.
Here are three things that I plan to do:
1. More Facetime, less Facebook.
I will have more “facetime” with my kids — more looking in their eyes when they speak to me, more kisses on their cheeks, more playtime and reading time. Basically, more “face-to-face” communication. 🙂
2. Limit access to my phone.
This may be a bit challenging to do, since I also use my phone for work, but I think I really need to do it. I plan to place my phone in a bag or closet during the times when I should be focused on the kids, like during mealtime, “learning time” or playtime. I will resist the urge to check my Facebook notifications, because they usually are not about anything urgent anyway.
3. Be more intentional with Facebook posts.
These tips on how to defeat a Facebook addiction reminded me again that, like many other things, Facebook is not necessarily an “evil” — it’s how we use it that leads to problems. So I think I’ll revisit my “One Word” for this year, and use Facebook less for “socializing” and more for inspiring and helping others.
For starters, I think I’ll focus more on sharing encouraging and inspirational posts on my Facebook page, rather than checking my personal Facebook feed all the time.
So this is what I plan to do. I hope that these action steps will truly help me to be a more intentional mom! (If you can relate to this post, I hope you found it useful — here’s to being more intentional with our kids!)
Do you have more tips for beating a Facebook addiction and being a more intentional mother to your children? Please share them in the comments!
Wherever we may be in the world, suffering is something that we usually consider to be a “normal” part of our lives. Some of us endure it on an everyday basis, while others seem to suffer only during “true” times of tragedy and despair.
The truth is, all of us on this earth, every single one of us, have gone through a time suffering in one way or another. Here in the Philippines, we are currently experiencing “national suffering” of sorts, as over 40 people have been killed recently in clashes between the police’s Special Action Force and Muslim rebels.
I’m sure you have your own suffering to speak of, too, whether it’s of the personal kind, or on a wider scale. I’m also sure that you’ve seen other people suffer, too, and have wondered how you can help ease their suffering (I know I have on many occasions!).
While I don’t claim that this post will provide the ultimate solution for helping ease other people’s suffering, I do humbly submit that we can do what we can to help others, by doing these three things:
1. Share their pain.
Compassion is something that all of us should have, no matter what our race, nationality, color or religion. We moms usually tend to be more compassionate to the plight of others, and this is a beautiful thing. A compassionate soul is truly a blessing in this world, where unkindness, cruelty, selfishness and cynicism can darken our lives.
Whenever we see or hear of people suffering, let us try to share in their pain, sorrow, and grief. If you consider yourself the “religious” type, offer a prayer for them. Even if you’re not the type of person who prays, sending out positive thoughts and kind words can still make a difference.
2. Do good, starting in your own home and community.
Suffering is a global phenomenon and while most of us can only do “so much” to help others, we need to believe that the little we can do can actually go a long way.
Do you want to help those who suffer from hunger? Those who suffer from poverty? From depression? From national disasters? From the effects of war?
Start where you are. Do good in your own home. If you have kids, teach them to do the same. Reach out to others in your neighborhood and in your community. Visit the sick. Play with kids at an orphanage. Raise funds for the needy.
Simple things like these can really help those who are suffering. Heck, even just sharing posts about helping others who are suffering, like our social good posts on clean birth, can make a difference.
3. Tell others.
A lot of the people who are suffering in the world have no voice — they can’t speak for themselves for some reason or other. This is why communities like World Moms Blog exist — to give people a voice.
Speak for the suffering — share their plea to your networks. Tell your family members and friends about who and what is on your mind and in your heart. Talk about what’s happening in Nigeria, like our very own Aisha for example, or even just about moms who may have kids suffering from serious illnesses like leukemia, who may not be as “vocal” as you are. (If you need a “source” for posts for sharing, you can start here.)
At the end of the day, remember the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s quote that goes something like this:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Know that you can make a difference in the lives of people who are suffering in different forms. It all begins with a decision, a choice to do so. So let’s take that “single step” together, shall we?
