Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mommy mission: Make 2020 one of the best years in my kids' life

It's not news to say that this year is a really bad year for the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their businesses, their jobs, and worst of all, their loved ones. I didn't earn much this year. And since next year looks like it will be like this year, I'm thinking of closing down my sole proprietorship and just registering with the BIR as a professional.

Bad news all around, I know, but I'm determined to make the most of 2020 and 2021. I'm feeling hopeful. In fact, my words for 2021 are JOYFUL ANTICIPATION. I always get my word for the next year around my birthday (I just celebrated my 44th birthday!). This year's word is LOVE. When I blogged about that word, if you read the post (read it!), you'd get chills about how I predicted what 2020 will be like. So since God impressed upon my heart the words "joyful anticipation," I have hope for 2021. 

2020 gain: I learned how to cut hair!

These past 252 days, I've been doing my best to make my kids like our situation. Their world, just like everyone else's, was turned upside down. One day they were going to school and seeing their friends, the next day (and 252 days after) they didn't. No one can tell them when this will end. 

But here's where history comes in. We told them that the last great pandemic was in 1918 and it lasted two years. And that was when the medical and scientific community plus media weren't as modern as they are today. So we told the kids, "History says this should be 2 years, but science and medicine are more advanced now so it could be shorter!" Thanks, history!

We finally tried homeschooling. 

So one year down, one more to go! It sounds frightening but we just approach it one day at a time. Today, the goal is to stay safe, stay healthy, stay alive. I feel very accomplished every night and we're all in bed, healthy!

My kids may not be seeing their friends and relatives, but they do see them online from time to time and they're spending 24/7 with us! We may not have gone on vacations, but they literally didn't have school for 5 months and spent it lolling about eating, playing, and having fun. If that isn't a vacation, I don't know what is! We didn't eat out at our favorite restaurants (that's just McDonald's, Pancake House, and Bonchon, by the way) but we discovered so many restaurants during lockdown delivering amazing food!
Vince finally bought a 3D printer and it's been his joy all year!

It's not the best year ever but I refuse to see that my kids lost anything this year. Because at around June, I did. I got depressed. We missed Piero's Kinder graduation and that made me cry. We missed his debut in big school, and that made me cry again. We pulled out Vito and Inigo from their school and that made me weep. I lost much of my lucrative PR projects and that sent me panicking. I was just focused on what we lost that I couldn't see what we gained. And what we still have - each other. So many people have lost their family and friends. The fact that we're still together is a BIG DEAL. 

I'm going to celebrate that. Because I don't know how long I can celebrate that.

I now have time to take care of my skin!

So I've been careful not to show my boys that we lost anything this year. It's all, "Yeah, but look what we're able to do instead!" This year is when we get to teach our kids grit, flexibility, and just the sweet grace of appreciating what we have now. Because tomorrow is unsure and I want to model to them that that doesn't have to be a scary thing. 

We've spent the last 252 days watching movies and TV shows, vegging out to YouTube videos, playing video games, and sleeping late - all weekend treats pre-pandemic. We got new pet hamsters because, well, we now have time to actually care for a fur family. The kids play the piano, draw and paint, read, write books. They now have time for creating things because there's no more homework and 2 hours in traffic every day.  

The kids are forever making things, like this plushie car.

So yes, there have been losses but there have also been gains. I don't want them to see what they've lost (and seriously, they haven't lost much at all) and just see this time as one of the best years in their life. "The year Mama and Papa were just home. The year we bonded as brothers and became friends forever. The year we discovered what we wanted to do in our life (this is my hope!) because we had time to do all sorts of things. The year we learned so many things because Mama and Papa finally had the time to talk with us instead of rushing here and there. The year Mama wasn't cranky and tired. The year we were relaxed and happy and safe at home."

I don't want to make plans for 2021 or for Christmas even. Everything's just so uncertain. The plan is just to stay safe and survive today. But there is a joy in my heart because the ones I love most in the world are with me. And I've been forced by this pandemic to spend time with them and make that time count. Because who knows how long I have with them? 

This year's word is love. And I see now God's wisdom when He told me I'm going to need a lot of it this 2020. It's love that's making this strange year more than bearable. It's love that changed my mindset to look at this challenging year as an opportunity to be a better mommy (I was always the overwhelmed mommy!). And I am a better mommy now. The stressed out, rushed, always frowning, exhausted mommy was so 2019. And I hope even after this pandemic is over, she won't come back ever. I'm going to learn how to love the time I have, the rest I get, and all I'm learning this 2020. I'm going to embrace this year and the grace it has given me.  

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:21-23


  1. I cried while reading this, Frances! And what a coincidence, my word for 2020 was Joyful anticipation :) I'm hoping the Lord will give me a similar message for next year :)

    1. I cried while writing it! =) How amazing we have the same words! I got "joyful anticipation" from Power of a Praying Woman. That book is changing my life! God bless you!

    2. God bless you too! I'll look for that book next. I have now The Power of a Praying Wife :)

  2. I super enjoyed reading this post,Frances. Sobrang heartfelt. You are blessed for sure despite all the bad things 2020 has given us. I also love your word for 2021. Napaisip ako what my word will be for 2021 cos I haven't given it much thought like I have done in the past years.

    1. Thank you! Naisip ko lang na we're all bracing ourselves, waiting for the next bad thing to happen. I want us to take back 2020. Let's create the good things instead. Restore balance to the universe =)


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