A Letter to the Working Mom

Here’s an excerpt from a really poignant letter by Alicia Keswani:

Hey there Working Mama,

Can we sit down and breathe for a sec?

Let’s set our stuff down and give permission to press pause on the ever-running-to-do-lists that runs like a news-ticker on our minds.

We need this break more than anyone but are probably the last to get it.

I know the fatigue that sets in when all you feel is guilty: guilty that you like going to work, guilty that you want to go home early to be with your baby. Guilty when you miss a milestone, or guilty when you have to stay late to catch up on a project. Guilty when you forget about an upcoming meeting or guilty that you have to leave early because the baby got sick.

Hear me friend–we may not know each other but I do know this: You were chosen to be your baby’s mama.

All of who you are–your passions, your fears, your job, your living situation, your marital status, your heart, your soul–is being used to create something so, so precious: a childhood.

You are not a bad mama for working. You are not a bad employee because you are a mother.

Either way, you are working because you’re a great mother.

You are brave and I admire you.

Link to the Full Letter can be read 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

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.

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.

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 Week

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” – Dr. Seuss


Today is my husband’s birthday. (Happy birthday Ling!) And while he decided to celebrate at home since it’s a weeknight, he also proposed to celebrate his birthday thrice— three celebrations in three days. Today is for office lunch celebration and in-laws dinner, tomorrow is date with the wifey, and the day after is a swimming picnic with his brood. A birthday week celebration.

It’s becoming a tradition for us, celebrating birthdays and special occassions in multiple days. With to-do’s at work and at home, sometimes a full day of celebration is not anymore feasible. Plus, with our in-laws and extended families, our birthdays become extended too.

It’s actually a better set-up for me. Last January, my birthday month, I also celebrated for one whole week: different days to shop, watch movies alone, enjoy pasta and wine, relax in a spa, and have a staycation with my husband and daughter. Birthday bucket list fulfilled, even if it took many mini-buckets to fulfill them.

Having a birthday week seems to be a better set-up for us: we still get to celebrate our hearts’ desires, but we manage expectations that one day alone cannot fulfill. We have more cakes and more time to celebrate with the people who have made the past year memorable.

Looking forward to continuing this tradition in the next years!