PHILIPPINES: A Mother Moves Out of Her Parents’ House

PHILIPPINES: A Mother Moves Out of Her Parents’ House

Our family of three recently started adapting a new normal.

We’ve finally moved in to a home of our own, something that my husband and I have dreamed of doing ever since we started on our life journey together. Here, in the Philippines, we’ve been living with family members since we were married.

To see “our home” become a reality fills us both with so much joy. It also gives us far more responsibilities than we have ever had to take on. Of course, we anticipated this, but you never really know what things will be like until you actually find yourself there, right?

2015 WMB Quote Mrs C Cleaning

Mr. C works full time, which means that the bulk of the financial responsibilities fall on his lap. I, on the other hand, am in charge of keeping house, and turning this place into a happy home. Our son’s job is to fill our space, and our hearts, with happiness and love. He is also being taught how to do chores that he can manage at his age.

It’s been four months since we moved, and I feel that we are all doing well, so far.

Of course, it goes without saying that there have been times over the last four months where it felt like we were drowning. Or at least, I felt like I was drowning.

Managing an entire household, no matter how large or small, can be overwhelming. It’s super overwhelming for me, in particular. See, our current setup is different from what I grew up with.

I’ve never had to clean the house before. When I was younger, we had several helpers who stayed with us at home. My mom took in working students, and there were at least three of them staying with us at any given time. They helped with the daily chores, which meant that my siblings and I didn’t have to.

After I became a mom, I slowly started learning how to do these household chores on my own, from cooking and cleaning to doing the laundry. I also learned how to drive, so that I could start running errands. But because we were still living in my parents’ house, it was okay if things fell through the cracks once in a while. There was someone in that household who could help me do the things that I needed to do.

Now, in our new home, we are basically on our own. No helpers, by choice!

The three of us each have to pull our own weight around the house. It’s tough, but it’s also very fulfilling. I wish I could say that I have fallen nicely into a Pinterest-worthy routine, but the truth is that I have not. The reality is that, as I type away, I have two weeks’ worth of laundry sitting in the trunk of my car, waiting to be taken to the laundromat. There are also dirty dishes in the sink, and fallen leaves in the back patio and garage.

That’s okay. Yes, it is. See, the one important lesson I’ve learned as a new homemaker is this: If you want to keep your sanity, do not sweat the small stuff.

2015 WMB Quote Mrs C Move In

These things will get done. It may take longer than you had expected, but that doesn’t mean it will never happen. I know that I will eventually get the hang of all of this. I will soon learn to do laundry on a regular basis. I will figure out an efficient way to clean the bathrooms (which, I don’t do just yet, by the way, my husband does the cleaning. Thank God for him.) I will find a routine that works, and I will manage this household like a pro. Soon.

For now, I am just enjoying the fact that I can have coffee on my own couch, in my underwear, on a quiet morning, and not have to worry that someone will walk in and see me there. This family lives in a full house no more, and I do not sweat the small stuff.

What are your daily routines like, and how you manage to do everything you set out to do? Do you have helpers in your home?

This is an original post by World Moms Blog contributor, Mrs. C. of the Philippines. 

Photo credits to World Moms Blog. 

Patricia Cuyugan (Philippines)

Patricia Cuyugan is a wife, mom, cat momma, and a hands-on homemaker from Manila, whose greatest achievement is her pork adobo. She has been writing about parenting for about as long as she’s been a parent, which is just a little over a decade. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her reading a book, binge-watching a K-drama series, or folding laundry. She really should be writing, though! Follow her homemaking adventures on Instagram at @patriciacuyugs. 

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unnamedMy parents were born and raised in Surinam. They moved to the Netherlands in the 70’s and raised their children there. Though not completely oblivious to Dutch culture, the way my parents raised me was greatly influenced by the motherland. That includes the way chores were done.

In Surinam, and I’m guessing in many non-Western (“Second World”) cultures, chores are simply a part of life. They are part of a daily routine in which all family members share the responsibility of running a household. As a kid, you go to school, do your chores and play in the time that is left. Dinners are prepared together, cleaning is a joint effort and in some cases, children even help parents with their jobs. Except for that last part, this is basically the way I was raised.

