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!

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!

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

BER Months are Here!

“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season” ~ Thomas S. Monson

When September hits, Christmas starts in the Philippines. Jose Mari Chan’s classic Christmas melodies dominate mall music as shoppers scramble for gifts during the weekly midnight sales.

For me, Ber months are even crazier… sales targets are pushed for the last quarter, and balikbayans and old friends are squeezing in reunions for all weekends till January. It’s fun and hectic, and wills all your energy to make it to every meeting and gathering.

It’s only October now, but I’m already feeling the pressure. Our anniversary celebration coincides with a weekend workshop, and I have to juggle time with family and prep meetings with speakers. It’s nothing new, but everything seems to be on a bigger scale during Ber months. 

Keeping positive… even with the scheduling stress, I’m still grateful for the work that is never boring, and the family and friends’ never ending support. And of course, celebrating the true Reason for the Season. Here’s to enjoying and surviving the Ber Months! 

Laws of In-Laws

“You are a guest in their marriage and a guest in their home. You have to fold into their rules and their lives if you want to be welcome there.” ~ Dr. Phil 


My Father-in-Law is home for two weeks, and dutifully, we go home to my husband’s ancestral home in the province so our daughter can spend time with her grandpa.

Sounds ideal, but the whole scenario took several days of adjustments, weeks of discussions, and months of planning. Who brings which car? How do we do laundry, grocery, weekend playschool? There’s no perfect answer, but we managed to follow our own survival guide:

1. Manage Expectations

Not everything is the same as your house. Your child may also adjust to different meal times or bath times. It may be good to discuss these with your husband so you won’t find yourself out of place. You can also state essentials, such as important routines for your child that you can still work out together before going to her grandparents’ house.

2. Discuss Roles

This can get tricky, but the key is to discuss and plan things early on. Imagine your day-to-day activities, list them down, and try to see how this would apply to your in-laws’ house. Discuss who gets to do what with your spouse, including timings, so you can adjust accordingly. 

3. Respect the House

When in Rome, Do as the Romans do. In laws may have their own ways, but since it’s their house, you have to respect their rules while staying there.

I noticed that my mother-in-law likes having clean beds and clean garbage bins inside the house. So while staying there, I make it a point to fold all linens and empty waste cans at all times. It’s a sign of respect for their rules and for letting you stay at their house too. 

4. Enjoy 

Every house and every family has their own way of running things. The important key is to open your mind to new things and to make sure that your child still enjoys her time with their grandparents. Who knows, maybe you can also learn a new thing or two from them. 

Date Night

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ” ~ Mignon McLaughlin

Do we still go out on dates with our husbands? 

When the day is full from work, and the nights are still young with homework and dishes and last-minute cleaning, do we still have energy to romance our specific others?

Most of the time, No. But countless articles and studies have always encouraged us to find time, and energy, to spiff up our marriage. Sometimes it takes just little things to turn things around. Date Nights should not stop just because we’re already married. Maybe the only thing that could change now is what dating is like for married couples. 

My husband and I are both working, and it certainly takes a lot of effort to create a special time for both of us. But we have learned to enjoy the little things: 

  • Popcorn while watching our favorite series at home
  • Cooking our favorite meals together
  • Grocery shopping, and finding new items in the market
  • Creating our special MP3 playlist, because listening to these makes us remember the other even when we’re apart for the day
  • Driving around and catching up while traffic
  • Enjoying a bottle of wine, or hot chocolate, at the end of the day

What counts is our willingness to be with our spouse, without thinking of work or the children. Just you and him, just like the old times.