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BAKE OR BREAK by Lorena Gabasa

Some say I’m a whisk taker, some say I’m kneady. But I’m just a person that bakes. Making you crack up whilst you’re cracking eggs, this blog has fun with buns, kitchen goss and not a soggy bottom in sight. So pick up your whisk and don your wavy kitchen grams (apron), let’s get baking. I am focuses on fun and easy baking. It’s a place to explore recipes, desserts, decorating and even photography with a few giveaways sprinkled in along the way. You may even find yourself smiling from all the sweetness. But here’s the great thing about baking: If you can follow instructions, you can do it. We’ve always been too intimidated to try our hand at homemade bread (all that kneading and proofing!), but dead-simple recipe is a total game changer. All you have to do is mix the ingredients, leave them to rest for 12 to 18 hours and bake. Done and done. I personally love to bake, primarily because everything is so dang delicious and warm. So I hate to hear beginners giving up on their baking dreams after being stumped by a particularly difficult recipe. The key to becoming a great baker is practice and starting off with the right baking recipes. These easy baking recipes can be thrown together by anyone, and will get you more comfortable with your own baking prowess. You’ll be a baking champion in no time, I swear.

CRINKLE COOKIES are perfect for the beginner baker because you don’t need any skill to get that awesome crinkle effect. This recipe from my baking addiction will look delicious even if you think you messed up along the way.

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CARROT CAKE with cream cheese frosting makes it easy to enjoy a classic and share with my entire family. 

Success in your career will depend heavily upon how much you genuinely enjoy baking. Decide Where You Want to Work. Once you know the types of baked goods you want to make, choose an arena for your career. Find a Job. Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to put it into action.

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Get Paid and Travel: Must Have Job-Skills

Traveling while working remotely can be a slog at times, but let’s face it: Those of us who do it are lucky. Having the freedom to work with a flexible schedule, financial freedom and the ability to do something you love –so long as you get the job done–is a luxury many people only dream of.

But even though working remotely has many positive attributes, it does require a particular type of personality and skills to productively and successfully stay on the job. Not all have the same but mostly these are the common: Good communication skills, organization skills, resourceful, critical thinking skills, pro-activeness, independent and computer or tech savvy. But you won’t be able to do the job while having just these personalities. You have to have skills or the hardware skills to be able to do your job.

So here are the job-skills that you need to have in order to travel the world while working:

ENGLISH

You must be good both in speaking and writing. For many of us, this is a default. Most companies who are hiring work from home employees need someone who can speak on behalf of them even without your presence in the office — someone who can represent the company anywhere in the world. You will be spending more time on Skype, Microsoft Word and other Customer Relationship Management programs. Why English? Why not French? Or Spanish? These are also considered as one of the most spoken languages of the world, right? Because English is the language of multinational companies.

MARKETING

Now this is a very broad topic. I myself cannot define what Marketing really is. It depends on the type of employer you will land. How everyone looks at Marketing at present is diverse and has different executions. In general, you should know how to do the following:

Advertising // Blogging // Branding // Copywriting // Email Marketing // Marketing // Google AdSense // Google AdWords // Google Webmaster // Recording Audio // SEO // Social Media Marketing // Telemarketing // Traffic Geyser // Video Editing

WEBMASTER

Nope, I have zero knowledge in this field. However, when I was travelling around the world, I met a lot of travelers who are computer geeks and took Information Technology in college. They told me their story. Most of them own their own companies (start-ups) or either have a tight client-base. Brace yourself: the skills required in this field will make your nose bleed.

Autoresponders // Backing up mysql database // Drupal // FTP // Google Analytics // HTML // Joomla // Managing Servers // Microsoft Excel // Web Pages // WordPress 

You are not alone. The only thing that I know in this section is Microsoft Excel and I am not even really good at it.

GRAPHICS

If you are the artsy type, then this is for you. Imagine creating an image while you are sitting on a beach in Bali compared to drafting in an office: What do you see? Different things. I am not a graphic designer but my mind worked more outside the office. If you have in-depth knowledge with the following, you can have this as a remote job!

Adobe After Effects // Corel // CSS // Dreamweaver // Fireworks // Flash // Logo Design // Maya // Pagemaker // Photoshop // Videography // Web Page Design 

PROGRAMMING

It gets harder and harder as as we go further with these skills. I believe that programming is one of the highest paid skills in the planet of the remote. Nobody can learn this quickly compared to the other skills stated above. To be able to obtain a job in programming, you must know:

Ajax // Android development // ASP.NET // AutoCAD // C# // C++ // Coldfusion // Database // Delphi // Flex // Game Development // iOS Development // Javascript // Jquery // Mobile App Development // Mobile Website Development // Objective C // Open GL // Oracle // Perl // Php // Python // Ruby // Visual Basic

FINANCE & MANAGEMENT

Yes, banker! You can work remotely too! Stop believing that you are only meant for banks or other financial institutions! Many multinational companies are looking for you even if it’s just help do their taxes! I am sure you are knowledgeable of the following skills so go ahead, read on.

Accounting // Bookkeeping // Budgeting & Forecasting // Business Analysis // Business Plans // Corporate Strategy // Financial Analysis // Financial Forecasting // Financial Management // Inventory Management // Investment Research // Payroll // Peachtree // Project Management // Strategic Planning // Tax Preparation

ADMIN SUPPORT

Now this one is for everyone, I guess. In the remote world, this is what we refer to as Virtual Assistant jobs where most of the level of your work is secretarial. This is perfect for mothers who want to stay at home and take care of their children or anyone traveling as long as knowledgeable of Admin job.

Customer Support // Data Entry // Event Planner // Medical Transcription // Research // Telephone // Handling // Time Management // Travel Planning 

REAL ESTATE

Most companies who hire for this type of job are from the USA. Ergo, you will have to know all about Real Estate in the country including websites, listings, postings, influencers, etc. Below are the skills that are required to obtain a position in this field:

Craigslist Posting // Marketing // Direct Mail Marketing // Posting Listings Online // Prospecting // REO Asset Management // Telephone Support // Transaction Processing // Trustee Sale Tracking // Real Estate Experience

When applying for an online job, you will be asked about your knowledge in all of the skills above but don’t worry if you don’t have experience. Let’s put it this way: you should have at least 3 from each item however, the geeky stuff is a bit impossible to achieve. Be honest and let them know if you are a superstar in a certain skill or have zero knowledge about it. Learn continually – there is always one more thing to learn!

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

Does it still make sense for you to commute everyday to work? Experience the dreadful traffic or the polluted city? Are you still comfortable arriving in the office, doing the same routine everyday and having endless fights with your boss because you’re not happy? Or you want to wake up in the morning saying, “good morning, Bali! It’s a beautiful day!” and start working by the beach with your nicely brewed coffee? Most people don’t find these types of job fulfilling. Why? It’s because we always seek approval from other people. We look at the type of job we do as something that defines us. We always mind what other people think and it’s the nature of human. But I think we should all assess of something that makes us happy. We don’t need approval from others. The only approval we need is from ourselves.

by: Raiza Maniscan

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Confession of a Working Mom

My phone’s alarm clock is ringing again this morning. I turned it off and got out of bed, went to the bathroom for shower. I’m also preparing my 6 year old son for school before I leave for work. On my way to the office, there was heavy traffic due to a vehicular accident. I can see the faces of the passengers from the jeep being worried as all of us will surely arrive late to our offices. Checking the time of our watches repeatedly, some making sighs and others complaining about the heavy traffic of Metro Manila.

