“Quarantine ka lang, stay at home mom ako, sanay ako lagi sa bahay.”
That was my initial thought during the quarantine. I can do it, I am trained to do this. I have been doing it all my life. Stay home? Sisiw yan sa akin! And so the first few days during the quarantine seemed ok. Akala ko lang pala yun. As the days goes by, it dawned to me how challenging it can be. First, all my kids are at home 24/7. Bilang isang ina, alam nyo yan na ang pahinga natin madalas ay mga pagkakataon na nasa labas ng bahay ang mga anak natin. It was a never ending list of household chores to finish. Literal na walang katapusan. I am a mom of 5 kids and I know ginusto ko naman ito, pero tao lang nagagagod din.
I can relate to all other moms out there who for a moment or so feels like they need to take a break but is guilty of doing so. Guilty that their family might think that she no longer wants to take care of them. Guilty that her husband might think that she is no longer happy with her happy. So many to be guilty about that we just brushed off our tiredness. But we really need to take a rest, to take a break and wanting one does not mean that we love our family less.
Grocery time is what we usually consider our break time. A time away from our kids, a time to recharge, tapos nawala yun because of the quarantine. Yung akala mo madali na quarantine because you’re stay at home mom, turns out to be harder than it is. That’s how I felt 2 or 3 weeks after. I feel like a prison. I feel like I need to breathe.
“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
The moment I felt like I was a prison, that’s when I started to overwork myself more. Yung dati walang katapusan na pagluluto, sasamahan mo pa ng walang katapusang na paglalaba at paglilinis ng bahay. Kung pwede lang 2-3 chores gawin ko ng sabay sabay, gagawin ko. I feel like it’s the theraphy that I need. Maglinis, be productive. At first it seems effective, I forgot the feeling of being held against my will. But then I noticed how it affected my relationship with my kids. ANG SUNGIT KO NA PALA!
Yes, the house is clean, there is always food pero wala ng lambing. I don’t feel the need to go out but I am not happy, specially my kids, I can see that they are not happy. I realized I am giving too much that it left me empty.
I started seeing what I am lacking, and that is to understand that I cannot do everything and I need all the help I can get. From having to do all by myself to teaching my kids to clean the house, vacuum the carpet, water the plants, leads me to have more time to appreciate not just my rest time but our bonding time as well. Mas marami kaming time sa isat isa when we do things together.
“Kindness is Everything”
During the time that I was feeling lost, I realized that even the happiest people can really feel down. Doon ko na realize how important it is to show kindness to everyone. Na sa likod ng mga ngiti ng bawat isa, sa likod ng tawa at halakhak, sa likod ng magandang profile photo, there is maybe a sad mom, or a person suffering from this quarantine and the pandemic. You really do not know kung ano ang pinag dadaanan ng isang tao so always be kind.
“Hindi lahat ng tumutulong ay mayaman, yung iba mahirap din, dahil ramdam nila ang kapwa mahirap. Ang tawag doon ay malasakit.”
And when you see people who they really are, what they really are, you started to realize that there is something you can do to make their lives better. Dahil sa pandemic, natutunan ko that I can always do something to help people and through my page and my blog I was able to do that through my Live series and projects that help other people. Through my youtube, I was able to help give information and at the same nakatulong na i promote ang small businesses.
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project/” The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit. “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.