Second child guilt…

I had my 35th week appointment with my doctor. Since I will be having a second cesarian section, our doctor asked us to schedule it two weeks before or after my due date, which is December 9. Since we really wanted to spend more time with our first born, we scheduled it at December 3, which is a week before my due date, at 39 weeks.

However, as pointed out by my doctor during this morning’s checkup, it would not be so wise to schedule it that late, especially that it’s my second pregnancy, since the baby might arrive earlier than our chosen date.

My doctor asked me to choose any date between November 25 to 30. After my checkup, I went home since it was still early to report to the office, to ask the opinion of my husband on it. While discussing, with our first born lying between us, I can’t help but feel sad that his days as an only child became even shorter than expected.

While I truly wanted to make my days count with him, like going for a walk outside after dinner, and while waiting for his Papa. Sadly though, this didn’t happen. For one, I had contractions noted at 16 weeks and came back when I was 30+ weeks and haven’t stopped since then. I couldn’t figure if they were just Braxton Hicks or they were signs of preterm labor. In fact, every time I go to the toilet for a pee, I’d always check for blood, afraid that I’d give birth earlier than expected. I didn’t experience this with my first born. This pregnancy was even harder than the first, so hard that I had finally decided that we’d stop at just two kids.

When we decided to have a second child, this feeling of guilt wasn’t in the equation. It was all about giving our first born the gift of a sibling. We tried for four months (conceiving for the second time around was harder than we expected). When I finally saw two faint lines, and told my husband about it, we were both elated. Finally, our first born doesn’t have to play by himself anymore. It didn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl for me. He or she will be loved wholeheartedly!

But as my pregnancy progressed, my toddler also became a handful to the point that I’d spank him. I feel bad afterwards because after all he’s just turned two and probably doesn’t understand half of what I am trying to say. This was also the time when we let go of the idea of going helper-less. So you get where I’m coming from. Working full time, without a helper, and a toddler, spelled disaster.

I started to question if we made the right decision to have another child this early. I mean, we have just ironed our finances out and we’re not even 100% debt free yet. And to top it all, we don’t even have a reliable carer for both our children right now. I am still hopeful though that things will eventually work out fine.

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The actual cost of owning a thing..

Since getting married (after getting pregnant) wasn’t part of our plan, even after dating for five years, my husband and I never explored the idea of investing in a house together. And you know, looking back, I wonder why. Are we not sure of each other?? I mean, I’ll be turning 30 in just a few years’ time then, and he’ll soon follow a couple of years after that (I am two and half years older than him).

So when I had an emergency C-section to deliver our son, which meant that we could no longer push through with our original plan of continuing to live together with college friends in an apartment, we were introduced to the idea of having a house to ourselves, even if we don’t own it.

For more than a year, it was practically bare of any essential thing that you would look for in a house, except for a small clothes cabinet we bought before our son was born. I would dread having visitors around, because we didn’t even have decent dinnerware!

And big projects came along, and we’re finally able to pay up some debts, which enabled us to finally buy furniture that we’ve been eyeing! The biggest purchase that we probably did was our sofa from Our Home. It was love at first sight. Our son even loved it even before we decided to finally go for it.

But, as they say, “You can’t have nice things when you have kids”. It’s really true! Because after just a month since it was delivered to our house, our cozy sofa has suffered unimaginable things from our toddler: milk, water, food, pee, cookies, crumbs. It wasn’t long before my husband and I started to question ourselves if we’ve made the right decision to purchase something as pricey as the sofa with a toddler around. It wasn’t easy to clean especially with the stains it has sustained over the past 15 months. If it weren’t for the power vacuum from my inlaws, we probably had ended up paying more in cleaning for it. My husband recently purchased a cleaning solution online, but it still wasn’t enough to restore it to its original state, as the seller advertised it. Not even restored to half of its original state.

Reading further into The Minimalists posts, I’ve learned that:

But the true cost of a thing goes well beyond the price on the pricetag.

The cost of…
Storing the thing.
Maintaining the thing.
Cleaning the thing.
Watering the thing.
Feeding the thing.
Charging the thing.
Accessorizing the thing.
Refueling the thing.
Changing the oil of thing.
Replacing the batteries of the thing.
Fixing the thing.
Repainting the thing.
Taking care of the thing.
Thinking about the thing.
Worrying about the thing.
Protecting the thing.
Replacing the thing.

When you add it all up, the actual cost of owning a thing is nearly immeasurable. So we better choose carefully what things we bring into our lives, because we can’t afford every-thing.

