Category Archives: Mommy-logue

Is single parenting do-able?

All parenting has its challenges.  And definitely no one needs to tell you that single parenting is tough.

As a single parent myself, I can tell you right now that doing it alone has additional challenges.  But is single parenting do-able?

A big, YES!

nature-1415184_640.jpg

 

 

I can say that to you with confidence, that I have made it this far.  The journey wasn’t an easy one…but it’s all a matter of putting one foot in front of another, on a daily basis.

It’s very normal to be depressed at the beginning, but as time goes you, as a single-parent you will figure out your own rhythm.

It all starts how you view the challenges you have right in front of you.

Any challenge is surmountable – it only requires an extra dose of courage and determination.  I have to mention as well, it is very important to have a very strong support group.  In my case, I am truly blessed to have my parents, along with their wisdom on those dark, dark days helped me survive it through.

loneranger

 

For many years now, not only have I survived, together with my daughters, we thrived.  We have developed a loving bond that have taken us through many rough spots.  It is the same bond that will see us through for the rest of our lives.

Single parenting was never a choice for me, I never planned this, ironically this is one area in my life I didn’t see coming.

But, I am happy to share  that I have made it work…

…and you can too.

 

 

 

Straight Punch

I often feel physically, emotionally and spiritually worn out.  The fact that I am doing alone what was designed to be a two-person job.  Raising a family.

Let’s be honest here.  The selfish part of me – want to jump off somewhere high and be done with it.

But because my kids depend on me, I can’t afford to push myself past a certain point.

I am not tough, I simply know how to bottle it all inside and pretend to get on with my day, smiling and pretending I have everything under control.

No matter how much time I would spend recharging – then reality delivers a straight punch right to the gut that usually brings me down to my knees.  How long I can maintain the engine running?  I don’t know….

I can only pray and cling on His promises that He will be there.

 

Blues Clues

81-Confused-Blue-Smiley-Free-3D-Vector-Clipart-IllustrationEveryone gets the blues from time to time. The past few days were especially difficult, Bangkok Metropolis was wrapped in this gloomy spell.  The clouds are low, hideous traffic and of course the non-stop rain.  As a single mom living far from my kids, occasional down days have become part of my life here.

The good news is despite of my occasional bouts of sadness, I have (so far) never resort to any medication to combat the blues.  I can safely say by now, “I know” me well enough that I can’t simply pep-talk myself to “snap out of it”.  Yet, whenever, I’m entering that dark place I would immediately adopt some simple changes in my daily routine that can naturally boost my mood.

I’m thinking it’ll be nice to share my cost-free mood boosters:

Write It Down – I guess this is very simple, as getting my feelings out, at the same time it provides me the insight of what I feel at that particular moment; it also clues me in how to let go of the inner demons that’s eating me inside out.  I do this continuously, on regular intervals during the bout or until I feel better about myself again.

Get Moving – I’m the type who exercise sporadically…or whenever I feel like it.  But whenever I’m feeling blue I make sure to indulge in some vigorous jumping around.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I can only speculate that with the blood pumping somehow, it improves blood flow to the brain.  Yes, the brain where I need it most!

Mini-shopping – This works all the time with me.  I’m not saying it has to be a big spending that will place a huge dent in my budget.  But rather, indulge in small items that I love.  Since I’m the kind of person who loves trinkets, I’ll buy few items here and there, for myself and the girls.  It’s something that always brings smile back to my face (even for a little while).  Then of course, shopping will never be complete without getting a new pair of shoes.  Although I have the tendency to get the most impractical shoes – in a sense that I won’t be able to wear it for work.  Still, it makes me feel good about myself and boosts the mood.

Ice-cream, Chocolate & Nuts – To those really close to me, they know I do not eat these on “normal” days.  It has nothing to do with diet, I promise you! It’s just that I’m not fond of them…but whenever I feel down, they’re my best-friends!

And this one takes a lot of effort, Think Positively – even during my down times, I try to force myself to think of all those things I appreciate in life my girls, work, my parents, my friends, and those who love me still despite being such a bitch sometimes.

