Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hands-On Parent while Earning

Today, I ate grapes with my second child during his breakfast. I fed my eldest child with oatmeal before his piano teacher came to our house. I also breastfed my newborn baby on demand. I cooked my two older kids' lunch and ate with them. After lunch, I helped them brush their teeth, gave them a bath and slathered lotion on their skin. When they were already dressed, I read them a couple of books (baby included) before they went to sleep. I breastfed the baby again and put him in his crib.

After my Mommy duties, I checked my Full Life Cube Facebook Page and saw a personal message from someone who enrolled in my newly-launched online coaching program called iHOPE with Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. It's a 3-Step Success System that teaches parents how to become Hands-On Parents while Earning (H.O.P.E.) for their family. When I checked my email, I saw one from Paypal confirming that a payment has just been made.

Click here to read the details and to sign up for the program!
I paused and savored this sweet moment of victory that I know came from God. God has planted this dream in my heart years ago to create and launch an online program that will enable me to help others through my experiences and expertise. I encountered a number of obstacles and challenges in the process of creating and setting up an online program. There were many days and nights when I felt disappointed because it's taking me so long to finish the programs I'm planning to launch. Our two maids left one after the other. House chores kept piling up. I was having a hard time understanding the techie side of setting up an online program. I battled with negative thoughts and negative words spoken to me. The thought of giving up this dream filled my mind many times in the past months before its launch. 

Thankfully, God ministered to my soul through a devotional that God led me to buy at the start of the year. God used this devotional by Joel Osteen powerfully to encourage and empower me everyday to fight my inner battles. Through the powerful words in that small book, God made alive His words in Scripture that His grace is new every morning.

Let me share a line from a page of this devotional based from the book Break Out! 

"God will never ask you to do something and then not give you the ability to do it."

It went on further to speak to me God's words of encouragement:

"All I want to know is what you do have. Don't sit on the sidelines of life intimidated, thinking you're unqualified. Put your life, your dreams, your goals, and your talent into My hands and let Me multiply it." 

That same day when I read these words from the devotional, my mentor Bo Sanchez talked at the Grand Easter Feast about giving God the little that we have. His talk was inspired by the story about the five loaves and two fish that Jesus multiplied to feed thousands. I was empowered by God through this talk. The words he shared that day moved me to have the courage to launch my online coaching program the following day, which is also my 40th birthday. This made my launch extra special and memorable. It's like offering a part of myself as I begin a new phase and year in my life. I was excited to see how God would bless and multiply the little that I offered to help Him bless many.

I'm very grateful to God for bringing me to this point wherein I can be a hands-on Mom to my kids and earn while I'm doing so. First, He made it possible for me to become an Author, Speaker and Consultant. Next, He paved the way for me to work and earn online by writing articles and blogs. Then recently, He helped me launch an online coaching program!

Like David, I felt I was facing giants. I felt small facing my problems and challenges. But I still ran towards my goal and went on to slay the giants before me; because like Him, I knew that I will conquer my problems and challenges for my God is much bigger than my problems and challenges combined.

Today, I rejoice for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of another parent. I praise and thank God for helping me live out His purpose and will for my life as a Mom with young children. I believe that I am at a season in my life wherein God wants me to be home most of time for my kids so I can personally take care of them, educate them and mold them to be individuals who will live out God's purposes for their lives as well. 

If you are a parent (Mom or Dad) who feels a tug in your heart to spend more time with your kids but is worried or uncertain how you can continue earning while being actively involved in your children's lives, I invite you to check out my coaching program. Let me mentor you and share with you the lessons I learned in getting to where I am now. I would be happy to see more families strengthened and happier because of better relationships between parents and children. Click here to sign up for my program! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Hands-On Mom's Thoughts on Mother's Day

There was a time when I wasn't sure if I could conceive and bear a child. A doctor once told me that I might have difficulty getting pregnant due to my medical condition. Although her words cast a shadow on the beautiful future I hoped for, I did not give up my dream of one day having my own children.

