theressomethingabout

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Archive for the category “Motherhood”

My (Draft) Personal Performance Assessment

Below is one of my posts from my other blog over 3 years ago about a short assessment on where I’m standing at in my life as an individual person, a mom, a family member and a worker.

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Almost a year of motherhood. I have experienced the highs and lows, the fears and excitements, the joy and pains. I have discovered more of my weaknesses, my frustrations, my expectations, from myself, from Xam.

Am I good enough? Can I provide enough? Could it be possible for me to take both the mother and father roles at the same time? If I am the protective mantle, how can I challenge my son to run his life? Would I break rules?

Should I look for a father-figure (if lolo (grandpa) won’t be around) for Xam or should I ask assistance from his dad? Am I ready to answer his questions later on? If not, how can I prepare for it?

I should admit that as much as I want to be positive for any challenges I would encounter, right at this moment, I am shaking. I fear for things I may not be able to handle, when I am the first one Xam would depend on.

When it’s the time, I will have courage. When I am there, I will be ready. When no one is around to extend some help, I know, God is up there, Someone enough to prepare me, to hold me, to lift me, to give me wisdom and courage to stand by, for, and with Xam.

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While I was trying to go back to the time when I wrote this post to pick up where I was coming from, I realized how lost I am along the way. I couldn’t see the path that I took to where I am now and it all seems like short cuts and dead ends. I realized how important it is to have a regular, concrete, black-and-white personal performance assessment to be able to manage, budget and optimize the time I have to achieve my target.

Today in the afternoon, I attended the Front Office quarterly Communication Meeting held in one of the hotel’s restaurant. It’s about 15 days now since I left the hotel for vacation and I was just so happy seeing the colleagues again after some time. Basically, the agenda was more like an assessment of how the Front Office is performing considering different variables. There was a presentation of figures for each measure in terms of how the colleague is performing on check-in and check-out, rooming-in, loyalty membership enrollments, and other customer services performance indicators. There was also an assessment of our daily and monthly targets that affect the overall performance of the hotel based on general hospitality standards. We also tackled our monthly budget and actual expenses, operational and team issues, among others.

Our daily target on some of the performance indicators

After looking at the assessment report presented, I realized how easy it is to figure out what went on, what are the influencing factors, rooms for improvement and the feasible and realistic outcome of the improvements and planning if you have it visually laid out in front of you. More so in personal life where it is in fact more desirable to have a visually comprehensible report on the results of the assessment on life’s basic performance indicators (PIs). For some it may be unreliable, and yes it’s true because social factors keep changing over time depending on the present scenario or circumstances. But somehow I think our basic functions and targets are measurable using some Key Identifiable Questions (KIQs).

For example:

Function : Being a single parent

KPI : Healthy, happy and pro-active Xam

Target : Provide basic assistance on child’s physical growth and nourishment, personality development, social roles and spiritual awareness

KIQs:

  1. For four years, did Xam get full pediatric check-ups including height and weight growth and other physical development, regular vaccinations, verbal and motor skill test (optional as it can just be reported where there are observable difference on traits and behavior)?
  2. Have you provided an environment where Xam could fully develop his personality by having a balanced and child-friendly interaction and an environment where he can discover his talent and potentials and support his field of interests like sports, music, arts, among others. For a personality assessment, you can make use of online tools like The Personality Questionnaire for Kids site which I used to assess Xam’s personal traits. The result is overwhelming but true. My son is a portrait of an Extraverted Thinking Judging child.
  3. Have you allowed Xam in his own simple ways to participate on basic social roles like helping with simple chores at home or at school?
  4. Do you provide a foundation where he can grow spiritually by taking him to Sunday church mass, introduce the existence of God, Jesus and Mother Mary (in our case as Catholics)? Do you allow him to participate in mass celebration and other spiritual activities like praying the Holy Rosary and understanding the bible?

Function : Primary financial provider for the family

KPI : Financial sustainability and stability

Target : To be able to provide a fix source of income to sustain daily financial needs of the family

KIQs :

  1. % of salary alloted to family’s monthly allowance for immediate necessities like food, clothing, utilities
  2. Existing debts and credits
  3. Alternative source(s) of income

These are just 2 examples of a visible personal performance assessment report and it can still be expanded and specified according to your preference and status quo. You can think and list as many KPIs and KQIs as you want to be able to cover and track down specific concerns and to be able to systematically plan for the future. It doesn’t sound technically strategic as I can see it for now but it’s still a good idea to have all things laid in a blueprint. You can somehow modify the process  it’s up to your choice. You can even print it out and file for your reference.

