Wednesday, October 23, 2013

K's Point of View: Of Working Moms and Non Working Moms

One of my daily struggles is my eldest daughter telling me that she wants me to stay at home, stay with her, and not go to work. It's not an exaggeration when I say that I literally have a teary eyed child in my arms 4 out of every 5 working days. If you have any tips on how to talk to a four year old about why a mom has to work, do share them with me. I go by the route of explaining that I need to work so I can afford to provide her with certain things. I know it should not be all about money... there's fulfillment, self actualization, the debt from grad school.... But those will have to wait until she is older. 

Now after all the speeches made... it seems to have stuck on her mind.

K: Mom, I want you to go to school everyday and pick me up.

Me: I'm sorry I cannot do that because I have to go to the office and work.

K: But Chloe's* mom is in school everyday.

Now this is where I answered wrong (and I am sincerely sorry, no offense meant.)

Me: Maybe she does not have to work?

K: Why? Because she has lots of money?

See why I shouldn't have said that? I am sure Chloe's* mom is there everyday (and "everyday" can be an exaggeration from a nursery student) for a good reason. So I tried to take it back...

Me: Or maybe... Her mom works near your school?

K: Yeah, maybe she works IN the school. 

Me: Yes, maybe,

It ended with me asking her to check her other classmates and see if their moms are there everyday. I hope she does not spread the word... I hope I don't start a nursery class mutiny with 20 four year olds insisting their moms be in school everyday! 

Are you a working mom? How do you explain to your child?

*Not her real name.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Second Opinion: The second child's view

My second child started forming her opinions at a very young age. This makes for very interesting conversations between her and her sister. The older sister has much stronger views, and is less swayed, hence her failed requests (to me) usually end in tears. On one particular occasion when I (again) would not give in to the big sister's demands:

Big sis: booohoo... I want this....

Me: No, K, I told you not everything you want you can get.

Little sis: It's ok, K. Don't cry.

Big sis: boohoo....

Little sis: Don't cry K, Santa Claus is coming to town.

Yes, go get it from Santa, why don't you? :) 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My dad, education, and the #DayoftheGirl

I only found out late this evening that October 11 is International Day of the Girl, the second one being celebrated by Unicef. It could not have been more opportune than today... for today is also the eve of my late father's birthday - who was my number one fan when it came to supporting me on the education I wanted to pursue.

When I graduated from high school, I pursued a path much different from the path my own parents took. I went to a university and took a course that were not exactly the first choice my parents had for me, but I insisted. The four years that followed were probably the most difficult years in my entire scholastic life... but I persevered and managed to graduate from the degree I had chosen. Soon after, I joined a multinational bank and managed to carve out a small niche for myself. I knew it made my father proud that he had a daughter who worked for a multinational bank in Makati. 

Years later, I ventured into the next scholastic adventure I wanted to take - I wanted to take up an MBA, and I preferred for it to be from an institution outside the country. It was not an easy battle... for my parents believed that the next adventure in store for me was not an MBA, but more like a husband and a family. I insisted on it, paying for all application fees and prerequisites out of my own savings. While all of this was happening, I was slowly convincing my dad to let me go. I had to do that because my savings were only enough to get me through the application phase! Everytime we talked about it, I would get gentle reminders that no man would want marry someone who was much smarter than him; that boys tend to be wary of girls who had too many degrees; that instead of wanting to spend money on another degree, I should worry about my own dowry. It wasn't as if my dad was a chauvinistic pig. It was just that in the family I was born in, the background that I grew up in... a four year course was enough. Anything beyond that was unheard of.

Eventually, with a lot of facts and figures from Business Week, The Financial Times and other business magazines (stuff I was bombarding him with), he let me go. And when I changed his mind... I really changed his mind. Suddenly, it was his great idea that I was going for an MBA. From that day on - til the day of his passing - I strongly believe that he really believed in his heart that it was the best decision to let me go. And for that, I will forever be grateful to him. He (and my mom) rooted for me, cheered me on, scrimped and saved to get me through that one year. What I am today, I owe it to them.

