Monday, January 6, 2014

The scene in How I Met Your Mother that made me cry

Lily: Sometimes I wish I wasn't a mom. Sometimes I want to pack my bags and leave in the middle of the night and never come back.

Ted: Are you serious?

Lily: I don't know. I mean, I love being a mom. I love Marvin so much. But you remember when I wanted to be an artist? Art was my whole life and now it's been months since I've picked up a brush. I spend the whole day taking care of kids at my job and when I come home, it's more of the same. It never lets up. It's just really, really hard.

Wow, that honesty just blew me away because I don't think mothers (or fathers, for that matter) are allowed to be honest with how they truly feel about being a parent. Even I get scared sometimes to talk about how I feel about motherhood, especially with the advent of all these mommy blogs professing how perfect their mommy lives are. Seriously, sometimes I read all these blogs and all I can sense is a defensiveness: "Yes, my life revolves around my children and I love it!!! There's no other life like this! Mothers are the best human beings! I make the perfect soufflé and have little decor vignettes scattered around my tastefully decorated home and I throw fabulous tea parties with matching monogrammed napkins!!! And what's your life like? Oh. You have a career. No kids? How interesting."

Then here I am, also a happy mother but just also an extremely overwhelmed one. I feel this huge pressure to be perfect, too, to whip up that soufflé and decorate my home and have monogrammed napkins and do all of that in high heels with a child balanced on my hip, and sometimes I succeed (mostly at the balancing the kid on my hip with heels on because I really find cooking and decorating boring) but mostly I'm just busy watching my kids and making sure they're fed and safe and alive to even care about my house. I mean, really, at the end of the day, isn't it enough my kids are fed and happy and tucked in bed??? Do I have to make sure they're fed with organic food that I cooked myself and that they have to be tucked into beds with crisp sheets with a thousand thread count?

But I'm scared to talk about it because all I'm supposed to feel is blessed and grateful. And I am blessed and I am grateful but I also am human, and birthing a child didn't magically make me a superhuman. I'm still woefully weak. I get tired, I get cranky, I get sad, I get mad, I get selfish, I get lazy.

It never lets up. It really never does. Sigh.

I always get asked what is it about motherhood that I find difficult and I always say, "The constant vigilance." You really can't rest because it's always that one time you looked away, that one time you were stressed out, that one time you got distracted, that's the one time your child gets into an accident. Constant vigilance!

And then I also get asked what surprised me the most about motherhood. I always say, "The love. I never thought I'd be capable of so much love." And that, my friends, is what makes the constant vigilance bearable, even okay. After all, what could be so bad about watching your kid? Love makes it a privilege.

I'm blessed and I'm grateful. How can I be otherwise?
Unlike Lily, I never wish I wasn't a mom. I guess I wished it out of me for 33 years! I also never wish to leave my kids. I can't even leave them for more than two hours! I just wish I had more time to sleep. I wish I didn't have to breastfeed because I really don't like it. I wish my kids can just eat junk food all day every day and be healthy because I don't enjoy cooking. But I don't sleep, I still nurse Iñigo, and I still cook anyway.

That's love for you. Love really truly does make everything okay.

* * * * * * *
Subscribe to my newsletter
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Instagram
Love me on Bloglovin'


  1. You know, I really love it when you write these thoughts, Frances. Sometimes I forget not everyone loves the homemaking part of being a mom (cooking, the cleaning, etc), because I'm the kind that DOES like all that. Weird ba?!

    But the homemaking aside: Being a mom is tiring. I can't believe I have a four year-old now, and there are days when I'm like "What the hell will I do? How will I raise this little BIG boy? Will I fail?" and a whole load of other anxious thoughts. Sigh! You're right; it never ends. Like this Christmas season alone, Vito got bogged down with a virus, just a few weeks after he got over one on his birthday. I felt so bad, like I should have been less busy with work. I even had a time when I wanted to throw in the towel on the whole work-at-home thing and just be a mom, but that didn't work out either.

