I’ve always looked forward to the start of a new year. New beginnings, new opportunities, new learnings. It’s always a chance to start anew and make better versions of ourselves.
The start of the year was a test of patience, maturity & understanding for my husband and I. Basically, our helper who has been with us in taking care of Joaquin since he was 1 month old didn’t come back at the set date of her return to us. The last we heard was that she got sick and was recuperating. But after a few more days, we couldn’t contact both her phones and there was no way to reach her and to know what had happened.
Part of me was worried about how she was and what could have happened to her already.
Part of me was also worried that she might not come back at all.
But part of me was also confident that there might be circumstances beyond her control and that she’ll still be coming back.
You see, this was not the first time that this has happened. Back in 2013, we also had a similar experience with her “disappearing” for almost 1 month. But she did come back.
So Wally & I chose to just be cool with this episode and wait until she comes back. Compared to 2013, Joaquin is older now and I am not working fulltime anymore. Plus, school for me wasn’t to start till the 2nd week of January. So I was thrusted to being a fulltime work from home mom. I was literally at home but I still had to do my work from home responsibilities plus add on taking care of Joaquin and household chores fulltime.
Sometimes, I had to choose to be productive at home or to be productive with work or to simply enjoy quality time with Joaquin. Sometimes, I had it all. Sometimes, I practically did nothing at all.
The first few days of being on “home-arrest” was pretty heavy. It was the time of adjustment and balancing. When Wally would come, he’d help out in the chores as well. And somehow, we’d manage as if we had a helper.
On the second week, I felt that we had found our groove that I actually thought about not getting another helper in case she didn’t come back. I felt so domesticated and empowered and in a way, invisible. Yes, we could do this. I was telling Wally to imagine that we were abroad just like our siblings who had no helper and yet they were thriving in that setup.
On the third week, I felt the rollercoaster ride take a dip again and I was back at feeling tired and burdened. It was also the week when Joaquin was not feeling well and would vomit a lot. It’s not the first time that Joaquin had vomitted. But when that had happened in the past, I’d bring him to the bathroom to clean him up. And when we’d come out, the vomit would be gone and everything would be clean again. But that time, after cleaning him up, the vomit was still there and didn’t miraculously disappear. Gosh, I had to clean that too. When I managed to clean it up (for the first time!), a second time was not too far behind because a few minutes after, Joaquin had vomitted again. Wow. Just wow.
There were days like these that were physically, emotionally and mentally difficult. I really needed to have a break. I was feeling really tired that day when I chanced upon an picture that I had emailed to myself a few weeks back.
It was a simple happy family picture. And this picture simply reminded me to look at the bright side. When times are tough, focus on the bright side.
Yes, Wally and I have been tired for weeks.; we haven’t gone out on a date since last December; and we’ve been anxious if or when our helper would come back.
But Yes also, that through this tough times, we have our young family going through it together. Wally and I have been pretty much stretched to go beyond ourselves but we’ve definitely become better at time and anger management! (Hopefully, we’ve lost weight in the process too!) We’ve been supported by our families literally by lending their helper (when I had to be in school), sending over food to share, well-wishes and prayers. We’ve also been pretty much domesticated and have found joy (literally for me) to unlocking new achievements at home. We’ve also been seeing the partnership in our marriage be strengthened. And of course, we’ve also clung more to God because of these tough times.
We still wait in hope how the story in this angle in our lives will unravel. But in the meantime, we’ll go forward and face the tough times always being reminded to focus on the bright side.