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. 

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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

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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!

Tales of a First-Time Flower Girl

“It will all work out in the end. You must keep faith in yourself, and leave the rest to God.” ~ Leon Brown 

For days, months, weeks, we have been trying to train and psych Sofie for her first role as flower girl. Each episode ended in tears, frustration and drama. The little girl did not want to walk nor wear her dress. Stress!

D-day came. We were readying ourselves for another fit of tears, but this time we poured drops of holy water on her bath and on her head. We prayed hard. Lo and behold, she put on her dress without a fuss! And though she did not walk down the aisle (I had to carry her), there was no drama the whole day. She even posed for the pictorials (thank you Allie for keeping her steady!). Thank you Joe and Jady for being patient with us. 

Praise God for our miracle! Prayers are truly powerful, if you just keep the faith 🙏🏻 #BastaIkawLord

When Boredom Strikes

“I want to feel something, as a person. I don’t want to be bored.” ~ Pina Bausch

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I write this in the middle of our sales rally, when my presentation is already finished and the year is almost wrapped up. It’s been a rollercoaster ride this year, and I’m glad to have the time to reflect on everything that has happened, both in the homefront and in the office.

Actually, I just seem to have free time to clear my mind in between listening to speakers.

Actually, I’m just bored.

They say mothers rarely suffer from bouts of boredom, in between juggling roles and responsibilities in the workplace, in the family and in the other roles she plays in the community. But when this happens, though rarely, it’s a gem of a blessing. It’s a moment granted to be more introspective, to clear your thoughts and let go of any worries.

The rise of social media has given millennials the chance to create their own worlds when bored. When there’s nothing to do, they can just turn on their smartphones and let their fingers explore news feeds, tweets, and snaps. For mothers, (and I myself am guilty of this), I get updated on parenting articles or catch up with my friends through Viber, or just read on the latest gossip online. When there’s no internet access, Candy Crush is also a ready option. Not too productive, but it does help to pass the time.

We have arrived in an era where being bored is not an option. You must always look busy, or do something “worthwhile”. It’s a sin to be “bored”, when there’s so much to do, so little time!  Gone are the days when boredom is actually welcomed, because it is closely related to self-control abilities, and tendencies for addiction and binge-eating. Says James Danckert in a recent study: The more self-control you have, the less likely you are to be bored.The urgency to combat boredom is now higher than ever.

When our children tell us, “we’re bored”, we stress with the need to fill the time gap with technological devices or structured activities. But we fail to give them something much more important: unstructured time, or the opportunity to imagine new worlds and expand their creative juices. This skill is vital to their development, as it teaches them to become more resourceful and mature in problem solving later on in life. Self-control is also developed during children’s downtime, as they learn to be more patient and wait for their turn.

Sometimes, it helps to learn also from children’s boredom. We can use the time not to feel anxious in doing “nothing”, but rather be grateful for the time to relax, keep calm and clear our thoughts.

Sometimes, we can even get around to writing a blog.