Making Each Moment Count

I envy my sister-in-law. She’s a stay-at-home mom. I’m a full-time mom, too, but I also put in nine hours of work every day. I work nights and even weekends. There was never any question whether or not I would stop working when I gave birth to my son. We needed two paychecks to raise him.

I missed his first birthday. It was painful watching the video taken by my mom, my family gathered around the table, singing him happy birthday. And even though we threw a huge party with 80 guests for him that weekend, it wasn’t the same.

So, except for work, I’ve cleared up my calendar. Most of my free time is spent with my son. I’ve put friendships on hold. I don’t do lunch with my girlfriends nor engage in one-hour phone calls with them. I only have about two hours each day to be with my son. So, each morning when I wake up, I go to his room and spend time with him. I help him with his homework. We draw pictures and paste stickers. I help him build a city. If the sun is out, we go for a walk.

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Before I leave for work, I give him his bath and brush his teeth.

During the nights I’m at home, I read to him in bed. I then help him say his prayers, turn on his lullaby music, and rub his feet until he falls asleep.

I still go to the malls on my days off but my son has become my shopping buddy. He patiently waits inside the fitting room as I try on clothes. We browse the bookstores together.  We play in Timezone. He’s also my movie date.

I miss my friends but my son won’t be four forever. Soon, he will have a life of his own; I try to make the most of our time together. Every day, I try to play with him, read to him, or sing songs with him. I hug and kiss him a lot.

And I’ve learned to accept that it doesn’t matter whether I get to spend only 20 minutes or 24 hours with him. I don’t need to be a stay-at-home mom to make each moment count.

(This blog first appeared in www.mommystes.com.ph on 12 February 2012.)