Monday, February 6, 2017

My Mommy is Famous: A Book That Made Me Cry

I was in a bookstore and looking for a certain book that I wanted to buy for my kids. While going through the display of books, I saw this book (My Mommy is Famous) and immediately picked it up. I leafed through the pages quickly to see what it is all about. As soon as I got the gist of the story, I decided not to let it go. Yes, I bought it that day even though it was not part of my plan. I still found and bought the book I really wanted to buy. But I added this gem that I found because the story resonated with me.

When I first read the book to my kids aged 8, 5 and 2, there were parts when I could no longer read well because I could not help but cry. I could very much identify with the mom in the story. The other day, I read it again to my kids before their nap time, along with other books. Still, I could not help but break into tears. Well, not as much as the first time, but my eyes welled up fast just the same.

The book My Mommy is Famous and a calendar with Mama Mary in the cover. Mama Mary is one of my role models on motherhood.

Let me tell you why.

The mom in the story is a hands-on mom to her daughter. She did not get a nanny or yaya for her because she wanted to personally take care of her. She attends to her needs. Towards the end of the story, it was revealed that she left her prestigious and high-paying job to focus on motherhood. Her child, at first, did not understand this. She was wondering why she didn't have a yaya and was even envying her classmates who had nannies. But in the end, she realized that she is one blessed child for her mom chose her over her own career.

That's where I always get emotional. When the mom explains to her child why she doesn't have a yaya and when the child finally understands why and appreciates her mom for all that she does for her.

If you have been following my blog, you would know by now that we have a similar story. I also resigned from my prestigious and high-paying job so I can focus on my family. I made this decision a few months after I got married. When I tendered my resignation, I didn't know that I was already pregnant. Actually, it was also the beginning of February when I did that. Weeks after that, we found out that I was pregnant with our first child. I really felt led to make that decision because I was put on bedrest as soon as my pregnancy was confirmed.
Since then, I did not work outside the home anymore as an employee. I only accepted freelance projects or gigs mainly because I wanted to ensure that majority of my time is spent building our growing family and investing in my relationship with my husband and children. I wanted to build a strong foundation for my family and since we were newly married then and our firstborn was on the way, I concluded that that's the best decision to make.

Fast forward to several years later, I'm still working from home and doing home-based business for the same reasons. My kids are still young and need much attention. I want to be present to them most of the time during their formative years. I want to be part of their childhood memories. I want to take an active role in their values and character formation. I want to be the primary influence in their young and tender lives. I want to give them the best care and education we can afford. That meant I would be the primary caregiver and teacher.

One of my latest photos with my 3 kids, all boys.

I liked how the book helps kids understand the lesson in the story and the love and devotion that the mom has for her child. I liked that it helped me communicate and share with my own kids my own reason for choosing to be a hands-on mom to them. The other day, I also emphasized the advantages of having their own mom take care of them as opposed to having a yaya. We've had our own experience of having helpers at home. Their main job is to do household chores. Then, when I get tired taking care of my kids and when I need to work on my laptop in my home office, I let them watch over the boys while I do my job. But these maids proved to be unreliable even for a short while. I would find them just talking to each other and not really engaged in play with my kids or ignoring the kids.

One time, I was surprised to see my kids already climbing our gate while the two maids were chatting with each other. Good thing that I got curious when my kids' voices got a bit loud. This prompted me to look outside the window of my home office and I saw my boys up on our gate. I rushed downstairs and out into our garage and hurriedly put my boys down. I reprimanded the maids for not keeping the boys safe. Their excuse, the boys would not listen when they told them not to climb. Hello! Those are kids! They do no grasp yet the danger of what they were doing. That is why they need to be supervised by adults. That is why I asked the maids to watch over them because I wanted their eyes on them while my eyes were on my work. Sigh.

After several occasions of these maids not really being responsible either with household chores or with occasional child care, I fired them. Actually, even when we had maids, I still do almost everything for the kids. I feed them, breastfeed them, put them to sleep, read books to them, bathe them, teach them, etc. The maids simply assist in cutting their food, cleaning their toys and in watching over the other kids when I am attending to another.

So, these days, when I need to work and the kids are awake, I simply make them play near me where I could easily glance at them and hear them while they are busy playing. At least now I know that they are truly safe.

I don't know if we will ever find a reliable maid in the future. But one thing I'm sure of is that I love being a hands-on mom to my kids and I think I'm going to stick to this lifestyle as long as God permits. It's not easy, but it's surely rewarding. I think that as my kids grow older, they are beginning to understand and realize the value of my devotion and the sacrifices that I do for them. Maids come and go but I will always be here for them as long as I'm alive. Most of all, nothing can be compared to a mother's love and devotion for her children. I think it's the best kind of love next to God's love for us. Do you agree?

I highly recommend this to moms who have a similar story. Although the mom in the story had great achievements and was famous, I think ordinary moms can relate to her reason for choosing to leave her job to prioritize being a hands-on mother to her child. I'm glad that I found this book by Lampara Books. It's part of the Kuwentong Nanay Series. I plan to check out the other titles in the series, too.

Do you have other recommendations of good books about motherhood that can help us parents teach kids to value what their mothers do for them? Feel free to share with me in the comments. I would love to discover more wonderful books. Reading is one of my favorite bonding activities with my kids who are also bookworms like me.

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