It is actually quite a hot day today in Davao City, so we sought refuge in our home office and let the air conditioner do its job. I’m relishing the moment because I cannot remember the last time I had a Saturday this lazy. Usually, on Saturdays, I do real estate work or attend events or do chores or go to appointments. Today, save for a birthday party this evening, I have nothing scheduled! Hallelujah!
Yuri and I ended up on the floor of our home office over scattered books. See, his books had to go inside a storage container when we re-arranged the furniture last month. Since I have nothing to do this morning, I planned to restore the books to their proper places. However, Yuri had a different plan…
I just let him get all the books he wanted and read them on the floor while I mentally re-scheduled the task for another day.
I also let him feed and play with our “adopted” cat. It was just a kitten who frequented our house for food and shelter. When we started actively feeding her and taking care of her, she decided to stay. She grows bigger each day and, in return, she gets rid of the roaches and rats. She keeps our kitchen clean and better-smelling, too, because all the scraps that should have gone to the trash goes to her hehe.
Yeah, don’t be fooled. That’s just her post-breakfast snack.
Later, we’ll eat lunch (tinolang native chicken), shower (please lang haha), and attend the birthday party of our neighbor’s daughter (also Yuri’s friend). I hope you’re having a relaxing Saturday, too!
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.
I usually work from our home office (you know, with an actual desk), but it gets too cold there nowadays so I elect to work in the living room instead!
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.
And I have time for my hobbies now, too!
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!
With a face like this greeting me every day, what’s there to stress about?
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.
No makeup, no problem. Messy hair don’t care!
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, ourkids 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.
Blogger disclosure: This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.
Hi! I haven’t blogged in like forever! Today, Wednesday, is the first day this month that I didn’t have to do anything outside of work. My December is so busy, but busy is a good thing, so thank you Lord!
Let’s assume you’re interested in my life. I’ll tell you all about it. Through pictures. Because I’m too lazy to write a picture is worth a thousand words… Continue Reading
We spent last Saturday in Madaum, in a well-known resort called Banana Beach (I’ll write about it sometime soon — I haven’t even written about my Maragusan trip more than a month ago boohoo). Sunday was a bit of shopping and ~some~ eating and a lot of KSA crash-coursing with Job.
Only very few people know this, but I’m sharing the news with you. Job is officially an OFW as of today. Well, he technically hasn’t started work yet, but he’s already there so. Anyway. He arrived in Riyadh last night, 10 pm our time/ 5 pm KSA time. I actually barraged Nilyn of Above Precious Rubies with questions last week lol as her husband works in Riyadh, too. Thanks Nilyn, super!
As of this morning, he was still staying in a hotel, but now he’s on the road. I don’t have any pictures of him there yet because he still hasn’t found a stable internet connection, whether wi-fi or mobile data.
We’re both half-excited and half-anxious but he’s been looking forward to this for months now so it’s more of excitement. He left his decent-paying job here to accept a job offer in Riyadh and makipagsapalaran; we pray that he will flourish there not only as a worker but also as a person. But it was a long and hard journey, especially for him.
It all started when I had an intense stomach ache around midnight. A family friend and neighbour celebrated her birthday, and we ate, well, a lot of things. But what caused my stomach ache was that glass of Coke. I forgot I couldn’t tolerate soft drinks (well, not anymore) and I just drank it because, you know, Coke and lechon go so well together. I regret it.
Now, our bedroom is on the second floor of the house and we have no bathroom on that floor (long story). So I had to go down to relieve my stomach ache. I knocked on my sister’s door and, because she was still awake, I asked her to look after Yuri, who was already fast asleep. I confidently went downstairs and got to business.
Imagine my shock when I found the doors to both bedrooms closed. I thought my sister closed the door after her and laid on the bed beside Yuri. I entered the room and, voila! No sister, just my 3-year old Yuri sleeping on a bed with no railings and with no one watching over him. My sister apparently got tired of waiting for me and went back to her room to sleep.