We probably shouldn’t own a sofa in about… uhmm.. Let’s see. Next five years, perhaps?

Minimalism?

As my due date draws nearer, I find it harder to concentrate on my remaining tasks before I file my maternity leave. Although I am scheduled for a repeat CS on December 3rd, I still feel that I need to fast track all my pending tasks should I give birth early. But boy, what a task to do! Between endless trips to the comfort room for pee breaks, I often find myself daydreaming about what I could do once I get home. Cuddle with my first born, arrange the pantry, sort the clothes in the cabinet. The list goes on to the point it becomes so overwhelming.

So I started reading various blogs on minimalism in order to create a more meaningful life with my family. One particular blog that I liked, The Tiny Life, listed steps on how to start living a minimalist lifestyle.

1. The decluttering process. It said: to live a simple lifestyle, you’ll need a simple living space. While I still consider myself a simple person, I would still say that I’ve been influenced by consumerism especially by those that I follow on social media. And it also doesn’t help that I am about to become a second time mom. All those cute baby stuff! Recently, a pregnant friend and I went shopping for baby stuff. While I reminded myself that I only needed the basic stuff, just like what I did for my first born, as in buying only stuff if the need arose, I fell into the trap of getting “nice” things for my second baby. I mean, I do need three comforters right? I need additional hooded blankets, booties, gloves, even though I already have one from my previous pregnancy. I mean, I have to have them in color pink, right?! The problem with this was, since we’re living in a fairly small studio type house (40 sq mtrs), we just didn’t have the space to store them. It stayed on a chair for a week before I was able to squeeze it inside our cabinet. Sooo.. This may not happen overnight, but I am planning to discard all our (including that of my husband’s and son’s) unused clothes during my maternity leave.
2. Stay mindful. Living intentionally. If there is something in your life that you don’t love, change it. What I really truly wanted to change in my life right now is to minimize, if not truly eradicate, the hours that I spend on social media (mostly just Instagram and Facebook). I was able to stay off Facebook successfully for a month because I was so fed up with the amount of fake news I stumble upon my feed on a daily basis. I’ll do it again next month.

3. Minimize your relationships. This will probably have to be done last, if we’re doing it.
4. Be intentional with your time. Instead of RSVP’ing “yes” to everything you’re invited to, take some time to think about whether it’s something that you are excited about attending. Hah! I am so guilty. There was one weekend, where I had to attend my niece’s birthday AND attend a get-together with college friends. We went out at 2PM, and ended up going home at 11PM, with our energy depleted.
5. Create a savings account. A huge part of minimalism is creating financial freedom. Before we got married, my husband and I have already failed at starting out right financially. After working for five years, all we were ever able to accumulate was consumer debt, which we had to pay off years into our marriage. I mean, we have to live up to the “for richer or for poorer” part of the wedding vows, right? It was only after two years that we were able to finally pay off a large chunk of our debts. Never ever going that path again. Last week, we challenged ourselves to only live on the remaining Php 1,500. By the end of the week, we still had Php 500 remaining in our budget. It can truly be done, especially if both husband and wife are in it.

Torn

I am again feeling as if I am in a dark place. I have made this blog to document my journey on becoming a full time wife and mom. The initial plan was to stay at home probably on the second half of next year. But oftentimes, I get consumed with worry on how we’ll deal with our finances as a one-income family. I know we’ll manage. We always do. I mean, we didn’t always have the disposable income we’re enjoying right now. I still remember how hard it was when we were just newly married with a newborn, with payables here and there.

The past week has been especially hard for me and my husband, as our two-year old has started being clingy whenever he sees us preparing for work. I don’t know if this is just a phase but I hope it goes away soon because it’s truly heartbreaking seeing him in tears whenever I head out the door. It even came to a point where he snatches my dress away as I get ready in the morning. I feel guilty even more turning the TV on so early in the morning just so he wouldn’t notice me leave.

I feel bad having second thoughts about staying at home. This wouldn’t have been a problem if we’ve found a reliable carer for our son. But as much as I am thankful having my in-laws around to care for him, it’s still not the same whenever I feel like my son is not getting the care that only a mother could give. No carer I think could ever be enough for me. I consider myself the best. Hahaha.

Discovery at S&R

My husband’s family are a big fan of shopping at S&R, and I am not. I mean, the grocery at the mall would suffice for our weekly needs, and I didn’t think we’d need to buy food and things in bulk, as there were only three of us at home. We usually just accompany them after a family lunch and be content with just looking at the aisles (especially the cheese!!) I don’t usually visit the meat and chicken section because I thought they were a little bit expensive compared to the local grocery.

