Mom Confessions: What You Don’t See

Motherhood

7 months & counting since our baby was born & what a journey it has been, is & will be. I’m still very near the starting line & what a whirlwind of emotions this journey has taken me. Don’t get me wrong, BEYOND BLESSED & GRATEFUL to be a mother but I guess that doesn’t disqualify me from feeling down on some days. After all, I am human, still. My heart has been bugging me to write about this blog & it has been a tug of war to publish it or not. My biggest reservation is probably being judged however my push is for fellow moms who feel the same way but are silenced with the same reasons. It gives me confidence to share these things knowing I am not alone, we’re actually a neighborhood (motherhood,gets?) haha. And the most important reason revealed at the latter part of this blog. With that, I hope these confessions will also do the same to fellow moms & shed light to those who aren’t.

I guess this uneasy feeling started when people started complementing me. Not that I don’t appreciate them. It’s just that every time someone does, I think to myself… “if you could only see what I do, if you only know”, #honestmotherhood. 

So here it goes, this Momma confesses that…

Confession 1 | My baby irritates me

Starting with probably the hardest one to admit. Yes, that cute, angelic little human you see irritates me & only moms will get that 100%. (I feel the judgement now) Of course it’s not her fault & technically it’s not her, it’s what she does. It irritates me when I don’t know what to do whenever she cries. And the things you do to stop those tears right?! This doesn’t only happen in 1 or 2 days, it happens every single day so imagine the energy that’s being released 24/7. You have no idea (only moms do) the amount of work that goes through in a day in raising a child & although it gives indescribable joy, it also gives stress. Just being honest here. Which leads me to confession 2.

Confession 2 | I ask for a breather 

You take a break from motherhood?! No mom does really. I remember the time when I asked my husband to give me a break & get a massage. Horray! But I felt quite uneasy, my body was there but my mind to my baby. Kept the phone close to me so that should anything happen, I’d stop the session & go home. True enough, just before it ended I was on my way back. I ask for this because I can’t be effective when I don’t. And if I don’t rest once in a while, the chances of me getting sick is very high. I can’t nurse my baby while nursing my sick self. A healthy mother means a healthy baby & vice versa.

Confession 3 | I take time to beautify 

You still have time to do that, how about your baby? I thought you’re busy with her? How vain?! Aren’t you being selfish when you think of yourself when mothering? I thankfully have a husband who co-parents. I get a lot of people saying “Mura kag wala nanganak, Tar” (You don’t look like you’ve given birth,Tar), “Nagkabata mn ka Tar oi!” (Looking young, Tar). Flattering, but I must confess, A for effort! And I take the effort because it honestly keeps me sane. Again, only moms will completely understand that. I don’t have to explain myself but hey, it doesn’t mean I’m selfish when I think about my well being when I mother my child. 

Confession 4 | I don’t have it all together 

Doesn’t mean I post nice shots of me & my daughter, I have it all together. So many things happen behind the scenes. Doesn’t mean I’m faking it either. I’m just artsy that way. Haha! But contrary to my feed, I don’t have it all together. In fact nobody is perfect & no mother gets an A. There are countless times already when I forget to bring something that my baby needs whenever we go out. And many times I just have to wing it. But not having it all together doesn’t make me less of a mother. It makes me better every time & over time. 

Confession 5 | The FOMO is real 

FOMO: Fear of missing out. No place I’d rather be but… it doesn’t mean I don’t get affected when I am not able to do some things anymore because I have to prioritize my baby. Many instances when I had to turn down opportunities & I confess it affects me. One time I had a conversation with my husband on attending events & after weighing things, we decided I can’t due to some factors that might affect our baby in a negative way. I cried & told him “I completely understand but just allow me to cry”. 


REFLECTION

I mentioned earlier how this flow of emotions started. I felt uneasy because of what was mentioned but more importantly because I was thinking if the compliments meant that people didn’t see the struggle & only saw what was wonderful, that they only saw me but not Jesus who brought me here. Who is my constant giver of abounding grace that I am able to look the way I am. Truly I say, ONLY BY HIS GRACE.

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Before publishing this I gave time for myself to process these confessions. To allow God to work on me, on my heart. As my child runs to me, I run to my Abba Father. 

God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

I could still remember specifically praying to God to prepare my heart for motherhood when I was pregnant. There really is struggle in transition. And truth is, nobody will ever be prepared for this role, nobody is exempted from the struggel, whatever they may be to every mother. It’s a JOURNEY of dying to self, it is not a title, it is a CALLING & we mothers have a specific PURPOSE for this and that’s WHAT YOU DON’T SEE. Like what my friend Carmina says, “God strengthens us to do our calling but at the same time it requires a certain level of participation to carry out His purpose. And choosing to participate can also take it’s toll on us yet we choose it everyday.”

