It’s March 15, which means we have been living in quarantine for a full year!
Funny because this “memory” popped up on my Facebook last week. Just a few days before the lockdown was announced last year, I took Yuri to Gibi because he needed new school shoes. Until now, his shoes are still brand new in condition! I need to give them away because they don’t fit anymore 😅
I’m praying things would be back to normal very soon. I haven’t left the house except for grocery trips and medical appointments since the pandemic began, and I must admit I’m already feeling the Covid-19 fatigue.
But I am still optimistic. With the arrival of the vaccines, I think things are looking up. I hope so! And because it’s been a year since this life-changing event happened, I just wanted to make a post to remember what I did during the pandemic year.
(Yuri also did a pandemic year time capsule last year. We got the free printable here. I think it’s a great exercise to help us process our thoughts and emotions.)
9 Things That Defined My Quarantine Year
1. Homemade bread: I have been already been baking way before Covid-19 happened, but when the lockdown began, I started learning how to bake bread. It was fun, and the kitchen always smelled lovely, but it was so time-consuming and I didn’t really get to save money haha.
2. Underemployment: Remote or online work is nothing new to me since I’ve worked from home for more than 10 years now. But my client last year was affected by the pandemic and had to cut my already part-time hours into half. For months, I was only working 2 hours/day (which did give me a lot of time to bake LOL).
But God is good, and I have since gotten another part-time client. I ultimately resigned from my first work just this month.
3. Homeschool: Homeschoolingis the biggest change we went through last year. Not to undermine the dire effects of the pandemic, but homeschooling was (is) the one good thing that happened to us because of it. It was a leap of faith, but we love it so much that we decided to continue homeschooling next school year!
Actually, I had to look that up because I’m confused whether the community quarantine was initially declared on March 15 or March 16. So I had to check to the Executive Order, which was dated March 15 nga. Case closed.
Wow, I have time to check executive orders now. Yep, welcome to the new normal.
Am I still updating my planner? Yes. Do I follow it? Not so much.
Well, honestly, not much has changed for me, at least in general. I work from home, so my daily schedule is more or less the same. The differenceis that I no longer go outside the house to do on-site real estate work. My day is pretty much work, chores, Netflix, news updates, books, prayer time, chatting, and calls lumped together with no clear structure.
Oh, and I don’t have to check the time now because I don’t have to take my child to and from school.
1. Speaking of school
Yuri’s school had to abruptly end the school year when classes were suspended on a national level last March 12. They were scheduled pa to have their final exams the following week, kaya lang everything was already cancelled then.
Déjà vu! We had almost the exact same experience last December at school, when the region experienced strong earthquakes. The city had to cancel all classes right in the middle of the 3rd quarter exams and napaaga ang aming Christmas vacation. This time, summer vacation naman ang napaaga.
Segue: Another thing that I find funny (in an ironic way) is that during both times, Yuri had a fever right around the cancellation of classes, and in both times, I worried whether Yuri was healthy enough to take the exams or not.
Anyway, Yuri said it was fine that school ended earlier than expected (syempre, no more exams!), but he felt sad that he didn’t get goodbye to his friends and classmates. They will be in 3rd grade na the next time they see each other, and possibly in different classrooms.
And by the looks of things now, we can’t be sure when the next school year is going to begin…
I have entertained the idea of homeschooling Yuri just in case it comes to a point that the school will require it. Seeing as we have had some experience in homeschooling during his preschool year, I don’t think we’ll have a hard time (if ever). I do think it will be a challenge to families with both parents working, so it’s entirely possible that it will not happen naman. Wala lang, I just like being prepared.
It’s been seven years since I started working from home, but there’s one thing I’m still mastering: the art of work-life balance.
It sounds like a no-brainer. I’m working and at the same time, I’m at home, so work-life balance must come naturally, right? How I wish it was that easy! When you’re a WAHM, the divide between work and, well, life easily gets blurred. There are times when I can’t stop working even when it’s already beyond working hours. And then there are also days when I barely pay attention to my child because I’m chasing the deadline.
I usually work from our home office (you know, with an actual desk), but it gets too cold there nowadays so I elect to work in the living room instead!
The guilt is double on my part because Yuri’s dad works abroad — time zone difference between Philippines and KSA is 5 hours so by the time Job gets off work, Yuri is already fast asleep. Because Job can’t spend time with Yuri as often as he wants to, I need to be Yuri’s mum and dad at the same time.
This year, I resolve to put my family first. It’s not going to change overnight, but it’s going to have to start from somewhere. I chose to start by doing one simple thing: stopping work to have kulitan breaks with Yuri every now and then. I started doing it last month and I’ve never felt better!
There are no rules. Kulitan break simply means lambingan, landian, harutan! We don’t have to do anything. We can eat if we want to, or cuddle if we want to, or take a short walk if we want to. If you’re a WAHM, here are 5 reasons why you must take kulitan breaks, too.