    Mahirap. But, like I wrote a couple of days ago on my blog, it's LOVE nga that keeps us where we are as moms. And YOU have such great love, I can feel it, see it in all you do for your kids, even though I'm just watching from the blog vantage point.

    So, I'm cheering you on. Sama-sama tayong mga mommies, eyebags and all! (Though I hear a good eye cream DOES help!) Hope to see you soon, Frances. Still have your Christmas gift, huhuhu!

    1. I've tried soooo many eye creams. If you find one that works, tell me!!!

      I also still have your gift!

      You're a great mom, Marts. You're one of those moms that made me feel insecure before (alam mo yan!) until I actually really started reading your blog and getting to know how you're such a lovely human being—not just a mom. I love how you're not just a mom actually, that you celebrate being a wife, a homemaker, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a WAHM. It's very inspiring!

    2. Awww. Shucks, Frances. Thanks, truly! You are, too. You keep me centered, just reading your blog, and even through your updates on Facebook since we don't see each other that much. Here's to more time for friendship in 2014, I hope to get to know you more (more than 2013!), so that I can also pray specifically for you. My mom said that's the best way to support our fellow mommies.

      Have a great week, OK! I will likely drop off the gift tomorrow, because I have to whiz past your part of the city!

  2. Why do you let yourself get pressured by these other moms? It's alright to say what you feel. Everyone is different. What if these mothers really enjoy their role and everything that goes with it? It would be unfair to judge them just because they want everything to be perfect in their mommy lives and homes. Why do you automatically think they are defensive?
    I have a friend who throws the best themed dinner parties but that doesn't make me feel insecure. In fact I admire and love her creativity.
    I have mommy friends who aren't obsessive compulsive about what their kids eat but it doesn't make me think they're irresponsible. I know how busy they can get and I don't blame them.
    Maybe these so called perfect moms just want to write about what they love and what they want to remember and share to others to inspire them.
    Not all moms enjoy what they're doing bec motherhood really is a big role to fulfill. But if you would like to share what you really feel, good or bad, go ahead and do so. Maybe it's what you need to let out that mommy stress that is a normal thing to have anyway. Maybe other moms just don't want to talk about it the way you do.

    1. You seem to have missed that part where I said that these moms have that condescending "And what's your life like? Oh. A career. No kids? How interesting." =)

      People think I'm perfect actually. Have you read this blog??? I mean, I read my own blog sometimes and feel, "Wow, this woman has got it all! Great career, great marriage, great kids, great-looking house, great cook!" LOL!

      That's where the pressure comes from, come to think of it. You're right—I don't feel pressure from other seemingly perfect moms. I feel pressure because people think I'm perfect when I'm so glaringly not! So I try to find inspiration from other mommy bloggers and some moms really do inspire me but then I stumble onto some Pinterest Perfect blogs and get sad.

      I'm careful to talk about my life happily and not sound smug or defensive or too proud because I also know that all these can be taken away from me in an instant.

      As for the the other moms who just gloat about their perfect lives, I really mean those who look down on everyone else. Haven't you met anyone like that? I have. Shudder. You can tell who's happy and who's just overcompensating. We recognize kindred souls and we get put off by those who are just pretending. It's those people I'm talking about and I don't think their lives are perfect, but you're right. Who am I to judge?

      To be honest, I think all of us happy moms (creative ones or not, homemakers or career women) lead perfect lives. We're so happy! I should just focus on that!

  3. :) love the post. I don't have words to express it but you hit it right on. while like martine, I enjoy and love the homemaking part of being a mom and wife, I just don't have all the time in the world to perfectly hone my Martha Stewart skills.

    Our circumstances demands that I have to work full-time. I get cranky, I get nasty, I cry..a lot and sometimes at 3 am when the baby does not stop wailing, I get morbid thoughts of throwing him out of the window. (I never did and I know I never will Lol) ...because I want to sleep because I have to work the following day. Does that make me a bad mom? I hope not, because I love love love the little one dearly and those thoughts are just thoughts of a tired, cranky mom who misses a full straight 8 hours of blissful sleep :)

    I can see the baby bump. You are always a pretty buntis. :)

    Wish you and your family a wonderful 2014.