Why do I care about girls getting good education?

1. I am the recipient of a good education, and I am thankful for it every day.

2. I have daughters and nieces. You or someone you know has daughters too.

3. Girls are easily half of the world. Imagine how much better the world could be.

4. We all (whether boys or girls) deserve that one shot to get a better life. Education is key.

And if you're not yet convinced, check out this infographic.

We, in the Philippines, are much better off than the rest of the world. Men and women, boys and girls are treated as equals here. I just hope that even at the more marginalized levels of society, the girls are being given equal opportunities as their male peers/siblings when it comes to education. 

 Finally, this tweet puts such a wonderful, basic perspective to educating little girls.

My Craft

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My SoMoms Loot (and how to get yours)

One of the great things about meeting up with the SoMoms is getting to see all the great stuff that the SoMom mompreneurs have to share with fellow moms. I never leave empty handed... There is sure to be one product they have that I (or my kids) absolutely must own. I know there are people who may say that some of these things are really unnecessary little things, and that a lot of moms and kids survive without them. True, I do agree that we live in a world full of material influences, most of which, we probably can live without. But, indulge me. A lot of us moms, whether working mom, WAHM or SAHM, work hard every single day. And sometimes, it is that one single purchase that makes us feel a little better about our day (or week, or month....) It's our reward. I don't know about you, but even a piece of washi tape, or new lip balm, can make that difference for me. 

Okay, so enough justification! Here's what the SoMoms had -  some of which I went home with - from the SoMoms meet up. And as it took me forever to write this post... It may soon be time for you to start shopping for Christmas presents. Check them out!

Yellowbird Shoes

Yellowbird Shoes from Patty. These were her first designs... But she has come up with lots more! I personally own the Sadie sandal, which is really pretty.

Soft and comfortable organic play sets from Sproutlets. Get them from Mothering Earthlings

Washi tapes from PaperChicStudio. She also has paper straws, paper pags, and baker's twine - all the essentials you will need this Christmas! 

Pretty paper straws.

Hopscotch (for kids) and Scotch nailpolish from Tin of Manila Fashion Observer. She also shared her secret....

... Or at least, her Grandmas's Secret! These goo removers work wonders on those sticky leftover gunk from removing tags. You should also check out the stain remover - it is truly a miracle worker!

There were so many other stuff that I was not able to take pictures of - Kris's Aquasana Water Filters, Pam's Willow tops, Jenny's stuff from MamaBabyLove.... These moms really know how to tempt you! 

Now, here's how you can get your hands on them. This weekend (and on December 8) - Mommy Mundo brings you an early Christmas bazaar where you can get a lot of these stuff, plus more! You can also get the chance to win a Two Tots playroom suite showcase... you can join online, but you get more chances if you go shop ;)

If you want to earn bonus points:

  1. Visit the Mommy Mundo Bazaar on November 10 and/or December 8 and post on your status “I’m at the #MommyMundoBazaar at the Rockwell Tent, the only Christmas bazaar made for moms like me!” (2 pts)
  2. Drop by the Two Tots booth at the Mommy Mundo bazaar on November 10 and/or December 8, take a photo of yourself at the booth, and share on Instagram or Twitter. Don’t forget to tag @twotots and @mommymundo with the hashtag #mommymundobazaar. Photos/profile must be set to “Public” to qualify. (2 pts)
  3. Purchase something (any amount) from Two Tots’ booth at MMB and enter the raffle code found on the raffle stub.  (5 pts)

Two Tots has personalized Christmas socks, perfect for your little ones' surprise from Santa. They also have baskets that are perfect for organizing books, toys, and other small items that tend to accumulate fast when you have kids.

Hope to see you at the bazaar! Go forth and buy!