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A New Name

I woke up this morning, and in my extremely groggy state, one thought entered my mind, but it was so piercingly clear that I acted on it immediately—I needed to change my blog’s name.

I stopped posting for almost a year, mostly because I got very busy. But when I woke up this morning, I had a lightbulb moment, wherein I realized that I had come to resent my blog name. The name “peso savvy mommy” to me felt so alien, so foreign, so not me. Although the phrase described me, it was just a role of mine, one of the hats I wear. It felt limiting on most days. On bad days, it felt suffocating.

I’ve written before about how being a parent is so life-changing. You can really lose yourself. It’s always been in my character to dedicate myself to my work, but when that work is another human being, it’s hard to draw the line between your child’s progress and your own personal progress. If the former is the only thing that gets your attention, it can create an imbalance that’s not healthy for you or your family.

Having a kid attached to you 24/7 can get pretty tough!

For the past year, I’ve been working on balancing my time between nurturing my son and embarking on endeavors for my own development and sanity as well. I played my violin more, started a business, got into baking and cooking, and enjoyed a few baby-free nights. Technically, most of what I did was still ultimately for the benefit of my family as it provided additional income. But it made me feel personally fulfilled in a way that looking after Wolf the whole day could not. The thing about child-rearing is that it can get very monotonous especially in the early years. And many days it may feel like you’re not getting anywhere (even if you really are achieving a lot)!

I needed to hone and learn skills that made me feel like me again, and I’m happy that now I’m generally feeling much better. I’ve reclaimed my own identity and with it, I just knew instinctively that my blog name had to change. It was a reminder of how I boxed myself in a mold that never quite fit or felt right, because I am more than a thrifty mother.

And so I’ve decided to change this blog’s name to one that I feel better represents me and is more encompassing—“wild dream junkie.” Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved dreaming, both while asleep and awake. It’s almost like an addiction. Many times, I wake up then purposefully go back to sleep to continue my dream (like in the movie “Inception”). My vivid dreams help me process my emotions, which most of the time are through the roof and need thorough processing. Haha. My dreams also inspire many of my actions in real life. They influence my decisions. I definitely am a heavy dreamer. My most memorable milestones are marked by when the best of my dreams become reality.

The change in my blog’s name also marks for me a change in my outlook, a change that’s been a year in the making and is acknowledged and celebrated today. Taking care of myself is necessary so that I can take care of others. Here’s to more dreaming and doing, for me and for you who are reading this now. Thanks for taking some time to read this small update on my life. I hope you and your loved ones are safe, content, and in the best of physical and mental health. ❤️

Featured

On Motherhood and Success

Mom and baby swimming

Last weekend, we went swimming. I enjoyed looking at our pictures, because it was evident that I am already close to losing all the baby weight, which is one of my personal goals. One of my big fears when I was pregnant was that I wouldn’t be able to lose the extra pounds after giving birth. When I was younger, I used to be so naive, thinking that the best way to solve problems was to play it safe and try to avoid encountering those problems in the first place. Thus, I thought that to avoid getting fat, I would just never get pregnant.

I thought I would never get married or have kids. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder, earn a lot, and never get frumpy. Studying in an all-girls high school, I was taught that girls could be trailblazers in their careers. It was also implied that getting married and having kids were not goals worthy of an educated woman. Of course, they remained desirable aims, but it was not enough to be a housewife or mother. You had to work as well, because… women should be able to do it all!

At school, you learn that most in middle-class society expect mothers to work and take care of the household. No one ever tells you that managing a household is a full-time job in itself. There are no promotions, hefty bonuses, or awards for years of service. There are no fancy titles or corner offices. And without any extra help, it will take up all of your time and make having a corporate position impossible. Two years ago, I was forced to resign from a job I liked, trading foreign exchange at a bank. I had no one who could help me take care of my newborn son. And so from full-time banker, I became a full-time mother.

