Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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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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Mystery Shopper – March 5, 2013

Shopper

Shopper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you love to shop, shop, shop? If only there was a way you could shop for a living and still take care of the kids…

Yes, there is =)

A Singapore-based company is looking for part-time Mystery Shoppers to check the prices of grocery items and upload the list of products and prices to an online database.

Payment will be based on the number of products/prices that will be collected.

Click here for more details about the position and how to apply.


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Missing Nanny 3: Children and Chores

Teaching your child how to do chores not only gives them a sense of responsibility. It also lays the groundwork for good habits and it makes them feel like their contributing something important to the family.

Since I’ll be spending more time with my daughter and I won’t be able to get a lot of work done on the afternoons, I figured this would be a good time to put her in the habit of doing chores.

The way I see, getting her in the habit of doing chores is a long term investment for me. I figured the more things she can do for herself, the fewer chores I have to do. And maybe this would keep my daughter busy enough and give me time to work.

My dishwasher in training. Next I'll have her do the laundry.

My dishwasher in training. Next I’ll have her do the laundry.

I’ve been trying to teach my daughter how to do simple household chores since she turned 2.  I know it’s possible to teach toddlers how to do chores, as seen in his video here. It’s not easy and it’s not something that they can do consistently. Chores, for a toddler, is still part of play and once that game starts to get boring, they’ll leave that and want to try something else.

Now that my daughter is 3 years old, I really want to get her into the habit of doing chores. In order to do that, I had talked with my husband and my nanny to develop a plan that we all can agree to and implement.

First, we agreed the best way to do this was to give her easy, age-appropriate chores. We all agreed that she has to get into the habit of doing these chores before we can teach her new ones. The chores we selected were

  • putting away her toys and books after use
  • putting her shoes and slippers back on the shoe rack after use
  • putting her dirty clothes in the hamper after bathing or after changing her clothes

To make sure she does these chores, we all agreed not to do any of these chores for her. We also agreed not to allow her to do anything (like have a snack or play) until she finishes her chores.

I, on the other hand, had to promise not to nitpick and clean up after her. What’s more important is that she gets it done, not how she gets it done.

It’s been 4 days now since we started implementing this and I can say the results are promising. I still need to remind her to do her chores but at least she does it right away and without complaint.

My intentions are good and my plan is solid. The only thing I can do now is wait a few more months and see if these lessons would stick. I will update you guys to let you know if this works. Wish us luck!


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4 Things Every Family Restaurant Should Have

Just because the place has a kiddie meal with a toy doesn’t mean they’re a family restaurant.

Families love family restaurants because it’s a place where they can celebrate and have a break from home cooking. As a working parent, I truly appreciate family restaurants especially when on days when I’m simply too tired or too lazy to cook (or too tired and lazy to do the dishes).

But I find it so frustrating that some “family restaurants” have no idea what amenities families need when dining out. Children are not miniature adults. You need to make a few concessions to make them more comfortable. And when the kids are comfortable, the adults are comfortable. And when everybody’s comfortable, everybody will want to go back to your restaurant.

Families don’t need much. As a parent, I only look for 4 things in a restaurant. The first 2 are essential, the second 2 are optional.

1. High chair. It infuriates me when restaurants promote themselves asEnglish: Baby in antique wooden high chair

family friendly and yet they don’t have any high chairs. It’s like they have this idea that families with infants and toddlers don’t eat out.

It’s also annoying that some restaurants that claim to cater to children and toddlers only have one high chair. Seriously? One high chair? You want to fill your restaurant with children but you only have one high chair?

I do appreciate the effort that some restaurants go through to provide several high chairs for their guests. They even go through the trouble of having these chairs custom-made to fit their decor. But when I tested out their high chairs I get the impression that chair was made by someone who doesn’t know how rambunctious kids can be. For the most part, they look like glorified bar stools.

Restaurant owners, please, have more than 1 high chair per restaurant and make safety a priority for your high chairs. We don’t care how pretty or ugly it looks, as long as it can strap them in and keep them there for the rest of the meal.

2. Restrooms. Children, especially toddlers in potty training, can’t hold it in for as long as most adults. And parents need a private place to change and dispose of diapers. Some restaurants, especially mall restaurants, don’t have their own restrooms. You often have to go to the common restroom, which for some reason is always really far from the restaurant.

