Going Digital

“This digital world is what you make of it in the end.” ~ Ciara

mobile-mom

Our Department has recently enrolled us in a Digital Academy–a series of 6 training modules aimed to equip us with the technical knowledge in communicating our brands through the digital evolution age.

An exercise, “A Day in the Life”, showed us how much of our digital footprints are imprinted on a regular day. From the time we wake up to our sleeping hour, we have at least 20 social media interactions, web searches, video streamings, and app usage everyday. I myself use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Snapchat, Youtube, Viber,  Messenger, Waze, Swarm, RPGs like Pokemon Go, and of course WordPress on a daily basis. That’s a huge step from just absorbing brand promotions using ATLs even BTL activations. Mobile usage has increased to about 60% compared to website/desktop internet access to only 30%, while watching TV are only at 10% and still on a downtrend. More and more people crave for accessibility and convenience in social sharing networks, and this has greatly influenced not only the way we consume brands, but the way we lead our lives in general.

As a working mom, I admit that I have depended on digital activities to help juggle multiple tasks, ease workload and still maintain relationships, from the homefront to the office. Waze helps me get from home to office, or to summer ballet classes while avoiding the usual Manila traffic. Youtube helps me think of new recipes for lunch and dinner. Viber and Messenger helps me keep updated with friends that I don’t see as much as I used to. Netflix with wine at home is our new Fridate (and even Mondate or Tuesdate). Though I have yet to try Honestbee, these along with Zalora and Lazada are the kind of apps that also cater shopping and delivery convenience for the working moms.

While today’s work-and-family life demands that we fulfill obligations faster and smarter, digital applications have truly lent a helping hand for working mothers. However, we have to be careful on how and how much we use social media. Security  must always be prioritized–especially in sharing pictures or personal information online. We must ensure that these privacy settings are in place especially on social media. We must watch carefully what our children digest through YouTube videos, lest they are chatted online by strangers or predators. We must be cautious in not looking at our phones too much, especially when on dates with our significant others or when on catch-up reunions with friends.

Think before you click, as they say. In this digital world, there are numerous applications that we are attached to that can create infinite dependencies. It is important to speak the digital language to know how these platforms may help us with the daily grind, but we should be wary not to let these technologies totally control our lives and our relationships in the long run.

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The Luxury of Time

“We don’t have the luxury of time. We spend more because of how we live. But it’s important to be with family and friends.” ~ Sara Blakely

Why do we work so hard, Mommies? We want to help provide our children and our families with the best possible life, and a little taste of life’s luxuries.

But time is the ultimate luxury, “the currency of entrepreneurs”. We work hard and earn money to buy us more time to do what we love and be with who we love.

I love being at home to spend time with my husband and daughter, but I don’t particularly like cleaning. So I use my salary as a working mom to get extra household help for laundry and general cleaning.

I like learning time with my daughter, but most of the time I arrive late at night and I’m always too busy to do all her homeworks. So I pay for tutor so they can do required homeworks in advance, and we can just review her lessons when I arrive.

It takes a certain amount of concessions and a certain level of financial capability to allow us the time and resources in pursuing our passions and create more time. This is another motivation for me to work hard and earn for my family.

Read more in this article.

Tired

“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” ~ Tina Fey


There are weeks that are busy, and then there are weeks that are crazy busy. This was one of them.

Daughter had a big arts and crafts project due this week, so we had to buy scrapbook, printer ink, and design papers over the weekend, then do all-nighters just to finish cutting and pasting each picture page. This was on top of her quarterly reviews, of which we also had to review for every night.

This week also meant brand presentations for work, as well as financial reviews. We also launched our new drugstore campaign going live this week at Bicol. So lots more emails, meetings and follow ups were scheduled too.

Condo was scheduled for kitchen backsplash tiling this week, as well as cabinet and grill sizing and consultation. So I had to buy all materials and cleaning equipment in preparation for the construction ahead.

Husband, on the meantime, was scheduled for a store opening out of town, which meant that he was away for most of the craziness. It was me, myself and I left to do the dirty job.

Naturally, this took a toll on my already overworked body, and I had to work despite my flu in order to do all of the above. 

Sometimes, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. Being tired does not even begin to describe how I feel about all this flurry. I’m reminded of the juggling act we all have to play everyday as working mothers, and the reminder seems even more resonant this week with all that is happening. 

What does it mean to be really tired? This mom was able to capture mommies “being tired“, so others would start to understand. 

Because more than saying, “this too shall pass”, all we need is a kindred soul saying yes, we acknowledge that being tired is part of the package, and we do understand. 

Traffic Conflict

“Traffic is only one of the side effects of growth.” ~ Roy Barnes


Most people say that if you can drive in Manila, then you can drive anywhere in the world. The traffic system in the city has become notorious, especially in the recent months, when the long hours on the road became the subject of memes, sarcastic tweets, and random rants of commuters and drivers alike. 

Yes, manila traffic is horrible. It gets me cranky and tired, and it takes away precious time I could have spent at work or with family. So what’s a working mom to do? Here’s my survival plan to still be productive while stuck in a standstill:

Listen to Audiobooks.