As I get off from the jeep, I run towards the location of our bio-metric hoping to reach at least the grace period for time in but I was one minute late and no matter how short or long, it’s still a late subject for company memo. I walked slowly disappointed for that one minute late as I approached my work station. I opened my computer, held a mirror wiping my sweat looking at my face, seeing myself for the same scenario for almost 8 years.

I’ve been with my corporate job for almost 8 years. I can say that I am lucky to have a good environment at work, I have a good manager and I’m okay with my office mates. There are work pressures, bad times and work problems but those are all part of any work. I started doing my daily routine, checking my daily reports, attending to phone and personal inquiries of our clients. Lunch time, I called the nanny of my two kids and checked on them. I talked to my eldest son, asking how he performed for the school activity and being sorry that I was not able to see his performance. Got home from work, my kids were already sleeping and as I watched them I realized that this should not be the scenario for another 8 years.

I am in a mom guilt moment that time. I was in a struggle wanting to be a full time mom but needs the work I have to sustain the needs of my family. It was an awful feeling that every working mom has been going through once in a while. I was down for a moment but I pulled myself back realizing that being guilty was a wasted energy and will only attract negativity. I may not be the best mom but as I continue to work hard for my children, I am already a good mother and that was my motivation to get up for another day.

I maybe in the same phase or struggle at this moment but I am not giving up. I will learn more soon so I can have a good work balance and have more time with my children. As long as I love my children and I continue to do my best for them there is nothing to be guilty of, I am good and I am enough.

Mary Jane Sedurifa-Lazaro

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My Grandma, a tribute to my living Angel

“Grandmothers are voices of the past, role models of the present and opens the doors to the future.” Helen Ketchum

With all the global tribulations that humanity is facing in modern history today, I decide to dedicate this blog to my grandma, whom I call “ Lola Vita “ , as a breath of fresh air from all the hustle and bustle. To set the record straight, this is a tribute for my grandma but she is still alive up to now. I hope that whoever reads this blog, will find in their heart the importance of family, specifically the grandmas, and what this blog is all about.

Having lived for 38 years and counting, my life revolves around the two strongest women I know that ever exists, my Lola Vita and my mom Nelia. I don’t know, but writing this blog makes me teary eyed. It invokes a web of emotions, ranging from happy to sad and scared. I am always mushy whenever I talk about these two people, whom I look up to the most. I will just make another blog for my mom Nelia.

Let me start my narrative in chronology- from my elementary to high school, post-graduate and the present.

I lived in the province of Agusan del Norte, in the municipality of Buenavista. Our place was quite laid-back. With all the green rice fields, untamed landscape of the mountainside, and the briny breeze of the abundant seas, I could say that people in our place were calm, respectful and congenial. However, my life growing up was not privileged. It was a constant wrestle of what food to put on our table on a daily basis. It was really hard life. But, without my Lola Vita, it could have been a totally different ugly face of poverty. Revisiting these memories of my childhood drew a flashback of hardships and triumphs.

During my elementary years, my Lola Vita had played an essential role, not only financially, but also an icon for my morals and values formation. She had sold anything under the sun. If she taught she can earn a peso or even a cent out of it, then my Lola had definitely found a way to market it. She had absolutely been a jack of all trades. Talking about money, she had been really good at that. She had not earn much but she was able to send her seven children to college single-handedly. My Lolo Cesar( Lola Vita’s husband) died when my mom was still in high school.  Today, I kept wondering how she had managed her finances while raising seven children. I am baffled up to now. She really did a remarkable job as a parent and was indeed pedestal-worthy.

Whenever I asked for something, my Lola Vita had not given anything to me right away. I needed to toil and sweat first. I remembered one time, I asked Lola for a xylophone because joined the drum and bugle in our school. She gave it to me; however, the condition was that I needed to dry ten sacks of rice grains in the street. At that time, I pitied myself having to undergo all the ordeals before I can get something I want. I also asked myself why my classmates were able to afford all the materials things they needed without having them to work for it. Nevertheless, my Lola Vita had never failed to reward us all her grandchildren after all the hard work. She had done an exemplary job in balancing hard work and reward. She treated us by going to city in her favorite restaurant, at that time there was no Jollibee or Greenwich. Whenever she brought us to the restaurant, she had reminded us always that she would only pay for one cup of rice. So, if I wanted to eat more, I needed to bring my own rice but I had to hide it in the bag. I graduated 1st honorable mention in elementary. I could remember, during my graduation, Lola Vita was there and standing so proud of what I achieved. Those memories in my elementary had a special part in my heart.

My high school had been fun-filled. This time was different, because I developed my own circle of friends that I pretty much got along. I remembered when my parents had a big fight; I would go to my Lola Vita to asked money for school. She was not hesitant to give me because she knew back then that I was serious about my studies. During summer, as a growing up teenager, I envied some of my classmates because they had things like organizer, nice notebook, and nice lunchbox. I would go to my Lola Vita and asked for these things. She would give me chores to do, and if I could finish it, the she would give me what I needed. My Lola Vita had always been there for me and the rest of her grandchildren every step of the way. My high school had not been completed without my Lola Vita in the picture.

A smile more precious than gold

After I graduated college, I realized a lot of things that my Lola Vita taught me and those were not gone to waste. I valued money and I did not squander my earnings. I always prioritized needs over wants. I learned to give respect to the people around me regardless of their position in the society or what their job was. All of these, I paid gratitude to my Lola Vita.

Fast forward to present, today, year 2020, my Lola Vita is 90 years old and physically getting weaker day by day. I am having a hard time reconciling my thoughts that her days are limited. As to when she will still be with us, no one knows the answer. She now has Alzheimer’s disease and she could not recognize me anymore. It torments me so much; that looking back, the person I used to see who is agile and full of life is now lying in her bed staring back at me like I am a blank wall with all her memories erased. It seems like her memories are stolen from her, kept in a void ,and lost in the abyss of a black hole that cannot be retrieved. I don’t know how I could ever repay her for all the good things she has done for me. I wanted to tell her that I am so lucky and grateful, and I love her so much, but it has no use now because she could not even recognize me.

She looked very happy singing her favorite Visayan Song “Rosas Pandan” even if she is still in her hospital bed.

Whenever I go to her room, I would play classic Visayan songs, songs of Pilita Coralez, and that would lighten up her face and started singing these songs. It is a bittersweet emotion because I am happy that she still has memories of these songs ,but ,sad as well that all the memories of me, she already has forgotten. I wanted to teach her about how to use the gadgets and apps like Facebook but she would just stare at me like I am not even there in front of her. My mom is the one taking care of her full-time and I will just take turn when my mom needs to go out and do some errands.My Lola Vita now wears diaper because she no longer can feel the call of nature. It pains me so much every time I ask my Lola if she is okay and she would reply to me that her body aches. If only she could transfer all her physical pain, I would gladly do that.

