This was probably the only photo I took that night.
Last Friday my husband had a Deal Grocer coupon to URBN, and thankfully the girls knocked out fairly early. We were able to go out on a decent dinner date (Hurray!). As some of you may know, these dinner dates are few and far between, even though (technically) we should be able to do them more often here in Manila because of all the added help around. I suppose it’s because my husband and I — no matter how hard we try — we’ve really become parents first before anything else.
Maybe it’s because of our 4 years in Chapel Hill on our own. Maybe it’s partly also because of our upbringing. So on the days (and nights) that I whine about not having enough quality time, my husband says I’ve to “suck it up”. We’re adult enough to know that our kids need us first. We’re not going anywhere; we can wait until they’re older for more “us time”. At this stage the kids need us and want us around a lot more. And while the cerebral adult in me understands that, there is a part of me that also just…. can’t accept it in its entirety (hormones perhaps?)!
When people ask me how my husband and I ended up together, I always say we were friends first. The (half-meant) joke amongst our good friends is that he was a bit sneaky that way; not taking the traditional courtship route, but rather, he became a very very close friend and confidant. Back then I had horse-blinders on and was totally focused on my studies and extra curricular activities (which is why he referred to me as “square”), and so I genuinely saw him as my best friend.
But then I suppose spending most of everyday with someone can run its course, and we find ourselves here to day: fourteen years, two countries and two kids later. And with everything going on in our busy complex Manila life, I feel I’ve miss my best friend a whole lot more than ever.
In the last Coach Pia #BetterMe session held at Babyland Spaces, she talked about raising the child(ren) as a team. My husband and I use the word “teamwork” a lot when it comes to handling the kids, especially since we’d moved away five years ago. We “divide and conquer” and we “tag-team” as best as we can. We’re very good at coordinating schedules. But what struck me in the session was that Coach Pia emphasized strengthening and nurturing the intimate relationship with one’s spouse FIRST. She’s been talking about the willingness and ability to do this in the last few sessions, as it takes precedent over a couple’s relationship with their children.
We must focus on the friendship first.
We become better, more mature parents to our children when the foundation and the strength of our relationship with our spouse is rock solid. There are open lines of communication, there’s no pressure on the relationship (or on the roles that we play in it). As friends, the expectations are different. There’s more understanding and less judgement. And of course, it’s much more fun.
That last session was a good and timely reminder. Right now, it may just translate to more frequent dates, but whatever it is, I will take as much more quality time with my husband as we possibly can. It is after all, much easier to be a parent when you have your best friend by your side.
I try very hard not to miss a Coach Pia #BetterMe session, because there’s so much to learn. This time around, the session was made possible by our dear friends at Avent Philippines. Avent fully supports us Moms through their innovative products like their feeding set with suction hold at the bottom. It’s great for toddlers who are learning to feed themselves. The container doesn’t move so the toddlers have more grip, and it won’t spill over. Avent has other innovative products like the spill-proof sippy cups, which only dispense water when the child’s mouth is pressed down to the spout.
There was also Babyland. You’ll be hearing more from me about them, but essentially Babyland is newly renovated and has re-opened their Shaw Boulevard branch to the public. It’s 2nd floor is called Spaces, and it’s basically a function area with it’s own playground where people can hold parties, talks and other events. It was the perfect space for our #BetterMe #session as the kids got to play while the moms absorbed information.
And there’s space as well for food! We had our lunch there too, all courtesy of Mere et Bebe! Their Luvable Friends products can now be found in Baby Company, Landmark Trinoma and Makati, and in all Babyland stores. 🙂