What I Learned from being a Single Mom – The Road to Super Mom!

Being a single mom isn’t easy.

Heck, being a mom per se is already hard.

So, can you just imagine if you are – gulp – single?

Anyway, while it is not technically a ‘walk in the park’ to raise and support my kids on my own, I sure learned a lot of valuable lessons while in the process. And you know what, I actually enjoy being one.


Me and my beautiful kids.

What I Learned from being a Single Mom

Prioritizing Expenses

There are a lot of challenges when you are a single mom. There’s, of course, the financial side. Can you just imagine having one body and working your arse off for your two kids  – who are by the way, both in school? Here’s the thing, we can all survive. But thriving is a different story.

I was always ambitious and I want to give the best for my kids. Thus, I learned to prioritize. I learned how to eliminate unnecessary expenses such as ‘TOO MUCH 7-11 and MC DONALD’S DATE’ in order to send them to a good school. I learned how to cut off my ‘social – life’ allowance, so we can spend more on hotel staycations. I decided not to have cable TV, so we can spare money for more activities.

Working Twice Thrice As Much

Most of the time, people would ask me if I solely support my kids. For almost a year, yes. But I am already in talks with their father so we can split the cost. But you know, child support is a different story and you can find another post from here.

A side note though. If you can patch things with the father of your kids, please do so. Do not be selfish and give your kids the liberty of having fun memories with their dad. This doesn’t mean you need to be together. But as much as possible, be civil. 

Let’s go back, shall we?

When you are a single mom, you become open to all sorts of jobs and sidelines. And when people ask me what I do for a living, trust me, I actually don’t know where to start. Let me give you a quiz and can you guess what my job really is?

a. I am a proofreader

b. I am an online writer

c. I am a virtual assistant

d. I am a host

e. I am a corporate trainer

f. I am a real estate broker

If you answered just one, or two, or three, you are definitely wrong.

If you answered all – DING DING DING DING, you got it right!

It’s good that I like doing a lot of things. But you know what, it can be pretty exhausting. Like what I do with my budget, I prioritize. I maximize my time, and I organize my tasks in such a way that I will have only few backlogs.

Does it work?


However, if given a chance, I will just leave 2 jobs and focus on those. I am thinking about being a host/ corporate trainer and real estate broker. However, while these 2 give me the biggest chunk of savings, these aren’t ‘regular’. Until such time that my days are filled with hosting stints and huge sales, I still need to take on the other jobs. 🙂 It’s all good. All good.

Warning: If you are going to take that path, you know – multiple jobs, there will be days that you will get drained. It will take a toll on your emotional state. When that happens, try to assess yourself. Is it still healthy? Are you still spending quality time with your kids?  If no – drop it. 

Dropping my High Ego

If you don’t know me, I have a strong personality (that’s what other people tell me), and I’ve got such a skyrocketing ego (this is both a blessing and a curse). I had that attitude that I can do anything without help. THAT IS SOOOOOO WRONG!

I need help. While it’s not really about money, I needed help with a lot of things.

a. Who’s going to look after my kids when I am out? 

My family is very supportive. I couldn’t emphasize this enough in my posts. It’s easy for me to schedule client meetings and to accept hosting gigs because I know that there will be someone to look after my kids.

For those who can’t leave their homes to work, you can always get an online job. If you want to know how, I can help you. 🙂 

b. How can I raise my kids properly? 

I consider myself in the early stages of parenting. And boy, I suck at it. I needed help from the seasoned ones so I can be guided. Of course, there are old parenting ways that I disapprove of, but that’s also a way for me to learn how to have my own parenting style.

In addition, it’s a challenge for me to raise my son as he is looking for a father – figure. I am lucky to have my father and my brother to fill in that spot. And again, it’s good that their father is now more open to spending time with them.

Last words: Being a single mom can be bearable if you have a personal system in place – and a strong support system. At first, it can be overwhelming, nonetheless – extremely rewarding.

P.S. Few days from now, my kids and I will be on stage for their recognition day. My kids will receive a handful of medals and while I do not gauge their skills based on the academic achievements alone, these little things mean so much.


To all parents, most especially single moms or single dads – Congratulations. You are doing a great job.



