A few months ago, while I was desperately trying to think of ways to fully enjoy my role as a new mom, I thought of going after the things I enjoy without sacrificing the time spent with my little girl. It wasn’t exactly an easy and cheap fix but there are workarounds to make motherhood, career and my passion blend well together. I think, and truly believe, that it all starts with a conscious effort to make things work for you and just be able to focus on the goal and worry not about things that will drive you off that goal. Sure “mothering” is difficult no matter if you’re a first-timer or have years of experience, but wouldn’t it be scarier if you didn’t do anything at all to do the things you’re passionate about while being a great parent to your kid?
1 Think about the things you always loved to do
When my daughter was smaller, about a few weeks old, I didn’t have much energy to think about my passions and I think this is normal to all moms. You’re just dead focus on caring for your baby and that’s okay. I devoured books every day, watched child development milestone videos and many other things just to make sure I am doing only the right things for my newborn. But as soon as I got into the groove, which was some time before her second month, I just wouldn’t stop thinking about ‘fun activities’ to do with my daughter. That’s when we started doing our homemade themed-photoshoots. Believe me, I was not exactly good at it and it took me days to finish a simple outfit for her, but was it worth it? It sure did when you have something to look back to. Thinking about it now, I am sure there were plates left unwashed, few sacrifices to make our mom and daughter activity happen.
2 When the first idea didn’t work, try another one
I really loved our dress up and photoshoots but I struggled with creativity whenever I had few hours of sleep, plus, spending too much time indoors can get a bit lonely for everyone. So when my daughter and I got an invitation to attend a first birthday party and a grand family reunion, just before she turned two months old, I took her out and went on our first mom-daughter road trip. It just felt empowering to not let the struggles of bringing the entire baby stuff with your newborn freak you out of your mind and stop you from doing these things with your daughter. It didn’t matter whether or not it was just the two of us driving to a nearby or far place for as long as we’ve come prepared, that’s all that mattered.
3 Plan like a Pro, or at least try
I’ve been working as a digital marketing consultant for international businesses for almost a year before having my daughter. The 12-month period, though pregnant, gave me enough room to work on projects while learning more about my pregnancy and childcare. It can get pretty hard to juggle all these things together. I was worried that I wasn’t resting or sleeping enough and would panic on times that I overslept. Normal! But I didn’t let these stuff stir me away from my goal, earn a living while being a great mom 24/7. I planned, reviewed and re-planned once more until my plans were actually happening until it matched the kind of lifestyle that I want for myself. I scheduled small trips here and there. If not nearby family outings, it would be out-of-town trips with her dad or just us, mom and daughter duo. I would always work in advance but will open a few hours of work time if it’s possible to our travel destination.
I’m sure there are other tips that all parents can use, but I am sticking with that three basic stuff to save you time and just start testing what will truly work for you. Most importantly you just have to believe! I strongly believe that anything is possible with or without a baby in tow. I used to dream about traveling when I didn’t have Kerrigan yet but it never materialized until after having my daughter in my tummy and in my arms. Work would always be my excuse to avoid pursuing other stuff, so when I finally became a mom, I just didn’t let the same excuse nor parenthood stop me from doing the things I love, instead, I took it as my top reason why I should make it work.
As of writing, Kerrigan and I took countless of road trips together, took three flights, one to Cebu and two international flights and endless grocery and mall time trips together.