My Work From Home Experience

As we all know, many loses their job due to to COVID-19 crisis but fortunately for us, we were given an opportunity to still work at the comforts of our home. Work from home  is the current option given to continue business but does it work?

Work From Home (WFH)
Its been 65 days since our company implemented the WFH setup as a countermeasure against the COVID-19 crisis. Haven’t been out from the subdivision’s compound since then. My work as a software mostly access web pages, cloud portals or product applications. Work can be done as long as there is an internet connection and VPN access to the company’s sites. It was a considerable option. Thankfully, I share the WFH setup with the husband who is also in IT company.
When going to the office, I had to commute for ~45 min to an hour depending on the traffic. Had to take 3 rides. I am used to the commute but the pandemic, I am now scared to take risk.
Our network provider is Globe with a data capped plan.

Cons:Work From Home Setup - Living RoomOf the places in our home, the living room is the place where the internet signal is at its finest, though nothing beats the network infrastructure at the office. But aside from occasional networks lags especially during huddles thru Teams, or loading issues when accessing tools or sometimes being disconnected from the VPN, I think our internet connection is doing good. Though data usage has capping, we use this reason to limit our kids from screen time during working hours.

We also let the kids stay here so we can monitor the kid’s school related activities while we are at our screens. We can immediately entertain their questions. We can bond.

Also, humidity during summertime makes you hot and sweat. We only have 1 electric fan to we have to share. Aside from opening windows or doors, we are of the household that relies on electric fans to keep the room cool.

So being together in the same area would means  unavoidable background noises from simultaneous meetings or questions from kiddos or from news from radios. I’m not complaining, these are my breather – to get chikas from husbands’s company, talk with my kids or get updated from the crisis or happening in our community or the country.

Prepping for family meals is also challenging for a mom who lack this skill. I miss my office lunch dilemma on whether to eat my baon or eat at the canteen. I am glad though this is the husband’s forte :) however, it helps to have a menu guide too.

Pros:
Work From Home - MultiTasking
I am one of the workers who cheer for WFH option because with WFH I have zero commute time. In fact, looks like I have more time :) I don’t have to rush every morning just to avoid the traffic rush. I can work with my pajamas. I can manage my time and be more flexible. Though there was an agreed working time being set but at home I can be early than the agreed time to avoid network congestion when accessing the tools or extend late in case I have some urgent house chores.

Multi-tasking or juggling between work and home can be painful but I consider this an opportunity to have more quality time with family while working. I have my +1 during my meetings, my son seems interested on whom I am talking to and keeps on asking trivial questions. It might be annoying at times so I rely on school-related activities to at least ease their restlessness.  I can attend huddles while cutting my kid’s fingernails :)

Additionally, WFH also taught my kids to be more responsible in doing house chores. They learn to cook meals, wash the dishes, mop the floor, fix the bed and other mundane house chores. Also, you get to observed you’re kids and learn more about them. They are more subtle in their sibling quarrel considering they know we are around.
Work From Home - Me TimeTo sum up, as long as you are productive with your deliverable and comfortable doing it at home, then maybe WFH, Work from Home for you.

10 Year Challenge

It’s been years since we were able to wander together. This year, we had an opportunity, so we decided to re-create the photo almost 10 years ago and join 10-year challenge hype early this year. Just for fun :)

Jaramillo Siblings 10Years BeforeTaken at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Minglanilla, Cebu

Jaramillo Siblings 10Years AfterTaken last month at Garin Farm, San Joaquin, Iloilo

Did aging hit us real hard?

We thought it’s more than ageing.
It’s more of the events and the experiences in 10yrs.
Ganap kumbaga!

There were changes, of course, it is inevitable.
2 weddings;
6 more grandchildren for our parents;
Christmases;
A whole lot of birthdays!!!
Not to mention, 2 Miss Universe crowns and another win for Manny Pacquiao

And…

There were life experiences we never thought would happen,
Overseas work;
Work Reduction Program;
Fire Incidents;
Premature birth;
Death of loved ones;

We often call them the ups and downs of life.
We cry, and we smile, and we laugh like there is no tomorrow. Life must go on so better enjoy the ride, eh!

Even after 10 years, we still have a lot to learn and its how we react to the experience we grow. Just like the saying goes that it’s the same boiling water that makes the egg hard and makes the potato soft.

The Benefits of Cosleeping

MommyAfterWork-CoSleep-Mono

Co-sleeping is when babies and young children sleep at proximity with their parents.

