On Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Mom, life’s greatest gift.

My MIL (mother-in-law) recently celebrated her birthday. It has been customary for the family to gather around her every year over good food, fond story-telling and memorable laughters.

There’s tears this year, though.

My MIL candidly told us stories about her child-rearing and raising a family. She choked in tears as she recalled how she raised eight children while being a dutiful wife and a dedicated public school teacher. She talked of her sacrifices and pains as she gave her best years to motherhood. The grandchildren listened to her innocently. My children looked at her with loving eyes. Her children injected her words with jabs of anecdotal one liners to keep her from crying hard. Her husband patiently listens. I looked at her in admiration. Let her have her moment.

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Every mother can speak of their ultimate sacrifice for their children. With each story comes unique, personal feelings that are simply beyond words. Perhaps, only one mother can understand fully what another mom really feels.

I once thought that when all the kids are grown and into their own lives, my motherhood role will eventually slow down. A more experienced mother told me, “I’m sorry to break the news dear, but it never really ends.” I realize she is right.

What would be the real rewards to motherhood? Is it finally when your children graduate from school, having solid careers of their own? Is it when they successfully raise a family of their own? Is it when they go places and travel abroad? Is it when they make their own choices and are able to carry on strongly with the choices they have made? Is it when they come back to you in the light of your years amidst their busy lives?

What is the reward, really?

To me, the reward for my motherhood journey, I find within myself. That unspeakable kind of love that almost bursts inside you. That infinite affection that goes beyond limits unimagined. That great, top-of-the-world feeling of pride evoked by certain moments. That strength of faith and unwavering acceptance demanded by circumstances. Only a mother understands how one can feel all these.

With a mother, there is always love, in spite of, despite of and even ifs. Like this, I love and honor my mother, in spite of, despite of and even if, along with beautiful things she has shown me about love and life.

And perhaps the best way to honor and love our mothers is to love others the best way that we can. To raise families as they have shown us or better. To nurture life, whether our children’s or the lives of others. Let us live with the kind of love that always brings light even to the darkest moments.

This kind of love, I learned from mom.


Workin’ Wednesdays | Pockets of Time

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Choosing to work from home while raising a family was a conscious choice we made in order to look after the children. In doing so, it was tough to intersperse real work, housework and all the other duties that come along with raising a family.

All these things, I do with a full heart.

Throughout the work-at-home journey, I tried all sorts of organization strategies and work schedule to cope with the demands of my existence. I tried blocking off time to focus on real work, waking up extra early to get more done, sleeping a few hours later than usual to accomplish things. I tried working alongside with the children. I even tried working while driving especially when in horrendous EDSA traffic, which by the way will never really work.work 2

Then, I found myself getting enough done (not more, just enough) and making progress when I realized the secret of working from home, being a working mother.

Pockets of Time.

A lot of management experts say, make use of those pockets of time.

I have identified where mine comes from. I spot time on my hands during a lot of waiting time — soccer practice, basketball practice, school dismissal, cheerleading practice, bank errands, car wash session. My pockets of time span throughout the day. This is why I arm myself with my bag of work essentials, a sort of work-anytime gear so that I can readily seize opportunities to work.workspaces 2Since these pockets of time can present itself anywhere, I must be prepared to find a workspace that works for me. I would be pretty lucky if there’s a pretty café around the corner or a cafeteria with nice, clean tables to work on. On other days, I find myself working in a gym counter, a bench at the school park or at the back of the pickup truck.

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I wish I were a better-dressed working mom whose work and errands encompass the hours in a day. How I can imagine being that J Crew picture perfect work-at -home mother who has time in her hands! But then comfort and weather are my utmost considerations in getting dressed these days.

As my schedule is fluid, my mind often races with itself. Prioritizing and responsiveness often help me fulfill my roles in a day. Accepting that I cannot have everything done in a day, I take pleasure in pockets of progress too that I make. In awhile, I realize that I have lesser to do. The work is never done for a mom. I know this by know. This is why I take comfort in the work chunks done in a day as willingly close my laptop, call it a day and spend time with the family.

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I have learned to work steadily through pockets of time. Doing so helps put me at ease. Doing so helps me battle with the power of procrastination. Doing so led me to believe that it is possible to make time so that I would never have to say, “I don’t have time.”