  4. I feel the same way. I always feel I pale in comparison compared to all the vocal advocacy-active mommy bloggers out there who seem so perfect.

  5. Hi Frances,

    Thanks for posting entries like this - as you said earlier with the advent of mommy blogs and how people seem to have it all while being a hands on parent/mother to children, a lot of times I feel inadequate and wonder what I'm doing wrong and why my parenting life is not as "perfect", hehehe! I guess this comes from being sucha control freak and if there's one thing about parenthood that I've learned - you can never control your kids, yes you can guide them, influence, steer them in the direction that you want but after everything else, reality is that they are their own people.

    Btw, I have never had the chance to respond to the email that you replied with after my question, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the points and food for thought that you shared.

    P.S. You look really blooming with your belly bump in the picture above :) Blessing you with an easy presgnancy :)

  6. I love this post, I love HIMYM, and I totally agree. :-)

    (This actually may be the reason I don't blog about being a mom, hehe.)

    I even remember an entire phase of being resentful against commercials / movie scenes where they show all these tender moments of raising their infants... but they fail to show the exhaustion / self doubt / moments of mental & emotional shut-down that come with it.

    Yes, it's all worth it, and it's the kind of choice/life path we would never regret making.

    But YES, it's also completely okay for us not to feel like it *all the time.*

    Mommies are human, too. ;-)

    Thanks for this post, Frances.

  7. I get it. it's absolutely human nature to judge other people and compare ourselves to them. to be honest, I somehow judge(d) a relative who gave birth to around the same time I did which means that we made our choices pretty much the same time. I chose to breastfeed, she chose not to. I chose to be more hands on, she chose to go back to work abroad and leave her kid with lola. occasionally, I felt more smug about myself and would say silently "ahh im the better mom" but then again I would wake up from my delusion and realize that everyone fights a different battle as a parent. some people just fight a battle in their head of what soufflé to make and handcrafted kid-friendly beverage would be better for a party. and even that we judge as condescending and annoying.

    parenting is different for everyone. some people feel more comfortable admitting their difficulties, some people don't. for all you know, the "perfect" moms feel better for being more hands on and Martha stewart-like but feel bad about missing out on careers and all.

  8. Wow, this is true for so many people out there. I'm past this stage in my life. But I can tell you there was probably a day, a week or a month when I felt the same. I think it probably happens to all of us at some point.

  9. Oh I know how you feel some days. Its hard when others make it seem so perfect and easy

  10. I think when you can air things like this it shows how secure you are as a mom and how much you actually love the kids and love being a mom.

  11. I know exactly what you mean! I'm not a perfect mom and I would never wish to not be a mother. But there are times when I wish certain parts of motherhood were easier. But like you said, the love we have for our kids and the love our kids return make everything ok.

  12. Thanks for being honest! We need more of this...transparency.

  13. I adore being a mom - even though my kids are all grown now. I must admit, the summer before my youngest was going to start school, I spent weeks planning my "freedom". On how glorious it was going to be to have a quiet empty house. All 10 kids would be in school and out from under me for 7 fabulous hours every weekday. HA - the quiet house was actually kind of spooky and I spent my first day as as "free woman" baking snacks for the kids.

  14. I also, wished it out of me. :) I have an accomplished and beautiful almost 14 year old, and two precious, adopted (not that that makes a difference) almost four year old twins. Is it hard? Yes. Do I want to crawl in a hole sometimes and just have a moment to myself? You bet. But I am thankful over and over and over again that I was chosen to be the "mommy" to these three precious girls.
    Brought tears to my eyes. TY for the honesty and encouragement.
    The Welcoming House Blog

  15. you know I think all parents feel that way sometime or another. Parenting is a hard job. It is important to remember to take time to yourself too so you don't get to feeling that way. It breaks my heart to watch that clip, mostly because we have been trying for years to have a baby and I am more than ready. Great post.

