While waiting by the office elevators last Monday, I found myself laughing. As in tawang tawa ako, men. If you have seen me, akalain mo nasisiraan ako ng bait.
I was laughing because I was thinking about all the things that I had to do.
I had to prepare the weekly reports for the Operations Meeting meeting that afternoon.
I had to study the reports prepared by my staff for the Operations Meeting that afternoon.
I had to set the RFO walkthrough of 3 projects.
I had to check the status and output of the call brigade for the 6 projects that I tasked my staff to do.
I had to do the reports for the Mancom meeting the next day.
I had to think about and arrange who would be picking up my dad from the airport because his schedule changed.
I was mentally fixing my schedule for the week so I’d know when I can do the groceries.
I had to ask my kasambahay what to buy in the grocery store.
I had to ask someone to wrap the Christmas gifts for Anika’s classmates.
I had to ACTUALLY BUY the Christmas gifts for her classmates.
I-che-check na daw yung First Holy Communion attire nina Anika this week. Wala pa siyang white shoes.
I had to think about the potluck food that Anika has to bring for her Christmas party.
I don’t have an outfit yet for our Vogue themed company Christmas party this week.
I have yet to complete my gifts for my officemates, staff and family.
Wala pa din akong makitang landscaper for our house. Anong petsa na?!
I had to make the practice tests for Anika’s final exams.
And then I went back thinking about work if mainit kaya ulo ng boss ko ngayon and kung papagalitan ba niya ako today.
Ang dami eh. Hindi ka ba niyan matatawa? Partida mga bakla, the other things that I had to do, I have delegated already. So salang sala na ang mga yan as my things to do.
Very timely naman, I chanced upon this article entitled The Mental Workload of a Mother. Have you guys read it? Lahat na nandun, girls. If you are a mom, you will be able to totally relate to that post.
Generally speaking, alam ko naman na lahat ng nanay ngayong holidays ay ngarag. However, for this particular post, allow me to dwell sa mga working moms.
I salute the stay at home moms kasi hindi ko alam how they do everything that they do — on a daily basis. Pero nowadays, parang gusto kong patayuan ng shopping mall este rebulto ang mga working moms. Wagas ang challenges that I encountered these past few weeks. Ramdam na ramdam ko na isa nga akong working mother.
Like with the stay at home moms, working moms have different levels of difficulties that they face. The SAHM’s daily load depends with the number of kids or if may yaya or wala. Isang level of difficulty yan. With the working moms, the degree of difficulty that they face is like that of the SAHM plus the demands of their work. If hindi that demanding and very flexible ang schedule, heaven yun. But if you have a job like mine na 8am-6pm with pasok sometimes on the weekends tapos medyo toxic ang trabaho, it can be really challenging.
I know all mothers need to mind their kids. They worry about the family’s health and safety all the time. Sasabay pa diyan yung husband na late uuwi na nenerbyosin ka kasi hindi mo malaman if makaka-uwi ba ng matiwasay sayo. Like what the article said, mothers think about so many things like doctor schedules, extra curricular schedules, meal planning, kids’ school and how they are faring, running the household and making sure may stock ng soap, food, cooking oil, socks and briefs ng mga asawa. There is also the minding of the emotional needs of everyone in the family (including ours).
For the working mothers, take all of those things a mother thinks about and add to the additional things we think about and do outside the house.
There’s waking up super early in the morning to get ready for work despite being up all night taking care of a child na may lagnat. Or waking up super early to go to prepare the baon and then go work despite coming home very late kasi nag-overtime.
There’s coming home super late na tapos laspag na laspag ka na sa pagod but then you still have to check your kids’ school stuff if ginawa ba nila yun. I’m telling you, mas nakaka-bobo yung pagcheck ng 1 + 1 na simple math after a very long day in front of all the formula you needed to do in Excel.
There’s the very long drive to and from work. Lecheng traffic sa Metro Manila yan. Nakakadrain. Grabe lalo those who are commuting and nakikipag-agawan ng jeep in heels just to be able to come home in time for dinner.
There’s the guilt of working instead of staying at home. It never goes away.