Restaurants owners, please provide a restroom. I assure you that even a teeny, tiny one within the premises would be much appreciated. We would much rather go back to restaurant that has its own clean restroom so we can have a bit of privacy than one that’s located a block away from a large common restroom.

3. Smaller utensils. I admit, watching a toddler try to eat her food using a tablespoon is funny. But I also know how uncomfortable it is for my daughter to do so. It’s a good thing most restaurants do have teaspoons (or coffee spoons, dessert spoons, or plastic spoons for take out, which are smaller) to make eating more comfortable for toddlers and small children.

4. Distraction items. Things to help keep our kids occupied while waiting for the  meal isn’t necessary but very much appreciated. Kids hate waiting and they can get restless when they know they have to wait for their meal. As parents, we usually pack stuff like this (crayons, toys, books) but we do sometimes forget. A restaurant that has these items available will earn our never-ending gratitude and patronage for helping us keep our kids on order.

Best Family Restaurant Ever!

My daughter 2 years ago in one of the best family restaurants we encountered

What motivated me to write about I know how hard it is to eat out with a baby or toddler in tow. I also know how hard it is to find a restaurant that can make  eating out a fun experience of everyone.

I do know for a fact that there are some restaurants out there that do make an effort to do this. Most franchise restaurants and fast food places have this down pat. Yeah, these places can be boring in the long run but families go back to them because they make dining with children easier. Although, there are some restaurants that have surprised me over the years for being unexpectedly child friendly. I want to share one of those places with you.

When my husband and I were still dating, we liked going to Muang Thai in Quezon City. It had the right ambiance for romance and great Thai food. Eight months after I gave birth, we went back to Muang Thai with my in-laws to celebrate my daughter’s 8th month birthday.

I was surprised to find that they had custom-made and sturdy high chairs that fit their decor (we did reinforce it a bit though because it didn’t fit my daughter’s frame). And to keep my baby occupied, they lent us a wooden toy frog  that she can play with. They didn’t have a kiddie meal and my daughter was still on semi-solids so she couldn’t eat anything that was on the menu. But the staff did give  recommendations on what Thai foods didn’t have too much spice in them that children may like. Their restroom didn’t have a diaper changing table but the restroom sink had counter tops wide enough so I could easily change my daughter’s diaper by myself. They even offered to let me use their plate and teaspoon to feed my daughter so she could feel like she’s part of the family meal.

It’s usually a date place but the restaurant and its staff really went out of their way to make eating out with my child a fun experience. That is the mark of a true family restaurant. Great food, great service and a wonderful dining experience for families.


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Missing Nanny 2: The Return of The Alarm Clock

Image courtesy of Keattikorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Keattikorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

One of the things I absolutely love about being a home worker is that I’m no longer a slave to the alarm clock. Like an unrelenting drill sergeant, my alarm clock would scream and nag  at 5 a.m. everyday to make sure I leave the house by 6 to avoid traffic. My alarm clock would be at it again at quarter to 4 in the afternoon, yelling at me to hurry up and finish my tasks so I can make it to the train before rush hour.

Now, I’m a slave to my daughter’s schedule. Still a slave, yes, but my daughter is a kinder taskmaster. She lets me sleep a little longer in the mornings when I tell her I need a bit more sleep because Mommy had to work til late last night. And she sometimes lets me work a little longer as long as we share the same table while she “works” on her toy laptop.

All this is going to change the next 6 weeks as I reunite with my old friend, the alarm clock.

To get some work done, my nanny and I worked on a new schedule. She would take care of my daughter in the mornings so I can work. After lunch, she leaves for her internship and I take over. Then after my daughter sleeps, I sneak in a few more hours of work.

I usually wake up around the same time as my daughter does. If I keep this schedule, I’ll only be able to for 3 to 4 hours tops. So to make the most of the time that her nanny is with her in the mornings, I’ll have to wake up at least 2 hours earlier.

My alarm clock maybe brash and loud but it turns out the alarm clock maybe the kinder taskmaster after all.

It all started when my daughter woke up to find me already working (and hiding) in my room. She didn’t like that I wasn’t there to wake her up with sunshine and kisses. She didn’t like it at all.

And because she woke up at the wrong side of the bed, she didn’t want her nanny to feed her, bathe her, clothe her, and feed her; even though these are things they normally do in the afternoon. My daughter sensed the change and she didn’t like it all.

