In June of 2015, I got invited to be one of the panelists at the H.O.P.E. Summit – the Hands on Parents while Earning Summit created by author and career coach Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. It was an event for parents exploring different ideas on how to create sources of income while working from home. I was invited to talk about what it was like to be a work-at-home-mom (WAHM) while raising a preschooler.
This interview was done a long time ago, but I’ve been thinking about it lately because I find myself wondering what other work-at-home-moms do to juggle their everyday lives. So I thought of sharing with you the preliminary interview I had with Ms. Teresa in June 2015, before the actual Summit on August 2015.
Here’s a sneak peek into the world of a WAHM.
Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag: May I ask how you choose to be hands-on with your child/children?
Beadlady: I am a very hands-on mom. I breastfed my daughter until she was 2 years 8 months old (she’s 3 years 8 months now). During this time, I developed my online course so I could continue earning without having to leave home.
Now that she is almost 4*, I decided to actively work on my biz again. This summer, I started doing events again, like workshops and bazaars. (* This interview was done last year. My little girl is 4 now!) I am still very hands on even with a business on the side – I homeschool her (or unschool, more like it.) We still co-sleep – she sleeps beside me every night. Most days, I am still the one who gives her baths, even if we have a yaya*. (* We have don’t have a yaya anymore! More on that in a future post.)
Teresa: What is your typical day as a hands-on mom while earning?
Beadlady: It would be lovely if we had a regular schedule, but we don’t! When I am not preparing for events, I spend time playing and crafting with her. But during the weeks when I have to hustle, I work late at night after she is asleep. It’s a struggle not to fall asleep with her, haha! I often work till the wee hours. During the day, she clays along with me while I work. I rarely get any work done in the mornings because that’s when she’s clingy. I usually start working in the afternoon. Play Doh and blocks are very important in our house. And a bit of Hi 5 too. It helps that we have a yaya who she can play with when she gets bored crafting with me. (Bwahaha. Again, we have no more yaya now. I had it easy back then!) But most of the time, she clings to me. So I really have to work around her schedule. On days when I am working on a deadline and we don’t get to play, I make up for lost time by reading bed time stories before she sleeps.
Working from home is a struggle. Sometimes, when she’s extra clingy and asks to play, it breaks my heart a little. So I always tell her: at least when mom is working, you can still be with me. I don’t have to leave the house to go to the office. You can play quietly beside me while I work. Some parents need to go to the office, like Dada. So you are lucky to have mom beside you. - This usually works, and she’ll happily let me finish what I’m working on while she plays beside me, with beads and clay
Teresa: What moved or inspired you to put up your own business?
My e-course is one of my major sources of income. Creating the online program was inspired by my own situation – I used to own a craft store in Cubao Expo, but I rarely got to visit it because I couldn’t leave the house. So I developed the e-course with stay-at-home moms in mind. It’s for moms like me who don’t have time – moms who can’t leave home to attend workshops. And true enough, most of my online students are women like me who have very busy schedules!
Thank you Ms. Teresa for the opportunity to share my story!
Funny tidbit: when I got her email invite, I was very hesitant to say yes to being one of the speakers. I felt I wasn’t qualified to go onstage and talk about my experience. The main speakers were big names like Martine de Luna of http://www.makeitblissful.com and serial entrepreneur Ginger Palma Arboleda of Manila Workshops, and the other panelists were people like Yummy Mummy Denise of Indigo Baby! Eeeep! I was so not worthy! But then I realized, God wanted me to do this. I had to share my story, with the hope of blessing and inspiring others. So with butterflies in my stomach, I typed yes and hit send. Bahala na si Lord, I said. And He indeed took care of everything.
I hope I inspired you, dear reader. Working from home and being a #MomBoss is a topic very dear to me, so I am planning to write more about it in the future!