My Life as a Working Mom and Why I Refuse to Take a Mommy Break

Published on June 20, 2017

I can’t remember the last time I had a massage. It was definitely months before I became pregnant with Zayne. I find it unacceptable since there is a spa just a cartwheel away from where we live. What’s even more surprising is the fact that my husband goes to that same spa at least every other month. (Kapag stressed nga siya, every other week!) I also can’t remember the last time I had a pedicure. The only time I get to go to a salon is to have a haircut. I get one once every three to four months.

I’m always in a hurry for almost two years now. When Zayne was younger, I was always in a hurry to take a bath because only dede could calm her when she cries. Now, even if she breastfeeds less frequently, I am still in a hurry because she bangs the bathroom door and shouts, “Nanay” endlessly just seconds after I lock the door. I cannot remember the last time I was able to poop in peace without someone shouting as if our house is on fire!

My meal times have never been the same. I remember the first few days after I went back to work from my maternity leave. I lost track of how many times I heard the question, “Tapos ka na kumain, Je” from my office mates. I would always reply, “Nasanay na kasi ako na nagmamadaling kumain.” Now, more than a year after, I’m still in a hurry most of the time. It’s not easy to code, handle a team, deal with stress and express breast milk in the office. It’s even harder to juggle all these things while being away from my little one.

Meal times at home are no different. Just a few weeks ago, I went to see our company doctor because I experienced severe stomach pains. When she had me checked, she concluded that it was severe hyper acidity. “Stressed ka ba,” she asked. I just gave her a smile. I knew it was only partly due to stress. I told her that it was probably because I was always in a hurry to eat. I explained to her that we don’t have a stay-in house help. I eat dinner in a flash, bathe Zayne, take a shower, read Zayne a bedtime story, and I would usually lie down while Zayne is latched to my breast as I put her to sleep. My hyper acidity episode happened when I was going home later than the usual so I had to squeeze in every task I mentioned in an hour. One freakin’ hour! The doctor smiled and told me, “Hay, sakit naman talaga natin ‘yang mga nanay.”

Let’s not get into how outdated I am with our local teleseryes. Haha. I remember being with a group who were gushing over Ian Veneracion. I unknowingly asked, “Hindi ba matagal nang tapos ang Pangako Sa'Yo?” They just gave me a bewildered look. I just learned that day that he has a show with Bea Alonzo. I also haven’t seen a complete episode of Ang Probinsiyano! Don’t ever think that I’m missing these out because I’m so hooked with Korean dramas. I only get to watch KDramas while expressing milk at work or while I’m stuck in traffic.

Let’s not get into my on and off blogging hiatus. Writing has always been my refuge. Blogging initially took a back seat, but due to my very busy schedule, I had to put it in the trunk! Hahaha. I really wanted to invest more time here, but I just can’t. I’m not sure if people still look forward to my posts. I’m scared that my absence in the blogosphere will drive even my very loyal readers away. :(

While others catch up with their sleep, go out or binge-watch on weekends, I spend mine cooking for my family. I cook a week’s worth of our baon. I do this to save time so I only cook Zayne’s food every morning. I also recently went back to baking in my attempt to make healthier snacks for my toddler (and for me and my husband, too). We are also house help-free on Sundays. So, yeah, what weekends?! :p

So what do I do on my free time? What free time? Hahaha! I homeschool my toddler. I watch YouTube videos with her. I cuddle my husband. I catch up on household chores using the little time left in my hands. And that’s about it.

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And, oh! I wrestle with my baby just to comb her hair!!! HAHAHAHA!!!

I often wondered why I accepted new and even bigger responsibilities at work right after I gave birth to Zayne. Given that I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, I initially thought that I would slow down with my career. That was my plan. I already turned down a role once, thinking that I wasn’t built for it. It was then again offered to me before I took my maternity leave. My boss said that I have three months to think about it.

I fell in love with my daughter. I wanted to have more time with her. So I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. My husband told me to go for it. I wanted to say NO, but something didn’t feel right. I wasn’t at peace turning it down, so I gave it a go.

The first few months were horrible. I had to go through a baptism of fire. Plus, I was always tired. I was running like a headless chicken all the time. I was going to work in zombie mode. It was a struggle to have a job that entails using my brain cells with 4 hours to no sleep at all. On numerous occasions, I found myself crying in our office bathroom. I was frustrated, disappointed and exhausted. I regretted doing that big jump. But one time as I was crying while expressing milk to take home for my daughter, I realized something. I know that a lot of mothers can relate to this. A woman, once she becomes a mother, feels like she can do everything. After tons of strangers had seen me naked in the delivery room, 20 hours of labor, being cut open and endlessly having someone bite and chew my nipples, I was changed. I felt like I could conquer the world after I became a mother. It is true that the heart of a woman will never be the same again after she becomes a mother. I then realized that I wasn’t built for this life, but God is building me to have the kind of life that He masterfully crafted for me.

So you’re probably asking me why I refuse to take a mommy break. It isn’t because I’m helpless. I’m getting tons of help from my husband, who is equally just as tired as I am. I initially thought it was just the guilt. I often find myself daydreaming of leaving my toddler behind to have a massage, a haircut or a movie night with my husband. But after five seconds of imagining how my day off would probably turn out, I already start to miss my little one. But it’s not the feeling of guilt that’s keeping me from getting a much-needed break.

Life is a series of different seasons. I consider motherhood as my hardest season, but it’s also the best. At the same time, this season in Zayne's life is too short. For both of us, our respective seasons are fleeting. I won’t be able to be this close to her forever. I tried so hard to find the pause button, but I kept on failing. Years from now, she won’t be needing me the same way she needs me now. Years from now, she won’t be looking at me the same way she looks at me now, like I’m some kind of a cool and invincible rock star superhero. Years from now, I will probably have all the time in the world to have a massage. And years from now, I seriously hope that I won’t tell myself that I should have spent more time with my baby, because I’m doing my very best now to make sure that she’s getting the best of me as a mother. I thought it was my reason. But one day, as I was once again questioning why my mommy heart continues to refuse to take a break, I finally realized why. It’s because…

THIS WILL PROBABLY BE MY ONLY CHANCE.

After waiting for a child for four long years, it’s possible that I may not be given another chance to become a mother again. My husband and I prayed endlessly to God, called the intercession of all the angels and the saints, and we felt like we already moved heaven and Earth just to have a child. God blessed us with two, but our double bliss was short-lived. Boyet saw how hard my body had to go through after years of fertility workups. The entire process was financially draining as well. We still pray that we get to be blessed with another child, but we don’t know what the future holds for us. We’re both 33 years old so our biological clocks are definitely not on our sides! Haha!

And so I’ll just embrace this season in my life. I’m okay. I really am. I’m tired all the time, but my energy gets renewed by the unlimited hugs I receive from my little one. My headaches are magically relieved by the strokes of my little one’s hands. (And she really believes that her kisses can take all the ouchies away!) I’ll have plenty of time in the future to catch up on my reading. For now, I enjoy reading children’s book with my baby. I’ll have plenty of time in the future to watch movies. For now, I sing and dance with my little one as we watch Hi5.

I’ll have plenty of time in the future.

For now, I’ll stay with my little one.

Because this might be my only chance.

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