Motherhood and My so-called #WaHMLife

by - 12:41 PM

Find your passion.

I read this on Facebook a few days ago and it inspired me to write this ahead of those in my line up.

When I left my job as a Customer Service Manager in one of the biggest retail stores in the country, I was almost three months pregnant with Popy.

It was my third job in a span of five years, and I was particularly happy there even when I had to face angry customers from time to time.

My Team Customer Service at The SM  Store - SM Mall of Asia

I've made my parents proud since time immemorial. Honors, medals, certificates and maybe even those stars stamped on my hand as a pre-schooler... I think I have supplied them well with recognition.

I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Magna Cum Laude. As there was no Summa, and I was the only one who had the 2nd highest Latin honor, I had the privilege of delivering the commencement speech.

Graduation Day, April 2009

My mother had always been supportive and proud with even the most menial of achievements we had. She cried a river when I introduced her to the crowd of students, parents, and faculty. My father, on the other hand, had always been pushy and I was often hurt by his expectations of me. If I won second place, he would ask why I wasn't first? Or if I got a partial academic scholarship, he would ask why it wasn't full. But now that I've grown, I've started to think it was something worth thanking him for, although I still hoped he could have told me he was proud of me back then instead.

After graduation, the hotel in Oman where I had my internship absorbed me into the company. I was with them from 2008-2012. When I came back to the Philippines, I managed to get a few MBA credits but had to stop because the job I was hired into didn't fit my class schedule. I was hired by an integrated tourism destination in their head office's marketing department. I handled merchant acquisition for the loyalty program and I stayed with them for almost two years.

I went from customer service to sales and marketing to customer service again.

My grad school mates in Far Eastern University - Makati.

At Hotel Muscat Holiday in Muscat, Oman where I worked as a Guest Relations Officer.

The Progam and Product Management Team of Resorts World Manila.

When I resigned, people often asked me when I plan to go back to work. That or they would tell me I was sayang (a waste).

What a waste that I was unemployed given that I graduated with flying colors.
What a waste that I resigned when I was already a manager.
What a waste.
What a waste.

Let me tell you the truth behind what motherhood did to me.

I am yaya-less in a household of three (me, my husband and our son). That means I have to do everything by myself when my husband goes to work.

Three weeks after giving birth, my sister gave me her old laptop, so I can start writing again and maybe earn from it, but I didn't start immediately. I had a lot of hesitations because I didn't have a degree in anything related to writing.

On my son's fourth month, I became a breastfeeding peer counselor and did online counseling and home visits to other moms. Eventually, I became an admom for a motherhood and pregnancy online community and an advocate of ergonomic babywearing.

Graduating as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with the little guy that inspired me to do so.

The Buntis Brigada Support Group PH Admoms.
We got featured in a local magazine and Huffington Post Canada for Babywearing.

April, the following year, my husband and I put up Posh/Mum Maternity and Nursing. Our dresses were 100% Pinoy-made and were created with mommy needs as our topmost priority. My husband was the designer. Unfortunately, we had to close this when I started taking more online jobs.

Posh/Mum Maternity and Nursing Wear at Cloth Diaper Addicts PH's The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2016

Also in 2016, I started venturing into freelance writing. Back then, the pay wasn't really that much. Since it was mostly project-based, the income wasn't stable. But in a single-earner household, the money I made from those projects often got us through tough times. It may be petty for some, but there was a time when we didn't have extra money to buy rice, but a project saved us. To date, I have written for BPOs, NGOs, private people, websites, restaurants and other companies here and abroad.

I also reopened this blog to write about my life as a mom, a wife and our family life.

With mommy-blogger friends of Mommy Bloggers Philippines in a book launch

Sometime in July, I got a job opportunity as a Mom Editor. I thought it was perfect! It was office-based and they told me that the child care room I requested was workable. Until, suddenly, it was occupied. We painstakingly tried to look for a nanny or a daycare. I searched my heart if it was really something I'd give up being a SaHM for because things don't seem to fit.

So I let it go.

But I didn't give up.

To be honest, we weren't really financially well off. We managed to pay off debts we had when I gave birth via emergency caesarean section, but our monthly income (or at least, my husband's) was just enough for our needs. Savings was very very little. Sometimes, none at all. It was so little that our family bonding often meant taking a walk in the park. Not that it was bad. I loved taking walks, but we couldn't afford so many of the things other parents can give to their children.

When I had to let go of the opportunity that promised to pay better than my previous corporate jobs, I swore to my husband that I was going to find a job online, so I wouldn't have to sacrifice my time away from our son, his health and at the same time, I'd be able to contribute to our budget.

