A Slowdown 2016 And My Important Takeaways

No one really knows how a year would turn out for him unless he’s Nostradamus or Master Hanz Cua right?  Let’s take me for example.  Even ...

No one really knows how a year would turn out for him unless he’s Nostradamus or Master Hanz Cua right?  Let’s take me for example.  Even if I masterfully planned at the start of the year, some major circumstances happened along the way which blew me surprisingly.  These occurrences resulted to my slowdown 2016 which affected my career and blog life but benefited my roles as a wife and a mother.

I thought I got it going right coming from a blast in 2015, a great year for me - marriage proposal, bought a brand new car, big contracted endorsements, beautiful rustic wedding, and getting pregnant to my third.  But nah!  2016 was the opposite of the previous year.  It slowed me down.  But it's still worth remembering because it's the year our dear Damien was born.
Let me say that the results were both good and bad.   My 2016 started with a reorganization in the company.  I felt insecure with my job because I was moved to another group.  You know the feeling of not knowing where to go or what to do next or if you still have a job after a few weeks or months?  That exact feeling.  Resignation was not an option for the four months preggy me.  But my work life had to go on.  Fortunately, I was still working on a project which I gladly launched before a major pregnancy risk dawned on me.   

Come March, during a regular check-up, my OB-Gyn told me I need to take a bed rest or else risk the chance of having a pre-mature labor or childbirth due to open cervix.  That scared me and my husband and I had no choice but to follow her orders.  I was lucky to have understanding boss who allowed me to just work from home so I wouldn’t have to use up my vacation leaves or sick leaves.  In the middle of my bed-resting days, two more office movements occurred and I’m blessed to be placed in a group with lady bosses who were considerate and understanding of my situation.  I returned their kindness by successfully launching projects.  The latter movement was self-initiated. I applied for an opening and got the post even when I’m on bed rest and about to take my supposed 60-day maternity leave. 

I thought I was giving birth through NSD, but another twist surprised me and my husband.  My cervix was dilated by 10 cm for almost two hours to help baby get out, but he was facing up so my OB-Gyn performed an emergency CS.  It was a first for me.  Both Dandre and Wes were delivered through NSD (9.2 and 7.8 lbs respectively).  But Damien, at 8.4lbs, came out to this world with a BANG!  We weren’t financially prepared for this, so we used our family emergency fund.

Giving birth to Damien was last year’s beautiful highlight.  I’ll forever be thankful to God for giving me such a wonderful gift!  But guess what, I wasn’t able to bring him home right away, he stayed in the hospital for another day and that’s a sad news.  He had jitters which were signs of health abnormality.  He was released after his lab test results were cleared. 

I breastfed my baby exclusively forthe very first time and my milk was abundant.  I fed him anytime and anywhere and I was rocking it!  But when he turned two months, he was unfortunately given a bad batch of milk.  I took full responsibility of that because I didn’t throw it away nor gave instructions to the caretaker.  So baby was confined and had his first experience of IV at a very tender age.  We had no choice because he was clearly dehydrated.  We went home immediately after series of tests cleared him of further bacterial stomach infections.  It taught me a lot about proper storage of breast milk and a lot of other moms who read my blog post about it also learned from my experience.

Now going back to work as an exclusive breastfeeding mom was challenging and heartbreaking.  But towards the end of the year, what luck I had, we had to fire our yaya of almost three years immediately.  I had been yayaless for a month.  I had to take a few leaves and also worked from home.  I did mommy and household errands gleefully.  I was tired but happy and fulfilled that it came to a point when I contemplated and was 75% decided on quitting my job and look for a home-based job.  I got my husband's full support already and I was sending out my applications too.  Until I found a new yaya (which I should be happy about but felt sad that I won't be staying at home that much anymore).  I went back to my regular routine (which didn't appeal to me anymore at that time because of the adjustments I had to make here and there) and talked to my lady boss who gave me words of wisdom.  Oh!  And by the way, sometime November, my husband and I had a major fight which really took a toll on me.  But I chose to process it, work it out and be happy.  We were okay after a month.  Forgiveness on both ends was the key.  And lots of prayers too of course.

The series of misfortunes in my life subsided in December (thank heavens!)  In fact, it started to pick up a bit.  I welcomed new friends in my life, bonuses came, blog earnings also poured, gifts from brands and PRs also made me feel it was indeed start of the happy holidays.  The year may not had ended with a bang for me, but it ended quietly, peacefully, and lovingly in the presence of only those dear to me.

