Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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The Social Job Search Revolution

Gone were the days when all you needed was a resume and references to get a job. Nowadays, HR managers, employers, and potential clients are looking into social media to help them find the right candidate.

So, what does this mean for the work-at-home parent? How can you leverage social media to help you find a job or more clients for your business?

First and foremost, you have to have a social media account, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler or LinkedIn. For a lot of employers and clients, having an online presence increases your credibility and, at the very least, confirms your identity.

Secondly, keep your accounts family friendly. Don’t post or share anything you would hesitate sharing with a stranger. Think like a celebrity when you’re online, protect your reputation and enhance it with relevant posts and information.

Lastly, create a online portfolio of what you can do and market yourself. Catch their attention by showing your best work. Encourage your friends, family and acquaintances to spread the word on what you can do. Remember, it’s not bragging if it’s true and if you’re really good, your portfolio would be more than enough to get you the job.

Sinugba Festival: Grilling With The Greats

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My husband and I love grilled food. So when we heard about the Sinugba festival here in Davao and the eat-all-you-can Sinugba buffet on Friday night, we decided to make that our date night.

We knew it was going to be good when we saw some of our favorite grill places there. From Conchings to Riley Simon, to Zabadani, there was something for everyone. We were glad we got there extra early because it gave us a chance to watch them prepare and cook some of our favorite things to eat.

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Me, my sister and I waiting in line for the festival

Getting there early also helped ensure that we got into the buffet early. The organizers told us they expected 800 people but from we saw, there were more than a thousand guests at the festival.

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Barbecue, glorious barbecue!

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Got the barbecue and the beer, now all we need is the beach.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Slowly roasted beef smothered in yogurt and herbs. It smelled so good I wanted to stay in the smoke.

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

Barbecue ribs and isaw prepared to order, both marinated in yogurt, fresh herbs and gata (coconut milk). Yum!

You can’t help but appreciate the skill and the effort these cooks and grillmasters put into each dish. It’s hard to do everything to order, especially at an eat-all-you-can event. You risk the wrath of customers if you don’t deliver the food on time. But I really appreciated that they instead chose to deliver the best product every time.

Aren't these the loveliest little burgers you've ever seen?

Aren’t these the loveliest little burgers you’ve ever seen?

Grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate

Amazing grilled seafood, pork and chicken all in one plate.

There were some complaints because it was a bit crazy and chaotic. The organizers weren’t able to anticipate the number of people participating. But I really can’t complain much. I came for good food and I got it. It was a lovely night, warm and windy. I ate under the stars with my husband and with good friends. I’m so looking forward to doing this again next year.

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Working Without Experience, Yes You Can!

telecommuting

telecommuting (Photo credit: jessamyn)

I’ve met a lot of moms who expressed interest in working from home. Most of those who don’t go through with it have one thing in common. They all believe that they don’t have the experience needed to be able to work at home.

As long as you know how to use a computer, you have experience.

As long as you’ve had a job before, you have experience.

The great thing about working online or having an online, home-based business is you can practically do ANYTHING you want. You can make money on the skills you already have and what you’re passionate about. You can start a business, freelance, or get a job online.

Just to give you an example, let’s say you’re someone with no work experience, you’ve only finished high school,  you know how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, and you know how to use Facebook.

I can already think of several jobs off the top of my head that you can do:

  • Data encoder – There’s a lot of competition for data encoder jobs and the pay isn’t much but it’s something practically anyone can do.
  • Answer surveys/market research – All you need for this is another email account (to avoid spamming your personal email) and a few minutes to fill up a survey and give your opinion.
  • Blogger/writer – If you love to write, why not make a living out of it. It may take a while for you to have regular clients or to set up a blog that earns but it can be very rewarding especially if writing is truly your passion.
  • Online retailer – If you know how make crafts, cook, or you have talents like playing the piano, tutoring, gardening, you can sell you products and services on Facebook, Fiverr, Ebay, Etsy, Pinterest, Multiply, Amazon,sulit.com.ph. etc. I have a cousin who likes to bead everything (not just jewelry, bags and other accessories, she also beads kitchen items) and she gets regular clients and custom orders from that single skills. Once, she created a set of beaded cutlery and she was able to sell that set for 4 times what it was actually worth. I have friend, who is a sculptor, who sells her custom clay jewelry and accessories online and she also markets her art classes there.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless, even if you think that you have no experience. All it takes is a little imagination and a little elbow grease.


