May 9, 2020
By: El Santos
Evident would like to say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the moms out there! This post is dedicated to our team’s own super moms, and to all the amazing moms doing their best to find work-life balance during these trying times.
Mothers are some of the most resilient people you’ll ever meet. With everyone staying home thanks to the threat of COVID-19, mothers of all walks of life have had to make a lot of adjustments just to ensure that she and her family still keep thriving.
Even before the quarantine, I’ve always marvelled at how mothers manage to balance work, childcare, and household responsibilities all at once. Now, I can’t even imagine how exhausting it must be to take on all of it once at home.
Let’s check in with the inspiring moms at Evident and see what has helped them achieve work-life balance while in quarantine.
Quarantine has disrupted many of our routines, so it’s important to build new ones to keep ourselves going. Being cooped up at home during this time means spending more time with family, and having a daily routine is important if we want to make the most of this time.
Sandra Sulit, our Creative Director and mom of one, says that having a morning routine is “the best way to jumpstart your day”. Hers consists of some quiet time, puppy time, chores, and breakfast before she logs in for work. Judy Aguilar, our Office Manager and mom of three, also says that having a routine helps her stay more productive and gives her “a sense of normalcy.”
When setting a routine for working at home, it’s essential for moms to block off time for work and time for family. Cecile Dominguez-Yujuico, our CEO who is currently expecting her second child, tries to divide her daily work into blocks of time and takes breaks in between to spend time with her 4-year old son. Erica Samonte, our Director of Consumer and Brand Marketing (who is also expecting her second child), tries to keep a regular schedule: work time is at 7AM-4PM, and family time is before 7AM and after 4PM.
However they’ve decided to block off their schedules, the goal is to stay focused and present rather than trying to juggle everything all at once. Sandra emphasizes that there should be hard stops when it comes to work. “When it’s family time,” she says, “all devices are put aside.”
Aside from blocking off time, creating a space dedicated to work is another important step in staying productive and focused. For moms with workaholic tendencies like Sandra, it’s especially important to have a space to isolate themselves from everyone else.
Judy says that she has a separate area for working, and that she specifically avoids taking work into the bedroom—which is actually more important than many people realize. When working from home, it’s important to keep work outside of the places meant for relaxation because it can increase stress and impact your sleeping habits.
Following a routine and setting up dedicated workspaces can be difficult for moms, especially those with younger children. As Erica points out, “you can’t simply explain to a 2-year old that mommy is working and can’t be disturbed”. That’s why the full support of other family members is extremely important. Luckily, the Evident moms are lucky enough to have families that support their efforts to achieve work-life balance.
Gloribel Quezada, our Operations Assistant and mother of 4, says that her husband helps around the house and on their farm, while her children are also old enough to do their share of household work. Judy’s husband has “staple chores” assigned to him at home, and her two older children do their part by baking and running errands. They also take turns watching their youngest daughter so they both have time to focus on work.
But beyond simply getting help with physical chores, moms need help carrying the burden of the mental load as well. Mental load, also known as “emotional labor” or “worry work”, is the burden of keeping track of everything —from all the tasks that need to be done to what needs to be added to the grocery list to remembering everyone’s favorite ulam. Mothers shoulder the bulk of this mental load, and it’s making them very tired.
Aside from the mental load for everything related to the home, working moms also have the burden of thinking about work, too. As Erica says: “It’s not really [about] assigning tasks to each other, but more of just taking initiative to do chores and errands that the other person is unable to do. It’s also caring enough to make sure your partner doesn’t get overworked, too tired, or stressed.”
Helping with a working mom’s mental load doesn’t mean reading her mind—it’s simply just being more mindful and observant, and being more considerate of just how much she has to shoulder on any given day. It can be as simple as telling her, “Let me take care of cleaning the bathroom so that you don’t have to think about it.”
The past two months have been a challenge for us all, and motherhood has become more challenging than ever. It’s never been easy for working moms to achieve the work-life balance needed for them to take care of their families and themselves, and quarantine has made it even more difficult. But as the Evident moms have clearly demonstrated, work-life balance is still achievable through the right amount of effort and support.
So now, as we celebrate Mother’s Day while still on enhanced community quarantine, we should remember that the best way to honor and show appreciation for the mothers in our lives—including our mom friends, colleagues, and relatives—is to empower them to do whatever they need or want to do. That means supporting them in any way we can; whether through helping them set a balanced schedule, giving them space when they need to focus, or simply being more considerate of their needs and feelings as they navigate their daily to-dos.