Just recently, this March 2020, she got confined in the hospital because she is having hard time breathing. She is diagnosed with pneumonia and enlarged heart. As she is in her bed, with all these equipment to her mouth to help her breath with ease, like oxygen and dextrose, it is a a very depressing sight to look at. She could hardly talk and move. We , her family, are all gathered together around her to give her moral support and make her feel that we all love her and we still want her to fight and be with us. Days gone by and she is slowly gaining back her strength. She is back on her feet after being confined for four agonizing days. I thank God for giving Lola another chance to live and spend more time with us.

What makes life precarious is that there are things that we don’t really have control. We are just here passing in this world for a time and it has an ending. I will just cherish the remaining time that my Lola still has for us and up to when, well, only god knows. I just wish there will be a day wherein my Lola could be strong again and with a sharp memory, I would really tell her how much I love her and I will be forever grateful. I will not be the person I am today if not because of her. She occupies a big chunk in my life. Thank you so much Lola for everything and as long as you are still with us, I will always play the Visayan songs you like. I always wanted to see the smile on your face. It is priceless and something money can’t buy.

My Lola Vita is an indestructible bond that holds our family together.  She is my angel and my hero.

Written by: Ronald E. Oclarit a.k.a Rhownah

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BABYWEARING 101: WHAT I’VE LEARNED AS A BABYWEARING MOM

BABYWEARING is holding or carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier. Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living.

Babywearing International

Babywearing allows me to bring my 8 month old daughter wherever I go without the agony of carrying her with my bare arms. It also allows me multitask since I am hands free. At times, I breastfeed my daughter in a carrier as well. My baby loves it too – she sleeps well in a baby carrier and even stops crying or being fussy. Being close to me, it creates a deeper bond between me and my child.

CHOOSING YOUR BABY CARRIER

There are lots of baby carriers available in the market. For someone new to babywearing, choosing can be a bit overwhelming. There are lots of factors to consider, but it’s best if you can try one before you buy.

Sling meets are usually organized by babywearing support groups. Local babywearing consultants are available if you want to seek professional help. You can opt to rent baby carriers from local retailers at a minimum fee. Some brands are also available in department stores or in baby fairs.

Here are the common types of carriers:

  • Ring sling

A Ring sling is a long fabric with attached rings on one end. It is a one shoulder carry and is easier to put the baby in and out. This type of carrier is advisable for newborns.

Ring sling
  • Wrap

A wrap is a long piece of fabric that you need to wrap around you and your baby. By tying the ends, you are creating a snug and safe place for your baby. Among the types of carriers, wraps (especially woven wraps) are very versatile since there are various carry types to try on.

Woven wrap
  • Soft structured carrier (SSC)

SSC or buckled carriers are the most common type of carrier. The waistband and straps are adjustable in order to adjust to the size of the wearer. The width of the panel must be considered to ensure that it supports ergonomic positioning. This type of carrier can be easily shared among members of the family. SSCs now come in fully adjustable types wherein you can usually use it from birth to toddlerhood.

SSC

PROPER AND SAFE BABYWEARING

In babywearing, you don’t just pop in your child in a carrier. His safety must be considered first above everything else. Here is an acronym which most babywearers remember because it’s easy to recall:

TICKS used with the permission of the UK Sling Consortium

Your baby must also be positioned properly to optimize the benefits. Baby’s knees must always be higher than the bum, his knees spread out in order to allow healthy development. This is what we commonly call as the M-position or a deep seat.

Thighs spread around the mother’s torso and the hips bent so the knees are slightly higher than the buttocks with the thighs supported. Photo from International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Forward facing carriers and carrier’s where baby’s legs are dangling (commonly called as narrow-based carriers) should be avoided, as they do not support proper positioning.

Narrow-based Carrier

OUR BABYWEARING JOURNEY

Our babywearing journey
Babywearing my daughter at 29 days old in ring sling, 3 months old in SSC and
8 months old in woven wrap. All carriers are from local brand, Shadrach’s Collection.

It started when I attended a sling meet near our place organized by a mom blogger in partnership with a local carrier brand. It helped me gain the confidence to wear my preemie baby in a ring sling and woven wrap as early as 29 days. This was even before she reached day 1 of her corrected age. So yes, babies can be worn in a carrier staring day 1 as long as the carrier used is age appropriate. I started with a ring sling, now we also have an SSC and a woven wrap.

Until today, we are enjoying the convenience of babywearing my daughter wherever we go. My husband, although not frequent, babywears too. I also spread babywearing awareness by reaching out to soon-to-be parents in our work place and in my friends list.

If you want to learn more about babywearing, join the Facebook group Babywearing Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BabywearingPhilippines/). BWP is a support group that supports safe, responsible and proper babywearing.

Written by: Camille Anne L. Hernandez

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RAISING A CHILD MODEL

“Uy ang cute cute naman ng baby mo, mag-aartista yan paglaki.” (Your child is so cute; he will become an actor when he grows up.)

These are the exact same words I often hear when my son, Lulu was still a baby, but I often just shrug it off because I thought it was something next to impossible. Until one day while strolling around Mall of Asia, a guy approached us and introduced himself as an agent inviting Lulu for a VTR. After a thorough discussion with my family, we decided to give it a go since there’s nothing to lose anyway.

He was only 11 months old when he had his VTR file. I remember at that time, I had to carry him while the photographer takes his photos and video file while I introduce his name, age, gender, etc. I thought well that was easy – Lulu did a great job and didn’t have any tantrums. The camera just loved him. We bid goodbye to the agent and we were advised that we’ll hear from them once a project is matched and approved for him.

3 months went by when I suddenly got a message saying that Lulu was scheduled for a PRINT AD SHOOT FOR A REAL ESTATE. I was ecstatic! I never thought he will actually land a project. So that was the first time, my son who was 14 months old at that time got his very 1st paycheck. And the rest as they say is history.

Lulu did not only land several print ad projects after but he also joined and won several modelling contests like Robinsons Model Search, Mossimo Kids CastingCall and our favorite, Gingersnaps Model Search. I never had to buy him clothes during those years because winning these contests meant that he will be given monthly supplies of clothing for FREE. This is most certainly true with Gingersnaps, he was given Php 5,000 worth of clothing which is somehow equivalent to at least 10 pieces of clothes every month.

To say that everything went smoothly during his modelling years will be a lie. There was a time when we had to stop from accepting projects and this was when he was between 3 to 5 years old. He suddenly grew scared of seeing cameras and one time threw a tantrum in one of his shoots. This was the sign for me to stop until he’s ready to model again. If that time will come again was uncertain to me at that time but my son’s well-being is and will always be at utmost importance.

For those parents who are considering joining their children in the modelling industry, here are some tips and advice from me:

  • Evaluate your child if he is really comfortable working in front of the camera and with other people.
  • If your kid is acting out or throwing a tantrum during a shoot, do not create a scene especially in front of the clients; do not hurt your children to make them follow you ( I have personally witnessed some horror situations like this back stage and behind the scenes of some shoots.)
  • If you feel that your child is not interested in modelling anymore, do not push him; rather support him with his other interests.
  • You shouldn’t pay for VTR filing and DOLE permits – these are FREE and care of the agent/ client. (Department of Labor and Employment requires children below 15 years old to apply for a child working permit every time they have a project.)
  • Save your child’s professional fees/ talent fees; after all they are the one who worked for it, NOT YOU. Get him a savings account. (One of the requirements to secure a child’s working permit is a savings account under your child’s name. They check it every time you apply for a new project and make sure that his last project’s talent fee is deposited.)
  • Do not pressure your child; let him enjoy the experience

Lulu eventually returned to modelling when he was about 6 years old. He gained his confidence and self-esteem through the years of doing photoshoots and fashion shows. It taught him to become more responsible, committed and be professional.  It made him develop patience especially that not all shoots and fashion shows finish within the schedule – this is not just a virtue but a LIFE SKILL. At a very young age, he learned that not everything will be given to him but he has to work for it. He values hard work and the rewards and payments that came with it. He was able to learn how to save his hard-earned money. These among many others are some of the things he learned through the years of becoming a professional model.

