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A year ago I was in a night-shift schedule, dreading to go to work because I am leaving my babies with my husband to put them to sleep. A year ago I have to work during weekends for IT support and do oncall because, well, it’s part of my work. A year ago I was doing a role I didn’t like. A year ago I took a leap and applied for a role I had no idea about, took a chance, had an interview and a few weeks after, took the job offer. A few days from now, June 16 to be exact, marks my first year at Metrobank.

It wasn’t an easy journey. I applied for a role that was completely different from my IT support role and I had no idea what this job was at all. As usual, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time and I kind of lost all the confidence I had from where I left off.

In my new work, I attend face to face meetings which I seldom did, so I have to rethink about my productivity schedules. In addition to that, I have to challenge my introvert self because face to face was tough. I felt like I had to do a complete 360 of my personality to be able to function with the work that I do.

Amongst the new things I have to adjust to was the corporate wear. And to be honest, I quite enjoyed it! I even created a new hashtag for my OOTDs which was #NessaWore. I am one of those people who loved wearing heels to the office, dressing up, looking sharp and presentable most of the time. I always go to client meetings as well so it’s also essential with my role.

You may ask, what has changed compared to your previous work? Well… Never had I worked on a Powerpoint presentation. My stomach turns all the time whenever I do. Never had I created a deck since college. I made sure to re-visit again and again before the actual meeting. Never had I submitted a report too. Never had I even touched a projector in my whole work experience. Like, how does this work again?

My 10 year IT support experience had nothing to do with what I’m doing now. I’m now on the other side of the SDLC process. If before I was doung support work after implementation and go live, in my new role, I have to do the ideation to initiation.

A year has gone by and I’ve met so many different people. I even celebrated one of my best birthdays here. I adjusted from a multinational consultancy company to a local bank and everything was so different! From casual attire to straight up formal corporate in the office, to a default 8.30-6:00pm schedule and so many others. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect company, I’ve had lots of challenges. However, so far, I see myself doing okay. Well, I do hope so. I have this feeling of delight whenever my clients appreciate the help that I do as part of work. I have been so busy and loaded since the start of the year and sometimes I do forget a lot of things.

But what made my switch to Metrobank a lot easier was the friendship that was built with my colleagues at work. We all came from different backgrounds and company (well, most of us!) and age group but we all seemed to click! They make our work easier, adding reasons why you go to work every morning and you’ll always have a support group whenever things go crazy. I am so lucky to call them friends and always have this feeling of privilege that I am part of this group.

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I wouldn’t really say that it was a major fail but I just thought they weren’t ready yet for a competition when they just want to have fun and play.

A day before, it was my birthday but I kept on checking their event page for updates on the Strider Cup. I saw the time when the competition would start but I wasn’t aware that it was for the whole Pru Life UK event. It says as early as 6.30, they’ll call on the participants of the race. We were there by 6am and the Strider team were only setting up. Although we had a chance to have the twins practice and bike through the track.

And because we were very early, they started biking early which means they got tired easily. The race started past 8am already and to be honest, we didn’t hear any pre-race briefing and every parent and kids were all over the place. I kind of thought the event wasn’t well-organized and it was already super humid at 8am because of the weather which added to the stress.

I noticed that Nate and Naya were already getting irritated and tired. It’s almost their nap time anyway. If we didn’t get ready as early as 5am, they wouldn’t be so grumpy. If only I knew the race would start at 8am, we would’ve left by 7am.

They were part of the first batch of the 2 year old category and by the time they were asked to be assembled at the starting line, they don’t want to bike anymore. I didn’t know their category had the most number of participants. I see their tired and frustrated faces and I don’t want to be a competitive mom who would push them even if they don’t want to. I know the twins and I know they don’t want to be pushed if they don’t want to do it and most probably, they don’t want other people’s encouragement too. It adds to the stress. But with a huge event like that, you’ll see random people asking your kids to move forward, cheer them and pushing them to start. And I knew that this overwhelms them. And so I stopped and moved Naya to the side. I know she wanted to be away from the crowd. I let Nayj and Nate go through because between both of them, Nate is the one who wanted to bike more.

