Okay, let’s talk about the past few weeks. We’ve been yaya-less for about almost 3 weeks. That is a whole ‘nother story that I think I don’t even have the patience to talk about right now. Long story short though, she was supposed to go back last Sunday/Monday but I didn’t hear from her. I didn’t even bother texting or calling her the next day because I thought, if she really was sincere with everything she told me on the phone, she’d come back. But if not, okay lang. I honestly have gone through quite a few yaya break-ups, I know what to expect na and how to not get too heartbroken about it.
ANYWAY, so yeah. Yaya-less for almost 3 weeks. The first week (or a week and a half!) were the hardest. It took a while for us (mainly me!) to adjust to not having someone to halili or alternate with when I need to do something. I’ve basically done nothing on my To-Do/Want-To-Do list since I got back. And since Oscar is the one with the full-time job, it is my duty to care for the kids and just singit whatever stuff I need to do for work, for the blog or for our vlog. If you’re subscribed to our channel, you’ll notice I haven’t uploaded anything until today. I haven’t done so well with managing the free time I get when they’re napping or during after hours to do some editing for the vlog. I mostly took those time to breathe, relax, and actually have a meal that I don’t have to swallow whole.
But it’s been almost 3 weeks. In those almost 3 weeks, I have gotten to know my kids more than ever. It has been stressful, yes. Tiring, absolutely. But watching them 24/7 has given me the opportunity to learn more about them and actually figure out ways to help them grow to be who God meant for them to be in this world.
Joaquin is at this beautiful curiously learning and interactive age that I surely would have missed if I had a yaya around. He can sit down for 5-10 minutes going through books, or scribbling with a crayon, or stacking cups and putting shapes in the box. He is also full of attitude this one. He’s cranky, grumpy, but he’s also so sweet and would laugh at something so random that he’d actually tumble on his side and fall on the floor because he just can’t take the hilariousness of it.
He’s quick to learn too! He now feeds himself, knows that needs to wear slippers when we’re downstairs, knows to back-off when I say something or a place is off limits, he communicates when he needs milk and water, knows what going to bed and nap time means, and so much more! I’m pretty sure a bunch of these things, he already knew before, but since I was so busy with my life, I haven’t really been watching. One thing I’m most proud of is that he’s been more talkative. Since I talk him through everything from waking up ’til bed time, he has picked up a looot of words these past few weeks. His favorite? Cookie, binky, and Elmo.
Jacob and I haven’t done formal homeschooling since December. Yup. We stopped doing our Daily Worksheet routine when the holidays came and we haven’t picked up ever since. Our homeschool calendar is still January. Go figure. To compensate for the lack of sit-down time, he’s been doing an online reading and math curriculum that I got him at the beginning of the year. He recently just finished Reading for Pre-K (he’s already in Kindergarten). He’s around 60% complete for Pre-K Math and we’re so happy he likes numbers! We found out he was good at it around January when Oscar opened up the addition flash cards. We’re also working on his coloring and writing skills. I’m so proud of this work he finished today (he started yesterday though and stopped because his hands were tired. Hi hi 😉 ). It was all him with his patient Momma by his side, guiding him.
We have drastically reduced his own screen time. By own screen time, I mean him watching his favorite kid youtubers on my phone or Oscar’s phone. We have banned him from watching those that have taught him language that we don’t appreciate him using (not exactly curse words). That may be another topic all together too. Anyway, he’s been more present (and more makulit!) than ever because of his limited screen time. He can only watch TV when all of us or he and Wacky are watching together, which is mostly during our down time from homeschool and playing. We’re working on some parts of our learning strategy because, as much as I don’t like comparing kids’ development and all, I’d like him to be able to communicate better with other kids.
It breaks my heart how often I lose my cool with him just because I am distracted and stressed. I am thankful for the last almost 3 weeks because I’ve slowed down. Way down. And I so, so, so appreciate how patient HE has been with his Mom. You won’t believe how much this kid has gone through. And no, not physical abuse, much worse, emotional abuse. He doesn’t deserve grumpy, there-but-not-there Mommy. He deserves the Mommy that I am right now. The Mommy who listens to him intently, no matter what he is saying. The Mommy who will sit down and patiently work with him on his homeschool lessons and not the Mommy who wants him to finish work quickly because she needs to do something else.
I’ve learned a lot of things about my kids. Good, bad. Things that I am so thankful to God for blessing them with, and a few things that are just basically rooting from humans being sinners from birth. It’s all a mix-mix of things really. I can’t help but be grateful though because I am here. I am present. To help them, mold and guide them through this life. We’ll work on the quirks together. At the end of the exhausting day, I look at them both, most of the time in triumph because I have finally put them to sleep, and see how I can easily miss things that they go through if I get too immersed with work, my interests, etc. Jacob is turning 5 in a few months. FIVE! Holy cow. I have a five year old.
Don’t get me wrong, ME TIME, is non-negotiable and very much appreciated. It’s something a Mom or Dad needs for sure. But I like where I am at. Sure, I have abused the Sesame Street YouTube Channel for breakfast, morning break, lunch, and dinner. But who cares?! We get. things. done! I felt sad when our yaya said she wanted to come home early to help us kasi kawawa daw si Wacky (how to translate this: Poor Wacky needs someone to take care of him?). For me, that means that I am not able to care for my kids by myself and that was a wake-up call. I actually told Oscar that I was having second thoughts about her ending her vacation early because I love being 100% hands on with the kids. But it’s something we need to be able to do even if there’s help. You know, be there.