How I thrive from my work-travel-parenting stint

While I was enjoying my role as a new parent, I decided to go after a particular lifestyle.

Work-life integration It’s about creating synergy in different areas of your life, letting them co-exist without losing your mind. This approach resonated to me the most because of this particular childhood experience I had growing up. Relatives raised me while both my parents worked tirelessly in a different country thousands of miles away. There was no balance nor integration of any sort for our family to live our lives together. Carrying that experience with me while growing up I sort of vowed to change things with my daughter. My goal was to enjoy my journey as a parent while I accomplish my goals with my kid. No excuses just hard work. It wasn’t exactly an easy and economical route, but there are workarounds to make motherhood, career and my passion co-exist together. I think, and honestly believe, that it all starts with a conscious effort to make things work.

After only a few years of being a parent, I realised the challenges no matter if you are a first-timer or have years of experience raising kids. There is always something to keep you on your toes. There will always be an incident that will distract you from your goal. But, if you neglect your goals and succumb to the roadblocks, would you be setting yourself as an excellent example to your kid?

portrait of Elle and Kerri at a party

My daughter at two months old. Our first time to drive together to attend a birthday party and she slept half the time. It’s the beginning of our mom-daughter travelling duo career. šŸ˜€

Think about the things you always loved to do

When my daughter was about a few weeks old, I didn’t have much energy to think about passions. My mind was on a clockwork tracking the feeding, pooping and all things baby. And most parents, especially those who chose to stay hands-on, have the same challenges. We are just busy caring for our kids, and that’s okay. I read books every day, watched child development milestone videos and many other things to make sure I am doing the right things. But as soon as things became more comfortable, I started thinking about fun and age-appropriate activities to do with my daughter. That’s when we started doing our DIY themed-photoshoots. I was not exactly good at it, and it took me days to finish a simple outfit for her. Thinking about it now, I am sure my house chores piled up to give time for this little activity. But, was it worth it? Absolutely!

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Little Prince(ss) theme photoshoot when Kerrigan was three months old. 3rd of March ’16

When the first idea didn’t work, try another one

I love our dress up, and photoshoot activities at home but I struggled with creativity with only a few hours of sleep. The first few months after birth also feels lonely for first-time parents because you will have to stay most of the time indoors. So, when we got an invitation to a birthday party, with her physicians greenlight, we attended a party just before she turned two months old. It was our first mom-and-daughter road trip together, the first time I was out to party with her. It just felt empowering not to let the struggles of bringing the entire baby stuff freak you out. It’s liberating to know that you can still do things and more when I became a parent.

Packing for a trip with a baby is actually easy if you plan well. By simply placing the diapers, wet wipes and change clothes on top of your carry-on saves the time and effort.

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. These worries are usual but unnecessary! II 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 wanted for myself. I scheduled short 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 if time permits.

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 start testing what will truly work for you. Most importantly, you just have to believe! I firmly believe that anything is possible with or without a baby in tow. I used to dream about travelling when I didn’t have Kerrigan yet, but it never materialized until after having my daughter in my tummy and in my arms. Office work schedule 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 stop me from doing the things I love. Instead, I took it as my top reason why I should make it work.

It’s liberating to know that you can still do things and more when I became a parent.

As of writing, Kerrigan and I took countless road trips together, took eight flights, one to Cebu and eight international flights and endless grocery and mall time trips together.

Check out our Boracay Travel Tips Series

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