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To stress or not to stress


(Image by Chemist2dio Labs)

Christmas vacation officially starts today. That means I no longer have to wake up early to prepare the girls for school, at the same time keep a tight schedule as I juggle house chores, child care, online job(s), etc. throughout the day. However, I have a feeling that although there’s no school, things won’t really change much for me. I bet that a few hours from now–after I have gone to bed, that is–I would be up early again as I normally would on weekdays. Blame it on my body clock and the stuffs around the house that need my attention, especially our pets and plants.

I have been neglecting some of the plants, it seems. The big alley cats have been coming in and out of our backyard and have apparently been trampling on some of them. They badly need some rescuing–I have to start transferring them to pots. Meanwhile, our puppies need a good bath and some exercise, too. Plus, I still have more cleaning to do around the house. Honestly, having very young children means that in a week, our house would only be nice and tidy for a day or two. As for the rest of the week, you can expect their toys, books, and art materials, even clothes, strewn all over the place, especially in their playroom.

At times, I would tell myself that I should feel blessed that I have very energetic and creative children. And at other times, well, I give in to frustration, wondering if they’d ever learn to be neat and tidy all the time. Sometimes, I would purposefully leave things lying around like they do, then let them decide how they like the house all messy for more than a day. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, i.e., I end up clearing all the clutter.

I guess this is one of the difficulties faced by a stay-at-home-detail-oriented/well-organized-mom who used to work in the corporate world. In my case, I’ve managed to keep my desk clean most of the time when I was still working. I made sure that my files were well organized, so in case I would be absent or away, my boss or workmates would easily find the information or material that they might need from me. And because I used to work outside of home, that means somebody else (a maid) had to do the house cleaning for me while I earn a living.

But things have changed. I am now both a stay-at-home and work-from-home mom. With two little girls and a husband abroad, and without a maid.

Although my husband supports my decision of not hiring a household help for the mean time, he would still prefer that I have one. I guess it’s just better to stick to my decision at times like this and remember the good things that come with it. For one, the girls start learning about responsibilities and consequences. I know it would take a while before they could fully graspit,but it’s still a good start.

Next, we could eat anything we like, anytime, and anywhere we choose. My girls and I are fond of going out for food as well as ordering food delivery, especially on Fridays or weekends. On Fridays, it’s usually no rice for us. That means we could have pizza, burgers, pasta, bread and soup, noodles, etc. on a Friday. And if we happen to have a helper who wouldn’t last a day without a rice meal or couldn’t just eat any type of food–like my last helper–then that would be a bummer for us. (I don’t like planning more than one type of meal just to accommodate someone who can’t appreciate what the majority is having. And no, I didn’t grow up in a household where somebody eats a different meal from the rest.)

Finally, we get to save a lot. Come to think of it, although a helper would be paid at least P3,000.00 a month, the actual monthly budget that we should set aside for one should be doubled (P6,000). The other half (P3,000) would go to household expenses that she would incur but wouldn’t have to pay for, of course: food, water, and electricity. Sometimes, I’d have to shoulder the toiletries too, and most of the time, medical expenses as well in case she gets sick. (Even if I’d take care of her Philhealth contributions, she would have to wait at least six months before she could avail its benefits.)

I guess the big question for me is whether to stress or not to stress over household chores. Although they’re certified mommy concerns, I don’t think they would be worth a line in my forehead. Anyone who has a tip or two on how to run a household like mine smoothly? Thanks! 🙂

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