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post here on World Moms Blog, and I’m honored to be back with another open letter. This was inspired by a very recent event in my own life — when I felt that I had failed as a mother, particularly as a homeschooling mom to my eldest child. I hope this “letter” brings you encouragement somehow, dear fellow mama!
Dear Mom Who Feels Like A Failure,
First of all, let me give you a virtual hug. I know what it’s like to feel that you’ve failed your child/ren. Believe me, I’ve been there too many times to count. *Hug*
Just this week, I’ve wrestled with thoughts of how I’ve been failing my own offspring… of how I haven’t been a good mom to them… of how I haven’t been teaching them “well” and “enough” (I believe every mom is their child’s “teacher,” whether or not you homeschool.)… of how I’ve been too busy working at home, maybe even to the point of “neglecting” my children — the very reason why I chose to be a work-at-home mom (WAHM)… and so on and so forth.
I bet you’ve been dealing with similar doubts and “downer thoughts” too, lately, haven’t you?
Well, can I just invite you to join me in saying, “Stop!”? Let’s just stop. Stop thinking such thoughts. Stop doubting ourselves. Stop “downing” ourselves.
Because Lord knows we’re all just doing the best we can.
We are our children’s mothers for a reason. We love them, care for them, fight for them, teach them, pour our lives into them for a purpose.
No one else can mother your child like you do, and believe it or not, you can do it. You can raise a loving, obedient, respectful child — a child who will one day “change the world” — although it may not seem so right now. (And please don’t forget that being a “world-changer” can mean so many things, on so many different levels… which are all good, of course.)
So if you find yourself feeling like a failure today, allow me to encourage you, as another fellow homeschooling WAHM encouraged me recently: Remember the greater purpose behind what you’re doing.
In the midst of the seemingly endless diaper changes, sibling squabbles, “mommy wars,” cooking and cleaning duties, and everything else mommy-related, please, I beg you, know that you are enough. Know that everything you do will bear fruit one day.
Most of all, know that you are loved. Know that you are not alone on this rollercoaster ride that is motherhood. You’ve got me and the other World Moms on your side, cheering you on, sending you lots of virtual hugs and high-5’s, positive thoughts and prayers, even.
So, mother on, my friend. Let’s just keep calm and mother on!
Have you been feeling like a “mommy failure” lately? I hope this post lifts your spirits somehow! Or maybe you have some words of encouragement for our fellow moms out there who’ve been doubting themselves as moms — do share them in the comments!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Tina Santiago- Rodriguez of the Philippines.
Dear Mom Who Wants To Do It All,
I’m writing this as much for myself as for you. I sense your worry. I feel your fatigue. I can see the endless to-do lists in your notebook and the jam-packed schedules in your planner. I can hear you cry out with frustration, wondering “How.in.the.world.can.I.do.it.all?! There’s just too much to do and too little time!”
I don’t have the answer to your question but I do know this. You…and I? We don’t really have to, you know, do it all. We don’t! Really.
The world may tell us otherwise though. But I’m here to remind you (and myself) that we don’t. Yes, we may want to do it all but most of the time we don’t have to. Sometimes, all we have to do is just be. Just be a wife. Just be a mom. Just be yourself. Just be.
Strip down your to-do lists to the bare essentials.
Simplify your schedules to make more time for the essentials that make life truly rich and worth living. The essentials like your family.
Today, I challenge you (and myself!) to embrace the fact that you really can’t do it all… But you can do any or all of the following:
Say yes to your child when she asks you to play with her.
Read not just 1, but 3 (or more!) books when your child asks you to read to him.
Hug your spouse/partner and whisper sweet nothings into his ear.
Take 5 minutes to just breathe…deep breaths.
Give thanks for all the blessings you have but may take for granted.
When you really think about it, not doing it all seems so much more attractive, doesn’t it? So how about it? Will you join me in my quest to focus on ‘the essentials’ of life? To try to not want to ‘do it all’ but do what’s needed? I hope we can ‘talk’ about this in the comments!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tina Rodriquez-Santiago, Truly Rich Mom, in The Philippines.