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A working mother's awakening to self-care

 


I am a working Mom of two girls. My eldest turned 7 last August and my youngest will be turning 3 this November.

Back in the days when I only had my eldest, I was able to manage my home, wife, and office responsibilities. Thank God I have a reliable nanny from the day I gave birth to my eldest.   My work was also manageable back then. 

As I moved up the corporate ladder, my office responsibilities became bigger. It was demanding at times, it required late nights and weekend work. Despite these, I still did my best to perform my different roles.  

In 2017, my husband and I decided to have another baby. God answered our prayers and blessed as with another girl within that year! While we enjoyed our 2nd newborn, it was a challenge to find another nanny to take care of her before I go back to work.  And then, my trusted nanny went on indefinite leave! 

Eventually, I was able to get two new nannies.  I'm sure if you are a working mother living in the Philippines, you've had your share of "nanny problems" too.  To cut the story short, I kept on changing them every so often for different reasons. It stressed me a lot and somehow affected my work. I needed to take long leaves to take care of my children. 

Good thing I was able to convince my trusted nanny to go back. My life became easier again - somehow.

Being a working mom is very challenging. It requires a lot of energy to power through the day.  Equally challenging, if not more, are the jobs of a full-time mother. I also admire their prowess to manage everything in the household, their kids, and husband. 

All mothers want to do everything for their family and career.  It makes us happy. But I realized with all the happiness, challenges, and stress that I went through, I forgot to take care of myself. 


Why? 

One day,  when I looked in the mirror, I couldn't recognize myself - PHYSICALLY anymore! 

My hair was so curly and messy.  I would use an iron to straighten them but it only lasts for an hour. I gained weight from 110 lbs. (pre-baby weight) to 128 lbs. 

Don’t get me wrong, eating with family is always fun. To be guilt-free, I always tell myself that it’s my cheat day and diet the next day but it never happened (lol). Kidding aside, I realized this only during this pandemic. 

Why only now? Because I got more time in the morning to look at myself in the mirror. Have you stopped and looked at yourself lately? I mean, really look at yourself? Or even ask yourself if you feel good - physically, mentally, and emotionally? Before, I used to be in a rush to catch the shuttle or carpool and leave the house at 5am. Endure the traffic going home, and continue with my responsibilities at home.

We all knew that this pandemic changed our normal routine. It affected the world negatively.   On a positive side in my case, I adapted to this change. I started to be more conscious and care about myself since that day of realization. 

  • I committed to change my lifestyle and go on a healthy route together with my husband. 
  • We invested in gym equipment, lowered our calorie intake through diet food. 
  • We exercise at least thrice a week and do stretch every hour while working. 
  • As with my hair, I set an appointment to a salon for a rebonding session and add color to my boring hair. 

I started this fitness journey in June and as of writing, I’ve seen huge progress. I lost 11 lbs. already and I felt great! I’ve never felt the confidence that I’m feeling right now than before. This boosts my self-confidence.  

How do I still manage to continue with what I started this mid-year? It’s actually a commitment to myself to self-care so I always find time to exercise despite my busy schedule. Yes, my schedule became more hectic. I’m homeschooling my eldest in the morning then do my work mid-shift. But I manage despite all these.

Here's a tip, I usually take a shower in the morning. I put on make-up and dress up (yes, I do) as if I’m going to the office. I feel more motivated to do my daily grind. I often end my day around 9pm but between breaks, I do my simple stretches. 

I’m thankful and blessed that I have my two helpers at home.  They help me take care of my kids and manage other household chores.  

The biggest realization during this time?  Whether we are a full-time mom or a working mom, we should never forget to care and think about ourselves.  If we don't take care of ourselves, no one else will. Eventually, we will suffer the small or big consequences of it.  Worst, sometimes even the people that rely on our good mood and strength.

I shared this quote on my Facebook page that says, “Taking care of myself is not being selfish. It is essential that I love myself first before I have the strength and energy to give love to my family especially to my kids.” 

To all the Moms out there - Let’s start loving ourselves first. Let's start or continue taking care of ourselves!


AUTHOR: MOMMY LHEN

Want to write stories and inspire others? Be a guest author! I always tell myself, "If I can inspire one person, then that's good enough."

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