My Dutch husband has been raised completely differently. Chores were the responsibility of his parents. They took care of everything and as he got older, chores were gradually given to him as a way to teach him responsibility. I must add that not all Dutch kids are raised exactly the same and that there are many varieties, but the difference between Dutch and Surinam upbringing is apparent.

One of the thoughts behind Dutch upbringing: “Let children be children, let them play. Let them enjoy childhood without too many responsibilities. The time for responsibilities will come soon enough.”

Personally this thought appeals to me yet also conflicts me. I fear that my children will become entitled, spoiled and unable to deal with responsibilities if I simply let them play.

One of the thoughts behind Surinam upbringing: “Chores are normal and necessary and help kids to become responsible independent adults. Every member of the family has to do their share, family comes before individual needs.”

Having to raise children now myself, I need to find a balance between these very different approaches. And it is not easy to find a middle ground. My husband tends to have a “Here, let me do it for you” attitude. And I have a more “I am not your maid, I will teach you to do it yourself” attitude.

I have a sense of contentment and pride when I teach my kids to do their chores independently and without complaint. But I also understand how nice it is for a child to be shielded from too much responsibility and to simply be taken care of.  I want to let my kids enjoy their free time in between school, homework and sports, but I also want them to help around the house and feel like they share some of the responsibility of our household.

And so I go back and forth. Some of my Dutch friends drop their jaws or raise their eyebrows when they learn that my kids clean, vacuum, mop their rooms and scrub the toilets every weekend. And my mother will feed my guilt by asking me why I don’t let the kids help around the house more.

My background does have one distinctive benefit. When my children moan about having to do chores, I tell them about my childhood and they stop complaining immediately.

What are your thoughts about chores? Does the way you raise your kids look more like the Dutch way or the Surinam way?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Mirjam of The Netherlands. Photo credit to the author.


Mirjam was born in warm, sunny Surinam, but raised in the cold, rainy Netherlands. She´s the mom of three rambunctious beauties and has been married for over two decades to the love of her life. Every day she´s challenged by combining the best and worst of two cultures at home. She used to be an elementary school teacher but is now a stay at home Mom. In her free time she loves to pick up her photo camera. Mirjam has had a life long battle with depression and is not afraid to talk about it. She enjoys being a blogger, an amateur photographer, and loves being creative in many ways. But most of all she loves live and laughter, even though sometimes she is the joke herself. You can find Mirjam (sporadically) at her blog Apples and Roses where she blogs about her battle with depression and finding beauty in the simplest of things. You can also find Mirjam on Twitter and Instagram.

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choresMore than a month ago, our home was always clean and tidy. There were also nice home-cooked meals (complete with soup) every evening for my family.

Fast forward to today: dust is gathering around the house while home-cooked meals have been reduced to no more than two dishes at any one time. Soup? It would be a bonus to have that once a week.

You see, our live-in helper left us…without notice…after going back to her home town, supposedly, for a two-week break.

She didn’t come back. Didn’t send notice. Didn’t even call. I later learned from friends that this is not uncommon.

At first I was angry. Not only had we wasted money on her return ticket, she also left me stranded without a back up plan.

But as the days go by, a rhythm is slowly but surely developing. I’m beginning to experience the blessings her departure brings.

  1. Gone are my leisurely breakfasts, escapades to the library and social media time. But I now have greater focus on what I do.
  2. House chores and cooking are challenges for me but I am slowly getting the hang of things.
  3. While there are no set days as to when chores get done, since my work takes focus in the early part of the week, I am trying to tackle the bulk of cleaning mid-week. Strangely I sometimes find cleaning rather therapeutic.
  4. When it comes to cooking, I am learning to exercise creativity. One dish meals are great: simple to cook but nutritious and tasty enough for most fussy taste buds.
  5. When the laundry is done, he helps remove the clothes from the washing machine, grabs the pegs and passes them to me “as a set” – to quote his exact words. I wonder when he might get bored and stop helping me so I am cherishing every moment.
  6. Might I add that my husband has also chipped in to do his part now!

I am not sure if I will cave in and get another helper again. At the moment, I am busy but happy. I appreciate the quietness  (when my son is at school) and extra space I now have, and I meant that quite literally. The best part is I get my spare room back! That is something I have been wishing for and for which I can’t be more thankful.

I know that for many moms living in other parts of the world, having live-in help is rare.   Some may have cleaners come a few times a month but many families manage the bulk of cleaning and household chores alone. Here in Asia, having live-in help is common.

All of this made me really admire fellow moms who have to take care of the whole household and a few kids, not to mention those who are working from home. You are amazing. How do you do it?

Really, I mean it. How do you handle your house chores? Please share some tips! Hopefully some day, I might become an amazing mom like you, who seem to be able to do it all.

This is an original post for World Moms Blog  from our blogger and live-in-help-less mother of one, Ruth Wong in Singapore.

The image used in this post is credited to clogozm. It holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.


Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

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TEXAS, USA: The Attitude of Gratitude

TEXAS, USA: The Attitude of Gratitude

GratitudeWe have heard the word “gratitude” many times in our daily language.  Some people have devoted blogs to it and others have a gratitude journal which they may write in daily.  But how often do we actually take the time to really think about what gratitude means?  How often do our own children understand the concept of gratitude? According to, Gratitude is “the quality or feeling of being thankful or grateful”. (more…)

Meredith (USA)

Meredith finds it difficult to tell anyone where she is from exactly! She grew up in several states, but mainly Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana which is also where she met her husband. She taught kindergarten for seven years before she adopted her son from Guatemala and then gave birth to her daughter two years leter. She moved to Lagos, Nigeria with her husband and two children in July 2009 for her husband's work. She and her family moved back to the U.S.this summer(August 2012) and are adjusting to life back in the U.S. You can read more about her life in Lagos and her adjustment to being back on her blog: We Found Happiness.

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FLORIDA, USA: Responsibility, should not be a chore.

FLORIDA, USA: Responsibility, should not be a chore.

Teaching Responsibility.  Responsibility comes in many forms.

I have two girls. They provide constant blog fodder. For the most part, they are okay with that. I even run certain posts by them for approval – after all, it is their story as much as it is mine.

As a parent, we get to help write the stories of our children. The ebb and flow of day-to-day becoming the chapters of their lives through experience and exposure to the world around them.

About a year ago, I wrote a post here called Raising Responsible Citizens. Raising children who are globally aware and are understanding of the need to make a difference in the world is something that is very dear to my heart. It makes me proud to say that my girls have an awareness of the plight of others and the need to be involved. They know the positivity their actions can achieve in bringing change and that their voices can indeed be heard around the world.

This post is a chapter in that book of life on responsibility…because responsibility is a funny thing. We can teach our children about the world and its people, we can teach them laws and rights, and we start when they are just toddlers with the basics of what is right and what is wrong.  But what about basic responsibility…let me clarify. (more…)

Sisters From Another Mister

Sisters From Another Mister ... A blog born from the love of 'sisters' around the world who come together to lift eachother up no matter where they are on their life journey. Meet Nicole, a transplanted British born, South African raised, and American made Mom of two girls living on the sunny shores of South Florida, USA. A writer of stories, an avid picture taker and a keeper of shiny memories. Sharing the travels of a home school journey that takes place around the globe - because 'the world truly is our classroom'. Throw in infertility, adoption, separation, impending divorce (it has its own Doom and Gloom category on the blog) and a much needed added side of European humor is what keeps it all together on the days when it could quite clearly simply fall apart! This segues nicely into Finding a Mister for a Sister for continued amusement. When not obsessing over the perils of dating as an old person, saving the world thro organisations such as being an ambassador for shot@life, supporting GirlUP, The UN Foundation, and being a member of the Global Team of 200 for social good keeps life in the balance. Be sure to visit, because 'even tho we may not have been sisters at the start, we are sisters from the heart.' Global Team of 200 #socialgoodmoms Champion for Shot@Life and The United Nations Foundation

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