Lulu at present – photo taken on his 11th birthday

Now that he is 11 years old and stands 5 feet 5 inches, he rarely gets projects nowadays because he is in that “in between stage “wherein he’s not considered a child anymore but not yet a full pledged teenager either. He currently enjoys being a part of his school chorale group and training basketball at the same time.

No one can really dictate what your child should become when he grows up; what we can only do as parents is to support and guide our children throughout his journey from childhood to adulthood.

Hazel Casino

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3 Easy To Make Healthy Baby Food Recipes

The journey to a healthy diet is not easy, but it will always be worth it.

As a mom, we only want the best for our little ones. That includes giving them a healthy solid food eating journey. It may not be an easy journey, but I’m sure it’s worth it.

Let me share to you 3 of my healthy recipes that my baby loves to eat.

  1. Banana and Mango Rolled Oatmeal
  • Bring distilled water to a boil
  • Put some rolled oats and cover for 10 minutes
  • Continue stirring the mixture until cooked
  • Add pre-soaked chia seeds
  • Mashed fresh bananas and mangoes on the side
  • Put the mashed fruits to the oatmeal
  • Let it cool and serve
My little one loves the fruit oatmeal and in fact, oats are good for digestion.

2. Banana Rolled Pancake

  • Blend the whole rolled oats until it becomes powder-like
  • This will serve as the flour in the mixture
  • Put some fresh bananas and cinnamon powder
  • Add water and blend together to achieve smooth batter
  • Fry in olive oil to a medium heat
  • Remove excess oil and serve

3. Mixed Vegetables Porridge

  • Chop some pumpkin and upo into tiny cubes
  • Saute onion and garlic and put the vegetable mixture in a pan
  • Pour some distilled water
  • Add pre-soaked chia seeds
  • Cover and let it cook for 30 minutes
  • Sprinkle some chinese pechay.
  • Let it cool and serve.

Note that you can always modify the recipe. You can cook any vegetable according to your preference. Happy Eating!

Written by: Lucille Ann Z. Errojo

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The Arts of Love

Arts and Family are the ones who made me happy…

.

When I was young i love making things with my own hands. Drawing, painting, sewing, and creating crafts from scratch, and making it something beautiful and useful. Until i reach this age, i still love crafting and its made me happy whenever i see the output of my works.

I didn’t imagine that this passion of mine will be part of my wedding. Of course its a wedding, it has to be beautiful and meaningful.

Being an Artist i want my works to be part of my wedding. That’s why i decided to do the flowers for my entourage and also for my bridal bouquet. And almost all the crafts in my wedding even the props for the little ones.

But that’s not the reason why i did that. It is also to save money and being practical. Real flowers withers in time but artificial serves as remembrance.

And now my bridal bouquet is now well restored in our house as a souvenir, it is place on a wide frame to preserve its proportion and beauty.

Every time i see it, I remember the most memorable day of my life as a lady. The day we cherished and the moment we’ve spent together with my loved ones.

From that day , my heart and my hand unite, My Passion and My Love.

I Hope you enjoyed my blog. See Yah.

BY: GRACE P. LUNASCO

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Awesome Tips For First Time Mom With A Preschooler


These past days, I have been seeing posts about how proud my batch mates are, as their children graduated from high school and some from college.  I feel happy for them but this is not my case.


I started my journey as a first time mom only at the age of 38. For the past two years, I had won the challenge of breastfeeding and running after her when my daughter started walking. And this year, I’m facing the preschooler challenge! 

Here are some tips I got from my sister. 

  1. Bring your child with you to the school a few times before the class starts. 

Mia becomes really more excited when she sees the colorful classroom!  She tries sitting on the chair, writing on the blackboard and keep looking at the different pictures on the wall.

  1. Adjust the daily routine before the class begins.

I now give Mia a bath after breakfast. She now knows she will dress up for school starting next week.

  1. Believe and trust your child’s teachers.

I had a one on one talk with Mia’s teacher. And I feel more comfortable now as her teacher sets an expectation. I feel assured that her teachers don’t only have the expertise but more importantly have a passion for teaching toddlers.

  1. Arrive early at school and leave promptly. 

Leaving Mia for the first time in school won’t be easy.  To be honest, it will be easy for Mia but not for me. Lol! My sister told me to arrive at least 10 minutes early so Mia can explore and get comfortable with the other children. Bid a loving “See you later.” and leave. 

  1. Enjoy quality time for yourself.

Mia will be at school for 2 hours daily. It’s best to spend this time to relax and refuel. Simple Truth says it best: We must commit to our own well-being and self-care, lest our flames flicker out. So take some time, sweet sisters, to rest, recoup, relax and regroup.


My journey of having a preschooler just begun. I know there’s so much more to learn. And I would love to hear your experiences and best practices too as we go along the way to mastery.

By: Charie Dimayuga

 

A Mother’s Passage

“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts”

                                                                                                                        -Mother Teresa

Being a mother, I would say it is very challenging. It’s fun being a mother, taking care of the kids, feeding them every day, doing the laundry just to keep the house in line. It is a never-ending job. Though there are times that I want to give up, their laughter, happiness gives me the strength to continue.

As a mother of three daughters, overall, I am proud to say that I raised them well. Though there are ups and downs while raising them we were able to surpass all the problems. Without my husband, we would not be able to achieve what we have right now. He supported us financially works a lot of hours just to support our needs. I am very grateful to have him.

My husband and I are very proud that our eldest has finished her bachelor’s degree and our second daughter is now in her third year in college taking up Architecture in one of the biggest universities in town and our youngest daughter is now in her fifth grade. We know it’s still a long way to go but we are here to support them financially and spiritually in their journey in life, just to help them pursue their dreams.

There were questions in my mind while raising three daughters,

Am I doing the right thing?

Are my decisions correct?

Am I scolding them the right way?

Or is this the right way of raising them? I know I am not a perfect wife or mother and neither is my husband, No one knows what are the rules or ways of being a perfect mother or father, it is a matter of trial and error, we also learn from our mistakes. Sometimes we get carried along with our emotions, we say things that are not meant to be said or we regret and can’t take it back anymore. We sometimes do things that are not good but have to do just to let them learn their lessons.

All of us parents want what is best for our children that sometimes we forget to ask them if they are okay with our ways of raising them because sometimes, we forget about their feelings or their opinions and that would cause a lot of chaos, as what I’ve said it is a trial and error to be a parent. Our goal as parents is to let our children have a better future or to not let them experience what we have experienced as we were growing up. Being a parent, you need to be selfless and just forget your needs just to put your children first. “We are willing to give up so much so that our children can have so much.”

