Our firstborn daughter is growing up fast. Now, we are spending more time with her alone before puberty happens. And here are the reasons why.
Before Puberty Happens
To say that time flies fast is an understatement. We had been so busy with homeschooling, events, work, and keeping our home. Birthdays have come and gone.
Now, we have a 10-year-old daughter who is just two inches shy of being as tall as mom. We now have the same shoe size (Size 6), though her feet are slimmer than mine. Some of my old clothes (when I was 20 lbs lighter) can already fit her. She has also inherited my treasured denim jackets.
Suddenly, we realized that traveling and hotel arrangements have changed. We are now more comfortable in a bigger room as two double beds can no longer accommodate us. Read about our stay at the Seda Atria Premier Room.
Signs of Pubescence
Aside from the physical manifestations of puberty in Shawna, we noticed mood swings and behavior changes.
We have also observed that she has kind of the same hormonal cycle as mine. During the times when I have having PMS and my subsequent menstrual period, she also gets cranky and moody.
Additionally, there are already times when she seems distant and we can no longer “get” her. While she is not “bad” or “naughty” or something, she gets grouchy a lot of times. Sometimes, her moods can be helped with chocolate. But sometimes, it doesn’t. And it’s a pain for her to eat chocolates — she just doesn’t like candies and sweets.
She still plays with toys every day, which makes us believe that she still hasn’t crossed that line yet. However, she is getting there because even her choices have changed. Before puberty happens, we have a lot to do in terms of reconnecting.
Quality Time with our Eldest Daughter
Last time, I wrote about spending individual time with each child. You can click on the link to read it.
But recently, we have been intentionally spending more time with our eldest. Sometimes, she goes out with her Dad and sometimes with me. For the last couple of weeks, we took her out to blogging-related dinners. Just the three of us. We think that she needs it more.
Meanwhile, Shane gets to spend time with Ninang Pynky and her BFF Jam. He’s the same one that the girls went out shopping with at the newly opened second Uniqlo Bacolod store.
Since they are also homeschooling, we can leave Shane with them and she gets to answer her PACES with another schoolmate. Then they get to play together. Thank you, Marz, because we can entrust our kids to you. <3
So far, we haven’t cracked the outer nut yet. But I am sure that with constant togetherness during meal times and going out, we will get through to Shawna. We will get to know her better and establish a better line of communication.
We are aware that it will get harder once the teenage years will happen. But with prayer and open communication, we are hopeful that things will be brighter for our family.
A Letter for Our Eldest Daughter
I wrote this letter for Shawna last year. Adolescence is a different phase. We are hoping to re-establish our relationship with her before puberty happens.
Dear Achi Dindin,
Shawna Din — We prayed for a child and God gave you to us. You are my first-born. You were the first one to call me Mama. You are the first reason I am called mom. If you were not born, I would not be Mama.
- Related: Rooming-In After Childbirth at the Mother-Baby Friendly Complex of Riverside Medical Center
What You Are
You are very smart, sweet, kind, and thoughtful. You are beautiful. But you’re also strong-willed and know what you want, even in life. A lot of times I scolded you and I cried thinking that you have intentionally hurt me.
But looking back, I realized that you were just being yourself. You never intended to hurt Mama. You are not disrespectful either. If I cried and felt hurt, it wasn’t because you wanted to disobey or make me feel bad. Instead, it was my EXPECTATIONS of what a child should be like and my lack of understanding that made me feel hurt.
You are not perfect and that’s okay. You can be a bit grouchy, too. But you are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to be a child because you still are.
Papa and Mama are here to guide you in our wisdom as parents. But we have no right to control you nor how you want to live your life. Even God gave us the free will. I am just glad that you have a sweet heart towards us. Despite Papa and Mama’s shortcomings, you still love us with all your heart.
Please forgive Papa and Mama for the times we misunderstood you. That’s probably just because we are not as smart as you and we sometimes could not get you.
Nevertheless, we love you so much. Your Siobe Shane adores you and is your biggest fan. You have made us very proud to be your parents. Continue to strive to be the best version of what and who you can be. We shall let you keep extending your wings and fly in your speed and altitude. NOT OURS. We are your parents. We are NOT your BOSSES.
You may outgrow my lap and I can only carry you when we are in the water. But you will never outgrow my heart — my firstborn, my first daughter — Shawna. <3