Family Life With The New Normal

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People, let me tell you straight how it is to be a mother… Uhm, wait… A single mother of five kids during this pandemic, and every one of them is doing online school. It is an adventure filled with chaos, laughter, tears, joy, but most of all, patience and unconditional love. Well, I am a mother, and even if my body is super tired from working ALL DAY LONG, I still have five kids to tend to, and they are all calling out, “Mooooom, I need you!”

My eldest graduated college last March, but since this COVID-19 blew out of proportion, her five years in college were not celebrated. She did not get to go on that stage, in front of her family and peers, and be recognized as a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. She did all her best for those five years in BS Accountancy. It was a quota course, and each semester, the number of students became less and less. When they were in their first year, my daughter had 237 batch mates. Upon “graduating” on the new normal, only 69 of them were declared officially graduates.

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She took that with a big frown, but what can we do, right? The virus was everywhere. People were dying, and at that time, we do not know how it is to “move.” It was too dark for a few weeks until we had a glimpse of hope. Still, people were scared. Their loved ones were dying, and the whole world was gloomy. My daughter had every right to shout at the top of her lungs that she made it through the five years of her university. We were supposed to have a grand party for her, but until now, six months after, we still could not do that. All she says is that I am so happy to be still alive and to have work. She is a fresh graduate, and an accounting firm blessedly hired her.

As for my second born, she also graduated senior high school last March and with flying colors. She was among the top 5% in her graduating class from a total number of 1784 students. To be exact, her rank was 5.81%. As her mom, I am so proud of her. And yes, we were not able to celebrate it as well. She took it well and did her time efficiently. Instead of lounging around and doing nothing, my daughter, who was accepted in the top 1 university of the Philippines (Ateneo de Manila University), asked me if she can use my credit card. She enrolled in online classes for mental health. Wow. She is true, amazing. This 18-year-old girl also wishes to become a psychiatrist someday, and as her mom, I will support her ALL THE WAY.

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My middle child, third born, is in the 8th grade. She used to be very happy go lucky and was in a disciplinary sanction last year for not wearing the prescribed uniform. I never pressure my kids to excel in school, but I do tell them that since they all are in private schools (thanks to their rich grandma), they have to make it worth their while. My third-born did not care before, but now, I can see that she is really doing her best academically.

I received emails from her professors and teachers of her formative and summative assessments. Wow. Her grades have drastically improved and are really high. It is not the usual passing grade. It is above average, and some are excellent. I am so proud of her and how she developed independently. It is just surprising that with the pandemic and all, she decided to better herself.

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I have a special child. My fourth born has ASD-ADHD. That means he is in the spectrum (Autism Spectrum Disorder – Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). He is high functioning, though, but he is trying to cope with his developmental delays. At nine years old, he has a reading capacity of a seven-year-old. I pray for him every day because I am having such a hard time helping him with his distance learning. I need to be with him while he is in class, or else he won’t be able to do his work plan. Still, he has not lost his sense of self, his confidence, and his self-esteem. He calls himself a genius in Math (and he is really good at it), and I let him bask on that. As long as his skills are developing, I will try my hardest to help.

Finally, my baby girl. She is in kindergarten and a fast learner. Her words are very articulate, and she shows a bit of an attitude too. I wish that she would see how brilliant she is as she tends to be so shy during class and is afraid to make a mistake.

This is the life we have now. The pandemic has shifted everything to this new normal, and we all had to change in a snap. I am losing my mind with the lockdown, and all but my kids are with me. We are all healthy and breathing. Any hardships that I am encountering now, it is nothing.

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