Parenting in Progress


There are times when I wonder if I’m a good enough parent. I’m not around as much as I want to, and when I am around, I’m not always “present” present. Distractions still get the better of me, and I’m left at the end of the day kicking myself in the shins because it could have turned out better.

Then after self-pity mode, I get myself together and embrace what’s there before me — there’s still time to do things better, time to make time. Like playing side by side with my son — he doesn’t really mind if I make Playdoh strawberries while he makes Playdoh sandwiches, he just wants me to be there playing by his side.

We recently had a long weekend in Manila because of the Papal Visit. I stayed home for all five days of vacation, bonding with my son. We played a LOT of Playdoh games. I’m not kidding you. I must have made more than twenty strawberries, a dozen bright blue cookies and yellow-white pretzels. I enjoyed every single minute of it.

“No cellphone, Mommy!,” he says, when he sees me sneaking in a game of Plants vs. Zombies 2, my current weakness. I shake my head in shame when he says this, because duh, I should know better. But instead of berating myself even more, I dive into a game of pretend and take on the role of Zookeeper Lego Man that Daddy Pig (Peppa’s papa) invited over.

“Mommy, play with me!,” he shouts out. “Timmy and Mommy play together!” Sometimes it makes me go “Waaaaaait, Timmy…” because at that moment all I want to do is enjoy my cup of coffee in silence – no Playdoh, no Legos, no pigs with English accents. Then I feel like a bad Mom for even feeling that way.

I write this because if you feel that way too, you’re not alone. We have those moments of guilt, and it’s okay. We need to nurture ourselves too. I know I do. I know I need my cup of coffee before I can make gingerbread men out of Playdoh or go on an adventure with a Lego astronaut. Before I know it, I’m 100% in the game, and the boy and I are giggling like schoolmates. Perhaps unlike little kids who can jump from one game to another, maybe adults have to ease in into playtime. (Ah, I’m getting old.)

Parenting in progress
This is parenting in progress. I’m learning something new everyday (like how making Playdoh strawberries is surprisingly relaxing). Before I kick myself in the shins for things I could’ve done better, I remind myself that this is a journey I’m on. I know I can do better, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad parent. It also doesn’t mean I’m a “good enough” parent. I’m a good parent. I’m a good Mom. If you’ve been on the same guilt bandwagon I’ve been on, it’s time we stop berating ourselves too much. I know I should!

Have you ever felt this way? Come, let’s talk about it over a cup of coffee. Maybe we can even make Playdoh strawberries while we talk. :)

8 Comments on Parenting in Progress

  1. A Gracious Life
    January 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm (9 years ago)

    As a mom, I have good days and then there are some bad days too but perhaps, in each day that we are gifted of being a parent, we always have the heart to keep going at it, to be better at it.
    A Gracious Life´s last blog post ..My Post on My Pope

  2. Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal
    January 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm (9 years ago)

    I could relate with you. I have 3 girls. 2 in their teens already and an 8 year old. I was a mom at the age of 24, and my 2nd daughter, I was 25. So I was a young mom then. I almost lost my sanity and all. But my 2 girls are very sweet, intelligent and mababait na girls. I was a hands on mom. As in. Could I say I was a good mom then, I guess so. I have no nanny then. It was my choice to be a hands on mom and to be a stay at home mom. And yes there were days then that I really blew my top. But it was like a “trial and error” for me then. Like me and my 2 girls “grew up” together. When I was 32, Amaya came. This time I could say that I AM A MOTHER to her. I know now what and how to do things. Amaya is 8 already, I really doted in her. We play. By the way, I love playing her play doh set too. Hahaha! And yes there are days that I blow my top, I am tired and all. But once my girls needs me, no matter how tired I am, I will make a point to be there for each of them. It is STILL a learning process for me, honestly. And my comment is long already. Hahaha! Thanks for this post.
    Ma. Teresa Grech Q. Racal´s last blog post ..1st Summer Activity: McDonald’s Kiddie Crew

  3. Honey
    January 21, 2015 at 9:55 pm (9 years ago)

    i know exactly how you feel… I crave for that needed me-time to recharge: sip my coffee slowly in deep thought or blogging in silence. I also want to be a good mom, being new to motherhood… Still struggling with the balance…
    Honey´s last blog post ..COURSES IN SINGAPORE

  4. Maggie
    January 22, 2015 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Toni! I can totally relate. Right now, my son is into Marble Raceway and he keeps on calling me to play with him but when I try to help him he doesn’t let me. So I go back and check my phone. Tapos he’ll try to get my attention again. I get it when you said Timmy just wants you to be there with him. Yes, parenting is a WIP and it’s not just you, nor me, but probably millions of moms out there. 😀 Thanks for voicing out our sentiments too hehe :)
    Maggie´s last blog post ..Healthy Snack: Pita Bread and Tzatziki

  5. Bituin
    January 22, 2015 at 9:58 am (9 years ago)

    I can totally relate with your guilt trips, Toni! Especially when my daughter grabs my phone away then shakes her head at me! I feel like I’m the one being disciplined haha. This year, I vowed that I’ll do my best as a mother in my own terms rather than what society tells me how I should raise my children and so far, I feel more relaxed. I’ve accepted that I’ll make mistakes but, like you, it’s important for me to learn from them. :)

  6. Aleli
    January 25, 2015 at 7:58 pm (9 years ago)

    Such a beautiful piece, Toni! :) Makes me want to be a mom! Haha!


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