Saturday, February 23, 2013

Everyone's a Critic

"I don't begrudge you of your choices. 
Why do you judge me for mine?"

On living with my in-laws for the first five years of our marriage:
First of all, we were invited by my in-laws to live there. We didn't tell them, "Hey, when we get married, we will live with you, okay?" We said we would rent, get a tiny apartment. His parents found the idea incredulous. Why???, they asked. We have a room to spare, we will help care for Kaelana, yadda yadda. So we agreed and said yes.

We lived with my parents the first six months after I gave birth. My mom helped me care for Kaelana. I didn't want to leave but I felt I had to, because Cyrus wanted to please his parents and I didn't want him to choose, so off we went. Needless to say, it wasn't the best idea. My good friends (and previous blog's stalkers) know the rest of this unpleasant tale. To make this long and unsavory story short, I've forgiven, but I haven't forgotten. So let's just say that whatever reconciliation, in whatever form, happens, it will happen in accordance to OUR terms. Not theirs.

Aaand, just to set the record straight, I never really had problems with the hosts. I only had major issues with the blood-sucking parasites. #figureitout #riddle

Why then did it take us five long, harrowing years before we moved out? Why did we wait that long?
Well, Cyrus and I pledged to each other that if we leave, we leave for good and never come back. We're such proud people, I guess. You can say we did suck it up while waiting, although I'm sure *they* will not agree. I maintain we did so, anyway. We promised that when the time came for us to truly try and make it on our own, we will not come crawling back. I'm glad to report it's been two years and we are very happy to have a little nest to call our own, with ownership papers to prove it.

On buying our own house:
Both the husband and I have been asked, Why don't you rent? Isn't it more practical to do so? Why buy a house that is so far? You can rent a house nearer to work.

Cyrus and I grew up in homes lovingly built through the blood, sweat and tears of our parents. Actually, Cyrus and his family rented when he was smaller, and so did my my family (although I have no recollection of it because I was too young; I only saw photos of me in a garden that wasn't our garden). However, for the most part, our memories have been in the homes our parents owned.

Like I mentioned, we initially wanted to rent, but those plans got scrapped. When we were living with his parents, and when things started to go awry, I brought up renting to him again. We did go on several excursions to look for places to rent, but upon looking at these rooms and apartments, these thoughts crossed our minds and hit us like a ton of bricks: We would be furnishing a place that will never be ours. We would be shelling out hard earned cash for something we will never legally own.

And that didn't sound pragmatic to us. It's akin to sprucing up a rented car.

Also, why did we choose a house that's so far?
Distance is relative. I grew up in a home in Mandaue City and my high school was in Cebu City. People thought that was far ten years ago but now, I don't think they still think that's extreme. Yes, Lapu-Lapu City, where we currently reside, is far. Far from the office, from Kaelana's school and uhm, from Ayala Center. But it's near the airport, it's near the beach, it's near uhm, the Gaisano Grand Mall. Haha! So, yes, distance is relative, and we have a car, anyway, so we get by. We need to get up earlier in the morning, we need to leave an hour earlier to catch the last full shows at Ayala Center's cinemas, and we had to get used to penciling in longer travel hours for appointments in Cebu City. These are things that we have come to embrace as part of living where we live.

Moreover, we chose to live here because we could afford it. We didn't want to buy (through Pag-IBIG) a house we couldn't afford just because it's nearer to the city central. We didn't want to be in over our heads.

The home we live in now is just the right size for us, is in a good neighborhood, is five minutes away from a hospital and allows our Kaelana to ride her bike to her little heart's content. We are very happy.

On being wife, mom and career woman in one:
Let me start by saying it's not easy. My family comes first, yes, but I also like the fulfillment that comes from growing my career, thriving in the cutthroat corporate jungle and most importantly, doing something I'm actually good at and getting paid for it. I shouldn't be punished for attempting to do a lot, for wearing different hats. So long as I know what my priorities are, I think I'm doing okay. I want my child to grow up with a multi-hyphenated supermom. I like how THE Daphne Oseña Paez puts it: I'm there for you, but I'm also doing other things - and you can do it, too." My Kaelana knows I will drop everything and anything for her. No questions asked.

More than ever, I am grateful for the work I do, now that Kaelana's a school girl. She's out of the house for most of the day, so if I were to stay at home, what am I supposed to do?

I know that someday I will quit the corporate world and I will retire the opaque stockings and four-inch office pumps. For now, I enjoy my multi-hyphenated title : Kiss Tañedo, wife-mother-corporate-trainer-instructional-designer.

On choosing NOT to judge the choices others make even if I don't agree with them:
People around me make choices I know I wouldn't make, but I don't and will never condemn them for it. I also do not extol my choices and say that they're better than yours. We live different lives and what may work for you, will not work for me. What also works for me will not work for you.

So go ahead, breastfeed your child until he is seven, home school him until he is in high school, feed him only organic stuff, don't let him believe in Santa Claus, whathaveyou.

So long as the choices we make are informed ones - and not just ones we make to rock the boat or go against the norm for the sake of doing so because you're hipster or a know-it-all like dut or you wanna impress people - then they are the RIGHT choices. Be happy.

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