July 30, 2005

Confessions of A Non-Desperate Housewife

Before we got married, my husband and I were the stereotypical cool modern couple on the rise. My husband vowed never to ask me to quit working. He understood how driven I was to excel in my career and believed I had what it took to really make a name for myself. I, on the other hand, was grateful for his support and was certain I was going to somehow become a corporate force to reckon with.

As undomesticated as I was, I could not fathom how it was possible for one to remain tied down to the home without going insane with ennui and turning into a Desperate Housewife (even when, at that time, the TV show was non-existent). More than this, I was so used to making my own money that I could not admit to a scenario in which I was financially dependent on somebody else. Admittedly, I then saw stay-at-home women as throwbacks to the medieval ages in need of some serious enlightenment.

Fast forward to today, four years into marriage with a four-month old baby boy in tow, and I find myself totally eating my words. I have become what I thought I would never be: a full-time Mommy. And astoundingly, I found the life-altering decision of choosing motherhood over my career almost painless.

I had a difficult time getting pregnant. It got to the point where my husband and I were psyching ourselves to be more accepting of the possibility that we might not ever have a child. When we least expected it, I finally conceived successfully and we felt indescribable happiness and relief.

With the confirmation of my pregnancy, I was suddenly hit with the overwhelming realization that the baby in my womb deserved all the love, care, time and attention I could possibly give. A wonderful blessing has been given to us, a fervent prayer answered, a long-time wish granted at last. Was it not but right that we express our gratitude by rising to the challenge of committed parenthood?

Just like that, I told my husband I wanted to quit my job so I could work on becoming the best mother I could be. And just like that, my husband unhesitatingly said yes and assured me he would willingly assume the role of sole provider. And just like that, our life underwent a paradigm shift and we happily became what we used to dread –-
a traditional married couple consisting of the working husband and his non-desperate housewife.

And as I gaze into my baby’s huge curious eyes and feel his tiny fingers gently caressing my face, I cannot help but bask in the moment and utter a sigh of blissful contentment. None of my previous achievements have ever given me such joy as I now know.

Truly, there is no greater fulfillment that can quite compare to that of being a mother.

July 29, 2005

I, The Spoilee

My husband spoils me to death. This I state as a matter of fact, albeit with a tinge of sheepishness.
When I first met him and felt that instantaneous attraction I intuitively knew would eventually lead to greater things, I had no idea of the capacity he had for demonstrating his love. When we were just getting to know each other, he did not show any propensity for being extraordinarily romantic, except for the occasional treats out and the sudden tight grasping of my hand during a movie.
When we became a couple, I was stunned to see him morph into the poster boy for Boyfriend of The Year. Monthly, he surprised me with a floral bouquet that came in exotic colors like lambada yellow and flamingo pink, along with a card that professed his undying devotion. He became my dedicated chauffeur and voluntarily picked me up and took me from and to any place I had to be at any time of day or night. I got so used to it that I actually forgot how to drive! He prioritized my needs and wants over his own. Or more aptly, my needs and wants became his. He let me pick the films and the restaurants. He bought more things for me than for himself. He patiently withstood my unpredictable moods and my irrational tantrums. He rarely found the heart to be angry with me. He wooed my family until they loved him almost as much as they loved me. He never forgot an anniversary or birthday. My girlfriends were terribly envious and wanted to clone him.
When he proposed marriage, I suspected that my days of being treated like a princess would soon be over. I was greatly mistaken. Improbable as it may seem, I became even more spoiled married. My husband has willingly taken on the domesticated chores of cooking, shopping and apartment cleaning as if it were the most natural thing in the world. He manages our household bills while unstintingly providing for my necessities and whims. And as if these weren't enough, he even lets me have the remote control! Hence, I have stopped becoming a princess; I have become a queen. A reluctant one, maybe, but a queen nevertheless.
Through it all, I admit to sometimes feeling suffused with guilt as I wonder what in the world I did to deserve such a continuous abundant outpouring of love and affection. As these moments of self-doubt creep in, it dawns on me that there are people who live to love and who are most happy knowing that those they adore are made happy by them. There exists the Naturally Born Spoilers, of which my husband is a proud member. And on the opposite side of the spectrum lie those like me....the Naturally Born Spoilees, who love to be loved and who revel in the truth that they are the center of someone’s universe.
Thus, I realize my husband and I are a perfect fit. We unwittingly make each other as joyful as can be simply by being ourselves.

Pregnant Pauses (Wow vs. Duh)

When you are caught deep in a daydream about your latest crush and your sneaky mathematics professor suddenly points to a monstrous equation on the blackboard and confronts you with the question: “So what is the solution?” and all you can do in response is to stop, look back and pretend to have been listening, that is NOT a pregnant pause. Rather, it is a pause devoid of any real meaning. It is barren, useless, blank, duh.

When the man you love so terribly falls on one knee and flashes an engagement ring before your eyes and you find yourself unable to speak as elation overwhelms your entire being and completely steals your breath away, that is a pregnant pause.

When you learn that a trusted friend betrays you and you find yourself stunned into silence by the unbelievable hurt and fury raging in your bones, that is a pregnant pause.

When your newborn child is placed in your arms for the first time and you find yourself quietly weeping with awe and joy at the wondrous miracle you have taken part in, that is a pregnant pause.

A pregnant pause is a momentary stillness laden with significance. It is rich, prolific, provocative, wow. It is a threshold for ideas and can translate into one to one thousand emotions. It welcomes imagination and brims with untold possibilities. Sometimes, it is even pinched with humor.

And as I, at last, boldly venture into the world of blogging, I fervently hope that the pregnant pauses I will share through my journals will be more wow than duh.