Rants & Sentiments | What Else Michelle - Part 2

Archive of ‘Rants & Sentiments’ category

What I Love About Breastfeeding

bmI can’t believe that it has already been nine months since I have given birth to Kenya and I am also very proud to say that I have been successful in exclusively breastfeeding her. I have to admit that my primary motivation for breastfeeding is weight loss. Selfish, I know. Haha! I completely lost my pregnancy weight after 5 months.

640Breastfeeding is like a freebie! You get free calories burned without spending effort on it. In fact, I love breastfeeding while laying down (Burning calories while lounging, what more can you ask for?!) It’s most comfortable for Kenya since she can sleep right after feeding; and for me too since I can relax and read. But of course, it’s not going to work if you’re eating for 3 persons. Again, it’s like working out but indulging in pizza and ice cream all the time… Right now, weight loss have been a bit slower on me now since Kenya is more keen on solids. I still got 10 lbs. to go to reach my pre-Bryce’s weight (yea,they are stubborn fat!)

Exclusive breastfeeding doesn’t come easy though. It is quite a hassle for me, actually, but the benefits for the baby are definitely worth it. Here are my personal pros and cons:

bm-3Lately has been quite easier for me though. Kenya finally accepted bottle feeding even if it’s me who’s feeding her so I’m no longer limited to nursing bras and button down shirts when going out. And I can finally stay out for more than four hours!

Despite all the hassles, I wouldn’t trade exclusive breastfeeding for anything. I won’t talk about the health benefits of breastfeeding to your child or yourself because you can read it here and here or you can just simply google it. All I can say is that Kenya never got sick, as in ever, not once. Almost every other month, someone in the family gets a cough or cold or both but she never caught it. Bryce could cough practically on her face and we could sleep together in one bed (not that I’m encouraging it), but she’s a super baby with soaring immune system! I wish my mom  breastfed me too so I don’t have to suffer from allergy all year round.

I would sacrifice anything to keep my children as healthy as possible that’s why I bought an electric breast pump three months ago when my milk supply was alarmingly low. I got First Years miPump Single Pump (P4,299.75) so that I don’t have to buy extra bottles since I had the manual pump before. It’s pretty affordable compared to other brands and I can say that it does its job well. The only con is that it’s a single pump so pumping both breasts means double the time. But I’m just here at home most of the time so I really don’t mind.

If you’re a working mom and pumps at work, it is best to invest in a double pump like this one. It’s P17,500 from BabyMama.ph but if you consider the cost of formula (say P5000/month), you’ll have your ROI in less than 4 months! You’re actually saving money!Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.22.49 AMJust sharing this to all mamas who store milk, these bags from BabyMama.ph are really affordable! I got mine from Avent for P499 (25pcs).Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.18.19 AMAnd for working moms who need to store a week’s worth of breast milk, this is the best deal, I think. 🙂Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.19.21 AMLastly, I’m just inspired by my friend’s dedication to breastfeed her son. She works full-time, pumps at work, breastfeeds anytime, anywhere. Just look at her stash, about 60 cups containing 5oz. of the golden liquid! Jealous!

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Taken from her Facebook account

My Very Own Corner in the House, Coming Up!

First off, let me whine and be real. 🙂

I always envy those DIY bloggers who have this virtual house tour links in their blog. Their houses look perpetually clean, organized and styled as if the HGTV crew is ready to barge in anytime. Some of these are veteran bloggers who, even in their first or second month of delivering a baby, still manages to blog and even more amazing, squeeze in a DIY project or two! Kenya is already 8 months old and it is only now that I am finding time to pick up where I left off. And still, it is such a struggle! Imagine being blissfully immersed in what you’re doing and suddenly it’s time for feeding or for pumping milk  again after just a couple of hours.