Reach Out – this is by far my least favorite, often when I’m down I have the tendency to avoid people.  I pull away even from those closest to me.  But time and time again, it has proved that reaching out to someone is a fast-sure way to combat those blues.

So there, those are my personal cost-free blues busters.  Have you got some of your own?   Don’t forget to share ;)!

Mommy long distance…

The urge to burst in tears was so sudden…that surge of emotions blew me away.  All because I saw this lady vendor selling a cute doggy toy on the street. As I passed her on my way to the Skytrain, I thought to myself, my girls would stop and “oh, ah” over that cute little toy! Then, as you would have guessed it, I teared up.

Sounds crazy to you right? Well, maybe not for a long distance mom like me…

I guess nobody understands the struggles of a long-distance mom unless you are one.

It’s a daily battle of loneliness. The act of putting on a brave-happy-face at work is easy enough. But the occasional lunch-break-silent-crying-binge (at toilet stalls) is another thing.

Long distance parenting can be tough, yet as hard as it is, we move along our daily battles in silence.

I hope you’ll forgive us at times when we seem uninterested to listen to stories about your children. We are not being rude, we just don’t want to be reminded of something we physically don’t have…the presence of our children.

Like other parents our desire is to be with our children every step of the way.  School events, birthdays and other milestones.  We wanted to be there. Sometimes it’s possible, and sometimes it’s just plain impossible.

So, what would a long distance mommy like me do? Wipe my tears take that train home, think of happy thoughts and just stay positive.

20140128-185804.jpg

Cute as a button! ;-)

Nothing excites me more when I create something new from products other than what they were originally designed for.  Like this fabric button earrings!  Woo hoo!

20131104-223923.jpg
Last Wednesday, after work I dropped by at Daiso and found this button kit for 60 Baht ($1.90)! With lots of fabric scraps lying around my apartment, I knew I have to have the kit.  Not to mention that it will also tickle my little girls with the possibility of having new pairs – and possibly, possibly in the future I can snip some fabric out of their existing dresses and make matching earrings for it!  Oh lah lah!

I must admit that button kit is the easiest DIY tool around, not only they’re handy but think of all DIY possibilities you can make out of them. 

With Christmas around the corner, these button earrings will be my quick go-to-gifts, for all the wonderful ladies in my life.

And just because I’m into the spirit of giving 😉 I’ve included a short tutorial with pictures!

Here’s what you’ll need:

–          Button Kit (I got the 18 inches diameter aluminum button kit – you can get the bigger one if you prefer bigger earrings)

–          Scrap fabric

–          Earring posts

–          Earring backing

–          E-6000 glue

–          Scissors

–          Small wire cutter or needle nose pliers

20131104-224445.jpg
This project cost me a total of 120 Baht (roughly $3.80) since I have most of the materials on hand. I just use whatever available scrap fabric I have, but if you don’t have those you can buy some inexpensive fabric swatches from your local crafts store.

To start, gather all your materials (this will keep you from running around your apartment!).  Once you have everything at one place, start with your button kit.  Your kit should come with a stencil – convenient eh? Trace the stencil to your fabric.  And be careful to trace on the ugly (wrong) side of your fabric.  You can even skip the tracing part, if you have a steady hand –  simply hold your stencil together with your fabric and snip away.

20131104-224608.jpg
Now that you have your circles, place the fabric (pretty side) down.  Make sure that everything is centered, and press over the rounded side of your button.  Wrap your fabric’s leftover edges inside the button, cover it then push your button’s cover tool.

And that’s it!  You’re done! 

20131104-224811.jpg
The only thing left to do is, to glue in the earring posts to your covered buttons.  In order to do that, you need to remove the hook from the back of your covered button.  Use the needle pliers to pry it…it should do the trick – but in my case, I seem to lack the muscle strength to pry it out using the pliers. So I ended up using a small wire cutter, which came off pretty easy.

20131104-225121.jpg
Apply a small dollop of E-6000 glue (or jewelry glue) and attach your button to your earring posts. Let it dry for 2 hours before wearing it.  Although, I must admit, I’m a bit obsessive so I let it stand overnight – just to make sure that my glue is dry and the button is totally secure to the posts.