Until recently. My mother-in-law bought chicken legs at a much cheaper price than at the grocery we usually shop at. It’s surprisingly Php 40 per kilo less! I still didn’t buy because I was doubtful about the quality as it looks very frozen to me. The chicken was served during my sister-in-law’s birthday, and boy, it tasted good! It tasted like native chicken but wasn’t rubbery even if it wasn’t tenderized.

Last week, we went to S&R again and the first thing I did was check out the meat and chicken section. The pork and beef were understandably pricier but the chicken, they were really cheaper! My parents-in-law bought a 15-kilo quarter cut chicken for just Php 116 per kilo. I was about to buy the breast part but my MIL suggested we’d just share with the quarter cut.

So if you’re like me who used to think that everything in S&R is expensive, head to the meat section and find your gold there.

On crying over spoiled milk

A short back story… I was quite late into this smart phone thing. I mean, when every one else was lugging around their iPhones and Android phones, I was still holding on to my Blackberry 9320. It served me well since 2013. Until I became a new mom, and documenting my little one’s daily activities has made me change my perspective. Suddenly, I felt the need to have a phone with a good camera, with lots of internal memory. So came April 2017, I jumped into the bandwagon, and reluctantly handed over my Blackberry to my husband, whose keypad phone has just died. It was empowering! I could do so many things at the same time. I could wash the dishes while video calling with a friend. I could chat with family and friends while in commute. And the greatest thing was, it could babysit my toddler at the restaurant!

However, things are starting to go downhill lately. As I progressed into the second trimester of my second pregnancy, I felt more and more tired. Blamed it on the blaring hormones during the first trimester. But how come I was still tired? I wasn’t even doing the household chores that I usually did before. Not even cooking that much, not even cleaning that much, to the point that I’d pray friends and my inlaws wouldn’t come by. My family, especially my sisters, are welcome though since they help me clean up. Hahaha!

Soooo… I have a confession to make. It’s something I have been struggling for months now. I feel like I am losing control over how I use my smart phone. No, I just don’t feel it. I am losing control. It’s the first thing I pick up in the morning, and last thing that I put down at night. I’ve deleted social media apps, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, but it’s no use. I can still use Google Chrome that came along with my phone.

So, I am breaking up with my smart phone. There were two instances that led me to this. One happened last Saturday. My husband was on the computer, and I was on my phone, when suddenly my son approached me with an empty glass of milk and his bottle of sterilized water. My first thought was, okay he’s asking for another glass of milk until I asked my husband if he has given Clark a glass of milk, and said that he didn’t. I stood up right away to check the glass of milk in the fridge. And it wasn’t there. Which only meant one thing: he has drank the milk from the fridge. That we had prepared before we left for Sarangani. The week before.

It was a total face palm moment for me. I have thought of discarding the milk just hours before, but never really ended up doing it and settled on the bed to check Facebook or my recently installed Instagram app instead. My husband scolded me. I can’t blame him. If something were to happen to our son, there’s no other person to blame but myself. It was total negligence. Which could have been avoided had I 1) discarded the milk right away when I remembered about it, and 2) limited the use of my phone especially when the little one is awake.

Another one just happened about one or two weeks before. Same scenario: my husband on the computer and me on my phone. When I suddenly heard my son cry. From our terrace! I didn’t know he could open the glass door already, and we were confident he was just inside the house. My husband and I flew from our seats and immediately went outside. The good thing was, even at 28 months, he still wasn’t used to getting down the stairs and would often hold our hand when he wants to go down. But still, the things that could have happened…

My husband and I decided, for the best interest of every one, that I will ditch my phone and go back to my trusty Blackberry (and my husband gets my Android phone) or sell my smartphone and buy a Nokia 3310. We chose the former. The switch will happen tonight. We’ll see what happens in a week.

 

 

 

 

 

July 2018 Expense Report

Phew! Another month has gone by. Fortunately, in my quest to put our finances in place before I take my maternity leave this coming December, or my plan to be a full-time homemaker hopefully by next year, I have continued doing the pen and paper thing to record our expenses and transfer it to Excel. It was quite difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier especially if your categories and subcategories are already mapped out.

So for July, I am happy to report that we were able to spend 30% less compared to last month. Hooray!