Why I decided to Leave One of My Jobs – Hint! Because Money Isn’t Everything

I have multiple jobs. It’s not just because I am a workaholic. It’s because I want to give the best life my kids could have. Yes, their father supports them but to be brutally frank about it, it’s not enough to give them the life I have imagined. Thus, I used to have 5 jobs (excluding my sidelines for real estate and training gigs).

It came to a point that I earn more than those who are living and working overseas. In fact, I can easily get a car or house and pay for it without worries. Sounds cool, right? I mean, I get to earn well and at the same time, travel ‘poshly’ without spending so much. But believe it or not, I chose to drop one of my jobs – and this one can give me the best travel perks imaginable.


1. There’s no point of working from home if you do not spend time with your kids 

Since I needed to juggle multiple jobs, I have jeopardized my time with the kids. I can only talk to them for less than an hour per day!

Not good.

When they grow up, I want them to remember me as someone they can talk to or play with, and not the mom who was a bit monstrous every time they attempt to talk to me while I finish some urgent tasks.

2. If you are not passionate about something, or at least happy with what you do – just leave! 

My family and friends know how passionate I am about work. But if I get emotionally drained, that’s when I leave.

Some people say that I am brave to do such. Maybe?

I guess this is one of our society’s challenges. We try not to leave our jobs because of emotional stress. After all, we have our responsibilities that will not stop even if we decided to leave our work. I’m starting to believe that we are afraid to leave our jobs because we feel that it’s the only thing we are good at and we are scared of new adjustments that might hit your finances bad.

I think, what we need to do is to invest on new learnings and use those to jump into a brand new career. This isn’t easy. But then again, I’d rather have enough cash on hand than carry an emotional baggage.

When you resign, rest for a while. But I don’t mean that you have to ‘slack’. Use the time to think of another strategy that will help you leap further.

3. Money isn’t everything, most especially if you have learned to live a simple life 

Teach them how to be #independent. #parenting

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If you know me, then you are probably aware that I love everything simple. I love simple clothes, simple gadgets and simple life in general. That kind of attitude was magnified when I became a mother and decided to instill the same principle to my kids. I think it works because I am proud to say that my kids do not easily get envious if other children have better and more expensive toys. Plus, they would thank you even if you buy them the cheapest ones you can find. They are not after the price, but they are after the value and the reason behind your gifts.

My daughter would always say this after I give her my gifts or ‘pasalubongs’.

“Did you buy this because you love me?”

I would, of course, say YES! Because I really do. And that’s her cue to hug me. Ahhhh, priceless!

Again, this doesn’t mean that I will stop looking for means to make it big somewhere. In fact, I am going to this huge conference few weeks from now, with high hopes to establish a network. Plus, I am back to learning the trends of Real Estate and finally break a sale which will allow me to build my own training camp. Well, that’s the plan for now. It is ambitious (I know) and it will be tiring. But at least I will get tired and exhausted for things I am happy about.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, you don’t have to drown yourself in things which will suck the fun out of your system. Of course, I am not pushing you to quit easily. But always try to gauge your boiling point. If there are things or people that you think are not beneficial for you, leave. The universe has so much to offer. Attract the ones that will make you happy. After all, what’s the use of being alive if you won’t live?




The Smarty Pants Says Goodbye to Slacks and Leather Shoes – When This Young Mom Left the Corporate World

(Note: I used to do well in College, acing most of my exams, topping most of our subjects. And honestly speaking, in school we were taught to climb a corporate ladder, not to create our own stairs. That’s why I had that misconception that being corporate means you are above the rest. I wanted to meet other people’s expectations that I can make it big, that I can be successful.)

After giving birth to 2 lovely kids, I continued  working from home. However, I felt I was not improving myself. I thought that my College – degree was put into waste. I needed to do something to know my self – worth.

“Can I still compete in the corporate jungle?”

“Can I still mingle with people in suits and leather shoes?”

“Can I still pitch a great presentation?”

These were the things that linger inside my head and I needed to know the answers.


My daughter was barely a year old when I decided to look for a corporate job. Fortunately, I was able to get back my old work and position. I thought, maybe this is where I belong – Maybe.

