There might not be a day anymore where I don’t find myself shouting about clutter, how my kids roughhouse, or why they endlessly make each other cry. But it’s right at this moment that I have never been more grateful to be alive. Every morning that I wake up to be with my family is a privilege, and with each passing day in this economic standstill, it weighs on me deeper that I am lucky to remain employed.
I am both grateful and scared. I redeveloped the habit of waking up late in the night to check if my daughters are still breathing. Most of the time, I would be staring at their chest, expecting to see it rise and fall like the waves of the ocean. But if I’m not seeing things well, I would lay a finger beneath their nostrils so I can feel their breath, or gently lift one of their eyelids so I can see them twitch that is proof of life.
Paolo and I had kids at quite an early age for our generation. I got pregnant at 23, boar a child at 24, breastfed for a few months, and yet I bloomed late into being a mother. To be honest, I found it hard to relate with other moms in the first three years of parenthood. I disliked it when they talked about their kids and expected me to do the same.
Can I say: *Uhhh, do you know that kids can run by the time they’re in grade school regardless of their crawling or walking milestones? And I’m sure they can write their names in high school just fine even if they find it difficult now. ~But of course, I never said these out loud.
It’s not that I wasn’t interested in my children. It just felt stronger then that I wanted to retain myself if that ever made sense. I also needed to understand why one should worry so much about developments that are bound to happen and would feel frustrated about them. ~But I get this now.
Did we have kids too soon?
We sure did take a fast plunge towards a family life when we were just adults in paper. The upside is the happy memories accrue early, the pressure eases up in time, and you might end up earlier with money that can support a family since you’re bound to prioritize it because you have no other choice. 😂 The downside is, well, we were terribly immature like adult-size children trying to play house.
Our family grew and I welcome incompatible sides of myself that are rough, soft, unrelenting, and pliant. I get older and I continue to face how much of a child I am, especially now, among my kids in this crisis.
The pandemic makes us miss out on so much and forces many of us to cope with just the bare minimum. But because there is no better option than to stay safe at home, we are able to focus on what truly matters. It’s morbid and cruel to say that this is a good thing borne out of this chaos. But with all honesty, I am enjoying my routine now.
- I enjoy that my day now begins with sunlight.
- I enjoy making breakfast and savoring it without regard to time.
- I enjoy the light pressure of small palms on my back even if it’s a request for potty time.
- I enjoy hearing random I love yous while I work.
- I enjoy being physically present to wrap my arms around them and maybe also realize that they already smell.
- I enjoy the fact that I have rowdy kids who make me shout.
- I enjoy bath time made out of soapsuds, conversations, and baby care products.
- I enjoy answering candid questions even if they don’t seem to end.
- I enjoy not feeling spent from commute so I can Netflix, play video games, or read webcomics once I’m done with everything else.
- I enjoy devoting myself to the “higher things,” aka my hobbies, and losing sleep over them. (BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TO GET UP AT 4AM!) 😁
- I enjoy feeling worried, hopeful, disappointed, mad, unsparing, and being a mess every now and then because it means I’m alive.
At the moment, I am just wading through life one day at a time, intending to live — not just to endure and survive, but to truly live that is kind of hard sometimes. The present is my priority now. But I still save up, hustle, and settle all the dirty bills since I shall continue where I left off when this is fucking over because I want our lives to be enjoyable when this crisis ends. ~Hello, we still have a life to claim after the pandemic. But for now, walang mamamatay!