  16. You sounds just my kind of mom. I love my son but I know I would go nuts if I had to stay home with him all the day. I need my work, I need that opportunity to do something else, be something else, be me and not mom of...
    And even though I like eating and living in a clean house. I do not like cooking or cleaning up. I have had to learn do both things but it's not something I enjoy or even take pride in.
    But I'm very proud of my son and of my work.

  17. It's not easy to be a mom but it is so rewarding to see and feel the joy and love that's coming from our kids!

  18. I love this post Frances. In fact, I really do miss posts like these. It has always been your honesty that has attracted me to your blogs. I do understand the need to filter your thoughts more, now that you have sponsors and all, I'm just saying I miss them. =)

    Motherhood is a very special experience. Not always perfect, not always pleasant... but always filled with love. I just worry sometimes that in a few years, the kids may not see the nagging and the bugging and the nosing around as acts of love. (oh yeah, I do intend to nose around) hahaha...

    Kwala =)

    1. Actually, it's not the sponsors that have made me edit myself. It's my readers! How strange is that! When this blog used to have just a few hundred readers, I felt safe and welcome and loved. But now that there's a LOT, I get a LOT of criticism and mean comments (I don't publish them) so I've held back. Plus, I suddenly felt that my family's safety is compromised. I'll blog about this soon.

  19. I'm a first time mom of an 8month old baby :) I can truly relate with what you wrote. Funny that what I miss most is being able to sleep for 8 hours straight. Breastfeeding also entails a lot of time and effort but I do it still. Most days I also forget to brush my hair and to put on my lipstick but what the heck, the little person beside me now is worth it :)

    1. Sigh! True. I brush my hair maybe twice a week!!! I miss reading books. And sleeping! OMG sleeping!!!

      Congrats on the baby! That age is so much fun!

  20. I love this post because it came after you saying that all that shows up on this blog is your happiness. I also thought you were one of those perfect moms with no yaya, a beautiful home and sons, and all with having your own time to work. That's heaven right there. I love hearing your thoughts on the other side of things!

    I do blog about trying to fit in everything I value in the same day - it's always a give and take of something else. I don't quite get where the 'defensiveness' judgement comes from, but at the end of the day every mom tries her best and that's the great equalizer. I like reading moms who do things differently and pick up a lot of things from them too - blog posts and comments!

    HNY to your lovely family!

    1. Re: defensiveness I felt from some blogs. I normally read lovely mommy blogs but last weekend, I stumbled upon some smug mommy blogs (I will not link to them haha). Mostly mommies who are breastfeeding advocates or housewives or who have lots of kids and just said these things: "I can't understand mothers who give formula to their babies. It's irresponsible to give them less than the best. I would never dream of giving less than the best to my kids," "I think women who won't give up their careers for their family should not have had children," "Planning your family is selfish." Stuff like that. I don't know what happened, how I seemed to have found these judgmental blogs but it made me judgmental, too! LOL

    2. I get it now. Ooh, I do get it now. Haha.

  21. Around two years ago, I wanted to be that "perfect mom" and will spread to the world I am like that through my blog. Eventually, I got tired. Being perfect is tiring. Hehe. I can't keep up to those who have already perfected how to be perfect. My imperfect but happy self is so much better than what I was trying to be. And yeah, I get you. This is so spot on. More, more of this kind for 2014. ♥

    Thank you, Frances! You truly are a womanspiration. ♥

  22. I like you Frances for saying things a "perfect mommy" should never say... about breastfeeding, organic food and home-cooked food for kids, etc. Motherhood is very difficult and other people just adds to the burden like shoving their advocacies into our throats :)

  23. This scene in HIMYM reminded me of the scene in Sex and the City 2 that resonated to me when I saw it. It was the scene where Miranda and Charlotte connected over their feelings of inadequacies over being a mother and a woman at the same time. (

    Anyway, here's another article that I have read during one of those down times and it comforted me somehow:


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!