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For The Love Of Local Music

My sister and our friends had this pet project of promoting local music. We didn’t have much. It started out as a internet magazine and interviewed a few musicians. We started out having no money, no staff, no support. It was really a labor of love for us that bloomed into this community of music lovers and musicians. We didn’t really expect much but without realizing it, the work that we did gave a small, stagnant industry hope and helped struggling musicians realize that it is possible to reach for the stars.

I was so surprised when my sister reminded me that our magazine, DavaoMusicNation.com is now a year old. I almost can’t believe we made it this far. Considering how Davao Music Nation  started, it’s easy to see why nobody would make it. But we fought back and we thrived because we loved what we were doing and we believed in Filipino talent.

Now, we have partnerships with major music websites, artists, production outfits and regular contributors. We’re still not making any cash from it but we have the respect and support of the local music industry. We achieved what we wanted to do. We put Davao Music on the map and we survived. We did what everyone told us was impossible to do. And the crazy thing about this is we’re still gearing up for more!

 


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When Are You Going To Get A Real Job – How To Deal With Unwanted Advice

Home office

Home office (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the things that always comes up in discussion whenever I’m with my friends who also work online is how a lot of people can’t seem to help themselves and tell us that we should get a “real” job.

It doesn’t matter that I’m earning more now than I did in my old office job. It doesn’t matter that I’m working 40 hours a week. It doesn’t matter that I have a fulfilling career. It doesn’t matter that I also encounter the same kind of work related stress.

What matters is that I don’t work in an office, I don’t have a title that I could put on a calling card, I don’t have a boss that makes my life miserable, and I’m not wearing office clothes and make up. Apparently, as long as I don’t have those things, I’m not “gainfully” employed.

For the most part, the advice comes from people who care. It’s annoying but I’ve learned how to live with it. For the most part, I know that the advice stems mainly from the fact that they’re concerned about me. They want me to have my own money. They want me to help my husband with our finances. They want me to feel fulfilled. And those who care are usually happy with this response:

Thanks you for the advice and I understand that you mean well. I’m really touched that you’re concerned for me and my family. But this is the best set up for me and for my family right now, considering our circumstances. I am happy, I am fulfilled, and I have a stable income. If there’s something better out there  I would gladly take it. But for now, this is a good opportunity for me and I want to take advantage of it.

When I give them that answer, they understand. They know that they’re heard and they know I took their advice seriously. They understand that it’s not something that I can use right now but at least they know we’re both on the same side.

But what if the advice comes from people who don’t matter. Complete strangers. Acquaintances. People who think that their opinions should be set on stone and anyone blessed with their advice should follow them or else you would feel the wrath of God?

I have a ton of delicious comebacks for that =)

When are you going to get a real job…

…when my imaginary boss fires me.

…ssshhh, my imaginary boss can hear you…

…you see this (my house), this is all an illusion. We’re actually in a real office. That office that you’re working in is actually your house and you’re working from home.

…when I stop making real money from my fake job.

…when they start letting me wear pajamas to work.

…when a real job can do all my chores, babysit, and errands for me.

…when they release me from house arrest.

…when I can bring my fridge to work.

…I’m enjoying the real responsibilities of my fake job too much to quit.

…but I can’t leave my imaginary officemates. They depend on me.

…I have a real job. I mentally project myself into an office everyday.

…once I get the controls of the TARDIS right, then I’ll be back in an office in my real job.

…once I’m able to climb out of this black hole I call my home office.