Good thing my nanny was pretty competent and we were able to get through the morning. I got to work for a couple of hours before she woke up and a little under 2 hours that morning. And now here I am, late at night, really sleepy and still working.

She doesn’t like this arrangement at all.

I know the  episode this morning is probably due to the fact that the change was so sudden. I should have prepared my daughter a little better, maybe had a dry run with this new routine. But I became complacent because I figured it wasn’t much of a change. It’s still me and her nanny, we  just exchanged schedules. I forgot that children like routine and when you change that routine without warning,it can be disorienting to say the least.

I expect a few more morning like this in the days to come. Thank God for alarm clocks.

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Why Are Tech Events Unfriendly To Women?

When you hear the words “cyber expo” or “tech fair”, the first three things usually come to most people’s minds are:

  1. There’ll be plenty of high-tech gadgets at that event
  2. There’ll be plenty of men/boys in that event
  3. There’ll be plenty of promo girls in skimpy clothing in that event.

I love tech fairs and cyber expos because I love my tech. I may not be able to afford the latest laptop, phone or any other gadget out there but I like to window shop. I like knowing about the latest trends and these events can be very educational if you ask the right questions.

It kind of bothers me that most of the people who attend events like these are men or boys but I’ve come to accept it. We Filipinos live in a patriarchal, macho culture where men are expected to be better in math, logic, and computers. I don’t mind it that much anymore because I know the tide is changing with more and more women and girls showing off their tech chops.

What bothers me about these events are the promo girls. Why get promo girls who know nothing about the product? And worse, why get promo girls who do nothing but stand there, barely clothed, to be ogled, objectified, and harassed by men? What does that say about our Filipino tech culture?

Promo girl in a tech fair

For me, it says a lot of things. As a woman, I’m insulted. This is a community where I expect to find the most intelligent and most enlightened men in my generation. Why do they treat women this way in these events? Does this mean that subconsciously, they don’t see us as equals? Do they still see women as objects, decorative items to display? That we’re only good enough to be seen and not heard? And we’re only worth seeing if we’re hot?

As a mother, I’m disturbed. I know these promo girls are probably talented and intelligent in their own right. Why do they allow themselves to be treated that way? And why to these “boys” treat these women that way? Don’t they have mothers? Didn’t their mothers teach them that women should be treated with respect? Don’t these men realize that these women are also daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers? I wouldn’t want any family member to be treated like a stupid, sex object. If the people in these events are smart, why do they treat women like they’re stupid?

Lastly, as a professional, I’m outraged. I hate it when a computer technician talks down on me like I’m an idiot because simply because I’m a woman.

“Ma’am do you know what a processor is?”

You want us to buy your tech, give us intelligent promo people who know their product.

“Yes, I know what a processor is. In fact, I can install it myself. I was going to buy your best and most expensive processor but if you think I’m too dumb to use it then I’d rather not buy from you.”

“Ma’am, are you sure you want to play this online game? Girls find it really hard to play.”

“I’m not a girl, I’m a woman. I have two hands and a working brain. If you find that hard to understand then I think you’ll find that game hard to play too.”

“Ma’am, that camera is better because it’s more expensive.”

“No, that camera is better because it has better specs and it’s cheaper. If you think that other one is better because it’s more expensive, then you have no idea what you’re selling and you don’t know how to do your job.”

Women make up half of the world’s population. Throughout history, we’ve proven time and time again that we can rise to the challenge. In this day and age, I expect our brightest men to honor and value our worth. Haven’t we been partners in helping build the tech and IT communities all over the world? If they really see us as partners, why are women being treated this way in tech events?

If this community really cared for women and wanted to increase and diversify the ranks, they should start getting rid of these promo girls and start treating the women that come to these events as mental equals. We came to these events for the tech, not because we were forced by our husbands/boyfriends/partners. If we wanted to window shop for shoes, we wouldn’t be there.

Or if you can’t get rid of the promo girls, get us promo girls who know their tech PLUS cute promo boys as well. Give us our eye candy too! We want promo boys with abs, guns, and a dazzling smile that can make us swoon. We want pretty boys to hover over us while we play the latest MMO. We want cute men to flatter us into buying the latest heat sink. But most importantly, we want devastatingly handsome men wax poetic about the differences between solid state hard drive and hard disk hard drive laptops. Yes, we want our men smart and pretty. We have higher standards.