I am a bona fide WAHM.
It’s been seven years since I started working from home, but there’s one thing I’m still mastering: the art of work-life balance.
It sounds like a no-brainer. I’m working and at the same time, I’m at home, so work-life balance must come naturally, right? How I wish it was that easy! When you’re a WAHM, the divide between work and, well, life easily gets blurred. There are times when I can’t stop working even when it’s already beyond working hours. And then there are also days when I barely pay attention to my child because I’m chasing the deadline.
The guilt is double on my part because Yuri’s dad works abroad — time zone difference between Philippines and KSA is 5 hours so by the time Job gets off work, Yuri is already fast asleep. Because Job can’t spend time with Yuri as often as he wants to, I need to be Yuri’s mum and dad at the same time.
This year, I resolve to put my family first. It’s not going to change overnight, but it’s going to have to start from somewhere. I chose to start by doing one simple thing: stopping work to have kulitan breaks with Yuri every now and then. I started doing it last month and I’ve never felt better!
There are no rules. Kulitan break simply means lambingan, landian, harutan! We don’t have to do anything. We can eat if we want to, or cuddle if we want to, or take a short walk if we want to. If you’re a WAHM, here are 5 reasons why you must take kulitan breaks, too.
1. It improves productivity.
Confession time! I’m a Type A personality, and I feel like I have to do everything on time and perfectly. I felt like doing constant breaks doing nothing (at least, that’s what I used to think) ruins my schedule, which is oftentimes rigidly organised. Until I started doing kulitan breaks. Each time I go back to work after even just cuddling with my child, my mind feels a hundred times more refreshed! Because my mind is refreshed and my body is relaxed, I am able to focus on the tasks at hand at be more productive.
2. It is a good stress-reliever.
Work is sometimes stressful. As I get older, stress begins to take a toll on my body. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I had vertigo for the first time in my life — and that’s not including the IBS, allergies, and lactose intolerance. Gasp! But with a constant kulitan break with my 4-year old, I find it easier to forget about the stressful stuff. Going back to number one, instead of being stressed, my productivity level gets a boost so I don’t have to worry about stuff!
3. It’s a good excuse to get out of the house!
I love rainy days just as much as the next girl, but it keeps us from doing outdoor activities. During the summer time, Yuri and I enjoy taking walks around our quiet village, but we haven’t been able to do that for some time now because it rains every day. But WAHMs, you need to get out of the house and get some fresh air in your system! I myself feel trapped when I’m inside the house for too long. Since it’s always raining, we simply have my older brother drive us around or take us to the nearest drive-through for some comfort food fix!
(My brother is Yuri’s driver of choice instead of me because he wants me to be seated at the back with him #demoted)
4. It helps us know our kids better.
My son loves to laugh. He’s sensitive but he rarely gets angry. He’s also talkative and oozing with confidence! But he’s really shy around new people, so I think he might be an ambivert? Now that my four-year old (almost 5-year old!) is showing his personality, I am enjoying the reveal. I relish the facets of his personality that I discover every day, and the things I discover during kulitan breaks are invaluable.
5. It helps us grow as parents.
It feels good — and it makes your kids feel good. It sounds great, but it’s actually challenging because, let’s be honest, our kids are not immaculate angels all the time. Kulitan breaks sound wonderful, but there are days when kulitan and lambingan take more effort than usual.
But a WAHM must resolve to spend time with her child even on days when she doesn’t have the time or energy or the motivation to do it! Even on days when you don’t feel like doing so, even on days when you think you simply do not have time to get away from the keyboard.
Yes, even on days when your child seems naughtier than nice! Even on frustrating days when they seem to be not listening or following. Even on days when their curiosity gets the better of them. Remember that whether they finish first, last, or not at all, for us parents, our kids are the best. Whether they sit down nicely to do art or run like a tornado and leave a devastation behind, our kids are learning.
(This reminds me of McDo’s latest commercial that actually brought tears to my eyes. Mahal pa rin ni nanay at tatay indeed!)
And neither their child-like behaviour nor their performance must dictate how we show them our love. Our kids are being just that, kids! So let’s allow them to have fun, explore things, make mistakes, make a mess! Let’s show them that time spent with them is much more precious than time spent on doing work.
You never know how much a 10-minute kulitan break with his mum (and dad!) means to a child.