As a mom and wife, I need to do many things for the family… for my husband, for the children and even my in-laws. In many Filipino-Chinese families, a housewife also attends to the needs of the helpers and drivers at home (e.g. buy them food, record their loans, dispense their salaries and bring them to the doctors when they are sick etc.)
It’s amazing how mothers/grandmothers of the previous generations could have so many children beyond 5 or 10 without any yaya (nanny) or tutor and the children they raised all grew up to be good and achieving adults.
So how does a woman of the home cope with doing all things to make the house a home for her family? And if she happens to be working as well, it’s like being a super woman, isn’t it?
I learn that in order for me to keep running and operating smoothly as a wife, mom, daughter-in-law and daughter, along with being a good employer to my household helpers, I need to fill up my gas tank – fill and refill even.
There is great truth in the airline safety tips: Put on your own seatbelt and wear your oxygen mask first before helping others.
My dear fellow homemakers: do not be a martyr. Love yourself so you can love your neighbors. It’s my paraphrase of the 2nd greatest commandment: Love your neighbour as yourself. How to love yourself:
1) Take time out for yourself – do the things you like to do. Things that will make you feel happy and rested.
2) Delegate – let your children help you do the things they can do to keep the home a happy place to live in. Manage your helpers that they do not stay idle – because idleness makes them lazy in the long run.
3) Eat good food – same as what you give your family. Do not be like the old generation who eat what’s leftover although sometimes I do that coz ‘sayang’ eh. (such a waste!)
4) Exercise – endorphine is key to being happy and you get lots of it when you run, or swim or dance or even just plain walking in the mall or the park.
5) Have friends to talk to – go out with good friends to de-stress – even if it is just chatting online or over the phone is a big help to release the tension and stress in the hectic life.
6) Learn to enjoy solitude as well – take time to be alone even if it needs to be at night when all are asleep. I go watch movies by myself – even drama – to cry myself out to de-stress or laugh by myself – even corny chick-flick – Filipino movies.
7) Most of all – have spiritual nourishment everyday – reading God’s word. Talk to the One above – who will never judge you, gossip about you, get tired of listening to you over and over again. And learn to listen to Him in the process – because the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and with us so that the peace that is beyond human understanding is ours – it’s a promise!
Practice makes perfect. If you fail, try and try again. That’s what I do.