Parenting Lessons

Spending Halloween at Twin Lakes and Something About Mom Guilt

October 28, 2019

Yesterday, we celebrated Halloween at Twin Lakes. (Fun fact: Twin Lakes, although people believe differently, isn’t in Tagaytay. It’s actually in Laurel, Batangas. Right across from it is Alfonso.) Yesterday was also the E! Pop Gala, which I was supposed to cover for work. The initial plan was to take our daughter to her halloween event before driving off to my event. But I decided to not cut our daughter’s celebration short and just skip my agenda. I really am thankful that I have supportive team mates (and understanding bosses) and I know that not everyone has the luxury to be able to cancel on work plans.

We spent Halloween at Twin Lakes — a last-minute venue. But our daughter had great fun.

I felt guilty that I had to skip a work day (although it was a weekend). But it was also a special day for our daughter, and I just had to choose our time with her.

The thing about mom guilt

I’ve read about mom guilt plenty of times, but perhaps I’ve never thought about it deeply until I was made to make a choice yesterday. I’ve been guilty of putting work above anything else. Looking back now, I have thoughts about whether or not things would’ve been different had I not thought at the time that it would be detrimental for my career if I chose family matters and occasions over event coverages or meetings.

I’m lucky to have bosses and colleagues who always remind us that family should come first. But work is still work. I guess the main dilemma was that I identified myself based on what I do for work. I still do. I mean, it’s still a part of who I am. But I’ve come to realize that I’m not just that. I am so many other things, too.

The guilt is still there (for both choosing work and choosing family), but I think that recognizing that I have a choice is a good first step.

Kids having fun celebrating Halloween at Twin Lakes.

Before I was able to get to that realization, though, I still had to contend with myself about not buying a new costume for our daughter. I’ve no problem with repeating outfits. I repurposed her first-ever Halloween costume a year later, but this year, I suddenly wanted to do away with my usual and look for a new costume. Perhaps I was guilty because I felt like I wasn’t who I thought a mom should be — making costumes, preparing baon, just being super involved. But I do teach her. And I make sure that she has what she needs. I also work hard so she can have a comfortable life.

Halloween at Twin Lakes

Once we settled that we’re just going to let her use the costume she wore last year, I was faced with another guilt-inducing problem. There was a misunderstanding about the party we planned for her to go to. I felt awful that we didn’t register earlier, even though posters said you can register on the day itself. Luckily, we learned about the Halloween at Twin Lakes.

All the bad feelings went away when I saw our daughter having fun trick-or-treating, painting a paper mache egg, watching a magic show, and getting face paint.

This motherhood thing is so confusing. More often than not, I feel like I’m failing. There are more days that our daughter tells me that she’s happy, though. So I guess I’m not doing so bad. I’m sure I’ll continue feeling guilty about so many things, but maybe they won’t be so bad.

How’d you celebrate Halloween?