by Patricia Cuyugan (Philippines) | Nov 11, 2015 | 2015, Philippines, World Motherhood
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?
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.
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 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.
by Jennifer Burden | Sep 13, 2015 | 2015, Education, Global Citizenship, Life Lesson, World Motherhood
One day this spring, after taking the kids out to dinner, I checked my Facebook feed before I set out to drive home. I saw the news that my high school French teacher, Mrs. Warren, had passed away.
I began to drive home, and I felt such an emptiness, and I began to cry. I hadn’t seen Mrs. Warren since I graduated high school in 1994. That was 21 years ago. But, the impact she made to my life was so grand that I didn’t realize that there was a part of her that was always with me.
Mrs. Warren was an amazing French teacher. However, her greatest impact was not what she taught us about French, but what she taught us about life. For me, she was a teacher who peeked through hypothetical doors with her students, and said, “Look what is possible!”, and then said, “Go do it!” She listened to us, and she knew that we all had different wants and needs.
I remember that Mrs. Warren had a husband and two sons who she loved and spoke about very much and who were very into camping. So ironic because she, herself, belonged walking the streets and museums of Paris.
Every year she arranged to lead a bunch of school kids to France after school let out. She treated us all like her own. In the 1990s we had lectures at every step of the way: about the value of the Franc at that time compared to the dollar, our safety and what not to do and what to do in the French culture. She went over everything and then set us free to make our own decisions.
She led us up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and as much as she treasured the view, she seemed to be more excited about us seeing it for the first time.
Before this trip, I had only been on an airplane once to go to Florida and my parents had never been out of the country at that time. Mrs. Warren extended our boundaries. She taught her students that there was life outside of Brick, New Jersey, USA and how fun and interesting it was to explore the world!
The next year, after having exhausted my summer job savings on the trip to France, Mrs. Warren told her class about a scholarship competition from our town’s Board of Education for a summer foreign exchange. Since I had already been to France, I chose Japan because I yearned to see more of the world, and it was the country I knew the least about on the list. Everyone else who was applying chose a country which coincided with a language that they were learning at school. I realized that I had to come up with a different strategy for my essay and interview because I didn’t know any Japanese.
I wrote down all the stereotypes of Japan that I could think of and explained that I needed to go to Japan to get answers to questions such as, “Were the Japanese really obsessed with American baseball?” and, “Did the women walk around in kimonos everyday?”
However, although it was a very formidable obstacle, winning over the Board of Education, wasn’t the toughest thing in my way to get to Japan. After telling my parents about the scholarship for the foreign exchange, they said that I wasn’t allowed to apply.
As I mentioned before, my parents had never traveled internationally at that time, and I had extended them beyond their comfort zone when I went to France. But Mrs. Warren had been with me for that trip, and she had reassured them at the time, so that had been ok. This was different. There was no way they were going to allow their 17-year old daughter to go to another country on her own when she didn’t know the language. So, that was that.
Well, not really. I wrote and submitted the essay anyway. Not quite Malala standing up to the Taliban for her right to an education, but for me, it was rebellious.
My mom actually came into my room the night I was writing the essay and asked what I was doing. I didn’t lie. I told her the truth. I assured her that I probably wouldn’t win anyway and writing the essay was good experience for me. She looked at me, gasped in disbelief, and then since it was so late and she was tired and going up to bed, she said, “Ok, just don’t tell your father.” So, I didn’t tell him.
I remember the day I was in my AP Biology class and Mrs. Warren was standing outside the door. I had no idea why she was there. I waved to her and she kind of hid. I thought it was strange. It turned out she was trying to surprise me, and when I got out of class, she handed me a folder from the nonprofit foreign exchange organization, Youth for Understanding, and beamed as she gave me the news…
I couldn’t believe it!! I had won the scholarship, and I was going to Japan!! But, OH, NOOO!!!! Mrs. Warren didn’t know that my dad forbade me to apply. I had to tell her. So, I did.
My mom worked at the time as a teller at a bank, and without my knowing, Mrs. Warren went down to the bank and spoke with her. What teacher goes through the trouble and gets involved like that? Linda Warren did.
Mrs. Warren’s support justified to me that dreams were possible. That anything was possible! Even getting past my strict father and his sometimes totalitarian rule. (He doesn’t read my blog, so I can be all high school dramatic like that here.) It took a lot of convincing, but I did finally get permission to go to Japan for the summer. And, it definitely was one of the best experiences in my life.