Being a parent is fun and very challenging, I and my husband have still a long way to go we are still learning, especially now that we are in a different generation, we need to cope up with their lifestyle and whatnot. We are not perfect but we will do our best to make our children happy, we still make mistakes but we will never stop supporting them until they have reached their goals because their success is our success.

By; Glenna D. Solon

Parenting Hacks for Moms and Dads with a Home-Schooled Students

Covid-19 has changed the lifestyles of many. A lot had struggled in finding how they will survive the overall effect of this pandemic. Adapting to the new normal will go into such a process.
As soon as the modular and online classes have started, it has been a rough sea for both the students and the parents. Parents got to be the teacher and a student sometimes. If you are a Mom or a Dad you can relate to this kind of situation at home right now. Who does not want their child to top the class? Answering their exams is not just acceptable because it will create a bad habit for them by relying on you during their exams or whenever they are on the struggle.

The first thing to consider preparing for home-based learning is the study area. Give your child a clean and comfortable space to study. You may not want them to work in their bed because they might eventually fall asleep. Having a study table will help them concentrate on their lessons.

The good thing from this home-based education is that both parents and their children have a lot of time to interact with each other. Parents will have a better understanding of the learning capacity of their kids. They need to have long patience so that they will not shout against their child when explaining some vague lessons. You do not want your child to have a hard time asking for your help because the moment you burst out will affect the learning of your kids. Try to make some fun and energetic engagement while teaching them. I have enumerated some effective ways of making fun of learning at home.

Give them short breaks and prepare a delicious and nutritious snack. At home, you can monitor what your child is eating. Try preparing cute cutout fruits, nuts, some cookies, or a sandwich and fruit juice for a healthy snack as we want them to feel like they were in a school canteen. We do not want to overload them with high in sugar, high in fat, and salty snacks because it might affect their cognitive functions.


Working for long hours might strain some muscles. Breathing exercise and good stretch will help to break too much tension and anxiety from studying.
A song that they can groove with or sing-along will also do. As studies have shown, music has a good effect on one’s concentration. A piece of instrumental music or classical music can help to lighten the mood while studying.


Finally, you can tell them some encouraging phrases and praising them for their effort. Through this, you can boost their self-esteem. Good communication with your child is the essential key to make him/her at ease of learning at home.

You can introduce any activity that will encourage the students to not slack from learning as long as it will not distract them in the long run with their modules and online lessons. By spicing up their learning experience at home it sure will bring the best of them.

By: Christine Ann Advincula

Overseas: A Homeschool Journey

Are you sure you want to Homeschool?

How about interaction with other kids?

Could you handle all their subjects for homeschooling?

These are some questions that relatives and friends asked me. You see, my family decided to do homeschooling even before the pandemic, way back S.Y. 2018-2019. I was in the academe back then. So those into traditional schooling were surprised that I would decide to do homeschooling.

However, when I explained to them the why, the how, the downside and the upside, they understood.  Two families were even encouraged to join the journey starting that year.

Why homeschooling?

Due to the current taxes in the country we are in, we planned to go home for good to the Philippines for early 2019. That would mean the kids will not finish that school year and would need a school in the homeland just for the 4th quarter. This will entail new tuition fees, books, uniforms, etc.. just for the 4th quarter and of course, you need to find first a school that is willing to accept my kids. Thus, the homeschooling idea was born. I can enroll them with a DepEd accredited homeschool provider and not worry about a new school anywhere we go.

How can you do homeschool while working?

I knew it would be tiring and a test of patience. So all family members must agree and commit to the hours and work as a team to make the setup work out. Fortunately for me, I was still able to teach in the school part-time. I was also allowed to bring my kids some days while I teach. It is hard to get a “yaya” here overseas.

For those still in the corporate world, homeschooling is not rigid 8am to 4pm (7hrs not counting recess and lunchtimes) from Monday to Friday class. It can be done 4 days a week with 5 hours each day. Saturdays can be used and even 1 or 2 hours on Sundays for Christian Living lessons. Again, you can work out homeschooling times based on your family’s needs and availability.

The regular schools have those 7 hours because of class size and scheduling (~1 hr per subject). You cannot expect a teacher to move to the next lesson if half of the class does not get the topic yet. So if your kid gets the topic in 30mins, then you can move on to the next subject. You can also give more focus to lessons he/she is having a hard time with (more than the allotted 1hr for that subject).

Could you handle all their subjects for homeschooling?

No, to be honest, I know beforehand that I cannot. My husband and me discussed about his subject preferences, so he can help me out. We decided that he will handle a few subjects like Math and PE exercises. I am also good at Math but he is better, haha 😊. I explain the Science lessons but we share Science experiments. So again, family teamwork is the key!

How about interaction and friendships with other kids?

This is the major concern of most people I talked to, but we are not worried. Please read on why.

Having classmates does not necessarily mean you have lots of friends. Some students just have 1 or 2 buddies. Friends can be also found outside of school and can be not of the same age.

As a homeschooling parent of young kids, you just need to have playdates with other friendly families. Plan activities with them like educational trips, arcade dates, baking, or even just hangout. Kids can also learn in real-life situations. One major benefit of this is that the parent can regulate the influencers in their young impressionable kids’ life.

My kids, even before homeschooling, have art lessons and ballet classes. They continued their interactions with other kids in these classes. Also, these lessons can be credited as their ARTS and PE lessons already, saving you effort and at the same time enhancing their talents.

What are the upside and downside?  

Most of the upside for my family were already discussed above (convenience, time flexibility, subject focus, influence, and talent enhancement).  

My take on the top 4 downsides:

(1) You need time to prepare yourself to teach and balance work or housework.

(2) You need lots of patience because when it comes to studies, a teacher is more revered by kids than a mom.

(3) You need to be creative when the subject does not interest them like the FILIPINO subject and

(4) If your kid is an extrovert type, he/she will miss the big school setup more.

Are you sure you want to Homeschool?  

With all these downsides, we are still sure we want to homeschool. The downsides can be addressed with a proper attitude, a little sacrifice, and a discussion with your children.

Living in the Philippines did not push thru, but we continued homeschooling. We went back overseas for 1 more year and there was no disruption to adjust to a new school setup. My family is now stuck here overseas due to the pandemic and school life for most of the world turned online. It is like semi homeschooling (but with official school time, uniform, and an official teacher). One major difference is that when the government decides that schools can open, then they can return to the classrooms. So, for health and safety reasons during this pandemic period, homeschooling is still one of the better options.

With what’s happening in 2020 and its effects, our homeschool journey is far from over and some of you might be just starting yours. Hope you gained some insights for your decision on your homeschool journey!

by: K.A. Sison

Seasons of Life: A Glimpse of My Motherhood Journey

“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

My Prenuptial Shoot, July 2017

A Time For Everything And A Season For Every Activity

As a young girl, I have always envisioned myself becoming a career woman.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved fairytales and, I, too, looked forward to my happily-ever-after. But early on, I had decided to refrain from getting into a relationship while studying. I refused to rush into love. 

Photo by Stefan Cosma from Unsplash

In my season of waiting, I realized that there was more to life than having a boyfriend. Besides, I surmised that my inability to fully commit to a relationship would become a major relationship roadblock.

Before graduating from college, a headhunter found me; and to make a long story short, I was immediately hired. I found myself enjoying a season of career growth and opportunity in my life by God’s grace.

