Today I got a slice of celebrity fame when Khaleej Times decided to post our mother and daughter photo on their Weekend magazine cover today. So just in case you don’t have a copy, here is the cover and here is the little interview I had with Karen of Khaleej Times. And thanks to Juidin for the photoshoot for the cover.
Since it’s mother’s day today and I was meaning to blog about how my life became more challenging after having our second bundle of joy (actually third because taking care of our business is as daunting as taking care of a child), I am postponing my wedding post til next week. I just want to share some challenges and joys of being a working mom. It is not a walk in the park but every part of it is worth all the sacrifice you make.
My typical day starts with waking up my daughter and prepping her up for nursery. Feeding her, changing her clothes and driving her to school. I am lucky most days because my three month old is still sleeping until by the time I reach home. When he wakes up, I spend some time with him, feeding him and doing some little morning exercises. Then I hand him over to my aunt who helps us with taking care of the kids. This is the time I start answering emails and edit all that is pending. Then I have to pick up my daughter from school, have lunch at home and tries to put her to bed for afternoon naps right so I can get back to editing. I pray that her nap takes longer because when she wakes up, she will ask for some “playtime”. I feel guilty most of the time because I will have to shut her out just to beat my deadline. I feel guilty when I give her the Ipad to keep her busy just so she will not bother me. Then we have shoots on most weekends and again I feel guilty leaving them behind. I am not complaining about my work because I consider each shooting opportunity as a blessing. But I guess, it is all working moms have the same dilemma . So I have put together my seven tips for working mothers like me which might help balance work life and family life:
1. Listen to what your kids are saying. Most times I am so engrossed with my work that I don’t even have time to listen to what Khloe is saying. But I realized it only takes a few seconds to show her that you genuinely would like to hear what she says. If I am away on shoots, I give her a call on our landline and just ask her how she is.
2. Set a daily ritual with your kids. I make it a point we read a book together everyday, may it be before bedtime or during the day if I know I will not be able to tuck them to bed at night. I also sing nursery songs to my kids complete with actions and dances. I look silly and funny but trust me, they are happier when we sing together and dance together than them staring into the TV
3. Be an example to your kids. Like what I said in my interview with Khaleej Times, if I have one wish for my kids, it is for them to grow up to be responsible citizens, caring for others and to be fearful and faithful to God. I want them also to be successful in life but I want them to put what really matters first. “Please”, “thank you”So I try my very best to be what I preach. It is hard work but the foundations you set for your children will pay off and they will really “succeed” in life.
4. Be there for them. This is one of the things I read in of the articles shared on Facebook (can’t find the link again though) that I always practice. You don’t have the be with them 24/7 but when you are there when they really need you makes them feel that they are really loved. When my three month old cries, I make sure to pick him as rub his back to tell him I am there for him and will always be there for him. I cannot be in all Khloe’s school activities but I try to celebrate her achievements in school no matter how small it is. I give her hug when she falls or gets hurt and when she has a hard time overcoming something, I try my best to help her. If I miss something, we make sure to talk about right after and I make sure I tell them how happy I am to hear it.
5. Cherish memories. I am jealous when I see families on facebook posting their day out in the park or their families enjoying a lunch together on weekends. We rarely get the family complete because of our work but when we do, we try to cherish them by taking pictures or mini-clips. Make a scrapbook and write about it. They will look back and see how much you cherish those moments and they too will cherish them.
6. Do not shut them out. I did this once but I will not do it again. I dread the day when they grow up to be teenagers and it will be their turn to shut us out of their room or shut us out of their lives. We want to practice openness and honesty in the family. At this early stage, I teach them how dangerous it can be to keep secrets from parents. I don’t want to be the controlling parent but I want them to practice and see the value of being open to their parents.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself. With all the things you need to do, there will be sacrifices. Know your priorities. Family comes firsts. I thank God that most of clients are really kind and treats you like family. They will call and ask if the kids are ok. They will remember their names and we genuinely appreciate them when they remember our family. Work needs to be done but at the end of the day, it is your family that matters.