Sunday, April 22, 2018

Waiting in the wings

"By 40, all women are amazing."

Gwyneth Paltrow said that in an article for the November 2016 issue of Harper's Bazaar. That month, I turned 40 and reading that quote from supermom Gwyneth just made me feel... I don't know. Not exactly amazing. I was thinking, "I'm 40. I'm amazing. And yet I don't feel amazing because NOTHING is happening to me. I'm just here at home, elbow deep in childcare, and trying to get some sort of work done. I'm nothing special. I used to be hot shit. Now, nothing."



This blog post has been brewing in my head and my heart for more than a year now. Maybe more. I've changed my mind many times about it as my heart and my head fight it out but I finally let myself submit to the one who should have always been in charge anyway—my Lord! And right now, God is telling me that the only thing I should be concerning myself with is being there for my husband and my sons.

That's it. And that's okay.

This struggle started when my third son, Piero, was born. I've mentioned a few times that I've been having a hard time adjusting to having three kids. Actually, I realized just recently that I was having a hard time adjusting to three kids AND my need to be doing something else. I have three kids and juggling two jobs: I'm a blogger and an editor. I also squeeze in writing assignments, Boss Bellas workshops for Manila Workshops, and PR campaigns for brands sometimes.

Last year, 2017, was really hard for me. I went back to work while also still blogging, right? Well, I was confronted with the fact that I can't get paid higher or even equal than my last salary, I don't know a lot of things anymore because the world has moved on and it moved fast while I was being a mommy, and I was nobody again, working my way up the ladder again. And I was 40. "Life begins at 40," so it is said. I just didn't imagine 40 was going to be truly life beginning again.

Last year was very humbling. I remember one night when I sobbed to my husband Vince, telling him I had worked so hard and so long to become somebody and then motherhood happened and now I had to start all over again, like all the work I did before didn't matter. I cried, "What was all that for then? I feel like I wasted my life!" And he gently told me, "You know who you are. You know the work you can do. What you know about you and your work is what matters." Something like that. I was very upset that night! But he helped me feel better. My pride was wounded but it's okay. We all need to be knocked down once in a while and I'm glad that happened. I'm more humble now. And in many ways, I'm a better person because of it.

Celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary with the kids! 

I'm grateful. I may not be amazing anymore but I do have an amazing life and I really ought to be grateful. God is good and He is faithful. Yes, I stepped aside and focused on my family. Yes, I did something else (I did the crazy freelance life! I put up a blogging business!). Yes, other bloggers have become bigger and better. That's okay. I always liked the path I chose. Sometimes, however, I have to be reminded that I chose this and that I like it.

If you're a mommy who had to give up her career or pass up on a promotion or you find yourself saying no to a lot of nights out with friends (or concerts and musicals like Lion King!), breathe in, breathe out. Life isn't passing you by. Your life is happening right now. And one day, if you choose it, then the career will happen. The dressing up again will happen. Your super hot bod will come back again. Sure, it will take a ton of work but if you want it, it will happen. Just wait. I like to think that it's the other way around—that kind of life is waiting for you. You're just too busy with the important stuff right now.

My mommy life is happening and it is so very real, too—all its mess and chaos, sweaty hugs and sticky kisses, deafening shouts of joy, soft breaths of babies sleeping, conversations deep into the night with my husband, hearts bursting as we both watch our kids grow. Not a milestone missed! Add to that my working life and, honestly, what is this waiting for? I'm living the dream right here, right now. How crazy lucky am I?

23 comments:

  1. Motherhood really teaches us to be humble, teaches us to be resilient, and teaches us how to truly be in the moment. Being a mother makes me more thankful and appreciative, so I could model this to my kids.

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  2. Sabi nga nila Life starts at 40. :) this is true "By 40, all women are amazing". I really agree "God is good and He is faithful" ALWAYS. Happy Family. God Bless :)

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  3. wow! Relate much po :) super happy to be a mom dba po :) a wonderful job

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  4. Hi, Frances! This is a very honest outpouring of emotions which normally women like us face during crossroads in our professional and personal life and I salute you for surviving all these. Some women are not quite lucky for so many reasons--one of these would be the lack of support. I can totally relate to you. It seems working mothers should always be ready to take on the new challenges and accept that changes will always be there. Let's be grateful for what we have, for our loved ones who are always with us and hopefully, for the chance to also help others make a difference no matter what. :-) I think despite your struggles last year, you're doing great. :-) Keep it up!

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  5. I love that article po, ako I'm still young but I'm already a mom of two kids, single mom po ako, super mahirap for me kasi solo nako, I can't take care of my work, I'm a reseller po, epecially myself, tlgang nakakalimutan ko na sarili ko..but, above it all, kapit lng ako, I still have dreams na push kong matupad for myself and for my kids. For me, I will live this life I chose to, no matter how hard it is. kakayanin ko!

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  6. Ahhh... So touching!
    It is truly great to be a MOM! There's a lot of factors needed to be the best MOM that we want to be... But there's a lot of things and reasons to enjoy every minute of it...

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  7. Hey Frances! By far, this has been my favorite April post. I don't usually comment (I'm a silent follower!), but I don't want to pass up the chance to look like a human being again. �� I gave birth last February and now have 3 kids, as well. I thought having three would be easy-peasy because when I just had two, it felt like I can manage one more. Aaaaang hirap pala! �� Hindi ko mahabol ang oras. I survive each day only by the grace of God. I feel haggard, fat, unkempt and ugly.But when I think about all the chaos that surrounds me, I realize that I am blessed by God with the chance to love and be loved by these little human beings. They will be young just for a short time then I will be the one seeking for their attention. I have so much to be thankful for.

