Image from http://www.easyvectors.com/
Meron kang kasambahay. Ang pangalan nya ay Susephya Yanib. Napakagaling nitong kasambahay mo sa kanyang trabaho. Dahil sa kanya, malinis ang sahig, maayos ang mga kagamitan, at masasarap ang iyong pagkain. Masayang masaya ka sa serbisyong natatanggap mo.

Isang araw, bumili si Susephya ng isang "Wonder Walis" na nagkakahalagang Php2,800. Nang sumunod na araw, dumating ang iyong kaibigan kasama ang kanyang kasambahay. Tuwang tuwa sila sa iyong napakalinis at napakaayos na bahay. Nung tingnan nila ang Wonder Walis ni Susephya ay napansin nilang kaparehas ito ng walis tambo na gamit nila sa kanilang bahay. Pero yung walis tambo nila, Php500 lang. Nung nagpunta ka sa Department Store, nakita mo na ang presyo ng isang high-tech na vaccum cleaner ay Php2,500, mas mura pa sa Wonder Walis ni Susephya.

Dahil dito ay nag-imbistiga ka ng iba pang mga binili ni Susephya. Ang toilet bowl sa inyong palikuran ay binili nya sa halagang Php32,400 kahit ang presyo nito sa labas ay Php9,000 lamang. Ang inyong lababo ay nagkakahalagang Php24,800 ngunit sa pamilihan, ito ay Php10,000 lamang. Napag-alaman mo ring nagduda na rin pala ang anak mong si Dyunior dati sa mga presyong ito pero hindi ito nakarating sa iyo dahil nilibang sya ng mga anak ni Susephya. Sa tagal ng panahon ay marahil nakalimutan na ni Dyunior ang tungkol dito.

Nagbalik-tanaw ka sa inyong buhay siyam na taon ang nakaraan. Nung panahon na yun, ikaw ay may isang brand new, 200 square meters, three bedrooms na bahay. Si Susephya ay may isang payak na 40 square meters na bahay na may isang silid at may maliit na sari-sari store sa harap. Makaraan ang siyam na taon, ikaw ay meron pa ring 200 sqm, three bedrooms na bahay. Samantala, si Susephya ay mayroon nang 350 hectares na hacienda.

Hinarap mo si Susephya at ito ang kanyang sagot:
  1. Naiinggit lang po yung kaibigan nyo at yung kasambahay niya sa linis ng bahay natin
  2. World class po kasi yung wonder walis kaya po mahal
  3. Kasama ko po yung driver natin, si Dodong, kaya makakasigurado po kayo na talagang tama yung presyo nyan
  4. Tinanong na po dati ni Dyunior yung presyo nung toilet bowl at lababo kaya huwag na po natin pag-usapan yun ngayon
  5. Yung hacienda ko po ay galing sa kita ng sari-sari store namin

Ano ang iyong paniniwalaan?

Dalawa lang naman ang pinaka-punto ko sa lahat ng ito:
  1. Katungkulan ni Susephya na gawin ang kanyang mga trabaho. Karapatan mo bilang kanyang employer na i-enjoy ang mga benepisyong natatanggap mo dahil sa kanyang pagtatrabaho. HINDI mo utang na loob kay Susephya na ginampanan nya ng maayos ang kanyang katungkulan. Ito ang inaasahan sa kanya. Ito ay KARAPATAN mo.
  2. Sabihin man nating nagawa nya ang mga inaasahan mo, pero ang ginastos mo ay di hamak na mas mataas sa dapat mong bayaran, karapat-dapat pa rin ba syang pagkatiwalaan? Malinis nga ang bahay mo, pero ninanakawan ka naman pala, gusto mo pa rin ba? Oo, malinis ang iyong sahig, pero kung tama pala ang pag gastos sa pera mo, imbes na walis lang ay pwede palang nafloor wax at nafloor polish pa ang sahig mo. Oo, masasarap ang nakakain mong pagkain, pero sapat pala ang pera mo para makabili ng mas masasarap at mas masusustansya pang pagkain, hindi lang para sa yo, kundi para sa iyong mga kapamilya at kaibigan. Bagkus, ang nakinabang sa pinag hirapan mong kayamanan ay si Susephya at ang kanyang mga kapamilya at kaibigan.
I love the elegant simplicity of this life lesson:
You never lose in life. Good experiences become good memories. Bad experiences become good lessons.
Like other important lessons in life, being a parent is something that you will never truly learn by reading, studying, and asking other people. You can only genuinely understand the feeling, the pressure, the happiness, the concerns, the excitement, the worries, and the satisfaction of being one by experiencing it. It's like the difference between riding a roller coaster and watching other people ride it, listen to them about their experience, or reading about them in books.

It doesn't mean that preparing to become one is useless. As a matter of fact, I strongly suggest that you do. Read a lot of parenting books. Interview your parent friends. Attend seminars, parenting sessions, etc. Equip yourself with all the lessons that you can get before you go into battle.

No, I am not exaggerating. Parenthood IS a battle. It is a never-ending battle of time and attention between your family and yourself. It is a constant battle between your pocket and that damn baby store. It is a lifelong battle between your parenting style and the big bad world out to get your child. Being prepared means knowing the right weapons to bring in the battlefield.

Just remember, however, that being prepared is only half the battle.

The other half is the actual experience where you will need all the support, skills, luck, and faith to survive.

Support, trust, and honesty between you and your partner is of utmost importance especially when you become a parent. For one thing, the pressure of raising a good, independent, and intelligent child is so daunting that it could stress even a well-prepared individual. Don't be a self-centered do-it-all. Trust your partner. Be honest if you need a time-out, a time for yourself. And be sensitive enough to know if your partner needs some.

Support doesn't come from your partner alone. Remember that you may also get support and strength from your parents and/or siblings. Just keep in mind that YOU are the one ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for your family, and not your parents and siblings. And that they also have lives, or family, of their own that they need to take care of.

Parenting skills mean knowing how to use the "weapons" that you studied during preparation, in real, messy, ugly situations. Part of these skills is knowing which of those conflicting theories should you apply in a specific situation. Another part is unlearning some lessons that you thought were right, but realized, through experience, were not entirely appropriate. Due to this, even if you come fully prepared, you will never win all the parenthood battles. Win some, lose some, just ensure that you win the war.  These things I am still learning, and will continue to learn, as I walk through this parenthood path. 

Finally, whether you believe in a Creator God or not, faith is immensely important in guiding your actions and knowing that whatever happens, everything will be all right. If for whatever reason, you think that the universe has formed by itself and decided to follow all the known and yet to be discovered laws of physics, then rest assured that as part of this universe, you are included in that decision of order and beauty. Have faith in the universe. If you, like me, believe in a powerful and merciful God, do realize that He will always guide and bless you if you let Him. So why worry? Have faith in Him. 
This diagram is too good not to be shared:



For a couple of weeks (or months?) now, I have been thinking of a way to use what I know to generate additional stream(s) of income. I have been reading a lot of questions and answers in Quora (which I really recommend because of its very high quality content) and found the diagram above.

The problem is identifying that one idea, concept, skill, talent, or asset that falls within those circles. Also, it is not really easy to determine if you are "good" with something, or if that something pays well. Nonetheless, hope this proves to be a good tool in my (and your) introspection.