I remember, as an editor of a magazine for working moms, our team would keep in touch with a subject who’d most likely say, “I’m okay for the interview and photo shoot after lunch.”
Most likely, the accomplished working mother we’d be featuring woke up early to prepare her kids for school, dropped them off, worked out at the gym or started her computer time to work or visit the site of her business, picked up her kids at school, brought them home — and showed up at the photo studio where we agreed to meet up for her close-up.
Mothers’ brains are just wired differently and geared for multi-tasking. Even when this pandemic forced people to stay at home to work and to stay safe from the virus. Most women continued their office work while keeping the home together, supervising their kids’ online classes and preparing the family meal.
Once, I was in a Zoom meeting with a mompreneur when she suddenly excused herself and talked to someone in the background, “I heard that!”
Then the voice of a young boy mumbled, airing his complaint.
“Sorry, got distracted by my eight-year-old’s swear word (he said ‘sh*t’), discipline moment,” she let out a laugh that’s both apologetic and tender.
My own work-from-home experience has its own moments when I edit and write the whole afternoon. The golden-hour question arises from the house members: “Anong dinner?” (“What’s for dinner?”) I just wing it by ordering online some healthy family meal and have it delivered before 7 p.m.
In a world where moms realize that their brain has mutated with more cells for multitasking roles and that their hearts have grown way bigger to spread the most love they can give to their family, it’s also their dream that their pockets grow equally bigger to provide the good life and secure a good future for their children.
Traditionally, the sari-sari store is a good example of how Filipino mothers get by while staying at home to raise their children.
Many entrepreneurship stories about moms have sprouted in the midst of the pandemic. Moms who lost jobs and put their cooking skills as a venture to help pay for the bills, moms who left their jobs to spend more time with their kids while they pursue their true passion such as making handcrafted soaps and natural skincare products.
Eva Reder of entrepreneur.com said that moms, though multi-taskers, need to learn how to delegate work if they are to be their own company’s boss. Perhaps rather design the brand logo themselves, turn to their talented kids or a freelance designer to do the job.
She also pointed out why mothers are natural entrepreneurs:
Having a family forces you to think practically and prioritize the right things.
They know how to get a lot done in little time. Just scroll up and read my mompreneur anecdotes.
They have a stronger sense of vision and know when it’s time to pivot.
“Having kids sets completely new priorities in your life. Your ‘why’ suddenly becomes clear and strong: You want to create the best life possible for your family. Building a company on the side is extremely hard. You need to constantly justify the huge time and effort in front of yourself and your family.”
“‘Do I really believe in my business that much, that I’d rather spend time in the office than with my family?’ The moment this question can’t be answered with ‘yes’ anymore, mom founders are ready to pivot instead of dragging this decision out due to pride or lack of direction. This makes mom founders faster in recognizing when it’s time to pivot,” Reder said.
They know how to inspire and motivate a team. Reder added: “Mothers and CEOs have another trait in common: They are always in sales mode. Both are under constant pressure to inspire, motivate and entertain their team, investors and clients. Mothers are true masters of negotiation and sales. Which is harder: Selling a rebellious kid on the fact that cleaning up his room is actually a fun game, or selling a big enterprise client on signing a contract with your company?”
Tough times like the challenges this pandemic continues to bring make mothers tougher. We have to, for the sake of our family’s survival. But there’s also that maternal, kind side where mothers have also become the frontliners in their communities. Mothers supporting mothers by organizing community pantries, feeding programs, launching livelihood projects, and so much more.
“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness,” said actor Jessica Lange. And as we’ve been seeing everywhere, it takes communities of mothers supporting mothers to uplift a country in pandemic shock and in a state of healing.
Happy Mother’s Day!