2013 has been a challenging year for me. It was when I decided to quit law school and focus on my pregnancy while taking care of my one year old daughter. It was also the year when I discovered the wonders of online jobs and became a freelance writer, just so I can have something for myself. It was also the year where I faced the many personal issues, only to come out stronger.
This may not be my best year but 2013 so far has been a year full of lessons.
1. Go out of your comfort zone. I always believed that my success will come from being a lawyer. I guess I was that naive. 2013 taught me step out of my comfort zone and try new things. That there’s more to life and success than just finishing law school and passing the bar. I worked my way as a freelance writer, something I never thought I would do, and even started an online business, something I thought I am not capable of. Thanks to my husband who’s pushing me to do better, I was able to try out some things I thought I can never manage.
2. Failure or rejection may visit from time to time. It took me a month before I was able to land my first job. It also took me some time before I was able to get my first sale. I had a couple of setbacks before I was able to establish myself. I felt bad at first, thinking that I am such a failure but then I realized that without these, I wouldn’t be smarter and stronger
3. Always have time for yourself. When you’re a mom, you’ll realize that everything else revolves around the kids. I love my kids more than anything but I also learned to love myself too. I tend to be cranky and feel like I’m not in my best self when I don’t pamper myself at least once a month. And having time for myself does not mean spending. A quiet time at home plus a good book to read can already do the trick for me.
4. It’s okay to ask for help. I have this attitude of doing everything by myself. I know there are a lot of people who are better than me but I just have trouble trusting them, especially when my kids are involved. Now, I learned to appreciate the people around and what they can do to make it easy for me. Raising two babies is a challenge and I’m glad I have additional hands to help me.
5. Life will always be full of surprises. Every now and then, good things will come in our way. Whether or not we’re ready for it, it doesn’t matter. Accept whatever is given to us, no matter how good or bad it may be (I had a few surprises this year) with open arms, make use of it and we’ll be surprised on how much it can make a difference in our lives.
6. Patience, patience, patience. My typical day will include taking care of the kids, looking after the house and working. It may not seem a lot but trust me, these are all handful – especially my two year old. It may be exhausting from time to time but I definitely learned to keep my cool especially when my toddler strikes. And when you’re a mom, you’re going to need a truck-full of patience.
7. SAVE. And in all caps for emphasis. As I’ve said, life is full of surprises. We’ll never know what will be given to us and we all have to be prepared. I never really understood the importance of saving until i became a mom. Suddenly, everything is about preparing for the kids’ future and making sure they have something for themselves when they grow up. But saving can be challenging, especially for me, since I used to just think about myself and my needs. But now, even my little earnings from online writing, I make it a point to just put it in the bank in case I might need it.
8. Always have an outlet.It keeps me sane, it’s as simple as that. And so far, writing has been my outlet.
9. Never take relationships for granted. The problem with living together is there is a certain level of comfort and ease while being around each other. I do feel comfortable with my husband around but that doesn’t mean I should stop taking care of myself and attending to my husband’s needs. Just because we’ve been together for quite sometime does not mean we should stop caring and loving each other. There are times where we always remind ourselves how it is to be a couple even now that we’re parents. And believe me, a date night even once a month can do wonders.
10. Enjoy the moment while it lasts.Kids grow up fast and in just a blink of an eye, they’re already running around on their own or calling my name. And I’m grateful for being a stay-at-home mom because I get to see all their milestones – first hand.
But I think the most important but difficult lesson is learning how to be a mom and a wife while still keeping my personality intact. From time to time, I may outgrow my first love, first passion, first hobby or first interests but who I am as a person will always be there.
Goodbye 2013. Thank you for giving me wonderful memories. But I’m off to the next chapter.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.