Inspiring and Informing Filipino Mommies whoever they are, whatever they do, and wherever they may be.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mommy Tets Camingawan - Bermudez: From Overseas Filipino Worker to Online Filipino Worker at Home

Newly married couples always start their lives together with great dreams and hopes. However, sometimes, our fate redirects us to an unfamiliar path that we become unsure if we will still realize our goal. This is a Mommy story that is just like that - having to come to a decision to give up a dream that you once shared with your partner - but this account is not about failed dreams! It's a confirmation that wherever God leads you, He will bless you with what you really want to achieve and life.... and even more!

Hi Mommy Tets,  please tell us about how you had your baby.

I conceived Johanne when I was already back in the Philippines. The initial plan then after getting married is for husband to follow me in Doha. But that didn’t materialize. The main reason for coming back home and leaving work in Doha was health risk. At 30, I was diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension and the stress at work wasn’t helping. So my husband and I decided for me to come home and recuperate.

Mommy Tets worked in Doha for several years and had to come home to the Philippines for good to take care of her health.

You were already in Doha and had a great career there, but why did you want to work from home instead of working in a concrete jungle when you came back to the Philippines?

As early as 2014, I was really into the idea of working from home in the event that I return to the Philippines for good. God gave us immediately the best blessing through Johanne, soon as I came back to the Philippines.

Tell us about Johanne growing up. And how are you as a mother to her?

Mommy Tets with her husband Paul and their lovely daughter Johanne.
Johanne, being the first grandchild in both sides of the family is the star of the show.  She is really such a bubbly child and very sociable too. She’s into dancing and music and we noticed this even in her early months. So we really indulge in different types of music everyday. During the first few weeks, I was really extra careful with her because she is premature. But as soon as everything was cleared by the doctor, I was able to relax.  I thought I can prepare for the role by reading mommy books and consulting with mommy friends, but nothing beats actual experience. Eventually, I just followed my instincts and get advices from my mom and mother in law. I really have a great support group. It takes a village to raise a child indeed. She’s 2 years old now and I can really say that I am the disciplining parent more than my husband.

Wow, you are blessed to have Johanne. What can you advise moms who want to take a leap from working overseas to working home based to take care of their kids?

Mommy Tets when she was working in Doha.
For one, the arrangement should be discussed with the husband plus you have to manage your expectations also. You cannot automatically earn what you are earning abroad in homebased work, so a lot of planning is involved. The same goes when you are working in the corporate locally, I recommend, saving at least 3 months worth of salary, before resigning from your current job. Talk to your husband because the beginning part is always the most difficult -- getting clients etc, so your husband needs to support the income of the family alone, temporarily. The savings will help for emergencies.

Clarify your goals -- do you want to take care of the kids and earn by working from home? Or do you want to work from home and be with your kids. That’s different, because the hours of work you want to allot will matter given that direction.

Coming from a family with a father who is an OFW as well, nothing beats being together. It will be financially challenging in some days, but memories of growing without one parent really affects a child. No material possession can take over that.
Coming from a family with an OFW parent, Mommy Tets knows nothing beats time with the family.
Plan and then just do it. God is a God who provides and He will always give us the best that we deserve -- of course, given our best effort. When the day comes that you are typing away in your computer and your little one is smiling at you across the room, you will really be grateful for opportunities to be with them 24/7.

Mommy Tets and her family.

Thank you for that Mommy Tets, you really are a dedicated mommy. Pero, hindi mo ba namimiss lumabas? We learned that when you were single talagang you were literally always out of the house because of the events you handle and being a member and one of the leaders of the Singles for Christ Christian Community.

I am on my 2nd year as a homebased worker and there was a point in my career that I really missed going out. I tried teaching part time, in Senior High, to satiate that part -- pero wow, init, pamasahe.. haha. So I think I’m really better staying at home. Plus, I do have my own events group, ayun, sya nakakafulfill ng social needs ko kapag may client meetings sa gabi.

Mommy Tets is one of the co-founders of 4Leaf Events.
How do you manage your time and how are you able to take care of Johanne since you work from home?

Mommy Tets has been an OFW (Online Filipino Worker) since 2016.
While I feel so blessed na I’m homebased at lagi ko nakikita si baby, I have to give credit also to the great support group that I have. I have my own working space sa house so I can focus, and Johanne stays in the other room with her lolo and lola. It is important to have some place private to work kahit work from home. I have to disagree with some posts na kumakalat online, promoting work from home, mothers cradling a baby. It can work for a few minutes, pero hati yung focus. Unfair rin kay baby if hindi ka 100% andyan for her. But I guess, iba rin talaga if walang help around, that’s another story. But for me, I make time, if work, work. I take breaks in between to play with baby, and make sure I end working on time too because she also expects me to play with her in the afternoon. Time management talaga. That’s how you give your 100% to anything you do, through undivided attention.

How do you cope with the pressures of your work and how do you take care of yourself?

Compared to working for corporate, less stress na talaga ang work ko ngayon. It comes I guess with selecting my battles. I choose work which fits me and my skills. In the few occasions that I get stressed, I stop, and divert my attention elsewhere. Taking a breather -- like going to baby’s room, or watching a short video clip, helps me refocus. I also start the day with prayer -- reading the Gospel and listening to worship songs. That starts my day right and set my mood. Next target ko talaga is include exercise.

Mommy Tets with her family.
Lastly, a mommy needs to hang out sometime and spend time for herself, where do you usually hangout or tambay?

I agree to that, we need social life. My weekends are always full -- either spend it with Couples for Christ activities (charismatic group where me and my husband is really committed), or if time permits, I really enjoy catching up with friends over coffee, even kami ni husband, we like exploring new coffee shops.

Mommy Tets has been an active member of the Couple for Christ community for over 2 decades!

Thanks for sharing Mommy Tets! Your story is a testimonial of how great and generous our God is, and how He was able to lead you to where you are now with your Christ-centered family! Keep on inspiring other mommies who want to pursue their dreams in whatever way God leads them!

Mommy Tets Camingawan-Bermudez is an Online Filipino Professional who specializes in Executive and Admin Assistance to CEOs, Content Creation as well as Social Media management and Blog Management. She also co-founded 4 Leaf Events and is an active freelancer host as well. She loves spending weekends with her family and the Couples for Christ Community where she has been a servant-leader for more than two decades. 

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