I’m currently subscribed to Blinkist, an app which summarizes books and captures the highlights in blinks or mini-chapters. Wide range of topics include business, time management, relationships, even parenting tips. This way, you can still enjoy the take away messages in just minutes. Plus factor is their audiobook version, so you can plug this in and listen to a “storyteller” read through the blinks while navigating traffic. 

Clean the Clutter.

There’s always some old receipt or expired item left in the car. So what better way to practice konmari than by letting go of these articles during a traffic stop? Always bring a handy bag or plastic you can use to store these items, then throw it all away once you reach your destination. Cleaning the car is also clearing your mind.

Call the Clients. 

This I will only advise using hands-free, speakerphone calls. I usually sneak in follow-up calls to clients, suppliers or office assistants for quick reminders on tasks to do. Sometimes I also call home to check on my daughter or my husband, who I was not able to bond with more as I leave earlier to go to the office. Quick calls lessen the checklist, and still make up for productive time while on the road. Don’t do this while in moving traffic. 

Retouch the Makeup.

Quick dab of lipstick or powder, and we’re good to go. When I have more time, I keep tweezers also in the car so I can clean up my brows as well. 

Run through the Day.

When there’s nothing to do, the mind can easily wander aimlessly to all directions. I usually use this time to think about tasks I have to do for the day, or even, for the week. This can even include grocery lists, personal errand reminders, or people I have to call back. The mental checklist helps me remember what I have to do both at home and the office, so that I can hit the ground running already as soon as I get to my destination. 

Pray the Rosary.

It only takes about 15 minutes, and you can pray for a miracle to power through the traffic. Otherwise, you can also use the quiet time to meditate and clear your mind.

There are many other ways to use the traffic time wisely. What matters is that we stay patient and stay positive, and that we can rise above the seemingly useless situation to still be productive, working moms. 

My Kid is Weird

“We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” – Dr. Seuss


Is your child weird

Does she display habits that are out of the ordinary?

My daughter is a classic example:

1. She likes to rub and touch my elbows while breastfeeding. It helps to put her to sleep. She kisses my elbows first when greeting me, before kissing my cheeks.

2. She doesn’t like stamps on her hands, so the teacher gives her cut out stars instead for great job in school work.

3. She likes to put shoes on her left foot first, before the right foot.

4. She says “No Kiss”, then proceeds to kiss all her stuffed toys and miniatures.

5. When she makes number two, she finds a corner, squats down and does her business. And no one should talk to her while she’s busy. (Good luck with our toilet training!)

No matter what her quirks are, I don’t think it makes Sofie any less different. I know I have mine too. I guess knowing these little things makes her funny and endearing all the more. And it makes her personality so unique and much more colorful. 

So here’s to discovering more weird and quirky sides to my daughter. This means I can spend more time bonding and discovering these together with her. 

The “Hair Tie” Technique

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ~ Franklin P. Jones

Everyday, our lil toddlers wake up bursting with energy. Working moms like us might not have the same energy to keep up all the time, so we end up stressed whenever there are tantrums or misplaced toys or attention-seeking behavior from our children. 
Ideally, we want to stay patient amidst the chaos, and avoid as much as possible to yell at our children. Sometimes, this effort is futile and we end up giving in to our emotions and end up hurting our children with words. 

Kelly Holmes of the Idealist Mom, devised a way to be more conscious of our mood and non-responsive with our quick reactions to children’s behavior— the hair tie technique.  Each day, we start with 5 hair ties in one wrist (ideally in your writing hand so it’s more visible). Every time we yell at our children or respond negatively to their actions, we move one tie to the other wrist, and do 5 loving actions to counter our negative reaction. The goal is to practice more patience so we end the day having all the hair ties in the same wrist.


Click here to learn more.

Birthday Wishes

“A birthday is just another day where you go to work and people give you love. Age is just a state of mind, and you are as old as you think you are. You have to count your blessings and be happy. ~ Abhishek Bachchan

mom-party

Birthdays are often a happy family tradition. My daughter’s favorite song-and-action activity is singing “Happy Birthday”, clapping along and blowing candles to an imaginary cake. I have always celebrated mine in a new destination or in a new restaurant, so that the novelty may create a more interesting memory.

As we grow older, the parties become simpler and the guests fewer. This year, I chose to celebrate in one whole week, giving time for my family and for myself. After all, even the material gifts seem to matter less—all I really wish for is good health, career and financial security, a more positive outlook, love and happiness. Oh, and some genuine peace and quiet! Now, we can’t buy those things in a store, can we?

I received more than my fair share of greetings in social media and SMS. And though I’m floored by the birthday wishes, it’s in the company of family and true friends with whom I am able to really celebrate and be thankful for another year of life. Real relationships are hard to find and even harder to maintain, and to have those is already a birthday gift in itself.

So to Working Moms celebrating their birthdays… take your well-deserved day off, spend time with family, pursue what makes you happy and be grateful for the blessings. Cheers!