I chose to believe that the God who planted a desire in my heart to have a family of my own can and will plant the seed of life in my womb one day.

And so it happened that my dream was fulfilled. God caused the miracle of life to grow inside my womb... not just once, but three times!

It has been almost seven years now since I first became a mother. I now have three children. My eldest child will celebrate his seventh birthday this year. My second child (also a boy) will celebrate his fourth birthday and my third child (another boy) will celebrate his first birthday.

I learned in this short span of time that motherhood is not for the faint of heart. That if a mom would take her responsibility to her child/children seriously, motherhood would not be a walk in the park.

When I was still single, I dreamed that I would be a hands-on mom. I dreamed that caring for my kids would be my primary duty and that I would not be required to work.

Thank God that dream has been fulfilled!

I praise and thank God for the gift of being a mother to these children!

But there are lessons that I also learned about motherhood. 

I learned that motherhood entails sacrificial love. Motherhood means prioritizing the needs of your children over your own. Motherhood means pouring out your life to give life to another.

The above sentences are pretty loaded. Let me make them more specific by sharing how these sentences translate in the life of a mom with young children like me.

Sacrificial love for me means sacrificing my personal goals and preferences (like travelling and pursuing another course) so I can fulfill my God-given role and destiny to raise my kids. Allowing my personal dreams that are in conflict with my role as mom to die at Jesus' feet. Prioritizing the needs of my children over my own means preparing their food first before I eat my meals. Breastfeeding my hungry baby at night or during the wee hours of the morning even though my body screams for rest and sleep. Pouring my life out for my kids means spending my energy and time mainly to care for my children, to educate them and to raise them to be the persons that God wants them to be.

These are just some examples of what a hands-on mom with young children like me do every day. 

Motherhood is not a glamorous job. It's a very demanding and fast-paced job. A job that does not allow me to take day offs or vacations (even on Mother's day) because my young children are still very dependent on me. On days when I don't have a helper/maid and my husband is in the office, I could hardly go to the toilet or bathroom. I could hardly eat (even with my husband around because remember we have three children). With three children, there is always at least one child who needs my attention, my listening ear, my help and my touch.

It's a draining job to be a mother. But I've come to realize also in the past years that it's the most fulfilling job I've ever had! 

I've been a manager, a writer, a trainer, a speaker, a coach, a counselor and an author of books. I found a lot of fulfillment doing these jobs that I'm passionate for. Witnessing growth and transformation in the people I worked with in these roles/jobs of mine filled my heart with much gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives. 

Yet, I discovered that being a mother, being an instrument of God in bringing a child into the world, nurturing that child, raising that child to live out his purpose in life... I could hardly find the words to describe what an honor it is to be able to do this. Motherhood is both humbling and rewarding.   

I love the words of Elisabeth Elliot quoted in my desk calendar today. It says, "The process of shaping the child shapes also the mother herself. Reverence for her sacred burden calls her to all that is pure and good, that she may teach primarily by her own humble, daily example."

It's so true that as I mold my kids' hearts and minds, God is molding me as well. I'm not the only one teaching my kids how to be patient and loving. As I mother them, God is teaching me too! He reminds me daily that in as much as my sons are works in progress, so am I. That more than speaking words of instructions to them, I need to model good behavior, good values to them. 

So, today on Mother's Day, I pray that God would give me grace always to speak with wisdom and that faithful instruction would be on my tongue. That I would not eat the bread of idleness or that I would become too busy with extra curricular matters. Instead, I pray that I would be faithful in living out my God-ordained role to be a mother to my children.   

And if you are a mother who longs to make being a mother your priority over making money, I invite you to check out my newly-launched online coaching program called iHOPE. It's a three-step success system that will help parents become hands-on with their kids while earning money for their families. I created this program because I want to help families by enabling parents through this program to be involved in their children's lives while contributing to the family income.

