20 May 2014

Investments Every Mom Should Make

I complain about back pains and headaches as often as I talk about Julia's toddler antics to my friends.  Fact is, I am getting old and Julia is growing up fast.  This means I have to take care of my health and I must spend my time on what really matters.  I know this (I wrote about this a lot of times) but it was only when Julia turned 3 that I began to understand:  Life is too short.  It is not about "having" time.  It is about MAKING/FINDING time to create memories with Don and Julia. 

Photo Credit
I wrote about my commitment to be present 100% for my family but sometimes often times, I find it very difficult to manage.  In short, hirap ako!  Things to do at work seems endless. Don and I manage to keep our weekends for the family but when our to-do list for the following week is too long, we go to a coffee shop to work for a few hours.  We invented this so-called "work date" thinking we are doing ourselves a favor by dating while working.  We tell people it's "work date" so we won't feel too guilty about working on a weekend when we should be spending time doing anything but work.  

As if work is not enough to keep us busy, we unconsciously let technology suck up the time we have left for ourselves and the family.  We multi-task like crazy people.  I read and respond to my emails while I am inside the car having a conversation with Don and Julia on our way home, on our way to the mall or wherever.  I check and respond to my social media accounts while watching Disney Junior Channel, painting or coloring with Julia.  Don is busy with his virtual battlefield and I am busy tending my virtual farm while we are eating dinner AND having a conversation.  We read the news and current events online before going to bed and having a conversation in between.  

Recently, we started to notice the negative effects of being always online to Julia.  She throws a tantrum every time we do not allow her to borrow our iPhones or use her iPad.  There are mornings when the first thing she asks for when she wakes up is her iPad.  Mabilis siya magmove on -- she cries for a few minutes but we always manage to pacify her and direct her attention to something else.  So we limited her gadget use but Don and I shamelessly continued our "relationship" with our iPhones.  

Two weeks ago, during one of our weekend lazy moments at home, Julia was very excited while she was showing me her new toy.  She said "Mommy, look!" many times and I just nodded without removing my eyes from my phone screen.  The next thing she said still lingers in my head until now.  "Mommy, put down your phone please."  The combination of her facial expression and tone of voice broke my heart.  Don was in the same room, so needless to say, that was the ultimate wake up call for the both of us.  

Coach Pia is right, it takes willingness and ability to stay committed to building a healthier relationship with our children.  Just when I thought I was doing a good job as a mom, something like this happens to make me realize that I need to be more self-aware so I can learn and improve continuously.  I need to develop myself so I can be a better parent to Julia and improve my relationship with others.  During our #BetterMe session with Coach Pia last February, she talked about Investing In The Next 5 to 10 Years -- not in my bank account but in my life, my family and in my future.  

Here are a few bullet items from my notes:

Invest in your self (make your personal dreams happen)
  • Commitment to personal development
  • Where am I in terms of self growth?  Am I maximizing my strengths?  Am I working on my weaknesses? how are my relationships with others?
  • How can you improve yourself your you can make a difference to the life of others, especially your family.
  • What you invest in yourself influences your ability to succeed and to lead others to make a difference.

Invest in your family (live the life you want)
  • Acceptance - self-acceptance frees you to be truly sensitive to the people around you.
  • Forgiveness - whatever past wounds we have are carried around and stops us from experiencing life and all that it offers
  • Remembering - if you allow yourself to be swept by the moment versus taking a step back, you will cease to meet your inner hero as tasks and results (of your plans) take over your time and energy.
  • Embracing Pain and Fear - our life's disappointments and the experience of our ideals not coming true sharpen our sensitivity to the life that goes on beyond our own personal needs.
Invest in your future
  • Always remind yourself that there is no doubt about it:  You were born a hero.
  • Practice your ability to articulate your needs without any guilt.
  • Have a willingness to get down to basics.
  • Speak to people who you know you can gain wisdom from.
  • Always define your greatness from within.  Never define your greatness from without.
  • Genuine greatness does not put you at the center of attention.
  • Perception of myself and of other people
  • Your parents' pain is your pain, too.  Choose the proper teaching moment.
I do not resent working out of home neither am I blaming technology for my lack of better judgement in parenting.  I am disappointed and embarrassed to stray from my goal to CONSISTENTLY make better decisions for my family.  It is going to be challenging but I am committed to continue investing in my personal development so I can increase my capacity to decide what is best for my family.  I will continue to find my strengths and develop them.  I will be more self-aware so I can overcome my weaknesses.  I cannot do these overnight but I know I can and I will!

I am very fortunate to be part of the SoMoms and be able to attend #BetterMe sessions with Coach Pia.  Really.  I will write more about Coach Pia and One Core on a separate post.  Thank you also to Sambo Kojin for being our venue sponsor.  It was absolutely one of my favorite #BetterMe sessions.  Great learning + great food = Happy Belle =)

Sambo Kojin means the kitchen god.  Read their story here.
Bokie Villavicencio - Managing Director of Sambo Kojin
Yes, I ate them all.  May round 2 pa!  Visit any branch of Sambo Kojin today!
Pat, Thammie, Didi, Tina, Me, Cai and Jenny
Jen, Jane, Coach Pia, Mish and Kris
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