Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I used to have more time

Last weekend, Vince and I turned the house upside down, cleaning, fixing, weeding out junk and basically making space for our baby boy, who's due next month. While cleaning, I found these in my cluttery mess:

Yep, these are thank you cards I made myself. In another lifetime, I used to start Christmas shopping by July (I took advantage of the mid-year sales), wrap all the gifts with carefully picked out wrappers by October, and send them out by November to early December.

December is when I start creating the thank you cards. I'd spend a week just designing the card, choosing the right heavy paper, finding new craft materials, slicing up the paper with a sharp cutter, then putting everything together. The glue takes a day to dry (which means we'll have to eat meals in the living room as the dining table is temporarily the drying table) and then I'd spend a a couple of days before New Year's Eve writing personalized thank you's and addressing each card. I'd usually make about 50 cards this way.

Looking at the cards I unearthed, I marveled at all the effort I put into them and remarked to Vince, "My goodness, look at these cards!" And Vince said, "Yes, you used to make them. I loved that about you." And I said, "I used to have more time..."

No, I don't make cards anymore. In fact, I don't even write thank you cards anymore. I just send a text message now, or leave my appreciation on Facebook walls. I just don't have the time anymore! I'm just too busy. But that's how I like it.

When I was 13 years old, I picked up my very first copy of Cosmopolitan US edition. I had read magazines before--Time, National Geographic, Reader's Digest were piled up abundantly in our home--but Cosmo was the title that made me go, "I want to be an editor-in-chief of a magazine one day!"

I became just that 16 years later. By then I had outgrown Cosmo and had developed a fascination with all things Hollywood so OK! magazine was just a dream come true. What I didn't realize was dreams can eat up so much of your life, whether you're making them come true or they already are true. It's actually better now--in the early days of OK!, there were times we didn't go home, we didn't eat, we didn't sleep. Putting together a magazine is a lot of hard work. People just see the glamour; they don't see the stress.

The great thing about dreams that have come true is you love and enjoy them anyway. The work is worth it. I know that Vince prefers those days when I had more time for him--I'd cook dinner every night, we'd go out often alone or with friends. But because he knows I've had this dream since I was a kid, he respects what I do and even encourages and pushes me to do better. He understands me.

But now a baby's coming, and a baby won't understand why his mommy isn't there 24/7. While a lot of women will easily give up their careers for their family, that thought just gives me a drowning feeling. I can't imagine not working. Of course, no one said I have to give up my job, but I'm scared that if I'm successful at my work, I won't be a great mom. And vice versa. Well, it's been said, "You can have everything, just not all at the same time." I want to be good at everything I do! And I want to do a lot! Good luck to me then because the next 20 years will definitely be a challenge!


  1. thank you for this post :) yesterday i was having a personal mini-crisis. i wanted to just pack up and leave, thinking that the stuff i'm going through isn't worth all the stress that goes along with it. and then i read this post, and it reminded me that where i am now is where i had wanted to be when i was slaving away with a day job in the morning and law school in the evenings. thanks again!

  2. I think being a working mom is an awesome thing! I'm one myself, only that I work from home.

    My advice is: Take everything in stride. With a little help, a supportive spouse and an eager family (read: doting lolo and lola), you can manage. Sometimes I leave my baby with my mom when I need quiet during my work, or when I just need a breather from being a mommy. I think it's good for baby too, as he gets to bond with others and form relationships with his grandparents and babysitters.

    Go with what works for you. Everyone has their own state of normalcy, and yours will be different from every other mom. It will be fun albeit tiring at times. But just one look at your baby will make you forget your aching back or tired eyes. I know, I'm there. Hehe.

  3. Take it one day at a time, Frances, one day at a time :)

  4. Don't worry, F! We'll be great working moms and wives ;)

  5. we have the same fears...im scared that when i become a mom and a "real" wife i won't be good at it and just be the same old me, spending more than 12hrs in the office. :(

  6. Hello, new reader here. I used to make homemade cards too before I got caught up with work, and I still feel a bit bad every time I give someone a store-bought card. I know they don't mind, though. :)

    Well, good luck with your baby -- I'm sure you'll be a great working mom!

  7. Hi frances,

    I just started working again just 2 months after i gave birth. I felt so guilty leaving anika behind but you know, somebody's got to help hubby pay the bills..

    anyways, after i wrote a blog entry about it, most of my mommy friends sympathized with me and they really understood what i went through.

    Im happy to know now that you can be a good mom too even if you're at the office whole day. It's all about time management and im sure you're good at it 'coz you're an editor-in-chief of one of the most fabulous magazines here! =)

    Anyhows, goodluck to us career moms and hopefully our precious babies would understand that the reason why we are working is so we could provide them a nice life =)


  8. "It's actually better now--in the early days of OK!, there were times we didn't go home, we didn't eat, we didn't sleep." Suffice it to say that I'm still in the "early days." Oh gosh Frances, do I have kwento for you!!!

    I remember another editor saying that it gets harder when kids start to talk (I had never thought about that before)--because then they can call you and say, "Why are you still at the office? It's dark na."

  9. So sweet of you to give out handmade cards! I also wrap all my Christmas gifts personally, up to now. But yes, reaching and living a dream takes so much of our energy and time, and sometimes, we have to let go of some things on the side. Don't worry, Frances, you'll be good both as a mom & an EIC. Double work, but you'll do great! Especially with a supportive hubby around. =) God Bless!


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