Raising a Son and a Daughter

Parenting decisions, major or minor, don’t come so easy for me. Take this scenario for instance:

Just asked my son’s nanny, Liza, to do some grocery shopping. Apparently, Luke’s gastronomic taste heavily leaned towards hotdogs for the past 2 weeks. Liza had asked to include hotdogs in the grocery list. Please note that I was getting ready for work on that hectic morning; I was an easy vulnerable target.

Liza (19 Y.O.): Well, he loves hotdogs…

Fem (13 Y.O.): But hotdogs are not good for him!

Me (33): (to Liza) Will he eat anything else?

Liza: It’s been mostly hotdogs.

Fem: (hissing at this point) He might get type 2 diabetes! Those are cancer dogs!

Me: (to Luke) What do you think?

Luke (2 Y.O.): Hotdogs!

Luke and Liza won that round. My little health Nazi was fuming in one corner and there I was giving the kids a quick kiss and ran out the door, for once relieved to face the morning rush. Don’t get me wrong. They’re both healthy. Luke consumes more veggies than his sister but asks for Coke sometimes. Fem only drinks water and milk and loves fruits. But they both agree that oatmeal cookies are the bomb.

How did it get to the point where I let a toddler decide? A few years back when it was just Fem and me, I would be at the produce section, her menu for the week in hand and hotdogs wouldn’t be on it. It didn’t help that she was so picky. So my workaround was, let her be picky as long as the choices on the dinner table were all whole unprocessed foods. Did that make me feel like a good parent? Hell, yeah!

Fast forward to now, single mom (again) to a son this time, I seem to be more relaxed and lenient to my son’s whims. Coke and hotdogs? Sure. In fact, I’m not as OC as I was when I was raising my little girl.  Am I guilty of coddling my son? I hope not! I disdain the fact that a LOT of older generation Filipino moms have produced boys instead of men. So why does it feel like I’m becoming one of them? Why do I feel so guilty? I felt terrible that it was the best I could do that morning. But then again, it’s lesser evil to let him have something he likes than have him hungry the whole day.

Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I know hotdogs are not a factor in shaping the kind of man I want my son to be. Good guidance and parenting would. 

But I can’t ignore the wisdom and the push that Fem wants on healthier eating either. What I feed my family seems to be reflection of what my beliefs are as a parent at that moment. Maybe that’s why I’m banging my head against the wall.

Regardless, I will still instill the same values as when I started parenting (that was sooooo long ago and where IS the manual?!)

And they are:

·    We’re honest and respectful to each other.

·    Please and thank-you in generous portions, please.

·    No finger painting on the wall unless mom taped butcher paper on it (in that case, knock yourselves out)

·    You should try all house chores but specialize in one you enjoy the most.

·    Alternative music is NOT classical music, dear daughter.

·    Trying a new dish mom cooked means you’ve placed a generous portion in your mouth, masticated it, swallowed it, showed mama you’re empty mouth and do the cycle 5 more times before you decide it’s not rocking your world.

·    Kisses on boo-boos is a magical cure-all that sadly expires by the time you reach first grade or when the gash requires stitches.

·    An older child should not and will NOT copy a younger siblings tactic to get mom to cave in.

·    The youngest should not employ tried and tested tactics by the said older sibling to see if it works; if caught, my-sister-told-me-to-do-it excuse will not guarantee immunity from repercussions (Yeah, what do you know Luke, you eat paper)

·    Words and hands can hurt.

·    Positive discipline, yo!

 

So, can I forgive myself now? Let me know I’m not alone in this.

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Ducks in a Row

I’ve been finding solace in the fact that sometimes the universe does conspire to put everything in place for you. Although most of the best laid plans appears to have fallen into a crushing heap labeled forgotten as I go through previous months in my planner (you have to go through your planner specially that this IS a new month. June. It officially marks that we’ve survived the first half of the year. Yay!)

March, April, and May entries all point to one goal and that was to increase cash flow. Although April was the highlight because that was when I finally kissed the last check goodbye; that was where a big chunk of my paycheck painfully goes. Not to say that I haven’t added positive cash flow yet with the current part time job, the goal was more or less designed to payoff some remnant loans this year. That will make the cash flow from positive to golden.