Here are my 2016 takeaways:

On Career/Blog
  • Family and Health Still Comes First. However high your targets, your goals and your KRAs are, if your family and heath situation calls for a rest from your work, you really have to stop and priority
  • Think of the pros and cons in every career decisions.
  • Work At Home Moms rock!  I was able to experience it only a month (and believe me I enjoyed playing that temporary role a lot!)  but I know how hard it is to manage the household, care for the kids and devote time to work.  It's a struggle to juggle.
  • Stay focused.  Just keep your project goals in tact and deliver your best.
  • Motivation comes from within.  Most of the time when there are circumstances that are quite depressing, in my case the company reorganization, it's easy to be vulnerable and feel demotivated.  I learned that it's always mind over matter.  Don't reply your motivation from others.
On Health and Pregnancy
  • Extra care should be given when you're pregnant and when you're above 35.  You may think you're physically as strong as when you had your last child.  Every pregnancy is unique. In this area, sometimes mind over matter do not work.  It's your reproductive system over mind and over matter.
  • Trust your doctor and orders should be followed!
  • Always have an emergency fund, you'll never know when to use it.  In my case, we used it during my emergency CS.
On Breastfeeding

  • Every mom could breastfeed, if you really want to.  Breastfeeding is a choice.
  • Milk output is different in every breasts.
  • Support from the husband, family and friends is important to make the breastfeeding journey successful.
  • Breastfeeding is a serious commitment.  
  • Working moms could exclusively breastfeed.
  • A breastfeeding mom could have her hair treated, could eat anything and drink anything (yes even beer!)
  • The more baby latches or the more mommy pumps, the more milk her brain tells her breasts to produce.
  • Mommies should strictly follow proper storage for breast milk.  You don't want your baby to experience what my baby did.  
  • Read, join support groups, attend workshops, and seek advice from experts to empower you as a breastfeeding mom.
  • Breast milk is really the BEST FOR BABIES.

On Marriage
  • Constant prayer for your husband is a must.  Even if you think you're the one who's in a delicate situation and needs caring for, so does your husband.  He needs prayers for him to be able to perform well at work so he may provide for the family.  Pray that he's safe from harm and that he'll be always in his optimal health condition.
  • Learn to listen.
  • Know when to talk and when to be just silent.
  • Make time for date nights.
  • Learn how to always forgive.
  • It's better to lose your pride than to lose the one you love.
On Parenting
  • You can never have enough love for any of your children because honestly it's ALWAYS overflowing.
  • Teenagers need space and privacy, respect them.
  • Develop and open communication with your children as early as they can already carry a conversation.
  • Learn your children's language, interests, and what's in so you could relate to them more.
  • Be an intentional parent and teach by example.
  • There's no greater gift to your children than to let them know and love God.
I could actually go on and on but we all know that life is a continuous learning process.  My 2016 may not be one of the best years of my life (but I'm glad our family had DAMIEN because he's the BEST that happened to us this year!) but I'm glad that I was able to spend more than half of the year at home with my children, ang sarap ng feeling!

Now, the first week of 2017 has been good so far.  Before going back to work, my husband and I did some financial and family planning exercise and it's the first time we did it together!  I highly recommend couples to do goal setting and planing at the start of the year.

There goes my honest-to-goodness year in review.  How about you?  Care to share about the year that was?  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! 

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2 comments

  1. It's always a learning process noh? Me I thought I know everything na when I have a new baby on the way. But I still need to learn a lot pa and true to that every pregnancy is unique and different. I do hope by the time na I give birth to my baby girl, we will not spend a lot of time and money sa hospital hindi katulad ng twins ko na namulubi talaga kame hehehe. Ako din ilang beses ng nagcontemplate maghomebase but having a growing family, it seems like its not a nice idea lalo na at dumadame ang mga expenses. Sobrang nagcacatch up na lang talaga kapag weekends. I will never know how to raise a teenager and I have 2 boys na toddlers pa lang and super hirap ng imanage at itrain ang ugali lalo na kapag hindi ikaw ang kasama nila madalas. Ang hirap noh? huhuhu Pero ang pagiging mom pa rin ang pinakagusto kong nangyari sa buhay ko. :)

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  2. Yes, super learning process! Everything in life actually is. :) But it's a great journey to be a mom, a new mom to every child you bring to this world, to learn with them, to raise them, and of course at the same time nourish the relationship you have with your partner, your husband. It's important not to neglect the husband for time will come the children will all grow up, leave the house and it's just you and your husband again. Ang sarap na mahirap ang buhay! :)

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
inspirational and helpful sharing of life experiences of a working mom 
with topics on motherhood, relationships, events, food, travel, shopping, and finances. 
It hopes to influence moms and women to realize 
that it's possible to live a quality life while choosing a practical lifestyle.



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