It could be that kids and parents share the same bed or multiple beds in a room or some families uses crib that is securely attached next to the parent’s bed so mommies have easy access when nursing the baby. While the co-sleeping debate goes on, it is surprising to know that a lot of parents around the world choose this set-up. Like us, we co-sleep with our kiddos because of the following benefits:

Promotes Closeness
For weekdays, my husband and I are almost 9 hours away from our kids because of work. Thus, we only have a few hours to connect with them — asking how their day was, sharing breakfast or dinner, school reinforcement, story telling, bedtime bonding and sleeping together.
I’d rather hear the noise of my kid’s breathing as they sleep or my husband’s snore than the deafening silence at night. Somehow sleeping together promotes closeness and attachment with each other.

Longer Sleep
Kids are a bit sensitive, when my kids wake-up and noticed that they are alone in the room, they rather look for us than return to sleep. But when they still notice parent’s presence, they sleep longer. Parent’s presence is surely and comfortably soothing.

Sense of Security
I don’t know with you but cuddles and kisses during bedtime is like security blankets, these bonding and closeness develop the feel of being safe, secure and of course loved.

Saves Electricity
At 31ºC and 70% humidity, no one wants to spend in this sweltering weather. Perks of living in a tropical country is having a warm weather all year round as well sweat and perspiring body everyday. No wonder people loves to stay in malls. Some families would invest in air-conditioning system for a cool good sleep at night. Rather than using all air-conditioning, we gather ourselves together in one room :)

With proper bed sharing guidelines, co-sleeping is not that bad after all :)

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Love Letter on a Hearts Day

Mommy Affter Work - BhoandBalot

Dear Ang,

17 years, 3 months and 7 days ago, we were officially together as I agreed to be your girlfriend. You must have love me that much that you ask me again to be your girlfriend after being rejected. I’m glad you did ask again because I already felt the same way, I am thankful for the persistence.

When I failed the ECE Licensure Exam, I tried to stop the relationship that just started. I want to focus on my review and I didn’t want to get distracted as I prepare to retake the board exam. But then, you must have love me that much that you give your all out support. In fact, your encouragement and constant reminder to study were not a distraction at all. Somehow it help me pass the April 2001 ECE Licensure Exam.

You chose to work up north, I chose down south. It was a long distance relationship, but then, you must love me that much that you invited me to work at same location with you. I did follow you but still, work hinder us to spend valuable time together as we worked on different shifts. But then, those love letters and text messages were the best. It brightens my day despite the stress from work.

You accepted a favorable job offer down south and leave me. Thankful that the setup was just for awhile and that you must have love me that much for you saved all your pay just so we could get married as soon as possible. We got married and I gave up my blossoming career and relocated, excited to start a family with you.

As we get to know each other, slowly we started to struggle with our everyday conflicts. We argue and get frustrated as ours was not a perfect relationship. You are disappointed in a lot of things especially when I cannot meet your expectations. We failed to compromise — from choosing a day’s meal to choosing the right discipline method for our kids. But then, you must have love me that much that you tried to be patient with me, you choose to understand me, you choose to pray and hope, you choose to reconsider, you choose to love.

Hope you’ll never get tired sticking with me.

I love you and Happy Valentines Day.

Always,
Balot

Why A Good Night’s Sleep Is Fundamental To Family Health

pexel - sleeping girl

Everyone wants a family life full of positive vibes and good relationship with everyone, right? A healthy family members also means a happy life for everyone but this might be difficult to achieve when someone falls ill or sick, or the whole family indulges in an unhealthy habits. The entire family dynamics suffers. Of course, people cannot help falling ill, surely there methods that can be help avoid this malady.

Nowadays, health professionals advises everyone, especially the parents, to reconnect with sleep and develop a healthy sleeping habits. Here are some collected tips and hopefully everyone can glean from it. If you’ve figured out that something in your family dynamic needs to change, assessing the wholesome health of each member of the family can be a great place to begin.

It Nourishes
Of course, sleep is something we all need to survive. However, as a child sleep is even more important than a child could ever know. It might be hard getting your unruly toddlers to sleep when you want them to, but that should never mean they are allowed to stay up late at night. A regular and consistent bedtime is important if you hope to allow a child room to develop and grow in the best way possible. Sleep builds and rebuilds the body, and all aspects of healthy development will be tainted without it. Sleep nourishes, and for that reason it’s one of the more important things to get right, from ensuring the bed is never too hot, the room is ventilated and the right mattress from ChooseMattress.com can make all of the difference.

It De-stresses
Sleep allows your children time to subconsciously reflect on and heal from the day they’ve just lived. Being a child is not easy, as learning to be a human as well as the constant responsibility of schooling and social dynamics can take a toll on them. A good long sleep nightly is their best defence against being worn down from fatigue, allowing them a sense of personal time that truly enables them the option of feeling comfortable in their own space. This can make all the difference between a child who is regularly irritable or anxious with outside events to a child who is able to digest the oncoming stresses of life in a multitude of healthier ways.

