It has been a year!!!  I have been a stay-at-home wife and mom with no household help for a year now!  Wow!  I could still remember how fearful I was in being a real full time partner to Bryan and mommy to Risen.  I had all the doubts and ghosts in mind, but praise God because He is really our strength in our weakness.

Aside from this news, I am surprised to see myself joyful in this season of my life.  I am ecstatic to share that I not merely trying to survive my role, but I am actually enjoying it.  If you have known me back when I was single, you would agree how I am unable to stay inside the house for more that 24 hours.  As they say, I am somewhat a changed woman. haha

So please let me put my foot down and list down an ultimate guide to surviving  being a happy stay at home wife and mom:

1.  Make sure it is for you - Not everyone is called to stay at home.  It is a decision to be made and a journey to be tried.  To add, it should not be purely based on emotions and personalities (remember when I was single?) because our feelings and character change over time.  It has to be thought out, prayed for and decided upon.  Not really sure? then try it out!

2.  Decide with your husband - We were on the same page ever since I got pregnant. This is why when things become difficult , I can easily run to Bryan for support, appreciation and determination.  Though he does not verbalize his admiration on the work I do each day, he helps me in the house a lot.  He also does not complain of unfinished dishes, dirty laundry and repeated viands.  It takes a supportive and a non-complaining husband to be a fulfilled SAHM.  Do not let your hubby pass his decision on this.  Ask him to reply with a "yes" or a "no".  I say, this is really important that you agree.  Just so when things get tough, you can affirm and encourage each other.

image from here

3. Outsource help - Figure out the things you can't do.  I for example would not spend a day washing clothes, hence the very first appliance we bought was an automatic washing machine.  Also, when our house help left a year back, we got ourselves an iron lady  (aka taga plansta) haha.  If you do not like cooking, agree on getting a lechon manok once a week, or seek help from your Mom or in-laws to cook a kilo of adobo once in awhile.  Go get that help!

4.  Always have an emergency, handy, easy to prepare and tasty meal - You can't really plan what your day will be like when you have a baby or toddler.  In this situation, make sure you have something in the fridge that you can easily prepare or reheat.  In our home, I always have Tamarind broth for Sinigang, bottled Pesto sauce and pasta, fresh milk, Sardines and rice.

5.  Have a stash of goodies - Aside from the list on emergency food on number 4, I also have a stash of chocolates, wine, good coffee, and coco crunch (for Risen).  These food in my fridge give me superpowers (just like how helpful a stone is to Darna).  They are my source of instant happiness and my light when I feel like it will still be a very long day ahead.

6.  Start early - No matter how difficult it is to wake up earlier than Risen, I try to be ahead at least 2 hours before my son wakes up (around 5am).  This gives me ample to time to do my devotions, catch up with minor house cleaning, prepare breakfast, check email, social media and my to-do list.  The goal is, when he wakes up and becomes clingy, I won't have anything urgent to do.

7.  Stop once in a while - Do not feel guilty of oversleeping, food delivery, malling in the middle of a chaotic home, getting a massage, and allowing your child to be on his Ipad.  If you are a mom, repeat this after me "the work at home will never be done", say it again "the work at home will never be done".

8.  Evaluate your situation - Is this called stay-at-home wife and mom still working for you and for everyone in the household?  Is it making you stressed, cry in the middle of the night?  Are you  becoming a slave of household chores?  Is the Lord calling you back to full time work?

9.  Have something on the side - I blog, host events, organize trainings and volunteer at CCF Muntinlupa intentionally -- meaning, not on my spare time, but in my allotted time.  I really make sure I am "somebody" aside from my roles at home.  I do not think it is healthy to "lose" all of me.  I still want to have my own identity, my personal dreams, allowance and milestones.

10.  Admit you can't  - Surrender.  Our chosen lifestyle is something I pray for every single day.  I mess up, I get discouraged, just last week I slept from 6pm to 6am.  I always see myself in awe of God's grace.  Although it has been a year,  this role is something that I don't think I will ever get used to.  I have come to accept that I can't do this on my own without God.  And guess what? when we seek, ask and knock, He answers, helps and delivers.  What a mighty God we serve!

If you are still undecided to be one of us, that is the best time to be one.  It is when we are unsure that we seek help, pray hard and think deep.  Remember that it is something that you not have to do forever.  It could just be a season of your life.  If you are thinking about it, go back to my list.  Ask God for direction, make your husband decide as well.  You might also need to compute your budget and strategize on how you can help with the finances.

Just remember that the most important thing to answer is, what is God's will for you.  Ask Him.  He will tell you what to do.  This I am very sure.

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