July 2018 Expenses 2

As expected, Food is the top expense we have although the amount was 44% lesser than the amount we spent last month. It was followed by Household, which increased by 179% compared to last month because we purchased a center table (that we have been looking for months now). It was on sale at Mandaue Foam so we figured we might as well buy it.

July 2018 Expenses

So what have I done to lessen our expenses? I have been cooking a lot in July, which really cut down our food expenses, since we rarely ate outside. There was also one weekend where we spent only a hundred pesos (thanks to my in-laws hehehe). I also limited my grocery shopping to once or twice a month, and bought food at the nearby wet market every other day. I used to do it every week (!), even if the only things I needed were shampoo, bath soap, and laundry soap. And then, since I am already there, might as well buy things I really don’t need, like extra diapers, extra soap, extra everything that’s not on my list. Doing it really helped trim down our grocery expenses!

 

 

 

Trial Class at Homemaking

I had a trial class at being a full time homemaker yesterday. We took a weekend trip with my in-laws at Maasim, Sarangani Province, roughly 180 kms from Davao City. While the view was indeed breathtaking and we’ve undeniably had a good time, the land trip took  a toll on my body. I woke up Monday morning with body aches and pains and decided to take a one day leave.

When we woke up at 9AM, everything was a mess. As in everything. We were too tired to put away our things from the trip the night before so they added to the mess that we left Saturday morning. And to add to this stress, there’s no food in the fridge except for burger patties and one egg, and two-day old whole wheat bread from our trip. No choice.

I planned to do so many things yesterday:

  1. Clean the bathroom.
  2. Pick up clothes and toys on the floor.
  3. Clean kitchen area at the back.
  4. Sort out laundry.
  5. Wash clothes from the trip.

But because I was feeling so beaten, I slept (or tried to sleep) while my toddler also slept from 2:30PM to 5:00PM. Hahaha! So much for the to-do list. Time just flew out of the window and the next thing I knew, it was already time for me to cook dinner. Fortunately, my mother-in-law called and told me that she prepared a sinabawang isda for dinner! Which means, free dinner! So para dili kaayo ulaw na makikaon lang ug libre, Clark and I went to a nearby fruit stand and bought mangoes for dessert. For Php 100 only.

And so far, I am really looking forward to just doing the dishes, cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning, caring for my son, and all those other house chores I usually do in a hurry every weekend.

 

 

Breakfast Recipes: Corned beef with sayote

Corned beef with Sayote

In my quest to have variety in our everyday food, and considering the diet restriction of my husband, I’ve tweaked this famous Filipino breakfast recipe. (Kung maka recipe, mura jowg!)

This is often cooked with potato cubes but since potato has 17g of carbs per 100g, I’ve substituted it with sayote (chayote) which only has 4g of carbs per 100g.

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small red onion, minced
1/2 medium sized sayote, peeled and cubed
1 can corned beef
1 tsp cooking oil

Directions:

  1. Saute garlic and onion in oil.
  2. Add corned beef and stir until a little cooked, probably five minutes or so.
  3. Add sayote and let simmer until sayote is a little transparent.
  4. Serve with brown rice.

 

 

 

 

Changing the way I look at Fridays…

CHANGING THE WAY I LOOK AT FRIDAYS.jpg

Okay, I admit. I have not been my best self lately. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, office mate. Have you experienced being angry and then later you realize you ache all over? I was so angry with an office mate two weekends ago, and up to now I am still experiencing the aftermath of what I felt. All I wanted to do was lie down and sleep all week last week, and couldn’t wait for Friday to come so I can catch up on my much needed snoozes. And the fact that I had a toddler who wouldn’t sleep with the lights off at one in the morning didn’t help to make me feel better. I felt soooooo exhausted.

Friday finally came. And while waiting for my husband to finish his shift at 9PM, a thought came over me. What if I treat Fridays differently? I mean, we’ve been treating Friday nights as a way to finally relax after a long exhausting week and put off chores to be done during the weekend. What if I start doing the cleaning up on Friday and forego Netflix for a few hours? Or start scrubbing the windows and not check social media? So I did just that.

Saturday came and I continued the cleaning. Including a deep cleaning of the bathroom. I wonder how no one comes to our house when our bathroom’s squeaky clean and yet when it’s dirty, friends stop by? Why??!

I felt so great on Sunday. And to add that my husband did a thorough cleaning of the house (while I slept!), I felt relieved that finally, this particular Sunday evening will be so chill. Also, for the first time in three weeks, it was a tear-free bed time for my son. Hallelujah!

How about you? How do you treat your Fridays?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash