On being a stay-at-home mom

Someone asked me if I had a hard time transitioning from being a working person to being a stay-at-home wife and mom (SAHWM). I have blogged about being a SAHWM and the changes it brought me but in snippets. This time, I will be talking fully about it.

This was the reason I decided to be a stay at home mom. But before I did, I had a thriving business and I have to be honest and say that the jump was scary.

Warmth in the Cold by Katie m. Berggren

Warmth in the Cold by Katie m. Berggren

I remember in college, although marriage and kids were not even on my mind,  I told my best friend that my plan was to be a homemaker/housewife and to throw luncheons and dinner parties. She jokingly retorted, “Hindi  housewife ang tawag dun! Socialite!” which was akin to her telling me that what I wanted was impossible. Hahaha! So I guess the pull to being home was there from the very beginning. In fact, when J and I got married, we were planning that I would be a stay-at-home wife.  So yes, the pull was there. Some of my friends from U.P. were telling me that they could not imagine being a SAHWM and they would die of boredom. That was never my concern. Still when we finally (J and I) decided to take the plunge, it was not easy for me.

My mom was a career person and except for one aunt, all of the adult females of my childhood were working women. I was very surprised though that my Mom was supportive of my decision to be a SAHWM. She was much more supportive of it than my decision to be a wedding planner! Hehehe! Also, I think I got it good because I seldom got insulting comments and retorts. Except for a couple of friends saying that they could not imagine stopping work, no one told me “Sayang ang pinag-aralan mo!” or words to that effect. I think it was because the way I presented myself did not give much opportunity for them to say that.

So if I had a supportive mom (and you have to admit, most SAHWMs have a hard time defending to their career moms their decisions) and did not get insults, what made it hard? The difficulty came from how I saw myself.

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Our home remedies – Part 2

This is part of my Home Remedies series blog posts. Part 1 of this series can be found HERE.

DISCLAIMER: The home remedies I would enumerate below are the remedies I use for MY family. I am, in no way, a medical practitioner. Use the following home remedies with caution and at your own risk. This is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. My home remedies do not apply to infants. Please also always remember that natural/whole food does not mean no overdosage or no side effects. Practice prudence when employing natural home remedies. Garlic, for instance, seems to act as a blood thinner which prevents heart attacks but this also means that it should not be given up to a week before a surgery. Consult your doctor or medical practitioner.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is love! I have never realized how great aloe vera is until recently. The gel can be used for so many things – from minor wounds to burns to all sorts of beautifying stuff.

I use fresh gel as I have aloe vera plants at home. It is so easy to grow and I suggest you grow your own, too.  I just peel the aloe vera and apply directly. Because I usually am in a hurry, I peel it with my hands (yeah, hindi ganito kaganda!). I just make sure to wash my hands thoroughly. I apply this directly to burns and minor wounds. I also used this as a poultice for Jia’s stye.
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Our home remedies

This is Part 1 of my series on Home Remedies. Part 2 can be found HERE.

When Jia was a toddler, she was allergic to so many things. My dreams of going to picnics with her (with woven picnic baskets, red and white checkered cloth, and me in my sundress! hahahaha!) was crushed the first time we went to UP and Jia was bitten by an insect. By the time, we got home, she was nursing a fever and was having a hard time breathing! At 18 months, Jia was prescribed with maintenance medicines. It broke my heart but what could I do? Maintenance meds for allergies (she had allergic rhinitis and asthma) were the lesser evil.

When Joya was born, he was more allergic than Jia! I remember pressing a cologne atomizer with my hand. I made sure that none of the cologne actually went to my hands. Hindi nabasa yung kamay ko at all! Then I touched Joya’s forehead and hair. In a few minutes, his skin was blotchy! I was shocked! One time, I told his yaya to bring Joya outside for a walk as he was just cooped up inside the house (we lived in a busy street). They were gone for 15 minutes. When they got back, Joya had hives!

When Joya was less than one year old, we found out he had asthma. In fact, he had atopic triad – asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis! I realized that sooner or later, Joya would also be on maintenance meds. That realization my search for an alternative. I did not want my kids to grow up swallowing medicines left and right. I had a kidney concern for a time and my MIL passed away from kidney problems so if I could do anything to lessen the chances of my kids having kidney problems, I would.

My search led me to homeopathy. In a few months’ time, my kids’ allergic attacks lessened considerably. Whereas we used to go to the doctor every month for medicines, when we switched to homeopathy, we seldom had to do so. I became a believer!

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Pregnancy hormones and motherhood


When I learned I was pregnant, my life kinda crumbled. I was definitely not ready to have another baby and I was so scared that something might happen to me given my previous pregnancies/deliveries (here and  here). I prayed for a healthy baby and a safe pregnancy but since I almost always end my prayers with “May your will be done”, I grappled with my fear every day. Pregnancy hormones? Maybe. The only time I specifically asked begged God to make sure I come out of the delivery room alive and well, I was crying (think hagulgol… LOL!) . I was so scared, not for me, but for my kids and my husband.

