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.

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Just Being at Home

They say it’s fun to be outdoors. I say I find it also cool to stay at home. Like today I’ve spent my first day off with a good sleep – after a busy week at the hotel. I did my laundry while watching Pinoy TV shows in the internet and once in a while I open my Facebook and Twitter to get updates from friends and family. I did a little drawer and wardrobe organizing, getting rid of eyesores in the room and a little wiping, scrubbing and mapping (I mean mapping the floor).

The best part of it is when I go to the kitchen and cook. Although I had to go out for a short errand this evening at the nearest store to buy some lacking stuff in the fridge and kitchen cabinet like butter, rice and juice or coconut water. I couldn’t afford a day without butter as I need it to cook for my scrambled eggs; rice simply because it’s my energy everyday; juice (orange and carrot is my favorite) or coco water as I don’t drink so much mineral water. My buds simply resist it unless I’m really thirsty to drink. But nowadays I just realized I need it more than I want it so at least I get a gulp of 6-8 glasses a day (I’m sure I don’t go beyond 8).

I don’t get bored when I’m at home even when I was still in the Philippines. I really don’t go out unless I’m planned to or there is a need to go out. Even if my activities are so routinary, I seemed to enjoy it everyday. Maybe because it’s my nature to be a homebody. I enjoy my time even if I’m alone or whenever I’m serving my family. But of course it’s best whenever I share an afternoon or an evening bonding time with them. Being at home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a loner or a boring person. When you try to think of it, it is actually the best place to experience self-awareness and inner peace. Special occasion or special moments are not only celebrated and experienced in a signature restaurant or a luxurious trip. Every single time is precious if you give your love even to the simplest thing you do. You clean not only to see the house clean but you give your energy to it because there is a good purpose of doing it. It makes you feel clean and healthy if your surroundings are clean. It keeps you get functional and gives you vigor. You cook not only because you have to feed but you give your love into cooking because you care for yourself and for the people you are serving. Live a life of love (2 John 1:6). Give your time, energy and attention in whatever you do.

There are actually a lot more interesting to do while at home. Who knows, before you even realize, you have already discovered something about yourself and things that make your life worthwhile.