Photo by Headway from Unsplash

I was already working then when I said ‘yes’ to a guy who courted me for one and a half years. Finally, I started to open up emotionally to a guy – something I had held back for years. Not long after, he proposed to me, and I said yes! And the rest, as they say, is history. 

Mr and Mrs Lalo Prenuptial Shoot, July 2017

So how does this relate to my motherhood journey? 

To start with, I conceived on our honeymoon. My husband decided to buy a pregnancy test kit when I was suddenly experiencing vertigo in a car ride with him. It came out positive. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy long road trips, but that changed during my pregnancy. Due to severe motion sickness, we canceled our scheduled trip to my hometown, Cebu. In my attempt to save my career, I considered a work-from-home arrangement. But even that was not possible due to extreme fatigue. To make matters worse, I was rushed and confined to a nearby hospital a month before my due date. I had a difficult pregnancy, to say the least. 

A Time To Be Born And A Time To Die

Motherhood is a journey of new beginnings. We prayed for a child, and God faithfully answered our prayers. But I never expected to see the death of my career along with bearing a child. I dreaded the day that I could no longer get back to where I left off. I  mourned over that part of my life journey.

Then, God lovingly reminded me of the verse found in Ecclesiastes that says, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

I learned that though I don’t have control over my circumstances, I have control over my response and perspective. Amid uncertainties, I know I can trust God’s plans for my life. 

A Time To Be Silent And A Time To Speak

After several discussions before marrying, my husband and I reached a decision that we’re not going to hire a caregiver. Why? We don’t want to delegate the task of nurturing, teaching, and caring for our baby. My husband and I couldn’t expect another person to impart values and life lessons to our son. As they say, “Education starts at home.” From 0-6 years of age, statistically speaking, mothers have the most influence on a child. My husband explicitly told me that while he administers our finances, he expects me to manage our home and our baby. However, this decision raised eyebrows. It’s painful. Since then, I had kept silent about my motherhood journey. I felt misunderstood and cried out to God in my predicament. 

To give you a glimpse of our daily life, we don’t have a house helper. I had an emergency C-section and exclusively breastfed my baby. From 6 months up, I would personally prepare his steamed vegetables and fruits – no processed baby food whatsoever. I have high regard for working mothers who sacrifice time to provide financial support to the family. Likewise, I have a deep respect for stay-at-home mothers who sacrifice careers and whatnot. It all boils down to the unique context of every family. Hence, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

I’ve been silent long enough. Now I’m opening-up to tell about my motherhood journey. My experiences, thus far, have taught me to ask myself this question in adversity, “Will my response honor God?” 

Looking back, I’m thankful for how God has enabled me to bite my tongue instead of retaliating to people who hurled insults against me. Psalm 37:7 says, “Trust in the Lord and wait quietly for His help. Don’t be angry when people make evil plans and succeed. Don’t become so angry and upset that you, too, want to do evil. The wicked will be destroyed, but those who call on the Lord for help will get the land He promised.”

This year, my son turned 2. He knows the alphabet, planets of the solar system, numbers (0-30), shapes, colors, phonics, animals, and animal sounds. He loves to sing songs and play drums! He eats fruits and vegetables. He knows when to say “Please” and “Thank you.” It’s heartwarming to see how he respectfully interacts and engages with other kids. Once, I’ve witnessed how an older kid suddenly grabbed his toy while playing and how he managed to shift to another activity, totally unbothered by the incident. He didn’t pick a fight and didn’t feel entitled at all. Then, they went on to play.  

My 2-Year-Old Son

My husband and I do the best we can in the hope of teaching and training our son while he’s young. Yet it’s amazing how God is teaching me through my baby boy. I’m truly blessed to witness our child grow through stages of development, and yet I grow along with him too. God has allowed me to experience the highs and lows of motherhood to change me from the inside-out. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m not the same person as I once was.  

Interestingly, in the time of a pandemic, a new season in my motherhood journey is unfolding. 

No, we’re not expecting a baby. 

But it’s a birth of a new beginning – a pivot into a new career in this digital era.  

Indeed, God has made everything beautiful in its time.

“(God) has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Written by: Catherine Anne Ebo-Lalo

Work life balance: “ life of a working student”

As a working student, I know how it feels to sit in the class the whole day listening to teachers drowning something in mind that I have a lot of works to be done after this.

In most people’s eyes, it’s not normal for a 17-year-old to feel as if there are not enough hours in the day to complete all her tasks. Adolescence is thought to be a time of leisure and freedom from responsibility. but for me, as I was 17 years old I start to leave away from my parent’s home to work part-time so that I can provide my needs in education. I came from a family that has not enough money to send me to college. while I was thinking about my dreams not just for my self but for my family I need to do a way that could finish my studies because i don’t want to become heavy to my family. to be able to go to school in college I work part-time in the company that provides all my needs. I worked in a day go to school at night and on weekends that is my life in my everyday life as a working student. waking up early in the morning to work, preparing things for school at night making assignments and activities before sleeping.

Working while studying is not so easy. you need to have your time management between studies and work. I have a lot of experience with this sometimes you can’t eat before going to school because you’re late. and that’s why you can’t focus to study well but I’ve done also my best to take my quizzes and exams passingly. all you need to do is to strive more and study.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Taking during our final exam.

Sometimes I take my exams without studying because of overload works. I thought sometimes what if I cannot able to pass? but gladly I was passed. there are times that when I feel so exhausted from work and cannot be able to focus and listen because I was tired. But as time pass by I learned to trained myself to balance my work between my studies. to be able to pass every challenge in life.

Having friends and Teachers in college is the most precious gift of my life as a working student because they are your family that always there whenever you have problems especially financial or emotional. they will always feel you that you are not alone in this world full of trials. I was so happy that I met them and be part of my college life.

ICT Family
Pictorial

these are the happiest moment in my life as we now taking our pictorial for being a part of 2020 graduates. time flies so fast I can’t imagine that I was in the fourth year and now taking pictorials for graduation. I thought, I can’t manage to go along with this journey but now I am so happy to be part of this event

And now, here I am standing strong for my hard work that paid of. I was one of those Bachelors of Science in Information Technology students whose so much excited to walk across the stage to get my diploma. hopefully, may this pandemic will end now for us to move over and take our diplomas. For me being a working student is a great blessing of all because you will learn many things in life. you can be stronger enough to face every battle in life, that’s why don’t be ashamed to show with them that you’re not capable of doing things. because each of us has very unique attitudes and skills to showcase in the world full of imperfections.

by: Jayle I. Hernandez

Freelancing Journey: My Niche

“The only way to do great work, is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. don’t settle. As all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

I was one who lost job because of the pandemic. I want to earn an income online but aren’t sure where to start. As I brows on Facebook, I watch a free webinar on FHMOM, and Mommy MK mentioned that to be successful on your online job journey you have to find your NICHE.