I did not realize how my fear affected me until May (I learned I was pregnant in November so this means being in a really bad emotional rollercoaster ride for seven months). I mostly withdrew into myself. Until now I do not know if it was just me or if it was the hormones raging inside me which made me feel so helpless.

I realized that my emotional state has affected my mothering and my kids; I became a dummy mom and my kids regressed. I was there but really was not. I was emotionally detached. Oh, of course I still took care of my kids. I had activities and whatnots. I still loved them for sure and laughed at their antics and posted their -isms on Facebook but my fear and the changes in our life were becoming too much for them. Joya cried at every little thing and Jia acquired the habit of rubbing the edges of her fingernails together resulting to shortened and uneven nails. I knew their behavior was a result of stress but I did not feel strong enough to deal with them.
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Breastfeeding: Saving babies & Mother Earth

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

BF Carnival1

My family and friends know I love breastfeeding and I feel strongly for it. Ironically, it was a study on formula milk marketing I helped conduct which introuced me to the wonders of breastfeeding. I love it so much that when I was able to successfully breastfeed Joya, I approached Velvet and asked her to train me to be a breastfeeding peer counselor. Becoming one opened my eyes to how breastfeeding is not just about personal choices but is in fact a public health and an environmental issue. Knowing now what breastfeeding contributes to society, I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all moms to breastfeed their babies. No, I am not going activist on you (I studied in UP Diliman and though I appreciate the role that activism has played in our history, I am not fit for it.) but to put it bluntly, walang sinabi ang formula sa breastmilk! We can talk for days about breastfeeding and formula milk feeding and there is no aspect in which formula milk will come out on top.

In a society as economically-struggling and as inefficient in maximizing resources such as ours, it is vital that mothers realize what breastfeeding does to their babies. Unfortunately, because of the combined effect of formula marketing, inefficient information and knowledge dissemination, poor maternity provisions, lack of community and government support, low education levels, and the rise of the career women phenomenon (this is what I call the movement towards working outside of the home and the wrong thinking that working and breastfeeding cannot go together), giving formula has been raised to somewhat of a status symbol among many and sadly, breastfeeding has started to be the mark of the poor. Considering what formula feeding actually does (it increases risks of certain types of cancer, asthma, allergies, etc.), this is very alarming. As a result, here in our country, exclusive breastfeeding lasts only for an average of 24 days. This is very disheartening especially when one knows what breastfeeding can do for a baby, a family, and a country. For purposes of this article, I will discuss two things breastfeeding does that I believe are very important to any society.
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I Love Being a Mom

I Love Being a Mom

Two years into our marriage, J and I decided not to have kids. We felt that having kids was just not for us. Fast forward seven years, we have two adorable kids and another one on the way. Motherhood was the single thing that changed my life the most and although I don’t think women who do not have kids have incomplete lives, motherhood just enriched mine. Because of this, when Jennifer of jlofied.com asked for bloggers who want to participate in an outreach program called “I Love Being a Mom” for soon-to-be-moms who are currently living in a shelter, I immediately signed up.

Nazareth Home is under Kaisahang Buhay Foundation. Nazareth takes in pregnant women who do not have the financial capability to support their pregnancy. In Nazareth, they are given shelter, food, and pre-natal checkups… all for free. The Home also has a partner hospital which gives free and super discounted birth giving packages. Volunteers go to the Home to give the girls (who can number up to 20) bible studies and prayer sessions, tutorials on different trades (like bracelet making), etc. The girls can stay for up to two months after giving birth. By that time, they have to decide if they are going to bring up their babies on their own or if they will put up the babies for adoption. If they decide on the latter, Kaisang Buhay has an arm which facilitates adoption.

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Acupuncture with Sr. Regina Liu

I don’t think I have formally announced in the blog that I am pregnant. 🙂 Well, I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and due to hatch sometime in June. 🙂 A few weeks ago, I got an ultrasound and the OB Sono told me I had placenta previa. I immediately went online and logged on to my favorite mommy group to ask for prayers. They told me I needed bedrest and a few advised me to go to Sr. Regina Liu for acupuncture. Sr. Regina (yes, she’s is a Catholic nun) is an acupuncturist and a practitioner of  traditional Chinese medicine well known here for treating infertility cases. She treated one of my friends, Velvet, for placenta previa totalis and Velvet went on to have a waterbirth (she had the first waterbirth here in the country). Because of my bleeding history and because one of my brothers passed away due to placenta previa, I was convinced to do everything I can that might help me.

When I went to Dr. Susan, my OB, she did tell me that I needed bedrest (buti na lang I had advanced advice from the N@Wies) so I was actually able to do that before the OB’s advice. I love my doctor! I told her I was going to go to an acupuncturist for the previa and she honestly told me that she is not familiar with the treatment and how it will help but she did not voice any objection.

I called Sr. Regina’s clinic (she shares clinic with other acupuncturists and TCM practitioners) and made an appointment. At the same time, my husband went there to check the place out. On my first session, I was asked to fill out a form and I had to provide my medical history. This took some time for me. LOL!
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