So anyway, this is really embarrassing and let me emphasize that I am so not proud of this. But if you’re wondering if bloggers really maintain such glorious abodes, well, take me for a reality example. This is how our house looks like right now, at this very moment: total chaos! Haha!

reality3Our center table has taken a vacation to make way for the foldable foam where Kenya can safely play. I wasn’t able to finish painting our shoe rack and has been the car seat’s place since Kenya was born. Notice the car seat isn’t even properly placed on its based because our house help has never seat a car seat before and I don’t even care fixing it. The place is a mess anyway.

reality2

The other half of our dining area has been my temporary storage for months. This is its cleaner state now that I have moved all of Oriel’s stuff in their unit. The one on the left behind the electric fan is the former built-in bookshelf I had removed from upstairs and the DIY buffet table is still left unfinished. Sad, huh?

reality1And finally, our work place that has been neglected for months! I never finished the shade for my DIY pendant lights too. 🙁 And speaking of work place, let’s now talk about MY work place. After all, this is what the post is all about. Haha!

I’ve always wanted my own home office, an entire room, that is. I want all my arts and crafts supplies to be in one place, safe from curious little hands. I also hate working when there are people around and since our workplace is shared with the living area and with the rest of the house, I would usually work on our bed using our “breakfast in bed tray” as my laptop table. And of course my back would suffer and I would end up surfing most of the time instead of finishing my projects because the bedroom is simply not conducive to working.

 

reality4And so I decided to transfer my work place upstairs so I can have the privacy I’ve always wanted. :p It may not be the best spot since it is beside the bathroom but with my magical powers, I can make it work. Haha!

That bookshelf is no longer doing its job efficiently so it has to go. See, more mess…

home office-progressThis is my corner home office in progress! Woohoo! Not much to appreciate here yet but this looks much better than having a bookshelf there. I will try to finish painting the walls this week so I can have the final reveal by next weekend.

The yellow wall will have hand-painted herringbone pattern like this one and I will add a rug to brighten up the space. I would have done a mood board, but again, I can’t find the time. Haha!Herringbone_03

 

So there, just sharing the current state of our home. I gotta finish painting the walls today. Once this corner is done, I can finish cleaning up the rest of the house.

 

By the way, just a tip I found somewhere in Pinterest. I love painting but I hate cleaning my tools. 🙂painting-tip

I Want To Be Just A Housewife

I rarely post in-depth personal thoughts in my blog but ever since I had this conversation with an older friend, my brain kept nagging me to do a post. So here goes the conversation that sparked it all (actually it was quite a monologue.)

justahousewife

FRIEND: Cecilia (her daughter) went home late the other night after meeting her 2 other high school friends. They haven’t seen each other for quite some time since all of them are too busy with their work. You know, they are all managers in Company A and Company B. They weren’t among the top students in their class but they ended up as managers anyway. 

ME: Nods and listens.

FRIEND: Their top classmates (probably valedictorian or in the honor roll) are currently just housewives. One is (or was) a doctor but now stays home to look after the kids. Her husband has a clinic though. The other one also just takes care of the kids. 

ME: Still listening but already composing this post in mind…

I know that she didn’t directly say that the two housewives are far less successful than the three girls who “weren’t even on top of their class,” but it was quite implied especially if you live in the Philippines where being a woman executive is a measurement of success. In our country, it is not uncommon to hear people saying, “Sayang naman pinangpa-enrol sa ‘yo tapos sa bahay ka lang…” (Such a waste of tuition fee if you’re just going to stay home and be a housewife…).

I have to admit, I had this mentality too before I became a mom. All I wanted after college was to become a creative director, a position in advertising industry I thought was prestigious. After a few years in an ad agency, I decided to quit and be a freelancer instead since I was making more money and had the freedom to work anywhere and anytime convenient for me. I wanted my own design company but then I gave birth to my son and decided to put my dream on hold, although I continued accepting freelance work.