There’s dealing with a boss. A boss na hindi mo ka-ano ano kaya hindi mo pwedeng deadmahin. My boss is mabait and he understands that I am a mother first and foremost. Kaya naman whenever Anika’s sick and I tell him that I have to stay home, wala ka na maririnig sa kanya. However, he is also demanding. He demands from us our best. Mahirap magrelax kasi hindi pwede yung tatanga tanga ka. Alert lagi. You need to focus in what he’s saying para hindi ka mapagalitan but at the back of my head sometimes, namemental list ako ng mga need ko bilhin after work sa grocery.
There’s yung aasikasuhin mo ang mga hanash ng 40+ na office staff mo. Can you imagine having 40 kids? Ganyan din ang may 40 pax na staff.
There’s yung gumagawa ng mga reviewers kasabay ng mga reports. Come on, aminin niyo na yan that you’re doing that. We do that because there is simply no more free time to do it.
Nandiyan yung tatawag sayo yung school clinic in the middle of a very important meeting kasi pinapasundo your sick child. Larga ako niyan after apologizing profusely to my officemates.
Get the picture? =D
Those are just some of the things that a working mom experience that is different from a stay at home mom.
Para kang may dalawang klaseng mundong ginagalawan: being a mom and being a career woman.
It’s definitely not easy. If you are at work, iniisip mo yung bahay. If nasa bahay ka, iniisip mo yung work. Sa sandaliang na-relax ako kasi wala ako ginagawa, I feel stressed because baka kaya walang ginagawa kasi may nakalimuta akong gawin. I feel that bawal ako pumetiks and dapat alert lagi because I am scared I will fail on one or both (being a mom and an employee).
Obviously, kulang na kulang talaga ako sa time. Saan nga ba ako pwede bumili ng time at magho-hoarding ako?! Despite Alvin being great at helping out, kulang pa din ang oras eh. The weekends are not for relaxing anymore. They’re for errands na lang that you were not able to do during the weekdays.
May short kwento ako. I passed by the grocery store near our office because I had to buy something for Anika. It was lunch time. Inside the grocery store, I saw a mom na fresh na fresh: nakashorts, sleeveless top, Tory Burch shoes and ang bango bango niya. She was leisurely doing the groceries aisle by aisle. Hindi nagmamadali. Samantalang ako, I was running around looking for where the bread was because I had to go back to the office by 1pm. May meeting pa kasi ako.
How I wished maka-experience din ako ng leisure grocery shopping. Yung titigil ka to smell the mangoes. Mga ganung levelz. Siguro ngayon holidays magagawa ko yun. 24 hours nang bukas ang SM Hypermart. Maggogrocery ako ng 3am and hindi ako magmamadali. Pak.
Kasama na din diyan na there is no time for facials, manicure, pedicure, waxing, shopping, chikahan with friends ng walang time frame kasi may need pang gawin afterwards. Alam niyo ba that I need to have endoscopy but I never got around having it done? Need ko siya ipagawa mga 5 years ago pa. Hahahaha! I’m sorry, I know it’s wrong. We need to prioritize our health. I promise to have it done asap, it’s just that parang walang time lagi to do it. If magka-free time, nilalaan ko kasi yun sa check ups naman ni Anika. Or if walang check ups si Anika, wala naman yung doctor ko. Wrong timing always.
Don’t get me wrong. Nakakagimmik naman ako sometimes. I am able to stay up late and have some drinks.
You just have to pay the price the next day. Hahaha! Have you experienced having a hangover and acting like you have none para wala na masyadong mga taong ang mga bagets?
High five to my fellow working moms. I get you. I feel you. We’re the same. Kaya natin ito. I know I have a lot of advice for time management and about work life balance however may mga panahon talaga na punyeta, hindi mo maaapply na yun.
This is the reason why I am amazed when I see a full time working moms who look put together. Ang galing. Sana magpaseminar sila. I shall attend!
Why do I do it? I am often asked that question. Well, despite all the chaos, I love what I do: both being a mom and a working mom. It completes me. Angelina Jolie sums it up on point:
“I think if you love what you do, and the choice you’ve made in your life, somehow that drives you forward to enjoy it all. Even the chaos, even the exhaustion of it, and even when it seems out of balance.”
In short, kahit nakaka-hibang, if you really like what you’re doing, push lang mga ateng. Kakaiba din kasi yung fulfillment.