It Wards Off Illness
Children are susceptible to illnesses,and as their immune system develops you can be sure they’ll experience many of these. Making this worse by a lack of sleep can truly prevent them from getting better at all. It can mean certain illnesses last longer or repeat after they have been shaken off. A great night’s sleep gives your child, and by extension you less chance of getting ill, even when surrounded by many children at school who carry bugs and other transferable nastiness.

With these tips, you can be sure that sleep will be reprioritized in your household.

5 Different Ways To Improve Your Finances For This Year

pexel - dollar on the groundPhoto Credits

At this time of year, after all the expenses from the holidays, its safe to say that our finances can be a bit tight. When a new year begins, we can all feel the pinch, whether you’re currently in financial trouble or not. But, this doesn’t mean that the rest of the year has to be tough when it comes to money, right? It’s only natural that everyone is going to start off wanting to be a bit frugal, but by the end of the year, we could definitely change that. If one of your resolutions for the year ahead is to be frugal and really make the most of your finances, you’ve come to the right post. Because we’re going to talk through five different ways (from well knowledgeable advisers) that we can do to improve our finances for the year ahead.

Start A Budget
The first thing you’re going to want to do, is to start a budget. This is something that you often associate with being on a tight budget, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s just a way to get much smarter with your money. Your budget can be as big or as small as you need it to be, but the point is to get yourself used to allocation portions of your income for set things, and then sticking to it. If some of those set things are savings and a fashion fund, then so be it. But budgeting is a great way to keep your mind in check when it comes to what you’re spending.

Reduce Your Outgoings
Now that you’re getting used to the idea of being more conscious of your money and how you spend it, you’re then going to want to think about reducing your outgoings. This is something that comes quite naturally to you. Because as you start to look into what you’re spending more, you’ll notice that there are things you spend money on that you don’t want to be spending, or at least not as much. So this will allow you to start saving on your monthly expenses overall.

Increase Your Income
From here, you may also want to look into ways of increasing your income. This can often feel difficult to do if you’re not able to get a promotion in your current job. But you could look at getting a new job, moving to a new company, or even starting something for yourself. There are lots of different side hustles, from selling crafts to freelance writing, than can help you top up your income.

Bridge The Gap
However, each of those things can take time. And if you’re currently in a difficult financial situation, you may need to look into small personal loans online to help you bridge the gap. It’s still important for you to stabilize and improve your situation now, so that it can improve as the year goes on.

Set Goals
Finally, you’re also going to want to think about setting yourself some financial goals too. Because having goals helps you to stay on track. Whether it’s to save a certain amount or to reduce debt, you will be able to actively work towards that goal to then achieve it by the end of the year.

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year Everyone.

MommyAfterWork_2018

Hey, hey, hey!
How was your new year? Hoping for the best year ahead :)

For us, this is our second time we welcome the new year at our own home away from our family at the province. We try to enjoy and have fun too even we are physically away from the clan :)

The family had good year last year, thanks to His grace. Though we had a rough vacation due to typhoon and flood and UTI and LBM and then death of a family member as the new year starts, we are moving on and moving forward.

Typhoon Vinta
Typhoon Vinta passed by Northen Mindanao last December affecting lots of families including the husband’s. Hubby’s house was slightly affected with the flooding thus draining the water and house cleaning is needed. Additionally, we are thankful that everyone in city is safe, thanks to the alertness and cooperation of the community.

UTI and Amoebiasis
For some reason, UTI strikes me during my stay in the province and my daughter togther with her cousins suffered from LBM and fever too due to amoebiasis. We blame the recent flooding in the city that could possibly contaminate the water supply. With our situation, we decided to visit the hospital to seek medical help. However, we had a bad experience with Cagayan de Oro Medical Center. The ER team don’t attend after the hospital’s office hours especially if you are using HMO so be sure to bring extra cash when go there after office hours and on holiday season. Additionally, the made a clarification that ER will not entertain you if your illness is not life threatening. Good thing there still kindness when we ask for we made an appeal.

Death and Hope
The passing of my sister-in-law’s husband is a big realization that our stay here on earth with our family is temporary. His death was sudden being young and relax. I’m lost of words. Jeremiah 29:11 reminded me that God is good. God told us not lose hope for He has a plan and gives us an assurance that everything is gonna be okay.

