Dear People Who Give My Noisy Kids Dirty Looks in Church

This piece was originally a post on the author's Facebook, which she wrote "on behalf of all parents who bring noisy little children to church." My 4-year-old son goes to a Catholic school, so he knows how to pray and stay in his seat when the school holds mass. But he's very curious, and he likes asking questions about Papa Jesus and Mother Mary when he's in a church. One time in church, to the utter amusement of most and maybe annoyance of some, he had to declare at the top of his lungs, "

My Mother's Death Left Me Broken, But I Am a Mom Who Can't Lose It Right Now

I barely have time to grieve. My hands are almost always full of the tasks I need to fulfill for my children. The house is often noisy that I barely hear myself breathe. I live each day wishing my kids will go to bed early, so I can have time to cry at night. The night before my mama died I snuck out of the hospital as she slept. I drove back home and crawled my way beside my children, the youngest of whom I was still breastfeeding. I felt like I was being pulled apart in different directions

Dear BFF, Please Wait for Me as I Raise My Children Who Need Me More Right Now

Dear BFF, I hope you can wait for me as I raise my children. I need to put 80% of my life including my friendships on hiatus, so I can focus on these little humans who depend on me so much right now for their survival (I kid you not). Know that I miss you. I miss our times together before I became a mom. I miss our out-of-town trips, our movie dates, and our endless conversations and adventures together. I miss our long walks and daydreaming about the future. I smile when I remember t

'I Hope I Raise a Daughter Who Never Feels Powerless to Fight Back'

Here’s the truth, I am scared. Scared for my precious little daughter, my bunso. I open the television and realize how harsh and cruel the world has become. I look at her eyes sparkling with the innocence of a toddler and wonder what kind of woman she will become. How much time do I have with her? How long can I hold her hand and protect her? I don’t know the answer to any of these. None of us do. All I know is that we cannot protect our baby girls from the harsh realities of the world f

Dear Daughter, You Are Beautiful. Don't Let Anyone Make You Feel Otherwise

As early as now I want to tell you that this world is filled with people who will consistently point out your flaws, make you feel conscious about your imperfections, force you to change how you look so you’ll fit into their standards of beauty. You will wake up each day in a world that will bombard you constantly about this standard 24/7. You will be sharing the world with people who are completely convinced that this standard is the only standard of beauty there is and at some point you will

To the Mom With a Sick Child in the Hospital, Go Ahead and Cry

I know right now you don't want to hear anything but "you can go home now" from the doctors. How I wish I can be the one to finally send you home away from the four corners of this hospital room that have kept your baby away from the world for so long. I know you're beyond exhausted and sleep deprived. Each day your heart gets broken with news of your kid's condition, your spirit crushed each time you're told you still can't go home, not yet. You are dizzy from this endless roller coaster of

To the Woman Who Will Marry My Son Someday, I Will Stay Out of Your Way

You have in your hand a precious piece of me for life — the heart of my baby boy. And while it's strange to hear me say it, I know you'll understand me when you have your child someday. I give you an essential part of me as I step aside and let you become the center of his world when you marry my son. I will accept that from this point on that you will be the woman of his life, his wife. Your shoulder will replace mine as you become his confidant, the source of his strength and hope. Your

Let’s stop raising entitled children

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but truth is no matter how spectacular we think our children are, we have to, at some point, accept that they are not going to be the center of the universe, not all the time and not for other people. We have to start rearing them to accept this reality. While we pray that they end up finding the cure for cancer or being as brilliant as the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world we have to get them ready for a normal life, too. One that doesn’t involve s

What Godparents are really for

Long before the post of the godmother who felt harassed by the parent of her godchild went viral, I have been planning to write something about godparents and what they should really be for. I feel there is a need to remind parents about the non-material but infinitely more important and more precious gifts a godparent can give our children. When we are tempted to go on a hunt for the seemingly elusive godparent who you think is obliged to give the child a gift every Christmas, remind yourself

This is Why I, and a Million Other Moms, Stay Up Late

I’m writing this at 2 a.m. in my part of the world. I know tomorrow or more like later, the early morning rush will kick my butt. But I am willing to trade a few hours of sleep for this much needed alone time. You see right now I am staring into my mug of hot chocolate and thinking “Wow I really have time to stare into a mug!” Right now I can feel my body breathing, I can hear air going through my nostrils. I feel like I’m here, I exist. I have time to think.

'I Know Someday I Will Stop Being the Center of My Son's Universe'

My little boy — he thinks mama is the most awesome person in the world, who sees mama as his superhero. He is convinced he will spend the rest of his life following mama around. He doesn’t know yet that someday when he’s grown, I will stop being the center of his world. He doesn’t know this yet, but I do. I know that someday he will stop following me around and wanting to be with me all the time. I know that eventually, he will crave for independence and possibly wish for a life away from me. Someday he will stop needing me this much and depending on me like this.

MS. TAVARES SMILED AT ME TODAY: How a smile can change lives

Ms. Tavares smiled at me today. As I was walking past her after picking up my kids from their class, I caught a glimpse of her talking to other parents. She noticed us passing by, looked up, and smiled as if to say hello. It was the most wonderful thing I’ve seen all day. And her gesture meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to a newcomer who’s new to the area, new to the city and basically new to this country. My children just started going to their school where she teaches, and while she isn’t my

23 HOURS AWAY FROM HOME: Learning what’s important in life

Barely a month ago, we boarded a flight on a trip into the unknown, on a journey to the other side of the world. We plucked ourselves from the comforts of familiarity and submerged ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We wanted to know what’s out there, and answer, “What could be out there for us?” We didn’t want to live our lives thinking that life is just this, just the way we are used to. We wanted to satisfy our curiosity and thirst for the unknown. And so, after 23 hours of travel, we landed

My nightmare before Christmas

We celebrated many a Christmas Eve without a fuss. Whenever we were too lazy to cook and wash the dishes we’d eat out and stay out ‘till 12 midnight. This was the kind of mom she was—low maintenance, never demanding, didn’t fuss over small things, but focused more on being happy and having fun. Life was a party with her and we were always together. When I wasn’t with her I was on the phone talking to her. Everytime she’d see how much I was growing so attached to her she’d ask me if I’d cry when she dies. She was worried about how I’ll cope because she knew that she was the only parent I had and that I was so close to her. You see our mothers’ love goes beyond their lifetime. They worry about us 24/7, they worry about what will become of us when they’re gone. She asked me to be ready because she was getting old. But Mama no one will ever be ready to lose a parent …ever. thought I was. A year ago she started getting sick. Since her first confinement she spent the year checking in and out of the hospital. I saw her health deteriorate. While I was praying for her to get better I knew at the back of my mind that I was losing my best friend. For a year I would cry in the shower, while driving to work, in the middle of the night while every one was asleep. There were times when I tried to avoid seeing her because I was denying the fact that I was losing her. The chubby jolly lady who was so strong and feisty was getting frail and weak. I would spend nights alone in the office bawling in front of the computer.