For those of you who do not know, I worked in a Travel Management Company. Modesty aside, it is considered one of the best and largest in the country.

I accepted the offer because of the fact that it is a huge company. Plus, I will be working with my previous superiors. These superiors are known to be one of the smartest in the company. I was hesitant at first but I gave it a shot. I convinced myself that it was the best choice.

Quite frankly, some of my relatives and friends were not so fond of that idea. They believed that my kids were too young and that as a mother, I needed to be with them. Besides, they knew I can earn given my skills and profession, even at the comforts of our own home. But I was hard – headed and defended my choice. I told them that I needed to get back in the game. Otherwise, my market value will just depreciate considering that there will be new graduates year after year.

They kept their mouth shut.


My parents were kind enough to give me a ride to my new boarding house. Of course, the kids were with us.

When they were about to leave, I felt the world over my shoulders.

You know those movie scenes when someone waves goodbye and the car slowly moves away from the camera? And then a melodramatic musical background starts playing and invites you to cry even more?

That night, it wasn’t a movie.

It was me and my son.

It was hard. But I just said to myself ‘You are doing this for their future’.

The first night was hell. I did not have my own room because I had to save money. The more practical choice was a bed space.

My dad used to pay for my rent in a condominium when I was younger. Of course, I wouldn’t want that same setup, now that I have kids.

 Unfortunately, the only available space was a bunk bed and I had to sleep on the top. Not that it wasn’t comfortable or anything. But it didn’t help in easing my emotional burden either. I thought, “Eto pala ang feeling ng OFW”.

I cried silently, wiped my tears using my kids’ clothes (which I brought intentionally). I fell asleep with a very heavy heart and a pillow soaked in tears.


When I was younger, I saw myself working behind the desk, doing reports, analyzing corporate crises in my sexy blazer and heels. So when I got back to that same world, I thought I was on track.

The first few months were great. I was full of energy, suggesting initiatives and working overtime. I was also meeting a lot of friends, old ones and new. After all, being stuck at home for a couple of years would make you hungry for a social life.

Everything was going smoothly. But for some reason, the bright lights and fast – moving lifestyle was eating me alive. I was forgetting one thing…that I was also a mother.


Since I had an 8 to 5 job, 5x a week, I was only able to spend time with my kids every weekend. My work was a 2 – hour –drive away from our home.

Wait, did I really spend time with them, or did I spend more time in bed? The latter, I would say.

I would always be so tired to play with them so I would rather charge by means of ‘zzz-ing’.

I was with the kids physically but I don’t think we spent quality time during those periods. I was just there, sleeping.

No one complained, (except my brother) so I thought it was ok.  But there will come a point in your life when something hard will hit your head and you’d have realizations.


I defied the laws of science.

I was at 2 places at once. I was working in front of my report- filled desk. And miles away, my mind and heart rested at home.

I failed to see some of my kids’ milestones.

I can’t remember my daughter’s first word. I was not there when she was able to walk without support. I was not there when she learned to make a terrible mess.

As for my son who is now in school, I didn’t know the names of his best pals. I had no idea that I had to sign his report card. I didn’t know he won a spelling contest. I didn’t know he had a fight with his classmate.

I barely knew anything.

For a time my kids thought I was their sister. Yes, it feels great when other people think that you are your kids’ sister. But coming from your son? That’s a different story.

I was never a mom to them.


I would regularly receive calls from my mom and dad saying that my kids were sick. There was even a time that we all thought we would bring my daughter to the hospital. I was lucky though that my daughter felt better.

And then there was mom. She was always sick. It’s either her head hurts like hell, or her blood pressure shoots up. It was rare that she felt ‘normal’.

I could help them.

I COULD, if I was there. But I wasn’t…

My attitude towards work was suddenly changing.  Everything was half – baked. I will just do what has been told. No extra effort. I didn’t smile like I used to and I would drag myself to work.


It was May 2014 when I felt the urge to go back home. I wanted to resign and I was very open to my boss and teammates of my plan. Of course, I didn’t want to leave without giving them enough lead time. I didn’t want them to be caught off-guard. I was about to give my resignation when I received an important email. That message made me stay.

The company would send me to Osaka, Japan.

Holy cheese and rice! Japan? Like the J-A-P-A-N! For free!

