image KARL SANTIAGO of KLICK-TAC-TOE STUDIO
shot on location at SELGA RESIDENCE for Jesse’s pre-birthday shoot in December 2017
Because is there really a mother out there who “stays” at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Or before one qualifies as a “full-time” mom, is there even a “part-time” one?
Right after I resigned from my legal marketing job of eight and a half years, I made a personal appearance at my bank to update my billing address and contact number. The female bank associate asked me if I wanted to get a life insurance. I politely declined as we already have one (my husband and I already got ourselves insured even before we got married and we’re currently looking for another one that has medical and accident insurance add-ons for our family) and I told her that I still needed to look at our finances as I have already left my job.
I thought she was going to judge me for putting my career on pause. I was wrong, I honestly did not expect her reaction: “Congrats po! Yan din po ang pangarap namin (That’s our ultimate goal as well).”
Her statement brought me back to what my fellow mom officemates told me when they first heard the news that I was resigning for good (aka not going to work in a traditional setup): “Congrats! You’re living the dream!”
I did not understand it at that time. “Living THE dream?” I thought people looked down on me for my decision, especially when someone asks: “So, what are you up to now?” When I’m PMS-ing, I answer that question in my head with: “I’m taking care of my husband and son, enriching our family life spending as much quality time as we can, because we can.”
But, really, how can I answer such a question without sounding offensive or stubborn? Most of the time, I just smile and say: “I take care of my husband and son, and manage the household.” Never did I say “I am now a housewife/ stay-at-home/ full-time mom.” (Except for that one time when I was in a hurry and was surprised to know that a former colleague thought I transferred to a different company—so I corrected her by saying: “No, I stay at home.”) And neither did my husband.
I consider myself more of a “homemaker” (if I were taking the ‘Martha Stewart’ route) or a “home manager” (if I were going for Michelle Obama), depending on my mood. Sometimes I am so into cooking (just started cooking when I resigned—it was the husband who used to prepare mean meals) and cleaning the house, and at times I cannot be disturbed when I’m pursuing my passions and working on something. But all the time I am a wife and a mother. And that is all that matters.
Today, I now understand what they meant by “living THE dream.” For me, that dream is composed of waking up from a well-rested sleep the night before, not having a hurried breakfast in the morning with my husband and son—engaging in meaningful conversations and encounters while we eat, preparing home-cooked meals for the family or meeting up with the husband mid-day with our son in tow so we can bond outside home, baking homemade bread while the husband prepares freshly-brewed coffee (and hot chocolate or matcha for me!) and our son plays with his toys or watches YouTube videos or plays with his Endless Reader or Speech Blubs app, having the time and energy to clean/ tidy up the house, pursuing our passions (whether individual or joint) at our own pace, enriching our spiritual lives and fulfilling our Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) church duties, and going to bed early (to watch Netflix. Haha!) or singing while the husband plays the guitar and our son dances to the music. The dream is consciously doing the things that make us happy and will have a direct impact to our lives.
My dream is not necessarily the same as the other parents’. And that is okay. What matters is that you turn your dream into a reality. And that is what I just did.
How about you? What’s your dream? Don’t you think it would be more awesome to refer to women who don’t work in a traditional setup (because let’s face it, ALL WOMEN ARE WORKING regardless if they’re at home or in a workplace) as today’s Marthas and Michelles? 😊 Feel free to share your thoughts below or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
PS: This post is in no way affiliated with the apps I mentioned above nor Martha Stewart or Michelle Obama. I WISH! Haha!