In October, my promise came true in the form of SocialGen. I started out as a content curator then moved to the social selling team. My colleagues are wonderful and I had the best bosses. I was so thankful to SG that I cried during our team building when they called us in front to talk about our work life. Yes, we had one even though we were online workers

A lot of us in the Philippine team are moms and wives and basically, family-oriented people, and I appreciated our company because they had given us a chance to work without sacrificing our time with our families. I work and earn, get to see my son's milestones, homeschool him and be the wife that I am to my husband.

This year, I've also caught a flexible part-time as a copywriter for a Canadian company.

The SocialGen Family

So what was there to waste?

I didn't write about this to brag, but instead, to let people know that there are so many possibilities and opportunities for moms. But even if they don't do as I do, raising a child is an achievement on its own. I am so tired of people talking about moms at home sounding like raising kids is the easiest job in the world.

I love motherhood and I love moms whether they choose to work outside, stay at home or work at home. My mom was a working mom when she had us, but never in my life had I thought that she had failed mothering just because she couldn't stay with us. We all have sacrifices to make whatever path we choose, but we are never ever less.

So, here I am writing my way to life. Writing is my passion, and I thank God, I was given the heart and the opportunity to pursue it even with the roles that I play. I don't have any degree in journalism, but it is with pen and paper that I have risen above all that I used to be.

I am a woman, a mother and even though I may have let go of dreams I had when I was still young and childless, there's always an opportunity to dream something new with the person I have become.

Motherhood never stopped me.

Don't let it stop you.

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  1. I was so moved by your story. It is my dream to become a WAHM in the future because I would like to be with my family all the time. I work full-time as a BPO Supervisor but I also practice my writing skills using my blog because in my heart, I believe that I will be able to use this skills for the online life I have been longing for since last year Hope that in the soonest possible time, I can also find the right online job for me. I am glad that you have found yours, mommy! More power and God bless you and your family!

  2. We have/had the same sentiments. I was an honor student and people would always ask me why I chose to become a stay-at-home mom. It was never easy, it never is, and it never will be. Thank you for your post, and for the inspiration you bring to your readers. :) Cheers to motherhood!

  3. Leaving work to be a full-time mom is very admirable. It shows how much you love your family above all else. Because of that, you are now blessed with a career without leaving your family. I wish I can do that soon too.

  4. My motherhood story is a bit similar to yours. I stopped working after I gave birth to my son, and never returned back to the corporate world since.

    From time to time I would miss being a corporate employee (especially during December when people would be getting bonuses and extra pay, haha), but I have no regrets. I am happy and proud to have never missed a milestone in my son's life. :)

  5. I also worked at SM Building E in Pasay before. I love my job as a buyer but decided to resign to take care of my son who has a special need. I can relate, sabi ng iba sayang. Pero just like you there are a lot of opportunities out there hindi lang sa pagwo work sa office. This generation is lucky that there's an internet already and you can work at the comfort of your home.

  6. I feel you... if without kids, I would graciously accept my provincial work assignment. But then I choose to stay with my kids and say goodbye to the corporate world. You see, we're very lucky to afford staying with the kids and enjoy every moment." Truly, God will provide."

  7. Not everyone will see how being a WAHM is both a sacrifice and a blessing. And usually, it really needs patience before someone will be able to thrive in this kind of profession. Being a WAHM is not for everybody. I believe there are really moms who are fit for it, and there are moms who do not.

  8. I feel you because I also resigned from my work when I got pregnant. I'm a full time mom now and before I also tried to work at home as ghost writer but I stopped so I can focus with my son. Ang dami nagsasabi na sayang pinag-aralan but deadma na lang because we (hubby and I) have our own reasons why I"m a SAHM right now.

  9. There's no such thing as "sayang." If one will dwell on that word, one won't be happy and progressive. I stopped going to the office when I got married so I was able to enjoy being a SAHM. Then the writing offers came and I grabbed that opportunity so I was able to be with my daughter 24/7.

  10. I absolutely loved that phrase, motherhood never stopped me. It never rings truer! Yes, we had to sacrifice so many things when we became mums ~ gave up our careers, our social lives, as well as our personal aspirations, but this is all for something so much better, raising our children. Indeed, there is nothing to regret about making the decision to stay at home so we can be with our children round the clock and watch them grow before our very eyes. And, yes, we can always dream of new dreams to fit the person that we've become after motherhood changed us for good! ^_^

  11. Your story is inspiring and I'm happy for you that you're pursuing your passion!! Moms re the best!

  12. WAHM here.. You're amazing Nini. Not everyone will understand how hard it is to be a Work-at-home-mom. Even my neighbors think I'm just a plain lazy housewife. But, it's rewarding to see how our kids grow up and we get to enjoy every moment of it. Thanks for sharing your story. GOD Bless you. Keep on inspiring more people! :)

  13. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other Beauty Guest Post blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a ton!