I’m a hands on mom by choice, not by circumstance.
Since having kids, I knew my desire was to be their full time mom – even if it meant setting aside work and my own pleasures and convenience.
In this culture of yayas, I’ve had my share of discouragement and worry from some, including my own family. “It’s too hard!”, “You’ll be so tired!”, “You can’t handle two”, “Why don’t you get a yaya for your girls?”, were just some of the comments I got.
Well, believe it or not, being hands on with my kids is actually something that I want to do. And even if I'm living as though I was abroad with this yaya-less setup, somehow I don't mind. I do have a housekeeper who helps around the house because even though I know I can handle the girls, I am certain that my house will be a mess if I am to be in charge of it as well. And that would mean it would be even more difficult to work on my projects. There simply won’t be enough energy or time left in my day.
When I'm out with the girls (and without Daddy) our helper also assists in bringing our stuff and in watching over the girls (watch and not change diapers or give a bath though haha), but at home, I am their primary and only caregiver (with Daddy helping at night and on weekends J ).
The truth is, I just want to be the one doing everything for my kids and with my kids. As far as I am concerned, this is a season in my life where I can give and give as much as I can to the people I love, even when they can’t give as much back or at all. And this is a season in my kids’ lives where they are so dependent that they have no choice but to let me love on them and do almost everything for them. It’s just an opportunity that I don’t want to miss.
The Bible says, “There is a time for everything”, and I believe this is my time for sowing into my kids’ lives. This opportunity comes only for a season. Before we know it, our kids are old and can make their own decisions. They won’t be needing mommy as much because they will know what to do and will be physically capable to do it.
Time flies is not just a popular saying – when you have kids, this is just so true.
And when you own something that’s so precious, don’t you treat it with the utmost importance? This is why I know that I am capable of providing the best care for my children more than anyone else.
Being hands on has its many advantages...
Our kids learn from us and we are their best teacher. They learn to converse and express themselves better. When we read to them and talk to them like we would to an adult, they quickly pick up and gain knowledge of new words and ideas.
It is easier to discipline them – I am not easily manipulated like a yaya usually is. I see everything my child is doing and can praise or correct when necessary. But if having a yaya is inevitable, taking time to train them would be best. They need to know the right approach in dealing with your children so they can help you discipline them by reporting any misbehavior promptly and not always agreeing to what they want.
I also noticed that Audrey has learned to be more independent since she's been on my watch. Because she has to eat with me at the table with no one else feeding her most of the time (usually during breakfast and lunch), she has learned to feed herself after turning one (kids will know how if left to themselves – with you watching of course, but not doing everything for them). If you have a yaya, train them to encourage your kids to do things on their own, and not just do everything for them. Of course there will be times when you will need to assist and feed your toddler too (i.e. when you're at someone else's house and want to avoid making a big mess ;P, when pressed for time, when they feel lazy and distracted, when all they want to do is play with their food!) But for the most part, encourage them to do things by themselves.
Being a hands on mom will also allow you to witness all their important milestones – the first laugh, rolling over, reaching out, smiling, sitting up unassisted, the first time they crawl or walk, uttering their first word, saying mama... ahh these times are just so precious!
I am sooo thankful that I get to spend quality time with my kids, provide acts of service, shower them with words of affirmation, and give them the physical touch that they need. Four of the five love languages already (now this is a different topic altogether).
So even if it may seem hard or tiring, I know the returns on this investment is far greater than what I have imagined. Time spent with my kids is absolutely priceless.
P.S. How I wish all moms had jobs that allowed them to stay and work at home most of the time, like I do. It's not easy to leave home for the office, train a caregiver to take charge, and miss your kids while at work!