Parenting is a hell of a job. That’s why I always go back to the time when my life was simpler.
As I lay down in bed exhausted, I hoped to hear noise from the kitchen, mom making dinner, while noise from tv muffled from the living room where pop watched tv. Later, mom would call me for dinner.
“Mom, what’s for dinner” My body makes a sharp jerk from being surprised. That’s my son peeping from the half-opened door of my dim bedroom. Asking for dinner. I have to prepare for dinner yet. I completely lost track of time. My muscles were in knots; they felt sore. I hesitantly climbed out of bed, as my body felt heavy.
My family would always come to mind every time I had a rough day. I imagine my evenings would be going home to a hearty dinner and just directly go to bed and sleep my burnout away. I imagined my mornings would like to be waking up in the sweet aroma of a perfect sunny side up, the smell of garlicky sinangag ( fried rice), and the biting smell of smoked fish.
How my breathing paces slowly. My body felt like floating whenever I thought about my childhood home.
When in those years, staying in the same home felt enormously different.
I remember when I was younger, how itchy I was to be moving out from home. I don’t like all the restrictions. I don’t like how doing things should have its proper way of doing (who says so?). I don’t enjoy people tell me how something is supposed to be done.
I like to spend my time idly, sluggishly, and slowly. I woke up when the sun’s glaring rays touched my face. I have brunch late in the afternoon. I slacked going out and socialize with my friends. I could lounge out a day just reading in a corner comfortably while my mom’s voice was in the background calling me to do something.
The paradox of life. I want to live somewhere else, thinking it would make me happier. However, as I started to build my own, I realized that there’s still no place like home.
More recently, I have been envisioning myself back to that house again. I wish to travel back through time. Just push a button. A time portal would appear in front. My legs would fly excitedly towards that warp leading back to the past.
I ignored the times that I got free lunches. The love and support mom and pop gave me. Unconditionally and unselfishly. The care that my extended family gave me. The support system had been there in the family for so long without waning.
I enjoyed all the perks as a child. I enjoyed the cottony feel of the blankets I used but never did the laundry. It was my mom. I was feasting like a king during meals but never even cooked a single meal. I never had to worry about what to prepare for the next meal. I never had to worry about the bills. My mom’s wrinkles just added worrying about that.
Another life’s paradox. Happiness is elusive when you try to chase it. I sought for it, even when it’s already under my nose.
I was an entitled brat! I realized. I literally have an easy life. I should be happy and thankful. Instead, I always find fault in everything.
Parenting is not an easy climb. It’s a messy job that requires resilience. Now, I’m a mom of two courageous and confident teens. We argue and disagree, struggling to have a common ground.
I tried not to chase happiness this time. As I reflected on my days’ worth, I seldom felt happy. It’s mostly fatigue, anxiety, worry, and fear. But every time, I’m thankful. Thankful that have kind and decent kids. Thankful that I can put food on the table. Thankful that I can provide a warm, comfortable, and cozy place for my kids. That’s all that matters.
My feet are heavy as I walk towards the kitchen to prepare for dinner. I just want to sleep.
Parenting is a hell of a job. That’s why I always go back to the time when my life was simpler. The time when I don’t have to care about things.
When the family was my stronghold.