But all good things must come to an end. This February will be CRAZY busy with work work work. I have editorial meetings, photo shoots and deadlines for Baby Magazine, and events and meetings for the blogs. Although I like to whine about how busy I am, I'm not complaining. I enjoy having a career and being with my kids. I am so lucky to have this life!
|At a Team Kramer photo shoot. How lucky am I that I can go to work in pambahay and still meet stars?|
|At a fashion shoot. How lucky am I that I can bring my kids to work and breastfeed my baby, too?|
|Paid to shop! How lucky am I that I shop with and for my kids for work???|
|At a shoot in my sons' new room. How lucky am I that I get to work from home?|
Some disagree, however. A few months ago, a reader sent me a letter telling me how she was so disappointed in me. She said, "You became a true inspiration when you quit your job to be a full-time mom. Real mothers stay home with their children!" But then I became market editor of Baby Magazine weeks after Piero was born, and she said, "You are a huge disappointment."
I replied, "Two things: First, I never quit being a writer and editor, and second, what you think of me and how I live my life doesn't matter to me or to anyone."
Suffice it to say that I lost a reader there.
When I left the magazine industry, I didn't stop working. Let me just correct that perception since everyone seems to think I gave up everything for my kids. Like, I made a huge sacrifice. I did no such thing. In fact, I became busier when I quit corporate! I wrote for websites and magazines. I edited a book. Mostly, I became busy with my blogs because they took off like crazy. Then I slowed down (almost to a halt) when I was pregnant with Piero because it was a miserable pregnancy. I missed writing. I think not working made me even more miserable. So as soon as Piero was born, I accepted the position at Baby Magazine and BDJBox.com, and I worked on the blogs.
I don't want to be part of the debate of what kind of mother is the better mother. The working mother or the stay-at-home mom (or the combination of both, the WAHM, which is what I am now). The mother who uses a stroller or the mother who uses a sling. The mother who homeschools or the mother who sends her kids to the best schools they can afford. The mother who cooks or the mother who orders food. The mother who doesn't believe in yayas or the mother who knows she needs all the help she can get.
Of course I have opinions, too, on certain parenting methods. I'm not judgment-free. In the end, though, I've always believed that joyful and secure children have the best mothers. Whatever works for your family (as long as it doesn't harm other families!) is the best kind of parenting. So if what works is for mommy to have a job, then so be it. For many lucky mothers, their job is a source of fulfilment. Full stop. But for most moms these days, a job is necessary. For me, it's both. My writing makes me happy. My writing feeds my family and there is nothing disappointing about a woman who feeds her family.
But I don't just work so I can be happy or because we need the money; I work because that's me. Writing is who I am. If I'm not writing, I'm not me. When I'm not me, I'm lost. When I'm lost, I feel empty. When I'm empty, then how can I give anything to my family?
Three jobs, three kids, no yaya! I'm exhausted and busier than ever. But I'm happy. Thanks always to my husband, Vince, for agreeing to be part of this crazy life!
I like my choices. They all stem from knowing who I really am and being true to who I am. I don't live life pretending I'm happy, or hoping to be an inspiration, or fearing I'm disappointing other people, or trying to meet expectations. I'm free from all that. It's a shit-free life. The only kind worth living!
*first photo by Stanley Ong Photography. It's a test shot. Stan was testing the lights while Cheska was getting her makeup done and the kids were getting dressed.
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