Mommy Talks is a weekly feature of different moms. For this new season, I am featuring different work at home moms. Our guest for today is Ginger Arboleda. I came to know Ginger through ManilaReviews.com and ManilaWorkshops.com
I’m Ginger. I’m a a work-at-home-married but will soon be a work-at-home-mom since I’m expecting my first baby, Zeeka, this coming March. My husband and I have been married for three years. We both are bloggers and our passion is really helping spread the word that each one should continuously strive for knowledge. We spread this advocacy through the things and daily endeavors that we do.
To tell you more about myself, I graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific. I worked for advertising agencies in the past as an account executive. I have also had my chance to work under the family corporation as Managing Director for a Chinese food franchise. My longest work experience was in a corporate environment though as a banker.
I was taken in by one of the leading banks in the country as a Cash Solutions Manager (sales officer handling Corporate Clients). After two years, I was given the chance to head a team of product managers as a Team head for Corporate Product Banking. After a couple of years, I was again moved to the Retail Product Banking group to become a Product Development Manager.
I resigned from my corporate job last October 2012 to become a mompreneur. Currently, I am a full time blog-entrepreneur, freelance writer, mompreneur mentor and an events coordinator under the brand, Manila Workshops, which provides a venue for people to continuously learn and aspire for their professional or personal goals in life.
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?
Ever since I was little, I knew that I was really meant for entrepreneurship. From selling headbands, to brownies to calling cards, etc., this love for business did not stop even while I was working. I always had to find a ‘sideline’ or ‘racket’ to do, and people knew that I was like that. I always wanted to come up with something inventive, something new.
In 2010, I had a miscarriage and some pregnancy complications. I thought I wasn’t going to have any children (I really love kids so I was depressed). But with God’s grace and through the intercession of St. Pio and St. Joseph, I was healed. In 2012, I learned that I was pregnant and I wanted to concentrate on this pregnancy. I had to let go of my corporate life last October 2012 since I wanted to prioritize my pregnancy and eventually, prioritize raising Zeeka.
From my home, I run a home based business called Manila Workshops. Manila Workshops is a brand that I built from my passion and skill of connecting people and my personal advocacy to promote continuous learning. It was established to provide a venue for people to continuously learn and aspire for their professional or personal goals in life (as I mentioned that I’m a firm believer of continuous education). We help speakers fulfill their dreams, as well, by taking care of the logistics of the workshops that they want to create, and sometimes, even going to the extent of helping them brand and market themselves.
Aside from the workshops, I’m also a professional blogger. I’ve been blogging since 2005 but I did it professionally since 2008. I also do occasional business/marketing mentoring (one-on-ones), which I plan to do more of this year. I also do occasional product styling and make-up.
What steps did you take to become a work at home mom?
I admit, it was hard for me to let go of the corporate life that I was used to. I am a workaholic. Ask anyone who has worked with me and they will tell you that I am not kidding. The first step that I went through was reflect. Seriously, this is what I did. It took me probably 6 months before I finally decided to resign. I’m an emotional person, so I really had to think about what I wanted for myself. It all boiled down to what was best for me, Ej and soon-to-be-born Zeeka.
The second step was I made a plan. Even if I knew my priorities, I was not about to jump into something that I did not analyze and create a plan for. This is another thing about me, I love creating plans and implementing them (from life plans, to business plans, to marketing plans :>). I made it a point to check my family’s budget — how huge or measly of an amount we were letting go because of my resignation, how much did I have to build from my Work-at-home ventures, etc. I created a plan after all that analyzing. After I got to figure out all of these, the third step was to take the big leap — I then resigned and went into all those WAHM ventures.
Ginger with hubby EJ
What are the struggles you face being a work at home mom? How do you overcome them?
I’ve heard a lot of WAHMs say that they struggle with time management. Mine is quite different. The biggest struggle for me is meeting the expectations that I have set for myself. I usually have a goal in mind on what to achieve — be it for the my family, for work or for myself. In a WAHM’s life, these three worlds cannot be separated from each other. You cannot say that you’ll set standards only for yourself and let your husband deal with the family and you’ll just try to attain it. Also, there is no “boss” to set the targets for you for your “work”. You are the boss.
As easy as it may sound that you can actually set any goal for yourself (even make it really attainable if you want), I found it hard to do so. I would set high standards, then I would stress myself out, to the point of exhaustion. Have I overcome this? It’s an ongoing battle. Sometimes, it get the better of me. Oftentimes though, I try to relax and just accept the situation.
Was your expectations met? Why?
Right now, I actually feel lucky to have been given the chance to be a WAHM. I never would want to trade it for a full time job anymore. I love having time for my family and myself. I love my work as a WAHM. I love meeting different people; People that I know I wouldn’t have met if I stayed on with my job.
What advice can you give to those who want to take this journey?
Before making the decision to become a WAHM, think about it many times over. Make a plan. Ask people for advice. I have learned that the best people to talk to are people who don’t have any vested interest on you choosing either way. Sleep on it and pray. 🙂
To check out my portfolio and to get to know me more, please visit: http://gingerarboleda.com/
Update: Ginger has already given birth to baby Zeeka! 🙂 See her latest posts about Baby Zeeka at MommyGinger.com