With my new position, I was on call round-the-clock. Bonuses were frequent but in kind—hugs and kisses throughout the day—honestly, the best kind of bonus ever. Automatic tenure made this position very secure. However, the only chance of promotion involved constant power struggles between the real boss (me) and the boss baby. Two years in, I don’t know if my superiority will ever be fully acknowledged.

Ever since I became a mom, I have begun to base my life choices on what I believe is best for my family. I refuse to equate staying home with a child with less income. On the contrary, I believe having a child should inspire us to find multiple income sources and opportunities for passive income. I was a banker, but it was actually when I assumed the job title of mother that I became more motivated to grow our wealth. I am happy to say that in that aspect, we have taken concrete steps that I perhaps wouldn’t have taken this early on without the pressure of having a dependent.

If back in high school, I used to define success as climbing the corporate ladder, now, becoming a mother has changed that. Success for me now is having the free time to do the things you truly want to do. Success is being able to work smart instead of work hard. Success is spending a quarter of your day on work, and the rest on quality time with loved ones. Success is having your money work for you and not the other way around.

Swimming

Raising a human being is truly a difficult job, and I am incredibly lucky to be able to do it full-time. Every day, my baby boy looks up to me. Every day, I hope I am doing right by him, helping him become a good person.

Children are incredibly perceptive. They learn from what we say, but even more from what we do. If there is one trait I want my son to admire in me, it’s ambition. It was difficult for me to shed all the baby weight, but I set a goal, and I am almost there. I want my son to look at me and see a person comfortable and confident in her own skin. It was heartbreaking for me to give up corporate life, but I found other sources of income, and I will find more down the road. I want my son to understand that his parents will always seek ways and means for the family to live life to the fullest.

Postpartum mom weight loss

At one of my lowest points last year, I broke down alone, feeling cheated by fate and utterly worthless. Then I thought of my son, fought against the hopelessness, and took action. I was extremely vulnerable, but I would willingly expose myself to that productive pain over and over again, for our future. I want my son to look at how our family stares down defeat, ala Arya Stark, and says, “Not today.”

Life’s setbacks make the ambitious even more resourceful. I hope that I can set a good example, so that my son finds fulfillment in constantly growing and learning. Becoming a mother taught me that while life will throw so many obstacles our way, facing them head on is what will make us stronger and wiser. I hope that my son becomes successful, and by this, I mean fulfilled with anything he sets his heart on—whether it be advanced degrees, fatherhood, business, and/or advocacy work. I hope he grows up realizing that success comes in many forms—some are bright and flashy, whereas others are unassuming and steadfast. I hope he sees and celebrates those many forms achieved by himself and others. And I hope he can look at his mom one day and say, “I learned so much from her. She inspires me to grow constantly.” That, for me, would be the ultimate success.

Mom and baby swimming

Happy Mom’s Day, super moms! 🤱🏻 How has motherhood changed your idea of success? ❤️

#motherhood #success #work #grind #money #passion #business #momlife #mommy #parenting #family #postpartum #weightloss #stretchmarks #mombod

My Quick and Easy Makeup Routine

As a performer for weddings and other formal events, I wear makeup pretty often. However, finding time for makeup application is difficult with a toddler around. That’s why I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to simplify my makeup routine.

My makeup in this picture took just 10 minutes to do and involved six products. It’s perfect if you’re always on the go or harassed by small children. Haha! These are the products I used:

Dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream

This base worked really well on my skin. It has very light coverage, which I really like because it looks natural. My skin is more on the oily side but this held up well indoors, even without primer. It also has SPF so you can do away with separate sunscreen if you’re in a hurry.

Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Filler

This is really easy to use. I just swipe it on areas that need a bit of thickening. Not really a fan of shaping or drawing eyebrows, mainly because I don’t have time! Haha.

Happy Skin All Eyes on Hue Honeymoon Glow Edition

This has just four shades but they combine perfectly and add just the right amount of color to your eyelids. The cheat sheet for creating different looks is also pretty helpful!

