It’s crazy how one single unexpected event can totally turn your life around, isn’t it? Before Covid-19 happened, my husband Mike, our 2-year old daughter Andi, and I would often go out and do fun things as a family such as traveling, having relaxing staycations, and even simple things like eating out or strolling around in wide open spaces. Most of my weekends were spent hosting various social and corporate events. When I wasn’t working, I was enjoying the company of my friends and other family members or attending various blogging events.
And then, just like that, Covid-19 took all that away from me. Going out as a family has been replaced with staying home 24/7. My livelihood as a host was immensely affected as my events had to be postponed or cancelled due to restrictions on social gatherings. I had plans for Andi to have a more experiential way of learning by traveling, letting her go on play dates, and engaging in outdoor activities. Sadly, all those plans had to be nixed.
Earning From Home
At first, this complete lifestyle change felt crippling, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt this way. But as it started to sink in that this ‘new normal’ is going to be the reality for the next few of months or even years, I slowly found ways to adjust and adapt to it. I had responsibilities to fulfill, and I needed to focus on finding ways to earn from home.
At the onset of the pandemic, I wondered when I would ever get to host events again. Thankfully, more companies have started exploring organizing online events. And with that, I was back in the game! Since the quarantine, I’m fortunate to have hosted a number of digital events for various brands, all from the comfort of my own home. All pre-production meetings, rehearsals, and technical runs for these online events are done online and from home as well.
Aside from hosting events, I also do voice overs. Before Covid, I would usually record in a studio. Now, all recordings are done remotely. I record from home and send my voice files to the producer via e-mail or online chat.
My final source of income is my job as a digital content creator. I am commissioned by various brands to promote their products and/or services through blogging, vlogging, or posting photos on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Balancing work, motherhood, and home life
You would think that because I work from home, I have it easy. I, too, once had this naive notion that working from home meant that I would get to work in peace, relax whenever I wanted to, and put in less effort on completing my tasks. Oh boy, was I wrong! Trying to balance my life as a career professional, a mother, and a housewife all at once feels like one crazy juggling act!
Sometimes, I’m busy setting up for a livestream that I’m about to host in an hour, then I’ll take 5 minutes off to feed my child. During a voice over recording session, while the client tells me to take a quick break as they review my voice files, I use that break time instead to put my toddler to sleep. The lines between work and motherhood have blurred, and I sometimes wonder how on earth I can make this work.
So how DO I make it work?
Here are 5 ways that I effectively balance work, motherhood, and home management:
1. Ask for help
They say “no man is an island,” but I say, “no MOM is an island.” Having the right support is so crucial for working moms, no matter how strong and independent we think we are. We don’t have a helper at home, so my husband Mike and I take turns in looking after Andi. When I need to do something important, he takes over with the parenting duties. Also, we delegate household chores at home. I do most of the chores at home but Mike helps out too by washing the dishes and sweeping the floor, among other things.
2. Create a designated workspace
We live in a tiny 2-bedroom condo, so my “office” is really just a little corner next to our bed. It’s not much, but it’s MY own space, and having this small personal space makes me feel more productive and professional. Having a designated workspace makes me more focused and it sort of wires my brain to think that I am and should be in work mode.
3. Plan ahead
The key to getting things done is to plan ahead. As soon as you get a confirmed schedule for an event, a work deadline, a meeting, etc., start making a list of actions you need to take and things you need to prepare as early as possible. For instance, if I know that I will be hosting an online event, I take into consideration how much time the whole process will take and I anticipate what Andi could possibly need while I’m away such as snacks, drinks, diapers, change of clothes, toys and books to keep her entertained for hours, etc. Anything she might need, I order online a few days in advance. (Thank goodness for online shopping apps!)
4. Do what you can but don’t attempt to do it all
Moms are master multi-taskers, but sometimes, we forget that we don’t have to do it all. Actually, we probably CAN’T do it all. Not all at once anyway. Sometimes, I get too obsessed with ticking off everything in my to do list, that if I fail to do so, I get stressed out, thinking of all the chores still waiting to be completed. But I just remind myself to accept that IT’S OKAY to leave some things unfinished. Really, it’s not the end of the world if the floor is dirty or if it looks like a hurricane just hit your kids’ play area. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can!
5. Make time for what really matters
Burnout doesn’t just happen in the office or in the corporate setting. It can happen at home too. Sometimes, we get too caught up in work and all the other things that we need to do, that we forget why we are doing what we do and who we are doing it for. Take time to breathe. Play with your kids. Watch movies and TV shows with your family. Get some rest, because when you are well-rested, you are in a better mood. And when your mood is lighter, your cheerful disposition will also rub off on others too.
6. Take advantage of technology
There are so many fantastic resources online for children’s activities and lessons. Having access to these makes my life easier as a parent / teacher to my child because these are readily available for me to educate my daughter at home. With the help of a good internet connection, Andi still gets to have a taste of school by watching videos of cartoons with nursery rhymes or participating in online storytelling sessions.
The importance of connectivity
Being a work-from-home mom in this era of the pandemic has truly made me appreciate technology and connectivity more than ever. I depend so much on it for all the jobs that I do. A stable internet connection is the number one requirement in hosting online events, or else there will be a lot of hiccups. Without a reliable connection, it won’t even be possible for me to do my voice recordings from home. And just how will I even publish blog posts, upload vlogs, and post on my social media pages without being connected to the internet? My husband, who works from home as an illustrator, also relies heavily on a seamless internet connection. If he can’t send his artworks to his clients who are based overseas, how can he provide for us financially?
As for Andi, because she cannot go out, we do let her watch her favorite shows on Youtube and Netflix. This has been a great source of both entertainment and education for her. Through these shows, she learned so many words, songs, and objects. Technology has been such a useful tool for us to teach her new things.
These days, connectivity is no longer just a luxury, but a NECESSITY. It is the very essence of everything we do – whether that’s working, learning, or staying in touch with people we love. It has certainly helped me survive this challenging time by making it possible for me play my different roles – working mom, home manager, mother, and teacher.
In this new normal, I find myself working harder, doing more chores, and trying to being fully present for my child all at the same time. It’s not always easy, but I consider myself blessed to be in this position. I am one of the lucky ones who have the luxury of being able to work and earn from home while spending time with my family. I may not be able to send Andi to play schools or let her see the world at the moment, but I get to be with her everyday, hold her anytime, and have the honor of witnessing her milestones. I get to proudly say “I taught her that!” When I put down my phone or turn off my computer to read her a story or play with her, I am rewarded with hugs, kisses, and heartfelt thank you’s. Even though I am often faced with distractions at home and even though mixing work and mom life can sometimes be a little messy, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. The situation we are in now really opened my eyes to rediscover what matters, and that is about connecting with my child in a deeper level by giving her my time, attention, and affection. This, after all, is the kind of connection that counts.
Balancing all my responsibilities as a parent and a professional is more manageable with the help of a strong internet connection at home. It allows me to accomplish all my duties with more ease.
With the strongest connection of PLDT Home Fibr, families can rediscover ways to earn from home and enjoy learning without worries. #RediscoverWhatMatters and know more about PLDT Home Fibr plans at www.pldthome.com