Look closely how your life is going. Keep it tracked. There’s nothing wrong with it unless you overdo. Always focus on the simplicity, clarity and balance of things and everything will be just right in the proper place.

Raising Xam… Alone

Who would have thought that a plain Jane have blown her chances away to raise her child alone? But it wasn’t that alarming at all. Besides, being a parent, especially mother, is the best gift we could ever receive and believe me, your happiness will get doubled and even grows even more. No one can ever explain the downpour of feelings the time you first hold your baby.

Plain Janes like me are everywhere and increasingly dominating the single-parent statistics. From the time I see the heartbeat of Xam inside me until I gave birth to him, I shouldered all the emotional, physical and psychological struggles all alone. Yes, it was so difficult, or I should say painful – physical pain, emotional pain, psychological pain, it tortured me. Until now, I still can’t help but cry everytime I recall those life-threatening moments – and I survived. Oh I’m crying. But why should I? With just one look at Xam, I know that I am blessed with the true greatest gift.

Xam has never been a hard-to-please baby. He was so quiet and calm. He had less fussy periods during his first month unless he is hungry, uncomfortable or sleepy. Some infants cry so loud and uncontrollably for no reason at all and I’m glad that I rarely experienced this with Xam, though from doctor’s point of view, fussy crying is just normal. It even helps the baby release excess energy so they could return to a more contented state. This is easy for a single mom like me, for a having a very cooperative son.

Kidding aside, what I need to understand about single-parenting is that this is not a half-way journey. What the father mostly can’t provide, the mother will compensate and she always has a way to make things work out. And as long as I’m getting support from family, I don’t have anything to worry about. Huh, just like that. Yes, just like that. And because I care a lot for my family the more that I want to take care of myself.

Guilty-feeling Not

At times, I couldn’t help but to feel guilty for not even thinking about Xam before I dared think about conceiving him, that he would only be having one parent. But it doesn’t mean that I’m guilty I have to make amends by spoiling him. Spoiling is but natural. It’s just means that you’re giving attention to your baby because that’s what he needs in a single-parent family. I’m just so grateful that my parents support me and share the day-in, day-out job of taking care of Xam.

Don’t look for problems that don’t exist.

I don’t anticipate problems but I do recognize them when they arise. Sometimes I may fall short of my responsibility as a parent but that doesn’t mean that it’s a hole in the heart that I should be guilty of and that Xam won’t grow up a better child. I know I’ll be facing challenges of being a single parent and one of them is handling things alone. But this is more of a challenge not a difficulty. Only when times get rough and specific things get complicated and unhandy will I need a source of support. And again, I’m fortunate enough to have my family and friends around.

The best medicine of all: laughter and humor

I realize how important it is to maintain good humor in ourselves. Everything seems so light and manageable if matters are taken positively. Challenges are more fun before you know you surpass it. So laugh it all the way and you’ll feel 16 again.

Relax, see a movie, go to the spa…

Why not? For you and for your family’s sake, stay healthy – eat right, get enough rest and sleep, and get a break by hanging out with friends once in a while. Pursue your interest and hobbies.

 

MOM’S STANDPOINT

Being a single parent doesn’t mean being alone. We all have extended families and friends to support us and it’s completely fine to ask for help from professionals like your pediatrician when you need it. They’ll be most concerned not only about your child’s development but also about you and your relationship with your family. So don’t feel alone and isolated. You too as a mom has your own emotional needs and don’t be afraid to acknowledge it. Face it optimistically and with confidence.

Blogger repost: Did you wish you were a child again?

1-yr old Xam on his walker. I love taking pictures of him when he was a baby.

Since I opened up my new wordpress blog, I tend to forget about posting on my launching blog “Single Mom at Best” where most of my experiences and journey as a mother was recorded. I feel so guilty of not even bothered visiting it once in a while or when I open my laptop – like it was an obligation to keep it readable and popular to at least the co-blogger community and least to ones who can relate to it – as it was my sort of “shock absorber” and a dependable “friend” whenever I want to trust my feelings to the world. I succumbed to the idea of leaving it just like that but I think it is unfair so I am digging a hole to somehow connect it to this blog by reposting some of my favorites, just like the one below published on August 7, 2008 at 20:43pm.

Did you wish you were a child again?