Jeremiah 29:11 (from New International Version (NIV))
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Still Inspired by life’s beauty, we are here to enjoy life to its fullest, create moments with your family, have fun and pray. While we are given a chance to savor and enjoy this God-given life.

And so with hope Mommy After Work is back to sieze the day.

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!

Things That Means Financial Trouble For Families

Keeping on top of your finances when you’ve got a big family is a balancing act that takes a while to master. The most frugal families can run into trouble, even if they’re getting everything right. Life throws you curveballs sometimes and if you aren’t ready to deal with them, you can quickly find yourself in hot water. When it comes to your finances, most of these surprises are things that you can prepare for easily. They’re also things that hit most families at some point so knowing what they are is the key to staying on top of your money. These are the things to watch as these most likely means family in financial trouble.

FinancialTroublesPhoto Credit

Low Income

This is an obvious one but you need to know how to deal with it properly. A common response to low income is to borrow money to make up the shortfalls. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way to go and if you’re borrowing every month, you need a reality check. If you can’t afford your current lifestyle on your wage then you need to cut down, it’s as simple as that. You can start looking for a better job but in the meantime, you need to stop spending so much.

Unexpected House Repairs

Nobody plans for house repairs and if you get a burst pipe or your boiler breaks down, you’ll have to pay out for emergency plumbing services, it’ll cost you around $900 but if the damage is more serious that could go up to a few thousand dollars easily. Chances are, that wasn’t factored into your budget for the month. You should always have a healthy savings account to deal with situations like this, it’s also important to make efforts to avoid damage in the first place. Keeping up with small repairs around the house reduces the chance of bigger problems emerging so it’s going to save you money in the long term.

Healthcare Costs

Health insurance is one of the biggest expenses that most families have and they can easily spiral out of control. If a family member is in an accident or is diagnosed with a serious illness, those bills are going to start shooting up. You’re also likely to need treatments that aren’t covered by your insurance and some of them can cost tens of thousands. You’d be surprised how often there are mistakes on your medical bills so always check them thoroughly, if you challenge them you can pay less.

Financial Disputes

Arguments about money are one the leading causes of problems in a marriage, and they can land you in financial trouble as well. If you and your partner have different ideas about money and how you should use it, you’re never going to agree on a working budget. When you’re working against each other, you’re more likely to make bad decisions. Always try to talk through it and make sure you’re on the same page.

Preparing yourself for these financial surprises might be simple as long resolutions were already planned out, furthermore, it will help stop you from getting into trouble in the future.

Tips in Making Your Home Asthma Safe

If your child suffers from asthma, you know how worrying it can be. The last thing you want your child to go through is an asthma flare up. A flare up is usually caused by pollen, dust, mold or dirt emissions in the air. For most people, these triggers are rarely a problem, but for kids with asthma, it’s something that’s a constant problem. Children should never have to deal with homes that make them unwell. So, what can you do to make sure your home doesn’t trigger an asthma attack?

pixabay-feetonlaminatedfloorsPhoto Credit

Wood Floors
Swapping your carpet for wood floors will allow you to avoid as much dust in the home. Dust mites have a habit of burying deep into carpets, so no matter how often you vacuum, you may not be able to get rid of them. Having a wood floor, whether it’s laminate or solid wood, will allow you to vacuum up dust easily. It’s also the perfect flooring for cleaning up after messy children and spilled drinks.

Your Bedding, Pillows and Stuff Toys
Your bedding is a great breeding ground for dust mites. The bedroom is the most common place in the house to find dust mites, so it’s important to clean there regularly. To avoid dust mites in bedding, vacuum the mattress every two weeks and wash bedding in hot water and on a high heat dryer cycle every month. Change pillow cases and air dry or put pillows in the sun to freshen them up before putting in back in the bedroom. Kid’s stuff toys must also be washed regularly.

Insulation
Old insulation can attract dust like wild fire. Many people never see the benefit in replacing old insulation, but if you live with a child who has asthma, it could do wonders for their health. Old insulation removal doesn’t cost much and replacing it with new insulation every few years could avoid you dealing with excess dust within the home.

Avoid Clutter
It’s easy for clutter to build up when you live with a large family, but clutter often gathers dust and builds up until it becomes a problem. Try to avoid clutter in the main rooms, like the living room and bedrooms. You can avoid clutter by using storage boxes and asking family members to store their belongings away.