Nate was in the starting line. I was already at the side with Naya, holding her while sitting on her bike. Nate strided after the signal, but stopped after a few meters as he’s looking for his father. Nayj cheered him on from the side and when Nate saw him, he wanted to go to Nayj’s side of the track. In short, he wants to ride through the ropes instead of racing through the whole track. He was crying and frustrated. Nayj carried him and his bike and we all went to the viewing area and watched the kids and parents enjoy the race. And that ended their Strider Cup experience.

As soon as I latched Naya and Nayj carried Nate, they both slept. As in bagsak talaga. I felt quite bad, medyo nakakaawa sila dahil sa sobrang pagod. I wasn’t disappointed. Hindi rin ako nanghinayang sa 1400 na binayad ko. I knew they were too young and weren’t ready for such a huge event. As I’ve said, it’s not important for them to win, but its the experience.

I’ll give it time. I think it was also a factor that they are so used to ride the bike together so if one wasn’t biking, the other one won’t bike as well. There is another Strider competition this weekend at Evia and we’ll check first if they want to join before we sign up. Good thing we can pay at the event.

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A few months before the twins’ second birthday, Nayj and I were looking for an affordable balance bike so the twins can start learning how to bike. I once saw a toddler biking around in Strider in BGC way back and I became interested in buying one for the twins. I was looking for the generic ones as I find Strider expensive for Php5,999 for one bike.

I found two balance bikes in red and blue, being sold in Facebook Marketplace for only 1,700 each. I bought two and Kuya Mako insisted on paying the other bike as his birthday/Christmas gift for the twins. It was delivered to our house via Lalamove and Nayj helped me assemble both bikes.

We have the twins try them on that weekend but we noticed that they weren’t ready. The bikes overwhelmed them. They were only interested with the helmets. Hahahha. Their small frames looked very fragile on the bikes so set it aside and decided to introduce it to them slowly.

Fast forward to January, Nate was getting excited to use his bike. I noticed after two tries, he already knew how to use it.

Naya was still having a hard time and she was kind of carrying the bike instead of riding it. She’s kind of wasn’t interested as she prefers to walk after about 10 minutes.

I was amazed at how good they were. No one’s teaching them how to glide or to put their feet up when riding the bike. I was so proud of their motor skills.

We bought them a better helmet that is adjustable at the back. We visited Decathlon as I saw affordable helmets there for toddlers as well. Nayj was quite interested with their balance bikes and he has this idea to replace their generic ones with B-Twin. Let’s see…

The helmets were only 550php each from Decathlon. Last weekend, I just bought knee and arm pads for their added protective gears.

I put a couple of videos in my Youtube channel to show their biking skills and you might want to check them out on the links below. Enjoy!

Nate And Naya’s Biking Session

Just Another Saturday

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As I look back into this blog, I realized that I haven’t been posting since August 2018 and it has been 7 months! A lot of things has happened and if you’re a parent, you know that there are a lot of changes with your toddlers within this short time frame.

The Twins’ first Haircut!

Back in October, we took them to Cuts 4 Tots in Festival Mall for their first haircut (EVER!). And I commend the staff here because they really know what they’re doing when it comes to handling haircut for toddlers. Because a few weeks ago, we went to another salon for kids in Alabang Town Center and the twins were crying and there was no effort of distraction from the staff to entertain the twins. All they want was to get the job done. Cut their hair and we’re done.

However, in Cuts 4 Tots, they make lambing first to the twins to keep them comfortable before doing the haircuts. This kept them from being overwhelmed of what’s happening and made the environment normal and chill. Look at the pictures below and look at how chill they were!

And now, the finished product!

Their First Twinning Shoes at Sole Mini!