What is a niche? As I look it up, niche is a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment. It is also a calling or a vocation. In another word it is where i can use my strength, skills and experience passionately. Maybe this what is missing in me. When i was applying for a job my main reason is to have a sustainable income or sometimes it is okay if it looks kinda interesting for me to learn, but as time goes on I liked the work that I’m applying for but i can feel that something is lacking or i feel the stress and pressure of my work is overwhelming and burning me out.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

So finding my niche is finding where I am passionate about. It is where I can say I have a special skill or experience in. When I was in High School I remember that I like to talk to people and meeting new friends. I also want to be an office girl or a secretary. When I was 18 years old my mindset at that is to have a good income. I worked as a Spa Therapist and then I worked as Promotional Merchandiser for a laundry product. In my previous jobs I do inventories, and making reports of our monthly sales. When I was working in a Japanese salon as a Therapist, I also do appointment setting for the client and I even learn how to sales talk the clients to avail our services. I think my niche is in the service industry. I can understand and communicate well with the client and I can give what my employer is asking for like sales.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is there a job that looking for my skill and experience? A lot of online job are looking for what I can cater, but being new in a freelancing and online job is a little frightening for me. I am lacking of the know – how like the others. How can i stand out? I know that I have to hone my skills to stand out. To obtain this, I watch free webinars and enrolled for a course online to help me boost my knowledge and confidence because I realize that many people are doing their best to find a job that not only sustainable but they are passionate about.

In my opinion my freelancing journey is a long way to go, I understand and know my niche but I have to improve and develop new skills to be able to be successful in my journey I don’t have to be stuck on what I know but learn new things everyday and be open to any possibilities.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Career Woman to Career Mom Real Quick!

It’s 10AM and you’re starting to get to work on mid-shift. As you shampoo your hair, you’ve been rehearsing the flow of your conference call scheduled today with the clients overseas. You’ll be coming to office earlier because you need to prepare for bunch of meetings happening today. This is just one of the typical day of a workaholic woman who spent her years building her career path in the corporate world.

A hot coffee in a mug, a laptop and a small notebook on the table, in a busy day. A life full of challenges at work and then booom! Suddenly, you’re a mom! Wooaahh! I don’t think there’s more life changing than transforming from being a career woman to motherhood.

Along the way, there will be lots of new things in your daily life. You need to prepare for giving birth, while taking care of yourself. For some, they need to quit working for health reasons and become a full time housewife. With all of these things happening so fast everyday, one day you might think that you’re feeling overwhelmed and is already exhausted. But don’t worry mom, we can’t just let that happen. So here’s a short list you can checkout to cope up with the transition.

I. Get Enough Support
In this bullet, we’re not just talking about money but rather mental and physical support. It’s alredy exhausting to think of all the drastic changes on a woman’s life, so you need your family in terms of the dos and don’ts of pregnancy, until you give birth. Your husband’s presence also play an important role in overcoming these challenges as he will be your partner in raising your child. He can change shift with you in babysitting at night while you take your rest, and or prepare the food and other household chores for you. In this way, your body can gradually adjust to the environment and the needed energy in taking care of the baby. We already know the risks involve in giving birth such as post-partum depression, that’s why family’s support is vital in the process.

II. Be Financially Prepared
You cannot just be mentally and physically prepared but most importantly, in the financial aspect. In this generation, we cannot afford to have a baby if we have no capability to provide. Raising a child means a lot of cash outflows. And by that I meant that you will need money to purchase your baby needs, from the first day of your pregnancy (vitamins, checkups, etc), to giving birth until they finish their education and is ready to face the world themselves. Although there are insurances such as health and educational, we still have to save for other needs (and wants! haha). Insurances and savings account might help but aren’t enough to sustain the lifestyle you wish for your family. You can invest your savngs to several money markets for future gains (which only few knows). As the saying goes, “Do not work for money, instead, let your money work for you”, which means to invest your money now and let it grow over time. We never know, in few years, you’ll not only be able to buy that dream car, but your dream house as well! Financial markets is one way to reach that goal. Luckily, there are tons of it: bonds, stock market, mutual funds, to name a few. You can check http://www.colfinancial.com to know more of it. After all, who wouldn’t want a spontaneous childhood for their little ones?

III. Never Stop Learning
Being a wife and a mother are already tiring for a normal day. Which part of day will you schedule your long time plan of baking class? Dancing class? Yoga class? Masteral degree? “Do I still need it?”, you might ask yourself. Well, guess what mommy, this is just the sign you’ve been waiting for! Yes, yes, yes! You definitely need them! This is for your personal growth because you knew it inside yourself, there’s more you can do. There are so many support group for moms out there like FHMOMS in facebook or websites like Smartparenting.com, where you can get a lot of exciting tips about motherhood, learning programs and career opportunities. So mom, get out of that comfort zone now and start planning your productive day!

IV. Love Yourself
Moms tend to forget about themselves once they began taking care of the family. They are often left out of the family’s priority, hence, they became “losyang” as what some husbands commonly call them. Now, women opt to choose the new trend, from which they do what men can, get what men can get – thus, gender equality. It takes more effort to be blooming yet so rewarding. Don’t be guilty for loving yourself. Just as fine as your husband go out with his friends, it’s always and will always be okay to have manicure/pedicure or get your hair done at your favorite salon, shopping, mountain climbing, getting massage at spa or dine out with your friends occassionally. It’s up to you how you choose to have your quite time, either indoor or outdoor activities. For some couple, they talk it out and agree to have their day-off once in a while to recharge and relax. In spite of your very much busy schedule, you still have to find time for yourself, your “ME” time.

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

As you go along, just enjoy your journey. From those bunch of meetings to bunch of laundry, from workload to household chores, from teammates to baby and hubby. Remember mom, your life doesn’t stop from being a mother, but rather, it’s just the beginning of your new chapter as a woman! At the end of the day, whatever the case, we all wanted to be an amazing mom and still have that fulfilling “strong independent woman” feels. Keep going, mom!

Lorraine Jaranilla

I Feel like a Less Mom

by: Eliel Resia Allosada

“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear”  – Jane Wildeman

As a first-time mom, I have every preparation in my pregnancy. I don’t miss my prenatal check-ups, drink vitamins, and always follow what my Ob-gynecologist says to me. I will say that my whole pregnancy was high-risk. During my first trimester, I need to take complete bed rest and need to take medicine so that I will not have a miscarriage. My Ob says that there is a possibility that I will lose my baby and that I need to very careful.

In my 2nd trimester, I and my baby are doing great, though I still need to very careful, the chance of having a miscarriage is only low. I stop drinking medicine for avoiding miscarriage. It was good news and an answered prayer! I don’t want to lose my baby and knowing that I can lose my baby gives me so much stress during my first trimester.

My 3rd trimester was shaky again. My Ob advises me to take medicine and have a complete bed rest so that I will not have a pre-term labor. Because during my internal examination (IE) he found out that my uterus is soft and will cause me to have preterm labor that will result in giving birth at 7 months.

During our visits, I always saw a list of cesarean schedules on my Ob’s wall. I ask him to confirm if it’s for CS, he said yes it is. I reach home and I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want to be on that list! I really want to have a normal birth. I am health-conscious throughout my pregnancy. I watch what I eat and always keep track of my weight as well as my baby. I always make sure that both of us have the ideal weight. I don’t want to be fat nor thin, just the right weight for pregnant women.

I conditioned my mind and emotionally prepared myself that I will have a normal birth. It is not because of the expenses. We know that giving birth via CS section is expensive, but I really wanted to have and experience a vaginal birth. I am positive that I can make it.

