For its new season, Mommy Talks is featuring different work at home moms. Our guest for today is an inspiration to me – Ms Martine de Luna.
Hi Martine! Please share briefly about yourself.
Thanks for having me, Chris! Hi, I’m Martine de Luna. I’m the wife of Ton, the mom of Vito (3 years old), and I am a work at home mom. I’m also the owner and author of DaintyMom.com, a lifestyle blog for moms.
I’m an editor and copywriter by profession. I work for an creative media agency and publishing house, both on a flexible, work-at-home arrangement.
I am the director of the WAHMderful Life Workshops, a suite of workshops for women who want to make a living while making a home. This is a collaboration between me and Manila Workshops, and we are constantly offering out-of-the-box, informative workshops for women.
On an occasional basis, I offer creative writing classes, mentoring for bloggers, and consulting for businesses who want to create their own websites and blogs.
I started to think about working from home when I was pregnant. At the time, I was a teacher at a small private school, teaching English and language arts. I was also the supervisor of a homeschool support group, and a mentor to several homeschooled kids and teens. On the side, I was doing freelance writing for websites and blogs, which provided me with some sort of supplemental income.
I felt the tug to work from home even stronger, when my son was born. My primary intention for wanting to work from home was so that I could be hands-on, and also so I could breastfeed him exclusively. (He didn’t take well to bottle feeding, even though I would express milk.) When my son was six months old, I left my job at the school. I was hired by a U.S. based creative web media company, which enabled me to have a steady income while working from home. I was also eventually hired by Shepherd’s Voice Publications, a local publishing company, as a creative consultant for a new magazine, of which I am now the editor.
I’ve been working from home for three years now.
What steps did you take to become a work at home mom?
As I explained earlier, I was doing freelance writing on the side. I’d write for websites and blogs, for clients that I found from Internet job listings. I enjoyed online writing and earning something on the side. Eventually, I was able to find employers who were willing to hire me for my creative writing services and editing skills. This enabled me to negotiate work-at-home arrangements with them. The U.S. company and the publishing company that I work for have agreed to my flexi-time schedule, which means I can pretty much plan my days the way I want to, as long as I’m effective in my deliverables for the companies I work for.
What are the struggles you face being a work at home mom? How do you overcome them?
In the beginning, I really struggled with time management. I wasn’t effective at balancing work and family time, to the point that I was spending most of my time chained to my laptop! It defeated the purpose of why I wanted to become a work at home mom.
Thankfully, I began consultation and coaching sessions with another work-at-home mom, Holly Hana, of theworkathomewoman.com. She really put things into perspective for me, and helped me to map out my work-at-home lifestyle. She even helped me plan the branding and expansion of my blog, Dainty Mom, which has helped me launch another successful side business, the WAHMderful Life Workshops for work-at-home moms, a collaboration between me and ManilaWorkshops.com
Were your expectations met? Why?
I believe I met my expectations as a WAHM. Wait, correction: My expectations CHANGED with WAHM-dom. I let go of the myths of work-life balance and “having it all,” and instead focused on creating a lifestyle that works for me and my family.
What advice can you give to those who want to take this journey?
1. Get support. It’s important to have a community when you’re a work at home mom — it’s essential! Working at home can be very isolating and lonely, and so finding a community of women that understands your needs for support and sisterhood is crucial. It’s because of this that I began the Manila WAHMs private Facebook group, because I wanted to connect with other work-at-home moms. Today, it’s helping many other WAHMs find meaningful connections. It’s even been instrumental to other WAHMs who’ve been looking for business partners!
2. Don’t be afraid to invest in training and knowledge. As a WAHM, I’ve never stopped learning. I’m always listening to some kind of business training, whether it’s a podcast or webinar; I’m always reading books and eBooks.
3. Get coaching; find a mentor: In addition to the learning, I’ve also bought training modules and coaching sessions from coaches and mentors in the blogging world. These have greatly helped me as a work at home mom in terms of direction, my life’s purpose.
Please join me on my social media accounts!
If you’re a WAHM, you can request an invitation to my private Facebook group: Manila Work-at-Home Moms.