Again, it may seem like a fairytale especially when I’m being creative on my feed but just so you know, I don’t have it all together & it is only through Him that I am able to mother my baby, be a wife to my husband & etc. We are all a work in progress.

“And God is able to make grace abound in you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

 I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.

 

I prayed for this. We prayed for this & wow. He gave us the desire of our hearts to have a baby. Truly, there is responsibility to every concept you fall in love with or that with power comes great responsibility. It’s beautiful how this has brought me to a deeper understanding of who God is. He constantly reminds me that He makes all things beautiful in His time. And TODAY IS BEAUTIFUL. I am living yesterday’s He-makes-all-things-beautiful- in- His- time. His promises are already yes & amen. But He doesn’t give the blessings one time big time. As parents we check if our babies are ready to receive what we have for them, right? Same is true with our heavenly Father, He checks if we’re ready to receive what He His in store for us, time & time again, from glory to glory.

To every mom who is going through the struggle,

Remember the time when you were praying for the things you have now… or you are now. He who promised is faithful. He is just working through your heart. He can’t give what you desire, may it be something tangible or not,  if you’re not ready for the blessing, if your heart isn’t. He’s the only one who knows when you’re heart is right to receive. Always workout to have a good heart. A heart where He alone resides & watch how He’ll bless you. You are definitely not alone. Cheer up because we’re too blessed to be stressed!

He makes all things beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

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For more updates & blogs or questions, visit my Instagram & Facebook page, @travelwithtaraph. See you there!

Outdoors with your Baby Bag Add-ons

Motherhood

A few months & been learning quite a lot of things about parenting & motherhood. Grateful to people, especially to mommies who have been helping me out & my mom blogs are simply to show appreciation & to give back to the motherhood community. So allow me to tell you some of those learnings here. We’ve gone to a couple of  getaways enough to share a few things that have been a mighty help to us when going outdoors with our pocket full of sunshine!

Besides what’s inside the mommy/ diaper bag- wet wipes, alcohol & extra clothes, to name a few, here are some add-ons that works magic for babies. Happy baby, happy mommy!

Insect Repellent

We love to go out with our babies! Right? Especially after so many months of staying at home to protect our baby from anything that’s or could be harmful to them. Crashing out mosquitoes from the worry list with an insect repellent. We put citronella scented patches/ stickers to our baby’s clothes.

Sun Block

They’re not only for when you’re going to the beach. Anytime there’s sun exposure, make sure to apply some to protect your baby’s skin. 

Hat

You’re outdoors so a hat would really help protect your baby from the harmful effects of the sun. Also, incase it rains, your baby’s covered too! 

Fan

Electric or manual, your choice. We have both just in case. Especially here in the Philippines where weather is tropical, it tends to be hot & humid so imagine what a fan can do! 

Toy & Surface Cleaner Spray

We were quite challenged whenever our baby’s toy falls all of a sudden or when we ask for a high chair in restaurants & they’re quite dirty. Recently bought a spray & brought it with us whenever we go out & wow.  I was having a lot of fun with it. A Momma’s simple joys! 

Again, these are just a few add-ons, nonetheless a great help. Surely as a parent you should be extra careful despite having these little helpers. Buuuuuttttt, remember it’s also good for babies to get SOME for immunity. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment or message me. See you on my socials, Facebook & Instagram, @travelwithtaraph.

My Skin Care 101

Lifestyle

It’s about 7 months since I’ve given birth & although life will never be the same again, I’m slowly going back to some of the things I used to do before our baby happened. Haha! One of those is skin care. Not only sharing with you my skin care regimen & the products I’ve been using but more importantly my views on the matter, thus, “my” skincare 101. Putting emphasis on that too because we may have different perspectives & wanna make sure we’re clear on that.

Starting with some principles I believe when it comes to skin care.

LESS IS MORE

I have always believed not to overdo skin care unless one’s skin has a very special requirement. Every skin is unique, we are all unique for that matter! And if you have normal skin, my suggestion would always be “less is more”. Less doesn’t mean “lacking”, it simply means just the right products for whatever requirement your skin needs.

AS YOU AGE | YOUR SKIN AGES

…and the usual skincare regimen you’ve always had needs to level up as time goes by. Although I’ve always believed that “less is more”, truth is, skin ages. So you’d have to change or add to your skin care overtime. As you age, the higher the requirement for products to work double time in maintaining that youthful glow!

