07 August 2012

When Julia Said No

Yup, Julia said the N-O word early Monday morning last week.  First time.  My typical work day morning turned out to be the start of one of my greatest heart break.

That morning, like any other morning since she was born, I told my daughter that mommy is going to work and that I will miss her and I look forward to seeing her after work.    She would either be asleep or when awake, she gives me a loud smack on the lips and she would hug me tight.  She would cling and cry a bit but will go to my mother-in-law or her yaya when told to do so.

Today, she hugged me tight and let out a loud cry and said, "No! No! No!"

I am writing this not because my world temporarily fell apart upon hearing her say no.  Not once, but three consecutive times.  It's not about that, really.  Don and I decided early on that we will introduce the word "no" to Julia.  Though some parenting experts believe that there are ways to discipline a child without saying no, Don and I would rather say no and explain why.  We try to balance it with positive reinforcement.

I wrote about how I felt about being a working mom a few months after my maternity leave ended.  So much have changed and after 18 months, I realized that I do not agree with some of things I wrote in that blog post.  

I now know that:
  • Being a working mom is not being a bad mom to Julia.  How I respond to working mom challenges and difficulties will determine if I am a good or bad mom.
  • I should not feel guilty about working as long as I know what (or who) my priorities are.  I should be able to let Julia know and feel that she is more important than my job. 
  • Quality time is important.  Each time I am with Julia, I should be able to give her my full attention.  
  • It is my responsibility to make her understand and appreciate my work and not hate or resent it.
  • My physical presence is not the only way to make her feel my love and care.  There are a lot of ways like calling her, leaving short messages for her, etc. (Learned that from Coach Pia).
  • I am not and will never be Darna.  Don and I are responsible for my daughter's well-being but as they say, it takes a village to raise a child.   I don't have Ding but I have wonderful people around me who loves our family.    
I am sad each time I say "good bye and see you later" to Julia before I leave our house.  I miss her the minute I step inside my car, knowing that I will not be with her for the next 8-12 hours.  I will continue to explain to her and make her appreciate what working means to me and our family.  When she is old enough. I know she will understand. 

My greatest heartbreak?  Hearing her say "no" tells me that she is sad too each time I say good bye and see you later.  Her "no" means that she wants to be with me too and how she misses me when I am at work. 

There are more heartbreaks to come, I know.  Maybe the next one will not be as painful.  Maybe not.  What do you think?  What are your mommy heartbreaks?

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