Last weekend, when I went home for a 3-day vacation, I had the chance to look at our old photo albums again after quite a long time. Some photos are actually vanishing that I can no longer recognize who’s in it and even if I could, I still felt bad to find out that it is one of my favorites and feel sorry that I haven’t kept and preserve them the way they deserve. Anyway, as I kept turning on the pages, I was smiling and even bursting in laughter on my childhood pictures where I look so darned perky, with my sister, brother, cousins, grade school classmates and friends and childhood neighbors. While looking at them, I also remember what happened then or why it happened. Like one photo taken during our dance number during a commencement exercise where my younger brother at about 6 yrs old came up on stage to join the dance. If I could have known he will find the guts to do so, then I could have warned him. But it happened. He kid and went up on stage beside me where it would have only be me in the picture as the star dancer and the dance wasn’t ruined at all. But I have to admit, he was actually great. I didn’t know he was watching on us during our practices and learned the steps by himself. I was surprised he can follow with us during the performance. It’s just that, he was going in wrong directions most of the time.

Everytime we had a school occasion, I was the star. The graders looked up to me whenever I perform upstage that even when I graduated, they would ask me to help them arrange a dance number for a school activity. Whew! What a pressure! I actually didn’t have to feel it ‘cause I really enjoyed dancing. Well, I can still dance but I don’t have the time now. Only when I go home for the weekend in the province will I have the chance to dance, but no longer just me as the star dancer but with my son, Xam. He loves music so much. He loves to be swayed. Maybe because when I was still pregnant, I get to listen to classic instrumentals and we have this CD that I kept on playing every morning when I wake up. It’s the classic version of Abba songs. So everytime Xam’s about to fall asleep, I turn on the stereo and play his favorite ‘I Have a Dream’ and then we swing together. Without a doubt, he’d close his eyes quick for a sound sleep.

Now Xam's enjoying a scooter ride in the mall's play area

I didn’t realize what a child simply wants until I became a mother. And I wouldn’t want to deprive my son of his simple wishes. When he wants to reach for something he’s fond of, as long as it’s not going to hurt him, I help him reach for it. Whenever I notice he’s not comfortable with his shoes, I remove it. If he screams while the priest is praying during the mass, I don’t warn him to shush; I just take him at the back and turn his attention to things that would make him quiet. As much as possible, I don’t want to make growing up hard for him, but as early as possible, I want him to learn how to go about it on his own. I want him to enjoy it like I did. The experiences were hard-earned for me but it wasn’t at all rough. I do get being reprimanded most of the time and had been deprived of my wants sometimes, I could still do what I love doing a lot; just like dancing, I could go with the flow.

“For the lessons of life there is no better teacher, than the look in the eyes of a child…”

We can give justice to what we believe is right in our present time, by trusting to our childlike instinct, with love, hope and trust in our hearts.

Dear Lord

I thank You for all of me: my heart, my mind and my soul,

For molding me into a person I am today,

For having a family who’s loving, affectionate and understanding,

For kind friends and relatives whose support is unwavering.

I thank you for people I’ve known for long as friends but have forgotten me,

those I just met but offered and shared their friendship,

and to those who caused me hurt and disserted me.

I ask for Your forgiveness for the things I’ve committed that caused You so much pain,

and help me to forgive myself so I could start over again

with a heart full only with love and sympathy to others.

As a mother, I will always be grateful for this gift,

to bear a life so beautiful and entrusted him to my care.

You are my Only witness to the struggles I’ve been through,

Though people misjudged me, You gave me strength to carry on.

I ask You Dear Lord, to strengthen me more,

heart, body and soul.

I know I am Your best choice

and I want to be the best mom You want me to be.

Please give me enough courage to stand with what I believe

is Your will and best for me and my son.

Teach me to be more patient and how to control my temper.

While I’m away from Xam, please look after him for me.

Please look after my parents as well whose love for Xam

is twice as much as my love for him.

Take us away from any danger, illness and sin

and protect us from the discrimating society that we live in.

I will always try my best to be of good service to You

as I go on with my daily activities.

Please don’t forget me even if at times I forget You during the day.

If I do, please help me remind me of You

Amen.

Wordless Love

Love conquers all, whether it speaks or mums. It matters whenever you hear the “I love you”, but it is felt even more when it is said at a point you least expect it. How else would you feel a genuine love? For me I value time and attention. This is my act of love. What is love without time? It’s nothing. It’s worthless. It’s not a love.

When I said love, I sacrifice my time, I keep my focus and I endure pain for the one I love. I speak less, I listen more. I feel sad when I miss him but couldn’t do anything to see him. I felt cold when I couldn’t even hug him. I want to hear his story, his daily highs and lows. I want him to tell me about everything; what he feels, what he thinks. I want to see him laugh, feel his tickles and giggles. I want to just keep him close – close in my arms.

Oh, love is really wordless… Oh how I miss my son!

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