My friend, who is a newly wed wife, has decided with her hubby that she will be a stay at home wife just like me. Aside from her homely activities, she will also continue her volunteer works as a catechist and theater director at St. John School. But one time, she shared to me that there is something that’s nagging at her. The fear of not growing.
I understand that. I’ve been there at one point in my life. You see, there are women who are skeptical on staying at home for the fear of not being able to self-actualize, for the fear of being stuck, for the fear of not growing. But how do you really measure growth? How can you say you’re growing?
Several people measure growth only by the rank in their career, by how much money they earn, by how much material things they possess, by the titles in their names. These can also be measures of growth, but by themselves, they are incomplete. By themselves, they can’t make you happy.
I’ve learned about 5Q’s from our ninong who is also a preacher at the Feast. When I was faced with this same kind of fear, I just ponder on these things. As a stay at home mom, let me share with you my journey and my struggles to growth and self-improvement in the five areas of my life.
My prayer time and Bible reading have been an on and off rituals for me. It’s easy to pray when I’m needy; it’s easy to pray when I’m plagued with problems, but it’s different when everything is going smoothly around me.
But there was one author who spoke at one series of Haventoday.org. He said in his book that, “you don’t need self-discipline when you pray. You just need to acknowledge that you need Christ.” God meets us where we are – when we’re tired, when we’re distracted, when we’re bored.
We don’t need to be spiritual when we pray. We need to come to Him just as we are. We just need to ask His grace and help so we can pray, and it’s like praying before you pray. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Before I pray, I ask first, “Lord, help me to pray. Let me receive Your Word for me today.”
I placed a little Bible on our kitchen counter as this is where I go right away every morning. Before I prepare breakfast and start my house work, I take time to spend time with God and ponder on His words using the WordAmongUs devotion. Add to that I listen almost everyday to Joel Osteen talks and HavenToday.org‘s podcasts. So aside from weekly mass, ministries and Feast, I am also working on enriching my spiritual life and growing closer to Christ.
I won’t be disheartened when I miss a prayer or a reading. God knows me and loves me no matter what my imperfections are. And when I sin, that’s the time that I needed Him the most. So instead of running away from Him and beating myself up, I should come closer to Him, just like a child wooing her parents after committing something wrong.
I’ve been vocal on my appreciation to people who write articulately. To people whose words come gushing through them the minute they pound a key on their keyboard, or when they start scribbling with their pen on a paper. I also admire those writers who have a huge reservoir of vocabularies.
I’m not really a writer, but I want to improve myself in this area. So everyday I read books, fiction or non-fiction, I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while doing my house work. And I blog to practice my writing. I can say that somehow, I’m improving, though little by little.
By reading voraciously, I not only improve my writing, but I also get to learn new things : new life skills from podcasts, and inspirational nuggets that help me navigate through life and inspire me to achieve my dreams.
Can I ask you a question? when the time comes that you find yourself in your deathbed, what or who would you want to be with? Is it your bank account? Your certificates? Or your loved ones? I don’t know about you, but for me, it would be my loved ones –m y family and my friends.
And so I persevere as a wife and as a mom. I always have bonding time with hubby through a date, a conversation, a love making and on any activities that we can do together. The same with Yesha, I try to speak her love language by playing with her and being affectionate with her. When I go take my masters degree this year, I know it would be more challenging and I have to be more disciplined with my time.
As for a daughter and sister, I visit my family of origin every month. We have a 3-5 days mini vacation there. I love having conversations with them and that’s just what I do to stay abreast with their lives. I’m not that touchy with my younger brother, but I tap him at his back, hands, or shoulders. Maybe I could improve in this area too, the same with my father. I’m not into “I love you’s,” but I could learn even if it’s awkward at first.
As a friend, me and my husband always make time for our caring group friends. Establishing relationships with our friends is one of our priorities. That’s why they always have a space in our time and hearts.
I haven’t got anything to say about this one right now. Because admittedly, I haven’t mustered my discipline yet for exercise. My hubby’s inviting me to jog at the Ultra, maybe this year. My only exercise right now is household chores. But they aren’t enough to keep me in sweat. And as for food, I’m not that into it. I’m enough with having 3-4 meals a day. I don’t eat much.
Our kinect xbox has been idly sitting on our cabinet. I’ll be planning for this one. I just can’t develop all the habits at once. I can only manage one habit at a time.
Right now my husband is the sole provider of our family. And I really do appreciate and honor him for that. As for now all I care is about our emergency fund account, and that’s what we are slowly working on. As his cheerleader, I continue to support and encourage him on our business and on his stock trading endeavor.
We also lead a simple lifestyle, so we don’t have a lot of income outflow. But new adjustment will be done when I start going to school again.
I’m glad we both grew up with discipline in handling money. We both learned how to save and delay our gratification, life skills that we want to pass on to our children. Maybe when my kids don’t need a lot of my presence and time, maybe I could work too when that time comes. I could see myself working in an academe, teaching subjects related to Psychology. Counseling, most probably would be a part of my ministry. Or I could also have a private practice. I’ll just wait and see.
Other learning activities for financial quotient are establishing a business, investing in properties or paper assets, attending financial seminars and others.
Only dead people are incapable of growth. And as for those people who refuse to grow, they may not be dead, but they are a walking dead.
So if you’re like my friend, who is wondering and worrying about growth, just think of these 5Q’s, and you will have a lot on your plate in an instant. You cannot balance everything at once, but you can develop a habit around them slowly and one by one. As one study says, it takes 27 days of doing an activity before it becomes a habit.
Stay at home mom, work at home mom, working mom, unlike rooms for rent, rooms for growth and improvement will never run out. Try going in any of them and see what you can work on which will contribute to your character, to your family and to your life as a whole.
So What About You?
What Quotient/s are you prioritizing this year?