However, the hunt for another part time job had been a road filled with perils of distraction, a large dose of Community (season 1, 2, and 3), metallics on black art, organizing a book sale, and a study of food cart biz with a business partner. I know I need another part time job that I could do online but I didn’t understand this hesitance and unwillingness. Makes me think that I may be forcing myself to look for a source of income that my heart isn’t totally sold with. Maybe the universe is telling me to go after my passion instead. Maybe I haven’t been listening to you, Universe.

To celebrate this new month, I will re-align my goals:

  • open a online shop for my illustrations
  • map out the menu for the food cart biz
  • get closer to my goal of working at home so I can be with the kids
  • start retirement fund (quite late in the game but still important to start and sustain it)

 

So universe, hope you could see that I’m paying attention.

Staying Afloat

April was when the last check for a two year loan was finally transacted. It feels good to finally do that! I finally have my very own desktop and internet connection at home (biggest “digital” purchases in my life so far) AND I have a part-time job that has been funding our grocery expenses.

It feels good to know that things absolutely will start to look up.

July Changes

Amateur attempt to illustrate a story... 🙂

I just came up for air after an illustration project and barely had time to regroup when I realized with a start that an almost married friend needed her fabric flowers for her wedding (sorry, D) So after almost a month of lugging my portfolio, watercolors, and wads of paper towels, people were taken by surprise to see my sewing kit and swags of vibrant yellow and royal blue fabric replace the painting materials (Cherry, you also sew?! How many kids do you have to support?) I can’t blame them. After all, it’s rare to see outside-work things get merged with my full-time job hours (über multi-tasking anyone?) I can’t possibly be a workaholic, am I? And besides this fabric flower gig is a wedding gift so it’s not monetarily motivated. It’s not like I’m purposely piling up stuff to do just so I’ll have stuff to do.  Really, I don’t. I just find myself into these situations.

I still have to finish a few more stories and my task list should be signed off as complete. Just in time for a new killer schedule to take effect (2am to 11am with Monday and Thursdays off ugh) My boss, David gave me a heads up about a bulletin board assignment heading my way too. Wow, this is turning out to be a ‘crafty’ month.

On a serious note though, I’m at a crossroads of a drastic career change that may or may not work for me. How drastic? Let’s say I have to master a whole new language altogether. I knew this was coming and I realize I AM at the point of that dreaded moment where everything hangs in a balance. It’s scary that there are signs everywhere that shows 5 years may be enough with this company and that I have to be outside of my comfort zone and make THAT decision to get something better for my family.  I am aware that I would be letting go of  everyone who had grown to become my ‘second family’. Boy, is it hard.

How hard is it to let go?

Precious Time

Remember the project I talked about? That’s me in my dining table “studio”. Sneaky friend, Edcel prodded my daughter, Femy to take a picture of me finishing an illustration.

I could have done it a bit sooner but Lukey came down with fever due to teething which means, I was up all night checking his temperature, nursing him, and making sure he takes some paracetamol. Poor little guy. Good thing his dad came by for a visit and I had 4 precious hours to finish the rest of the drawings.

I hope for my family’s sake, this project pans out financially. I do enjoy creating and drawing things but writing a story and illustrating it? Can I pull it off? Will parents actually read my stories to their kids? Will I make it before the end of this month?

Lessons I learned:

Sometimes it helps to just do it.

Time is not something you mess with.

Happy week to everybody!

Going Somewhere

Just last week, I received news that one on my part time writing job had to be on-hold. Bad news for me as this would provide an even bigger deficit in my cashflow for this month.

I seriously thought of pawning things when a opportunity to write children’s stories and illustrating them came my way. (Did I tell you I love to draw?) And here I am presented with a chance to earn from something my parents insist that you won’t make money from. Although I’m no Van Gogh and this is the first time I’ll do it as actual “work,” money from this gig will be an IMMENSE help.

SO yeah, I encourage you to earn from your passion. Maybe this might go somewhere, maybe not but I’m giving it a try AND keep my day job too.