Parenthood: A Full Plate

(Clockwise from top left) The Sampaga kids welcome their newest sibiling; Oliver Yamashita holds his baby brother August; Henry Taylor explores his mother's book shelf; Suvi Hanson enjoys her Bumbo seat.

Waking up an hour earlier than usual, preparing breakfast, dressing the kids, packing up the car, driving to daycare, going to work, dealing with a bunch of rowdy teenagers, and finally coming home to a new set of chores are a few of the struggles that some HBA’s teachers deal with every day.

Teachers Juri Yamashita, Striesand Sampaga, Eunice Sim, and Alexandra Taylor are moms to young children and their daily schedules are packed. Parenthood is said to be one of the toughest jobs that anyone can have, and these moms are being put to the test as they raise their own children as well as take care of an entire classroom of kids.

The Yamashitas

The Yamashita family’s routine is currently dictated by the needs of their newborn son, August. Every two to three hours, Yamashita feeds August, amuses him, and puts him down for a nap. She says that the biggest change in her life since having kids is doing things as a family and revolving her activities around her two children. “This we enjoy though, since we like family time and making our children happy,” she says.

The Sampagas

With three young children and her newborn, Dallas, Sampaga’s week is a hectic one. Sampaga, who is currently on maternity leave, says that her days are becoming busier. Her day starts at 6 a.m. as she wakes her three older children and gets them ready for school, making sure they have a good breakfast. By the time that’s over, it’s feeding time for the baby. After that, Sampaga becomes the “taxi driver” and drops the older kids off at different destinations: babysitter’s house, elementary school, and middle school. When the goodbye kisses are blown and ‘have a nice day’s are said, it’s mother and baby bonding time, after the household duties are finished, of course. “Once I return to work, my days will start earlier and I’ll be even busier, but I’m blessed to have this life and honored God chose me and my husband to parent these children,” Sampaga says.

The Taylors

Even with one child, Henry, the Taylor family has its hands full. Taylor’s day begins at 3 a.m when her alarm clock—Henry—wakes up and cries for milk. After feeding him, Taylor goes back to bed to get a few more hours of sleep, before waking up again at 5 a.m. for coffee and to spend time with God. After devotionals, it’s more coffee, internet surfing, making lunch, and getting dressed and ready to go. After dropping Henry off at daycare, Taylor preps for her school day. At the end of the day when the Henry is sleeping, Taylor can finally relax and spend time with her husband talking and watching Netflix. According to Taylor, her life has changed drastically but positively since having Henry. “There’s a feeling of love that I never experienced before for both Henry and my husband. It puts a lot of other things into perspective and has forced me to grow and be challenged in ways for which I don’t think I would have volunteered, but for which I am profoundly thankful,” she says.

The Sim-Hansons

The Sim-Hansons welcomed their baby girl, Suvi, in May. Sim’s daily routine is feeding Suvi every two to three hours, putting her down for naps between feedings, changing diapers, and playing with her. According to Sim, Suvi enjoys sitting in her rocker while looking at pictures or books. Suvi’s favorite book is a large print alphabet book. Whenever Suvi sees the book, she will smile and kick her legs vigorously. Reflecting on being a first time mom, Sim says, “It wasn’t a surprise to me that having a baby would consume my every waking hour but I was struck by how little control I have over anything,” she says. “I’m also in awe by how full my heart feels for her; it’s like I have this bottomless capacity to love her, in a way that feels very compelling and permanent.” She adds that she is grateful for such a wonderful gift that God has blessed them with. “There is nothing we have done or could do to deserve her and the joy she brings,” Sim says.

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