GOOD PRODUCTS MAY COST

You cannot cheapen skincare. You will have to spend for good products. I am not saying you buy the most expensive products. “Value for money”, is relative. As what they say, “cheap is expensive”. Make sure the products you’re using are worth the money you’re paying for or else you’ll be spending more with what you’re using because it’s causing you no good. Repairing may cause & cost you more!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU

When people say…

“What products are you using? Whatever you use it’s ok, you’ve always had good skin, Tar.”

Thank God for genes but what if I’ve not been using good products, don’t you think they would affect my “good skin” in a negative way? Believe me I’ve tried products that caused pimples. I’ve explored different products to get to where I am with my skin now. So I give credit to the products I’ve been using. Most of them, if not all are NuSkin. Been very happy with them since 2014. But then again, we have different skin types so what works for me may not work for you. This is precisely why I’m not only sharing the products I’m using but also my views. When I was encouraged to blog about my skin care regimen, I really thought about this. I wouldn’t want people to get back to blame me should anything negative happens (Disclaimer). If you’re happy with what you’re using now, good! As time progresses, you can work around the brand you’re using or you could explore & switch. Up to you, really!

WHAT YOU FEED YOURSELF MATTERS

This is one very important factor when it comes to skin care. Having a healthy & glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. You have to consider food & water intake. Eat & drink healthy, look healthy. Goes without saying that if you don’t, it’ll surely affect your skin no matter what you put on your face.

REST IS HOLY

Wanna look like an angel? Haha! Like that’s possible. Kidding aside, You’ve got to REST! Again, all factors are to be considered, product, food & rest. Resting/ sleeping will do you wonders that any cream or food can’t do. Plus! This won’t only affect your skin, it’ll affect your health. Don’t cheat yourself. Rest. Yes, this is a sign!

So here it is! My Skin care Regimen

Basically, Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize or CTM.

DAILY ON FACE

  • Cleanse | Nu Skin 180 Face Wash
  • Tone | Nu Skin PH Balance Mattefying Toner (Combination to oily)
  • Moisturise | Nu Skin Enhancer

OTHERS

  • Masking | Not very particular with the brand. Open to different kinds of face masks. Haven’t tried any that irritated my skin too. (Once or twice a week)
  • Facial Spa | Nu Skin Galvanic Spa (Once a month)
  • Mud Mask | Epoch Glacial Marine Mud (Once a month)
  • Nu Skin Napca Moisture Mist- I bring this moisturiser mist when I go out to give my skin a little lift from time to time. Also use this as a setting spray whenever I put on makeup.
  • Nu Colour Advanced Tinted Moisturiser- I’ve recently started using this tinted moisturiser when going out. I’d like to keep it as natural as possible.

PREGNANCY/ POSTPARTUM ADD- ONS

I added a few products to counter the changes that happened to my skin during pregnancy, particularly addressing skin discolouration in armpits & stretch marks.

  • Epoch Baobab Body Butter
  • Epoch Polishing Bar Soap
  • Bio Oil

As what I’ve mentioned, skin ages so I’ll probably change products  in a year or two. For now, this is it! If you have any questions message me here or on instagram &/ or facebook @travelwithtaraph. Or simply follow me for updates & blogs, see you there!

Ways to Wear Your Vest

Lookbook

Wondering how to sport your good ol’ vest? This one’s for you! Vests are one of my wardrobe staples & I love them because they’re very versatile & they easily step up my style. Whether it’s for a formal event or a simple coffee date, your vest has got you covered! 

Without further ado, here are 5 ways to wear your vest! 

WEAR THEM WITH SHORTS

Here’s a way to wear them for a casual look. 

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | Forever 21
Shirt | H&M
Shorts | Uniqlo
Sneakers | Cole Haan
Bag | Longchamp

WEAR THEM WITH A SKIRT

Here’s a way to wear them for work.


GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Longsleeves | H&M
Skirt | H&M
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Bag | Givenchy

WEAR THEM WITH PANTS

Here’s a way to wear them for parties or events. 


GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | SM Woman
Top | Forever 21
Pants | Forever 21
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Purse | H&M

WEAR THEM WITH A DRESS

Here’s a way to wear them for a chic look.

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | Forever 21
Dress | H&M
Boots | H&M

WEAR THEM AS IS

Here’s a way to wear them for for your date.

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Bag | Louis Vuitton

There you go! So don’t underestimate what your vest can do for you! Those are just 5 ways, surely there’s more. 

For fashion inspos, follow me on Facebook & Instagram, @travelwithtaraph. See you there!