It was during my last few check-ups, I already feel contractions. It was false labor pains that are also known for the term Braxton Hicks contractions. I have an idea about it because I read a lot about pregnancy. After my IE my OB told me that my cervix is small and he is suspicious that I will have difficulty in a normal delivery. Even before I was open about him how I wanted a normal delivery. He also told me that we will still have trial labor. I was disappointed with what he just told me, but I still have high hopes that I can still have a normal delivery. 

I started to think that my OB just wanted me to have a CS birth. I know that it’s easier for OBs’ to deliver a baby via CS rather than a normal birth and the pay was also good compared to the normal one. He even pushing me to deliver via CS because he told me I can even choose a date if I decided to have one. I feel that he is not into vaginal birth.

I ignored the feeling of uneasiness towards my Ob. I am more focused on my baby, and as much as possible I avoid too much thinking that can affect both my baby and me.

It was this late noon, I just had my lunch. I was sitting on the couch then suddenly I feel water gushed in my pants, it’s not a lot but it was enough for my pants to get wet. I immediately call my Ob and he advises me to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

My Ob immediately does IE when we reach the hospital. We found out that the opening of my cervix is still 3cm but my water broke already. It’s not a good sign according to him. He then told me to have an emergency CS. I cried after hearing that, not that I ‘m scared but of disappointment with the outcome.

Things went very fast. The next thing I know is I’m lying in the bed, groggy with all the anesthesia. Seeing the operating room, my Ob together with his team, I feel scared and nervous but still managed to keep myself calm and continuously praying in my mind. At 5;30 pm I heard my baby girl cried. I was so elated. my heart leaped with happiness and thank God that everything was successful and both of us were ok. I kissed my baby for the first time. The long wait is over!

But with that so much happiness, I can’t still remove in my mind that I didn’t have my dream birth. I really feel less like a mother. I feel like a failure. You can’t blame me for feeling that way. After all that conditioning and confidence that I can have a normal birth, I still didn’t manage to have a normal delivery. Luckily,  I get the support I need from my husband who told me that I can’t control the situation and that if my Ob didn’t decide immediately the life of my baby as well as mine will be in danger. The worst is my baby will be confined in the hospital and will take antibiotics. I can’t even bear the pain in my heart just thinking that the situation will turn that way. Thank God both of us are in good condition, and finally after 9 months of waiting I can finally hold my baby. All the pain that I feel from the operation is worth it when I’m looking at my baby.

So for all the fellow moms who also gave birth via Cesarean section, don’t be hard on yourself and always have someone to talk to if you ever feel disappointments. Be it your husband, friends or family. Always remember that whatever ways you gave birth will not measure the love you had with your child. A big salute to all moms out there! We are all in this together.

My FHmoms Journey

I can still remember the day that I saw FHMoms group on my facebook account. One of my co-mommy from Hankins Learning School invited me to join this group. I joined this group last May 23, 2020, and I am a silent reader at that time. I enjoyed watching mommy MK doing her live free webinar while her kids was on her background playing . However, it came to a point that I realized how much time I sacrificed of having to miss out on my family time because I have been working long hours, day and night including weekends even holidays. At that time I don’t have work because of the ECQ in our area, my husband is tested positive for Covid-19, and me and my kids is on 3 weeks home quarantine. I envy seeing her working while staying at home with her kids and when you listen to her ” ang lakas maka positive vibes”. Days have pass and I found out that the girl I was watching was the founder of FHMoms. I was move by the fact na si mommy Mk founder, “WOW napaka simple”.

When my husband went our from the facility where he stayed for one month. I told him about this group, because I found out that you offer a courses for July. I’m really interested to enroll but I have a big problem, I don’t know how to use a computer. Funny isn’t but its true. My husband always ask me, kamusta na? Nag enroll kana ba?

This is the time that I look for the courses they offered. But guess what? I don’t look for the courses, I look for a coach who is kind and patient enough to teach me. And then I saw teacher Christine Levine. I even send her a private message about me, asking her if its okey to enroll even if I don’t know anything about computer. I am so happy when she replied, I really prayed for it and I take it as a sign for me to push through with the enrollment.

My journey as a student for The Virtual Assistance class started last July 6, 2020. Meeting this wonderful mommies here and our bunso (Karl) as my classmate really help me build my confidence a lot. Most of them are like me and they really cared a lot. We support each others project and help you with your inquiries.

My journey as a student for The Virtual Assistance class started last July 6, 2020. Meeting this wonderful mommies here and our bunso (Karl) as my classmate really help me build my confidence a lot. Most of them are like me and they really cared a lot. We support each others project and help you with your inquiries.

Take the first step by adding FHMoms and this will be your key to success by learning and simply watching the free webinar video.

The dilemma of a Motherhood

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How can I be a better mother?

Why do I feel like I’m not good enough?

I was always intrigued by the idea of working mothers vs stay at home moms. I always wanted to know – was there really a difference in the way the kids turned out? Did stay at home moms have it easy? Were working moms selfish? 

I was a working mom when I gave birth to my first child. We’re living here in Taiwan with a high cost of living. After my maternity leave of two months, we sent her to the daycare center. He is only two months old but he is already in the care of others, we have no choice because we need to earn money. We have no relatives who can help us to take care of your child.

We usually heard motherhood is so rewarding, fulfilling, and full of joy. Yes, it is true! But what about the bad days, the hard times, those far-from-picture-perfect, burst-into-tears, close-to-losing-your-mind moments?

It is very difficult to be a working mom. You are expected to work like you don’t have kids and mom like you don’t have to work. I see both sides. It’s a never-ending guilty struggle. No transition time between work and parenting, your attention is divided. You’re working but some part of you is worrying about your kid. There is also guilt when your child is sick but you can’t take a leave to take care of him.

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Here the time comes after 7 years I got pregnant with our second child unexpectedly. This time a very delicate pregnancy that I need to give up my work for both of us can survive. I needed to bedrest during my pregnancy but still, we did not make it up to the full term of my baby. I need to give birth to a premature baby but thank God even though he is not in his full term he is healthy and has no complications.

With this situation, I become a stay at home mom. I thought it was easy. This was the time I fully understood the value, hard work, and their sacrifices to stay at home moms. ⁣⁣I see how hard you work.⁣⁣I understand that it often feels like groundhog day.

Now I was able to see the invisible load of a stay at home mom. The feeling of isolation. Never been off the clock. Feeling the need to justify what you do all day. You will lose your identity to the point that you really don’t know who you are. You will be dealing with criticism. You will envy your partner for his freedom to leave the house. You have never-ending work. You have the guilt of not earning income. Your role/work feels invisible. The feeling that you need to depend on your choice. And the worst feeling of unvalued.

Stay at home moms, working moms, and work from home moms all work incredibly hard. There are pros and cons to each role and neither one is a walk in the park.⁣⁣  Motherhood is hard, being a mom is hard whether you work or not. But there are some unique struggles in each role.

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All of this makes me realize that working or not – women don’t always have it easy. Whether you choose to be a working mother or a stay at home mom, it is your love, trust, and faith in them that will raise them to be successful and happy adults. It’s your kids knowing that their parents have their back – regardless of anything that will make the biggest difference. At the end of the day – we just need to find what works for us and try to follow that. But keeping the big picture in mind always helps. Being a mom is the BEST job of all.

Jeanette Kuo