Maybelline Hypersharp Power Black Liner

This is a liquid pen but it is very easy to use, once you get the hang of it. I have unsteady hands, but I feel pretty confident when I use this. It also has decent staying power even on my oily lids. The color is jet black, which I really like because I prefer bold black for my eyeliner.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

This blush is perfect on my skin. It looks very natural and never overdone. It comes with its own compact mirror and brush for when you’re traveling, but I find the brush too harsh on my skin and so I use a different brush to apply it.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus

This balm has a very subtle tint, but I prefer that so I don’t have to worry about stains on my teeth or putting lip liner so the color stays on my lips. I also prefer my lip products to be all-natural, because Wolf sometimes asks me to put some balm on his lips too.

I’m not a fan of heavy makeup. I just don’t want to look pale under stage lights or in pictures. After much trial and error, I think I’ve stumbled on a quick and easy routine for fresh makeup, and in the process I apparently became a BeautyMNL Ambassador (I guess I’ve been buying too many things hahaha). The products listed above are just a few of my favorite makeup finds so far. Give them a try, and hopefully they work great for you too!

If it’s your first time to buy on BeautyMNL, you can use my promo code ROSIECXBEAUTYMNL to get P100 off (min spend P1000).

#LoveBeautyMNL

Our Favorite Books for Early Readers

I love reading to Wolf. All the research shows that reading with young children is the best way to develop their brains, and it’s truly amazing to actually witness the truth to that claim with my son. It’s especially apparent that Wolf absorbs best through books, because he’s an auditory learner. At this point, he’s memorized many of his books, and sometimes he reads aloud by himself or to me. He also likes referring to his books when he makes connections in real life. I’ve noticed that some books have stood out and are particularly memorable to him, and these are also the ones that were quite engaging. I enjoy reading them (almost) as much as Wolf does. Of course, after the nth time reading it, it’s not as fun for me, but kids love hearing the same stories over and over. It really helps when the books are well-written so adults don’t find the repetition too draining, and so children learn how to appreciate and tell good stories! So for parents on the lookout for good books for your babies and toddlers, these are what we highly recommend:

Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Adam Rex

This was Wolf’s absolute favorite book as a baby. Even if he didn’t really talk yet, he loved listening to the words and looking at the richly illustrated scenes. And he would laugh over and over every time Chu the panda would feel like sneezing.

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
Illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Wolf brushes his teeth at least twice a day. If we’re at home, he brushes after each meal. I don’t struggle to brush his teeth, because he knows through this book that brushing is good for our teeth, unless we want to end up like “Billy Billings, whose teeth have fifty fillings!” This book is wonderful, as most if not all Dr. Seuss books are, but it stands out especially to me because it makes my life so much easier. No toothbrush tantrums from this kid!

Ladybird Favourite Stories
Retold by Mandy Archer
Various Illustrators

I have nothing but praise for the way Ladybird books are written. The descriptions are so rich and vivid, and the plot flow is paced just right for young readers. The illustrations are also tasteful and cheery. This particular collection contains popular tales, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and The Three Little Pigs.

The Missing Blanket by Cheeno Marie Sayuno
Illustrated by Tristan Yuvienco

This is a beautiful story about love and loss. It’s also a great way to acquaint kids with our country’s weaving culture. Because of this book, Wolf, at 2 years old, was able to grasp somewhat the concept of death’s permanence and impact. I know this because after reading this book (where the mother gets sick and dies), I got sick, and Wolf told me, “If you get sick, you can go to the hospital. I will not see you. But you will not die. You will get better. Then I will see you again.”

The impact of books on Wolf’s development is truly astounding. He absorbs new words and concepts almost immediately. He adopts positive traits that he sees in the characters in the stories, values such as patience and concern for others. I noticed that his sentence construction is also improving due to my reading to him. His sentences are getting longer and more complex. There’s a whole myriad of benefits to reading with kids, and I’m so fortunate I can do this for Wolf so often. We love discovering great books, so please hit us up with your own favorites!