Get Rid of Mold
Mold is a proven trigger for asthma, so if you have mold in your home, it’s important to do what you can to get rid of it. You can get rid of mold by using a dehumidifier in the rooms with damp patches. Air diffusers or catalytic lamps life the Lampe Berger helps cleans the air too but check first sensitivity to fragrance. Make sure to take down any wallpaper that has gone moldy and get rid of any plants that may be growing mold. You can clean mold off the walls by using a bleach solution.

pixabay-rabbitPhoto Credit

Animal Triggers
If your child has asthma, having a pet could be a trigger. The best solution is to keep the pet outside or in a room that isn’t often used by your child. Playing with a pet could be perfectly fine, but hugging and kissing the pet may start off an attack. Use your intuition and limit the amount of time your child can spend with your pet.

Keeping asthma triggers to a minimum isn’t easy, but it is the healthiest option for your child.

What to Do If You Cannot Afford Your Kid’s Birthday

For most children, the excitement reaches fever pitch when their birthday is just around the corner. They can’t wait to have a party with all of their friends and, of course, they probably have a wish list full of presents. This can be a worrying and upsetting time for any parent that is struggling financially. It is made even worse by the fact that other kids seem to have the latest mobile phones and games consoles, and you don’t want your child to be left out. So, what can you do if you cannot afford your kid’s birthday?

pixabay-birthdaygirlPhoto Credits

Start saving
If your child’s birthday is several months away, you still have some time to save. You may think that it is impossible to put away money every month when you are struggling as it is, but you would be surprised where cut backs can be made. Here are some suggestions to help you with saving when money is already tight:

Sell things – Do you have clothes, games, or furniture around the home that you no longer use? There are bound to be plenty of people that would give them a happy home. Plus, with auction sites like eBay, it is easy to get things off your hands these days.

Use cash-back programs – There are so many different cash-back programs today. Whenever you make a purchase, you will get a percentage of it back as cash. You can add this into a savings account for your little one’s birthday.

Find cheaper gas – There is no denying that gas is a costly expense. However, you can search for the cheapest gas in your area by using the GasBuddy app. This app uses your location to determine the cost of gas around you. You can then save a few bucks every time you fill up.

Change your car insurance – If you have not changed your car insurance in a while, you could find that you are missing out on a lot of savings. Use a comparison site to see if it would be cheaper switching provider.

Go meatless – Next time you do your grocery shop; try to reduce the amount of meat you spend. If you only eat meat once or twice per week, you will save a lot of money. Plus, it is a lot healthier too.

Eliminate unnecessary expenses – It is time to rethink what the word utility means. It should mean the sort of things that you cannot live without. Do you really need your expensive cable package? If not, switch it for a cheaper Internet-based service and add the savings to your child’s birthday fund.

Unplug electronics – Even when the switch is off at the plug, your electronics still leech electricity. Start unplugging them altogether.

Ask friends or family
Have you tried discussing your money issue with a close friend or family member? The likelihood is that they will be more than happy to help if they are able to. After all, they will want your child to have a great birthday too. Bring up the subject with them and see if they offer to help. If they don’t, and you feel comfortable, you could ask them politely if they would be willing to lend you some money and if you could pay them back over time.

Have you considered a loan?
Nowadays, there are many different forms of financial aid available, and taking out a loan can be a good way to ensure your kid has a great birthday. It is simply about finding the right loan for you. Don’t take out more than you need to. Simply borrow a couple of hundred dollars or whatever is required to buy your child a present and give them a good birthday. Just because you can borrow thousands does not mean that you should. Making payments over time is a lot more manageable for most people, and a lot of lenders will enable you to choose a repayment period that is suitable to your situation. This is a good option for those that don’t want to discuss their financial situation with their family and friends. If you know you have income coming in regularly and you can make the repayments on time, it will actually boost your credit rating too, which will help you when borrowing money for any reason in the future.

Make sure you stick to a tight budget
You don’t have to spend a fortune to throw any amazing birthday party. Even if you secure a loan or a loved one offers to lend you some money, you should still set yourself a strict budget. Plus, if you throw an elaborate birthday this year, they will only expect an even bigger one next year. Don’t waste money on private venues or hiring an entertainer for several hours. Do things the old fashioned way. You can easily host a party at your own home, and it doesn’t need to cost a lot to put on a buffet and make some party bags. You could even ask some of the parents if they would be willing to bring something to add to the buffet. You don’t need to buy fancy invites either, as there are plenty of templates online today, which you can easily print out and use. Make sure you have one invite per family. If you are inviting a brother and sister, there is no need to put both names on the invitation.

You can also take care of the entertainment yourself. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional service. Enlist the help of one of your friends to do face painting. There are plenty of courses and videos online showing you how to face paint, balloon model, and perform magic tricks. And, there are always the traditional games that provide a lot of fun and make everyone laugh, such as musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. To make the birthday even more special, why not have a theme? From pirates to fairies, there are so many different options.