Friday, October 7, 2011

Who (or What) Comes First?

Mother. Caregiver.  Breadwinner.  Homemaker.  Runner.  Who (or what) comes first?

First and foremost, I am the only daughter of my dear parents.

If and when my services are needed by my father and my children at the same time, my role as a hands-on mom takes the back seat.

My kids know that their grandfather is almost 87, and they understand my predicament. 

One time, Gio saw how I devoted my time in assisting his Lolo that he remarked:  "Lolo is becoming helpless every day.  I'm happy I won't be taking care of you, the way you're taking care of Lolo.  Because  I'm sure you'll still be running 'til you're 100." (Well, I just hope he's right!)

I'm a single parent.  Naturally, I should be earning enough to send my children to school and provide for their needs. 

When my husband and I separated, I asked my mother if she could resign from her job and take care of her grandchildren for me to work full-time.  She was 68 at that time.  Gio was almost 5, Eia was only 2 1/2.

Without even giving it a serious thought, my mother impulsively answered:  "Ako na lang ang magtrabaho.  Ikaw na lang ang mag-alaga sa mga anak mo, pati na sa tatay mo."

Yup.  That was the arrangement.  In theory, at least. 

I couldn't just let my mother carry all the financial burden in our family so I took the licensure examinations in Life and Non-Life insurance and thank God I passed.  I also put up a small business to augment the family income but had to close early this year because I simply couldn't be in 4 places at the same time.

Sometimes it drives me nuts to balance everything that I need to do.  I want to help more people plan their future. I want to keep the house clean and tidy,  I want to be always around to fulfill my father's needs,  I want to be there when my children need me.  I want to inspire more people to run.  I want to be a catechist and teach young children about Jesus, hopefully molding them to work for the common good.  I want to train and run the marathon again.  I want to be an active member of CFC's Handmaids of the Lord, providing comfort and solace to single mothers like me. 

How about you?  Are you torn between 2 or 3 or even 4 roles that you have to fulfill?  How do you cope with the dilemma?