Mommy Talks is a weekly feature of different moms. For this new season, I am featuring work at home moms. Our guest for today is Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag.
Hello Teresa! Please share briefly about yourself.
I’m an author, a freelance contributing writer to various publications, a management and human resources consultant, a corporate trainer and resource speaker, a career coach and counselor, a blogger and sometimes an event planner/ coordinator. But my most important roles are these: mom to my two active and charming little boys, Yanthy (4 years old) and Mateo (16 months); wife to my husband, George; and God’s servant. I breastfed my eldest up to 2 years old and I plan to do the same with my second child. I’m also homeschooling both of them. I love to imagine, pray, read, write, dance, sing, paint, cook and make our house look nice. One of my ministries/advocacies is to inspire and encourage single women to make the most of their season of singleness and not to allow the pressure from their environment to jump into relationships or get married. I wrote a book to help me spread this message and maintain a blog with the same title: When My Bridegroom Comes. Trivia: I met my husband during the launch of my book which was also a Valentine party for single men and women in our community.
book launch in 2006
Why did you want to be a work at home mom? How did your journey start? How long have you been working at home? What sort of work do you do at home?
It has always been my dream to be a stay-at-home mom even when I was still in college and single. I was actively serving in our community; first as a student leader, then as a working professional. I wanted to be a missionary for God and I wanted to be free to serve in ministries without having to worry about family finances. It was my dream to be married to someone who would understand my passion for serving God and His Church and who would provide well for our family so that I don’t need to work. Moreover, I dreamed of pursuing my hobbies or interests on the side and doing consulting work or business. That dream came true by the grace of God when my husband and I decided to make a leap of faith two months after we got married. I felt that God was calling me to give up my then high-paying but demanding job to prioritize building a home. That same month when I resigned from my job, we discovered that I was pregnant with our first child. What perfect timing! That discovery affirmed me in my decision to stop working full time. My first pregnancy turned out to be a difficult pregnancy. I was on bedrest during my first and last trimester. Good thing I was no longer working. I felt God’s hand powerfully at work in my life.
During my second trimester, God fulfilled my wish to work on a project. I conducted two half day trainings for a client which enabled me to earn big enough to cover my hospital bills when I gave birth. Through that client, I felt God’s assurance that He will continue to let me use my skills and expertise even as I stay home most of the time. True enough, I never ran out of clients since then. I didn’t have time to market my services but I always get referrals. I even had to tell some of my clients that I only accept projects that entail me to work outside the home when my son is already 6 months or older because caring for the baby and breastfeeding the baby is my priority. That led me to become more creative on what kind of HR work I can do for my clients without leaving the house. So, during those times when my kids were still infants, I usually accepted work-from-home HR projects like helping companies especially SMEs to come up with their own company handbook/manual or help them improve their existing HR policies. When my kids start to eat solid food, I start accepting invitations to give talks or conduct seminars and workshops again but usually within the metro so I can go home right away to breastfeed. Sometimes, I bring my kids with me especially when there’s a room provided for me where I can breastfeed my baby in between training sessions. I’m blessed to have clients who are supportive of my choices as a mom.
Another big blessing is the opportunity to write freelance for various publications. I started contributing articles when my eldest son was around 2 years old. That was in 2010. Again, I was referred/recommended by a former colleague.
So from a full time stay-at-home mom, I became a work-at-home mom. I’ve been a WAHM since 2008. But I continue to prioritize my 3 most important roles even as I get busy with my WAHM projects. You may check out some of my published articles at Mommy Bares All and my services in my website Full Life Cube. I’ve recently expanded my services to include one-on-one coaching to those who want to grow in their career or who want help in transitioning from a mom working outside the home to a work-at-home mom.
while pregnant with first child
What steps did you take to become a work at home mom?
The most important preparation I did to become a WAHM/Consultant is to do well in my previous jobs. Because of the good name I built as a professional, I get referrals from former officemates or bosses. Or I get hired for projects by my previous employers or officemates. I also continued to be in touch with the people I worked with in the past.
What are the struggles you face being a work at home mom? How do you overcome them?
My main struggle and challenge every day is to live my life according to my priorities… to manage the home, be a loving wife, care for the kids, homeschool them and still work on my projects and serve in ministries. I believe that I’m able to do all these mainly by the grace of God and by the power of His Holy Spirit. I always start my day with prayer and meditation on Sacred Scriptures. It also helps that I do my best to plan and manage my time as best I can. I choose to be deliberate in the use of my time. I don’t watch tv anymore since I started getting more WAHM work. I relax mainly through my hobbies and bonding with the kids and my husband.
Was your expectations met? Why?
Yes but not yet fully. I’m still working towards increasing my earning potential through passive income from my passions/hobbies especially now that the kids are bigger. I want to conduct trainings once or twice a month. I want to earn at least a hundred thousand each month through different income streams. You may read more about my big WHYs in growing my business through this post I wrote recently: Why I want to Scale Up what I had been doing to Earn from Home or Outside the Home.
What advice can you give to those who want to take this journey?
Start with your WHY. Be clear on why you want this lifestyle or career for yourself. Then, be clear with what you want to accomplish. When these things are clear in your mind, you will have more drive to work on making these dreams/goals a reality.
You will not easily give up even when challenges come or when you experience temporary set backs. I wrote a blog post to help me remember one of my WHYs in doing my business. Here’s the title of the post: God creates hunger in our hearts for a purpose.
Keep on learning. Never rest on your laurels. Always strive to improve yourself and your craft.
Be true to your self and do not compromise your priorities, values or character. Success is very much possible without losing our integrity and our soul.
Ask God for direction and seek His Will always. For if we do, we will surely prosper and find real joy and fulfillment.
Keep in mind that we are nothing without God but we can do all things if He is our strength.