Two years ago, I started this blog and my OCD kicked in. I wanted to improve the house we “borrowed” from my in-laws. I wanted to organize all our stuff, keep the house sparkling as if always ready for an interior pictorial. I want to be a health buff, prepare my family meals from scratch so I would know what exactly are in the food they are eating. I want to homeschool Bryce (and my husband agrees completely) and teach him myself. I want to sew some of our clothes and of course, do a lot of crafting.family2

I was enjoying my newly found hobbies and embracing my role as a mom, housewife and freelance designer. I thought I could do without house help soon since Bryce was almost 4 years old. But then, I got pregnant last year and with the arrival of a new baby, it is now quite impossible to continue doing all these. Some things now have to be removed from my priority list and sadly, that’s crafting and decorating. What is on top now is taking care of Kenya (she’s 7 months now and still is exclusively breast-fed) and meeting my deadlines which are much harder than I thought.

After the “conversation,” I can’t help envying the two housewives. I wish I could be “just a housewife” too, so my family could have freshly cooked meals everyday instead of occasional take-aways and frozen meals. I wish I didn’t have any deadlines to beat so that I could always have time to play with Bryce and do crafts together. I wish I didn’t have clients to please so I didn’t need to hire a nanny to take care of Kenya. But I can’t, since I have to help my husband with our finances. It’s not that I don’t like working. I do love my job and I get some kind of fulfillment whenever I finish a project. But I love being hands-on mom even more.

Not to brag or anything, but I have quite an educational achievement too like the housewives mentioned earlier. I graduated with honors back in high school, B.F.A holder and was thesis of the year in college. I would have graduated Cum Laude had I not stopped for a year to take a crash course (did not finish though because I had to go back home) in Multimedia Arts in Calgary. (There was a rule that a student should be enrolled for at least 6 consecutive semesters to qualify for the honors. I stopped after my sophomore year so I only had four consecutive semesters spent in UST.) Imagine the “waste” if I would just be a housewife. But I don’t care… I had tried to excel during my student years and I will try to do my best now.

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I am a mom, I am a wife and I already have my own company to run — our household. I am greatly responsible for the people (my kids and husband) under my “management.” An employee’s well-being, spiritual, emotional, physical aspects are beyond the manager’s concern. What happens to them after office hours is rarely his business and he cannot be blamed for the employee’s misbehavior after he is out of the office. A manager’s job ends after he logs out for the day, but a mom and housewife’s duty is 24/7. The kids need to be guided constantly. If the child lacks discipline, the blame is on the parents. Raising disciplined, responsible and independent children is no easy task and the school failed to prepare us for this nor was a manual given to me after signing the marriage contract and giving birth.

One might say, “You can be a mom, a housewife and a career woman at the same time.” Do not judge me, though, I but in my opinion, being a mom and a housewife is multi-tasking itself. I need not enumerate the tasks needed to be done at the same time in order to run the household properly. All hands-on mom sure know this. As the saying goes, no one can serve two masters. Choosing both means you have to work “part-time” on either. I want to choose being “just” a full-time housewife.

My tuition fee was not “sayang” (wasted) because I would use all the knowledge and skills I acquired in school in raising healthy, well-rounded individuals. Although, I do not object to hiring house help or nannies, I personally think that children should not be left without parents for the majority of the day since it is the parents’ job to raise their own kids. But given today’s economic challenges, most wives have to work to help the husband provide for the family. I think being “just a housewife” now is more of a luxury rather than a derogatory title.

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I would love to be “just a housewife” because that means we are pretty much financially stable and having to work is just optional for me.  I would love to be a “just a housewife” because I would be able to rest physically and mentally when all the chores are done and the kids are asleep instead of scrambling to finish a project. I would love to be “just a housewife” because it breaks my heart whenever my kids yearn for my attention because I spent my time working.

So kudos to all housewives! I think your position is prestigious enough and your reward, even though not monetary, is far greater. It is spending time with your kids everyday, no matter how annoying they can be sometimes. It is witnessing firsthand every single milestone they achieve, not just hearing it from yayas or viewing the video of it. Those moments are too precious to miss. I wouldn’t trade that for a day’s salary because there is no way I can turn back time. I want to be “just a housewife” because I want to be credited for having a cozy house I maintained myself. I deserve a bonus remark that “the food is delicious” from my husband and kids. No amount of money or corporate award can top that.

Sooner or later, I will “just be a housewife!”




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