When Gianna was born, I was able to tidy up around the house, do the laundry, and finish assigned papers for my online course.
But not without my husband taking charge of the stove, the dishes, and the errands. Not without my mother relieving me for two hours in the morning, and two hours in the afternoon so I could squeeze in getting stuff done, including bathing.
When Gianna was seven weeks, I woke up to her uneasy cries one midnight to find that her forehead was burning with fever. I was able to keep sane until her father arrived from the planned Manila trip he had to abort.
But not without my sister ready with her thermometer and medicine, checking up on us and worrying with me until the sun came up.
That following morning, Gianna was admitted in the hospital, and I got through that only because I had a sister who held her foot down as a nervous nurse inserted the IV line, and I had a husband who minded all our hospital chores.
When Gianna was ten weeks old, I had to take an exam for a subject I was enrolled in. I was able to focus and do well in it.
But not without Rey taking control. Armed with a pacifier, he shut our bedroom door and took the baby away so I could concentrate for three full hours.
The following day, I had to host back-to-back Moving Up Ceremonies. We survived a hectic day with a breastfeeding newborn that started at 6am and ended at 1pm.
But not without a small fight, a diaper disaster, and a dad that held her for 4 hours.
When Gianna was four months old, I was already back at work, and I had to do training for teachers. I was able to hold sessions without a baby in my hands.
But not without other teachers holding her in theirs. Not without my husband–a newbie teacher–having to participate in the sessions standing up because he has to rock her to sleep.
When Gianna was five months, School Year 2017-2018 opened. I dreaded how I was going to juggle baby care and the busiest time of the academic calendar, but I was able to bring her to work every day and take care of her without a yaya.
But not without having her wrapped around my torso while I did rounds in the classrooms. Not without a crib beside my desk. Not without a principal who insisted on putting that crib there, and relieving my sore arms and back once in a while. Not without friends visiting us at work to watch over her.
The point is, difficult things have been done since our daughter was born.
But it wasn’t without help.
Because it’s true what they say.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
A doting husband, a caring family, loving friends, awesome workmates.
This is my village.
This is the village that my curious little girl will grow up in, and I’m already confident of the power it has to bring her up.