…when I shop for groceries again. I’m going to get a  real job, with real milk, butter, sugar…

…and miss “Walking Dead”? No way…

…once I find a cure for my condition, real-job-itis.

Please let me know if you guys have any funny or witty comeback for this. Would love to hear how you guys responded to this annoying question.


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Isn’t She Lovely?

Got a lovely gift today from A Gracious Life. My first blog award =)

And what I love about this award is it’s the kind of gift that you can give forward. We moms can do everything and we often don’t get a lot of credit for what we do. Motherhood isn’t easy but it has been worthwhile and rewarding. Having a network of moms who I know can understand and empathize what I’m going through has helped make me realize that despite the challenges, motherhood is magical and it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Without further adieu, here are 5 beautiful mommies that I know deserve this award.

Sustainably Single Parenting

The Life After Single

Parenting and Stuff

The Milk Lady

Life As A Mommy

To get your award, all you have to do is:

(1) Click the above image and use it in your acceptance post.

(2) List three things you love about motherhood.

(3) Nominate as many moms as you like and let them know of the award

Why It’s Lovely To Be A Mommy

Baby, you're funny!

Baby, you’re funny!

I love a lot of things about motherhood, but the top 3 would have to be:

  1. My daughter’s antics. Everyday, my daughter does something or says something that makes me laugh. Whether it’s her complaining that her nose isn’t working, loudly declaring that she’s a monkey, or having philosophical discussions with her toy cars, she’s always looking for ways to tickle my funny bone. Everyday is a laugh riot with her and I’ve never been happier.
  2. Grooming my baby. I enjoy grooming my little girl: brushing her hair, cutting her nails, cleaning her ears. She doesn’t have a vain bone and she doesn’t like it when I comb her hair. I know she’s only letting me groom her because she loves me and she’s Mama’s girl.
  3. Playing with my girl. It’s like life gave me a chance to relive my childhood through my daughter. Playing with her relaxes me, makes me feel young, and makes me believe that anything is possible.

 


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Bringing up Baby While Working

Imagine my baby sleeping like that on my lap while I'm working on my laptop. That was my work at home life 2 years ago.

Imagine my baby sleeping like that on my lap while I’m working on my laptop. That was my work at home life 2 years ago.

It feels like yesterday when my daughter was still a baby and she used to sleep on my lap as I worked in front of the computer.

Those were the good old days.

Any sleep deprived mom would tell you that a sleeping baby is the best present you can give to any mom. And as difficult as it was to balance a baby on my lap while trying to  write three 500 word articles on car insurance, I still went for it and persevered. To this day my daughter still likes to sleep on my lap and she can be lulled to sleep my sound of me typing away on a keyboard.

Working with a new baby was tough. Even though I had pockets of time that allowed me to have a part-time writing job, it was hard because we didn’t have any help. My husband helped out a lot with the chores but most of the child-rearing was still my responsibility.

Another thing that always kept me on my toes is my baby’s ever changing schedule. It’s not that she didn’t have a regular routine. It’s just that her routine  changed as she continued to grow. I had to adjust when her nap times became shorter. I had to adjust when she started learning how to sit up, crawl, call for attention, walk, etc.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. You’ll need that village, especially if you’re a working mom. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do it on your own. It is possible because I’ve done it and I know a lot of moms who have done and are doing the same thing. All I’m saying is that working with a baby isn’t going to be easy. You have to be healthy and in the right frame of mind. You have to be strict in keeping routines but be flexible enough to adapt to changes. You have to learn how to ask for help, be open to accepting any help available, and let other people contribute to parenting.

As difficult as it was, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Working from home, even  with the baby gave me a lot of flexibility and control over my schedule. I was able to give my child as much time and attention as she needed. I never had to worry about separation anxiety, feedings, and her schedule because I’m always there making sure that she’s getting everything she needs.

So to anyone who wants to start working from home immediately after having the baby, my best advice would be to make sure you have a supportive spouse/partner/family behind you. Support from people who understand is what will help you get started and keep on going day after day.