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  8. I feel you, momsh! I also gave up my career after giving birth to focus on my baby. It was really hard but I am super grateful coz I was able to witnessed all my bebe Zophie's milestones. Virtual tap on the back to you momsh!

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  9. I somehow know the feeling...nag resign din kasi ako from work so I can focus on my family. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Gcell

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  10. At the end of the day, after our hardwork from the careers we chose to have, our family will always be the thing that will make us feel that our life is nothing but perfect. All the giggles and snuggles, these are the things that gets us by.

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  11. I am teary eyed by this blog article of yours Ms.Frances because I really can relate to this.Sacrificing your career for your family and love ones. May times talaga na mamimiss mo ung pagpasok sa office, pakikipag brainstorming sa officemates pag may meeting. And minsan naiisip ko ano bang worth ko parang kinakalawang na ung neurons ng brains ko hahaha. But if I will look at my little girl and I am beside her in all her endeavours especially during her therapies, dun lang ulit nabalik sa kin na "ui may worth ka mader" hahaha. Hindi madali ang maging home maker Ms. Frances kaya super relate ako dito sa blog post na to.

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  12. This touched my heart. Because more than a decade ago, (I'm just 33 BTW) I was working in alabang when my then-boyfriend asked me if we could start a family. Of course, the kilig mattered more to me then than the harsh reality of "family". And the rest is history, I left my job, stayed here in batangas, got married and fast forward to 2018, we've got 5 kids. All with just 2years gap. I missed a lot of things like you, missed working, missed my friends, but the difference between your situation and mine is that you have an amazing, supportive husband that comforts you and assures you that everything's gonna be fine. My husband's great with kids,that's no question, but I think in a bad way. Because he's spoils our kids, I can see them not being able to handle the word "no". You're one lucky wifey Ms. Frances. Actually, you inspire me. That's why I follow you on FB and when I have time I read your blog. (I choose blogs regarding your beautiful family) thanks for the inspiration and may God bless you always.

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    1. We will pray for our husbands. Vince and I struggled, too. Kailangan mag-usap pero mauuwi lang sa away kapag parehas may hinanakit at galit =) I think you're an amazing woman to still see the good in your hubby! Mahal mo talaga siya. Nahihirapan ka lang talaga. HUGS! Let's hope for better things. You're still super young! Kung ako nakahanap ulit ng magandang trabaho at 41, mas lalo ka pa =)

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  13. I'm not a mom but I turn 42 today, after so many years of beibg employed, ne and my husband started our own company and are working from home. Its a humbling experience doing everything on our own, but its made us closer as we struggle and succeed together =)

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    1. Happy birthday, Banana! Good luck sa inyong business! And God bless your marriage—may it stay strong through the struggles of starting a business together =)

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  14. Beautiful. That's how i describe this article. Filled with realizations, may parts na nakakaluha. I'm not yet 40 pero na move ako nito.
    You have a beautiful family. Kung tutuusin, nakakainggit nga kayo eh. Stay happy, Ms. Frances!

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    1. Thank you! All families are a blessing. We just need to appreciate it! Mahirap minsan haha

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  15. "I don't know a lot of things anymore because the world has moved on and it moved fast while I was being a mommy, and I was nobody again" 😣

    Grabe, this is what I am feeling right now. For months, I have been also asking myself the same question and with follow-ups like "When can I possibly go on a night date again with my friends" or "when can I finally go back to work and be able to buy what I want?😣

    So, just yesterday ,I went on a job interview. Unluckily, I didn't pass the final interview though they told me that they're gonna call me for another accounts opening. Today, before reading this, I already lose hope. Pero ika nga, di ba life goes on and if kaloob ni God na maging mommy ka na lang for the rest of your life, then so be it. After all, being a mother shouldn't be associated with the word "lang" kasi it is actually a fulfilling job wherein you get hugs and kisses and unconditional love as payment. ❤❤❤

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    1. Keep your chin up, Ronalyn! Ako rin, last year, ganyan na ganyan ang hugot ko. Umiiyak pa ako after job interviews na hindi ako natanggap. Hindi naman hagulgol. Pahid luha lang naman. =D It was very discouraging so I want to send you a virtual hug! I also want to tell you after all those disappointments, I got a job that was what I wanted EXACTLY! So kapit ka lang. Pray!!! God will give you what you need. =)

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  16. That's exactly what others are telling me, Miss Frances. Baka hindi talaga para sa akin yun, so hintay hintay lang talaga ano.po? Yes, I do pray and sana one of these days,ikaloob na sa akin ni Lord ang will nya, kung hindi man, okay lang din. ������

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  17. There are truths with what you wrote. I was on and off with freelance and office jobs. I was out of job for almost 2 years. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep and thinking what was my worth.

    Mothers are being judged a lot from our parenting skills, ability to contribute to finances and having different perspectives in life.

    Messy home sometimes means a mom did not givr enough effort to manage home. Misbehaved kids means mom did not put much attention to children.

    Sometimes all I want is to have a do nothing day or tk have a concersation with someone so I can tell all tales about high and low of being a mom.


    Hearing and reading similar experiences and thoughts by other moms made me realize motherhood has many phases I am just going throught them.











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  18. Thanks for replying ms. Frances. Thanks for the virtual hug. (Needed that) yup mahal ko sya talaga haha! If you'd know us personally, you'd really say I REALLY DO. but being employed again, with our situation, is never an option for me even in my dreams, my calling talaga is to be an entrepreneur, which I have been slowly introducing to my "metikolosong" hubby. Thanks again.

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