Since Mrs. Warren encouraged me to travel internationally as a student, I have now visited sixteen countries. But perhaps some of the best things that have come out of my love of all things international are my English husband who also loves to travel, and the amazing opportunities the women at World Moms Blog and I have created together. We’ve spoken on a panel at the World Bank in support of the universal education for all children; accepted invitations to the White House and the United Nations; been on various delegations around the world to view health and education programs, and I still feel like we’re just getting started!
I can’t help but think that World Moms Blog may not have been, if I didn’t have Mrs. Warren’s support and invitation to the world when I needed her most.
Au revoir and thank you, Mrs. Warren. I am so grateful for your life. You are an inspiration. You are very missed, and I promise, I know now that everything IS possible. Your impact exceeds the number of the many students who had the opportunity to have you as a teacher.
Your life lessons proved much more valuable than what we thought we were getting when we signed up for your French class in high school. You were much more than a French teacher to me. Thank you for sharing your life with your students and inspiring us.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA, who is greatly missing her French teacher today as she heads to a memorial mass for Linda Warren.
Photo from the Brick Memorial High School Class of ’94 Yearbook.
Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India.
She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls.
Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.
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by Mamma Simona (South Africa) | Mar 19, 2012 | Motherhood, South Africa, World Motherhood
I guess I have a slightly different perspective on South Africa because my parents emigrated from Italy to here in search of a better life for us.
In 1977 I was 8 years old. I knew nothing of Apartheid. All I knew was that Cape Town was beautiful, and we could afford a large house with a garden (as opposed to the tiny flat at the top of many, many stairs, where we’d come from).
We had a full-time nanny, one rand was worth as much as one U.S. dollar, and we lacked for nothing … except TV because back then the South African Broadcasting Television only broadcast for about 2 hours in English and 2 hours in Afrikaans every day. (Since I couldn’t understand either language at that stage, TV didn’t impact my life much!)
It’s hard for people to understand that South Africa is a very large country with 9 distinct provinces. Cape Town was spared most of the riots, police clashes and other human rights abuses which happened elsewhere in the country. We did not know what was happening at the time due to the total censorship of the media. (more…)
Mamma Simona was born in Rome (Italy) but has lived in Cape Town (South Africa) since she was 8 years old. She studied French at school but says she’s forgotten most of it! She speaks Italian, English and Afrikaans. Even though Italian is the first language she learned, she considers English her "home" language as it's the language she's most comfortable in. She is happily married and the proud mother of 2 terrific teenagers! She also shares her home with 2 cats and 2 dogs ... all rescues.
Mamma Simona has worked in such diverse fields as Childcare, Tourism, Library Services, Optometry, Sales and Admin! (With stints of SAHM in-between). She’s really looking forward to the day she can give up her current Admin job and devote herself entirely to blogging and (eventually) being a full-time grandmother!
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by Kristen | Mar 6, 2012 | Motherhood, Switzerland, World Motherhood
Spring time is taunting us here in Switzerland. When the temperatures crept above freezing last week we slowly came out of hibernation and have gradually been shedding layers of coats, gloves and scarves.
It is still awfully chilly, but our need for fresh air allows us to adjust to the chill of the breeze. We are soaking in the sunshine and looking forward to warmer weather. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a beautiful snow, and who doesn’t like hot chocolate season?!
But we are all ready for something new. We are ready to get out of this house!!! (more…)
Kristen is a stay-at-home to two little boys, Jackson (4 yrs) and Owen (nearly 2 yrs). She was born in New York, but eventually made her way down to Texas. She and her husband, Seth, met in Dallas and were married in December 2005. Nine months into their marriage Seth received a call that he had landed his dream job, one catch, it involved world wide assignment. The adventure took them from Texas to Washington, D.C., on to Bogotá, Colombia and then back to Washington, D.C before bringing them to Bern, Switzerland! Kristen and her family have currently lived in Bern for more than 1 year, where her husband works for the US Department of State. Four moves and 2 children in nearly 6 years of marriage have made for quite the adventure in motherhood! Kristen finds motherhood to be one of the most humbling and character building things she has ever experienced. The responsibility of raising boys with integrity and respect at times feels daunting, but she couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
Kristen is a Speech Language Pathologist but has taken time away from working to focus on her family. Although she enjoys the travel and adventure involved in her husband’s career, she often finds herself feeling far from home and working to make the most of time abroad!
On her blog, Seasons Worth Savoring, Kristen writes about daily life with two little boys, including her experiences as she navigates a foreign culture and walks by faith. In her free time, or rather in her busy time with two boys attached to her legs, Kristen enjoys cooking, photography, antique and thrift store shopping, working on crafts, and blogging.