Hurdles

I’m not thin, but I’m strong – plus my balance is such that I can navigate a flight of stairs with a basket of laundry and a stack of Pottery Barn catalogs, vaulting over cat-and-dog hurdles, never once spilling my coffee.” ~ Jen Lancaster

Working mothers can be found at the top of many professions, and the current generation of fathers are doing more than the dads that raised them, but we can’t pretend that working mothers and working fathers are on the same playing field.

We are jumping over hurdles while the men beside us are sprinting down a clear track. This simple metaphor illustrated by a Peruvian cartoonist at La Republica captures the complex challenges faces by working mothers.

Read more from this article here.

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Give yourself Grace

Interesting article on the Resolutions Mothers make for the New Year:

The reality is this: my kids don’t need a mom who looks great in leggings right now. Or a mom who makes individualized quiches for all the kids in class. They need a mom who does her best to love them well—imperfections and all.

Read more here through Mother.ly

I Wish I Spent More Time with Family

Working moms know the struggle of balancing career with time for family. In fact, there is no ‘hack’ to work-life balance, as real moms point out. What is important is you don’t lose sight of your priorities even as you go up the career ladder. It’s a hard lesson that outgoing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi learned during her tenure as the first female chief executive of the multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation.

More from the article here.

Alone

“But being a [stay at home] mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, in which she was always and never by herself”

~ Barbara Kingsolver

Today, I feel alone.

Like there’s no one I could talk to who can really understand how difficult it is. How some days are more difficult than others. How you manage to stay sane and keep a smile on your face despite all the pressures to perform and accomplish everything.

So I escape reality. I stare at a blank space. I do mundane things like candy crush. I drive aimlessly. Sometimes, I wish I could escape all my responsibilities all together. Because everyday, I really am walking a tightrope, trying not to fall on my face.

I cannot talk to anyone because no one really understands how draining it all is.

But I can only take a moment or two. To wallow in self-pity and to acknowledge that I am tired and ready to throw the towel.

But I cannot give up. I think of everyone who depends on me. I cry on the inside because I must find what little strength I have left to push myself.

So I take a deep breath. And then I move on.

Small Wins

I’m proud of myself today.

My biggest battle has always been internal.

It has always been against myself, and my inner demons.

I’ve tried to control them so I don’t lash out and hurt others with my harsh words and biting sarcasm.

Because after it’s been said and done, remorse washes over me like a tidal wave.

So today, even if my buttons were pushed..

… I chose to ignore the itch.

… I chose to turn away.

… I chose to take a deep breath.

… I chose another battle.

And after the calm, I smiled.

Today, at least, I celebrate being calm.

Today, I celebrate the small wins.

Picture Perfect

“The most treasured heirlooms are the sweetest memories of our family.”

~ Terri Burritt

 

I was recently given a chance to recuperate and enjoy some free time. This is every mother’s dream— to finally rest and have a bit of time for herself. Because I was used to always being busy, I wanted to use the time to still be productive, and to catch up on my personal to-do’s that always took the backseat

One of my projects was to organize family photos. All of our family pictures from trips, candid moments, selfies are just dumped in my phone. And when last year’s phone was suddenly corrupted, I also lost a lot of memories because I was not able to back up my gallery. So I vowed to be more consciencious in documenting and organizing our pictures. The goal was to save these photos, and to create yearly albums so we can see my daughter’s growth through significant milestones in our family life.

Easier said than done! It seemed like a gazillion pictures needed to be saved and archived correctly. So while there’s still much to be done, the important thing was I was able to start it. Now, I’ll put more effort to save and organize more frequently. After all, moments are fleeting and memories cannot be recreated exactly the way it happened. And these memories will be a family’s treasure, that will be handed down to the next generations.

Next stop, select pictures and layout to photo albums! 😊

Orlando’s Magic: the Space Kennedy Center

“It’s always a thrilling experience to go into a place that offers you a lot of choice. You know it’s like it reminds you of when you’re a kid and you go to the amusement park and whether it be Disneyworld or Six Flags you know that thrilling moment when you first enter and you know you’ve got all these possibilities for the day and it’s really a… it’s a wonderful feeling.” ~ Sheena Iyengar

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My first time in Orlando was for a business conference. I discovered though, that the city is a dreamland of theme parks, for all ages. It would have been lovely to go to DisneyWorld or Universal with my family. So though we were busy with work, we found time to sneak an afternoon to another adult theme park: The Kennedy Space Center.

I’m not a space enthusiast, but the idea of going to a space center is still quite thrilling. We were in a hurry, so we rode a cab outtown, and the driver agreed to wait for us so he can bring us back to city center. As soon as we arrived at the visitor’s center, we got our tickets, took pictures by the NASA icon and rockets garden, and looked for the next available show: an Astronaut Encounter.

The Center featured Ken Cameron that afternoon— a former Space Shuttle astronaut. He described his missions… from the uniforms, equipment, space protocol, lift-off stages, and their work on the satellites, and even re-integration back to earth. He had very interesting trivia to share too:

  • Each mission has a unique patch that they sew on their uniforms, their flags, and all mission paraphernalia. They hold a “creative workshop” to come up with the design patches.
  • The uniforms have round, metal-like necklines, not just to fit their helmets, but also as a protection against water/sea water, in case of a water landing. The necklines will prevent water from entering their suit.
  • Rockets lift upwards, then slowly veer horizontally to prepare for ascent to space.
  • Before lift-off, the astronauts are all gathered in a room with no windows. The lights are adjusted internally, so the astronauts will have time to adjust their circadian rhythm to morning and night, just like in a plane.
  • Someone in the audience asked: What do you need to do to become an Astronaut? His answer: 1) Study hard (it was a little boy who asked the question) 2) Have a technical background 3) Really love flying and space. Passion will always come into play.

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I felt giddy like a kid listening to him, taking pictures, and absorbing our short but sweet time at the Center. I really wished we had more time to take the bus tour or go to the launch center. Theme parks really bring out the joy and amazement— to kids and to kids at heart. But alas, work beckons and we had to go back to the convention center. But the Space Center was a definitely a unique experience, and I hoped to relive this magic again with my kids, someday, when we go back to Orlando.