Click here to learn more about this program.

I strongly believe that God called mothers to have a special role in the lives of their children especially when they are still young. This program is my gift to moms! Read more about it here and email me if you have questions about it. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the hardworking and self-sacrificing moms around the world! May we all be thankful for the gift of motherhood. May we reap the rewards of our sacrificial love. May we have a glimpse of the fruits of our labor in our children's lives. 

What are your thoughts on motherhood? Feel free to share them with me in the comments!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Gifted at Different Ages and Stages

This blog post is part of the GHF Blog Hop for April.
Check out the other blog posts on this topic here.

Giftedness was not in my vocabulary when I was a first-time mom. I equated the word gifted with talented, very good or highly-skilled. 

But since my eldest son was assessed to be potentially gifted when he was 2 years old, I started reading more about giftedness. I have learned more about the topic since then.

I have also witnessed and noticed more of the traits that I have read about gifted children in my eldest son.

Then, I had another son, my second baby. 

We have not brought him to our developmental pediatrician yet, although he is already 3 years old. But I know that he is also gifted like his older brother. Why? Because I now know the signs and traits that gifted children manifest. I see some of his older brother's traits in him, which are mainly overexcitabilities in different areas and advance development in language and music. He exhibits giftedness in other areas, too. But they have a lot in common.  

Sadly, even though I already know that he is gifted just like his older brother, I still make a lot of mistakes in dealing with him and some of his behaviors.

It has been over 4 years now since my husband and I learned that our eldest son is gifted. There's still a lot that we have not figured out though. We still struggle a lot in putting our very active kids to sleep, getting them to finish their meals within an acceptable time frame and teaching them to be obedient to us. Each day is not complete without a power struggle. I'm still not used to their noise, mess and constant chatter. 

This past week has been extra challenging for me because our two helpers left. I can't help but feel overwhelmed and drained in the past days. I can't keep up with my kids' energy level on top of caring for my 4-month-old baby boy, whom I also breastfeed. This gifted adult craves for time alone, silence and reflection; but I could hardly get that, since my kids sometimes do not want to nap and they sleep late at night.

That's me and my gifted boys during my third baby's baptism. 

What I had been doing and what helped me survive these past week was to pay more attention to my gifted kids' behaviors that warm my heart and make me happy. 

So, I consciously took note of their creativity and powerful imagination. I did my best to listen to most of their stories and to play with them during their pretend plays. I patiently read books to them and told them stories, too; even though, I was already sleepy and my throat was hurting. I reminded myself that I'm blessed that my kids share my passion for books. I savored the music played by my eldest son in the piano. I praised him and gave him tips on how to improve the books that he has written. I chose to be grateful for the opportunity to mentor him. I chose to smile at my 3-year-old who kept hugging me, saying "I love you" to me and singing to me the birthday song this past week. 

I'm really thankful for these adorable, sweet and smart kids. I just feel exhausted this week doing my best to keep them safe, teaching them good behavior and values, and making sure they are well-fed.

I hope and pray that my husband and I would learn more ways on how to better parent our two older kids; so that we would do a better job in raising and parenting our third child, who at infancy is already showing signs of giftedness like his two older brothers. I noticed that he also gets distracted while nursing. His motor skills are also developing fast. Sometimes, he seems to be conversing with us. He just can't articulate the words yet but it's obvious that he is trying to tell me/us something. I do my best to respond to him but he still gets frustrated sometimes.

I'm thankful that I have been part of forums or support groups for parents with gifted children. I've been learning a lot from their sharing and stories. I also feel less alone in dealing with my struggles and challenges.     

We still have a long way to go. But stories from parents who have gone ahead of us and who have raised gifted kids successfully encourage and inspire us. Their stories also remind me that parenting gifted children gets easier as the kids grow older and mature.  

What challenges and joys are you experiencing now at this stage in your gifted kids' lives? Feel free to share in the comments.