Imagine twelve pairs for $3.80?  Practical mama, that’s what I’d say – oh, and I can’t wait to see my girls wearing it!     

 

 

 

20131104-225219.jpg

Cord

brokenIt took me quite a while to have the courage to look through our old pictures.  Mostly from happier days and some taken on the day I left my little girls to my parents care. Funny how I can still vividly remember the day I gave birth to each of my girls. And I’ve always felt this very real – but invisible cord that tied my heart to theirs. It’s not just love but in a sense of proximity.

For seven years, as their mother I’m always aware where they are and the activities they’re doing – that I closely monitor. It’s like built-in radar in me that maintains a cord that connects us. Even at work, I can imagine one is doing her show-and-tell, another is busy with her fractions. That mental exercise I often do, picturing them in my mind, they may be out of sight, but as their mom I’m still connected to them.

Then the sudden turn in our family dynamics forced me with the only option I have – to pack our bags and ran home to my parents. The memory of that day will forever be etched in my heart, my girls’ trusting faces when I asked them to take their most cherished toy, just one – because mommy can’t bring everything. My eldest Kate simply asked where we are going, and in muddled thoughts I answered her “we’re going on an adventure”. A response that prompted my youngest Ashley to ask “what’s an adventure?” to which Kate answered her baby sister “it’s something you’ve never done before…but you do it now” [sic]. We’ve never been more connected in our lives than that precious moment, when I hugged and asked them to trust mommy.

At this time, I have to live 1576.2 miles away from my girls while they live with my parents in Philippines. As a single-working mom sometimes I don’t know where to pull strength from to keep everything balanced. Not everyone is supportive, some may question my decisions. And that made me sad, I know I have crossed some traditional values. But in my own spiritual life, I felt that all this was something that God has gone before me and arranged everything. That alone gives me hope that I could in fact still be Mommy to Kate and Ashley – and not feel like I have to give up who I was.

It really doesn’t matter what I do in the years to come, when I compare it to the person I have already grown to be, because of what I have been through and these two little girls who I am honored to care for.
Yes, I have been stretched farther than I ever thought possible; and, no matter how far they may go, my heart, my connection to them will never be severed. And, I am quite confident, that I will continue to be stretched to new limits in the future, because that precious cord of love knows no bounds.

 I remember packing pictures of my girls, family albums and pictures off the wall.  Everything went into a box of memories of what has been and shut it close for many months.  It was difficult…and still is.

Supermom no more

Super MomI have been extra thankful for this long weekend holiday. For the past weeks, there are days when I feel utterly desperate…having one of those frantic days. Unlike those gorgeous moms of Wisteria Lane, I’m talking about those mommies in the real world. Like me, who work 5 days a week with kids.

I tried to look up what exactly – the word desperate mean? And why so, many of us are time and time again, being afflicted? I’ve found out; it means willing to do anything not heeding any danger….in short reckless, frantic & hopeless. For those of you with family…will agree that one time or another you’ve experienced these feelings. But does life has to be like this? I realize the reason why we sometimes fall into it; because we do too much. We’ve been desperately trying to multi-task…always rushing but never gets ahead.

I’m one of those people who need to fill-in all the squares of my calendar FULL. Leaving me tired and antsy…when I’m too busy…my family suffers; my girls gets an impatient mommy, and health-wise…I get these terrible headaches.

But in the midst of the clutter, chaos, work and most often traffic-related stress that’s making me raving mad!
I found comfort in God’s word. I found out that the scriptures glorify the role of a mother. It was not God’s design for us to be “super-moms”. Society did, it gave us this wonderful picture of “sub-human” being. Who can do a multitude of things at one time and be able to maintain a perfect manicure! I know now, in my heart I can never be that super-mom, but I can be Kate & Pao’s mommy; created with that special kiss that can heal cuts & bruises.

Desperate? Not anymore…well maybe not in a long while after this … after all, I’m still a work in progress.