1. It improves productivity.
Confession time! I’m a Type A personality, and I feel like I have to do everything on time and perfectly. I felt like doing constant breaks doing nothing (at least, that’s what I used to think) ruins my schedule, which is oftentimes rigidly organised. Until I started doing kulitan breaks. Each time I go back to work after even just cuddling with my child, my mind feels a hundred times more refreshed! Because my mind is refreshed and my body is relaxed, I am able to focus on the tasks at hand at be more productive.
And I have time for my hobbies now, too!
2. It is a good stress-reliever.
Work is sometimes stressful. As I get older, stress begins to take a toll on my body. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I had vertigo for the first time in my life — and that’s not including the IBS, allergies, and lactose intolerance. Gasp! But with a constant kulitan break with my 4-year old, I find it easier to forget about the stressful stuff. Going back to number one, instead of being stressed, my productivity level gets a boost so I don’t have to worry about stuff!
With a face like this greeting me every day, what’s there to stress about?
3. It’s a good excuse to get out of the house!
I love rainy days just as much as the next girl, but it keeps us from doing outdoor activities. During the summer time, Yuri and I enjoy taking walks around our quiet village, but we haven’t been able to do that for some time now because it rains every day. But WAHMs, you need to get out of the house and get some fresh air in your system! I myself feel trapped when I’m inside the house for too long. Since it’s always raining, we simply have my older brother drive us around or take us to the nearest drive-through for some comfort food fix!
(My brother is Yuri’s driver of choice instead of me because he wants me to be seated at the back with him #demoted)
4. It helps us know our kids better.
My son loves to laugh. He’s sensitive but he rarely gets angry. He’s also talkative and oozing with confidence! But he’s really shy around new people, so I think he might be an ambivert? Now that my four-year old (almost 5-year old!) is showing his personality, I am enjoying the reveal. I relish the facets of his personality that I discover every day, and the things I discover during kulitan breaks are invaluable.
5. It helps us grow as parents.
It feels good — and it makes your kids feel good. It sounds great, but it’s actually challenging because, let’s be honest, our kids are not immaculate angels all the time. Kulitan breaks sound wonderful, but there are days when kulitan and lambingan take more effort than usual.
No makeup, no problem. Messy hair don’t care!
But a WAHM must resolve to spend time with her child even on days when she doesn’t have the time or energy or the motivation to do it! Even on days when you don’t feel like doing so, even on days when you think you simply do not have time to get away from the keyboard.
Yes, even on days when your child seems naughtier than nice! Even on frustrating days when they seem to be not listening or following. Even on days when their curiosity gets the better of them. Remember that whether they finish first, last, or not at all, for us parents, ourkids are the best. Whether they sit down nicely to do art or run like a tornado and leave a devastation behind, our kids are learning.
(This reminds me of McDo’s latest commercial that actually brought tears to my eyes. Mahal pa rin ni nanay at tatay indeed!)
And neither their child-like behaviour nor their performance must dictate how we show them our love. Our kids are being just that, kids! So let’s allow them to have fun, explore things, make mistakes, make a mess! Let’s show them that time spent with them is much more precious than time spent on doing work.
You never know how much a 10-minute kulitan break with his mum (and dad!) means to a child.
Blogger disclosure: This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.
A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on
When I first took the leap to become a full-time WAHM in 2012, I thought it was the most ideal setup a mother could have. I see my son, who was then an infant, every minute of every day and even though we had a yaya, I was still hands-on when it came to him.
But working from home is not exactly flowers and rainbows.
For example, just the other day, it wasn’t even 8 am and I was already deadbeat. Piles of dishes that needed to be washed greeted me when I took a break to eat breakfast. The house was messy all throughout and the floors badly needed sweeping. My dad, who undergo regular dialysis, needs to be assisted when taking his meds. Yuri is a lot more independent now but of course he still needs my regular assistance and guidance.
I love how time flies so fast when it’s Monday and then all of a sudden, it’s already Friday.
I hate how time flies so fast when it’s Friday night and then, you look away for a second, and it’s already Sunday night. Like right now.
But I don’t lament Mondays for being Mondays. I should be thankful I have a job to look forward to. It’s just the waking-up-early-to-get-to-work-immediately that I’m not very enthusiastic about. For those who don’t know, my work days begin in bed before 6 am.
So let’s just talk about the weekend before it officially ends.
This has been a hectic week at work as we are looking for 2 more additions to our (awesome) Philippine team. We actually hired someone earlier this week, but to make the long story short, her first day of work was also her last day. So I’m back to zero!
I’ve been going through profiles and profiles of fellow writers and virtual assistants, and when I posted an ad this morning (check it out here), even more profiles are added to my mental list of follow-ups. Hence, this is why my email is overflowing!
It’s currently a very stormy night here in Davao with a power interruption to boot, so let’s talk about applying for online jobs and how to get noticed by employers in OnlineJobs.ph. This has been my main “source” of job opps, and this is where I have gotten my job now. This is perfect for virtual workers who are looking for permanent full-time positions instead of projects. There are sooo many profiles in the website, and those looking for workers will not go through each one (because who has time to do that?). I’ve hunted for candidates several times, so let me share with you the factors that make some profiles stand out.