I grabbed it, packed my bags and enjoyed my vacation.

I thought it can permanently change my thoughts about leaving.

After my travel to Japan, things at work were doing pretty well. I was back doing my reports and initiating small projects. Maybe I just needed a breather.

But my heart knew what it wanted. It wanted to go home. I tried to fight that personal battle and decided to stay.

After a couple of months, I became even more depressed. I was literally cursing every morning because I had to go to work when all I wanted was to go home. It’s not that I hated my work. To this day, I still love it. But you see, I wanted to fulfill my duties as a mother.  Besides, my mom was always sick and we had no helper. I needed to make a choice as soon as possible.


I am not really good at saying goodbyes so what I did was to send an email to my boss telling my sentiments. That was not my resignation letter. It was, how do I call it, an introduction to my plan. You do get what I mean, right?

We talked and I poured my heart out. Luckily, she was very understanding. They gave me time to think. But I guess, I really made up my mind.

I gave the letter, spent days to endorse my job and left. It was sad, nevertheless it was one of the best decisions I made.


My kids were used to sleeping beside their grandparents. That’s why I slept in my room on my own. What do I expect? That’s the price I had to pay for leaving them behind. But that doesn’t mean I’m Ok with it.

I thought, if I wanted to be closer to my kids, I need to exert extra effort. So, that’s what I did.

THEN MY SON SLEEPS WITH ME NOW (most of the time)

How did I do it?

It wasn’t an overnight success. It started from preparing their food and giving them baths. Weeks passed by and they would stay in my room for a couple of hours. That was good enough for me.

I was also not scared of disciplining them. If I had to make them face the wall, I would. They needed to know that I am their mother. It was hard at first. Every time I would discipline them, they would call their grandparents. Good thing my parents didn’t butt in. Otherwise, it would be harder for me.

Oh, just so you know, I read a book about raising toddlers. If you want to have it, just let me know. The book served its purpose to me. Maybe it’s about time that I hand it over to someone who needs it. I’ll give it for free.

Little by little, I believe they realized that I am their mother. They looked for me even when I am just having a quick shower. They started to play with me. But most importantly, I felt their respect.

I was also surprised when my son said he wanted to sleep in my room. I hugged him tight and I was so darn happy about it. The first night he slept in my bed, I just stared at his face for several minutes. That was something that I used to do when he was still a little baby.

Now, the next one is a topper. There was a time when I played dead just because I was too tired to get up. My son cried the whole time. He said, “Mommy, don’t die. I am alone. I don’t want to be alone. Mommy , I love you. I’m scared.” I was laughing silently and at the same time, my heart was being tickled.

I just got up when he said (out of his desperation), “Mommy, I want to wiwi.” Of course I didn’t want him to pee in my bed. It was hilarious. He didn’t pee. He just wanted to wake me up! Smart kid.

Right now, I am still trying my best to catch up with them.


This post is not to encourage you to leave your jobs. I perfectly understand that you need it for practicality reasons. I understand that there are people who are really for the corporate world. I have nothing against that.

This is just me, ok? Let’s be clear about that.

I have learned a lot from my corporate job. I learned how to make intricate and brain- freezing reports. I was able to face high – ranking people in different companies. I was able to resolve issues within limited time. I was able to discipline myself. But there is one lesson that made me change path.

Being in the world of suitcases, leather shoes and blazers don’t exactly mean that you are successful.

Success is subjective. I may have stopped my battle climbing the corporate ladder. But I still believe I am on my way to being successful.

To date, I write for an international website as my full time job (work from home), got a part time job from my old company (hopefully I’d start on February 1) and I am also practicing my real estate profession.

Above all, I am becoming a mother to my kids. Now tell me, isn’t that a paved road to being successful?

Last words – Remember your priorities.

To be honest, I went back to the city of lights and tall buildings because my priority was to find myself and to increase my market value. I was so hungry for that corporate title that I completely forgot I was also a mom.

Getting pregnant twice was not my biggest mistake. It was prioritizing myself before my kids.

BA is a young mom of 2 wonderful kids. She has high ambitions and would like to touch hearts. If you wish to write her a message, please send it to ba_isla@yahoo.com