When you have boy/girl twins, you have to find creative ways for twinning outfits and the best go to would always be shoes! I am so glad we have stores here now that caters branded quality shoes to toddlers. I was aiming for twinning New Balance shoes but we opted to purchase all white Nike Cortez for both of them.

Nate doesn’t want to take it off after fitting and Naya kept showing her new shoes to Ama the next day.

The Twins Went to the Beach!

This isn’t their first time going to beach as this was the same place where they experienced walking barefoot in the sand. We went back to Canyon Cove with Nayj’s mom so she can bond with her first apos before she goes back to Israel. I can’t help but find twinning swimwears this time.

Naya loved the water so much that she can’t stop swimmimg even if the water was cold or that her skin is already getting dark.

The Twins Went To Baguio!

To celebrate the twins’ second birthday, we stayed at The Manor Hotel for two nights and explored Baguio in all its coldness. They experienced riding horses, we went to buy Ukay New Balance shoes for them, they tasted their first strawberry ice cream and toured around the Burnham Park.

We invited Tita Vilma and Ama to our trip as well because tita haven’t been to Baguio for a long time and I know that Ama wants to go with us as well.

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The Twin Working Mom by Nessa Fabros - 11M ago

I don’t remember the last time I weighed myself and I don’t think I ever wanna do it. I think I might be surprised whatever I’d see on that scale. Eversince I started my new work, I stopped pumping for my breastmilk and only latched the twins when I’m home. But then after that, I realized that I am already gaining weight.

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The Twin Working Mom by Nessa Fabros - 1y ago

This blog post was 3 years too late. I can’t remember why I never published it but looking back, it made me realize that my work struggles are now in the past. It was way before Nayj and I had a baby and we just got married. It’s a proof that when you pray for something, God listens. Di mo nga lang alam kung kailan niya ibibigay. So read on…

February-March 2016

I always have this mantra to always do the best that I can at work. Be responsible, do things without people telling you to and to be proactive. But the moment I started planning my wedding last year, I kind of lay lowed a bit. I had to focus on planning my wedding then work was just second. I mean, I’m starting to plan for the rest of my life, so I can’t be stressed for two things. If I had to be stressed, it has to be for the wedding, not for both.

So now that the wedding’s over, I have been going to work for a month now and I think that I kind of lost my passion for greatness that I always had for years. (Haha!) We all have the masipag and tinatamad phase at work and the tinatamad phase seems to stay too long on my system. I don’t intend for it to stay that way because the reality is, if you’re planning for the rest of your life, you need work hard to make sure that the rest of your life is stable.

I find it hard to wake up in the morning and given that I’ve been taking weekend shifts lately kind of makes it harder. I had to work on weekends and leave the husband at work, while he work on weekdays and he has to leave me at home. I guess I’m still adjusting to the fact that we are not always going to be together. Shifting also makes it harder because I had to work at night and we only get to see each other an hour a day.

And now that I realized that it has been a month since I started working again after the wedding, I should go back to my old self. I don’t want to keep being lazy because that won’t do me any good. Especially now that I’m planning and actually living for my future, I have to keep everything in place and add the fact that my company has a good health insurance especially when we plan to have a baby.

So I guess I have to stop the play and focus on work now as I’ve always been. But I’m not saying that it’s all going to be work. We all know it should be of both. And I have to learn to prioritize family above all. Again, family is first (which is also our team mantra at work), then work second.

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The Twin Working Mom by Nessa Fabros - 1y ago

In other countries, they are very strict that once you have been released from the hospital, you should have a baby carseat/carrier when you’re going to ride in a car. Here in the Philippines, there isn’t any law yet (though it’s in the works) so when we went home with the twins three nights after I gave birth, the twins were only cradled in our arms inside the car.

To this date, it was only just recently that we introduced the carseat to the twins. What triggered us was that we can’t go out when our yaya is on a dayoff because we do not have another person to hold the twins at the back. Hence, I thought of buying a carseat. But then I thought that maybe they would just cry throughout the whole drive because they are not used to sitting on one. Sometimes when Yaya Kristy and I carry each of the twins at the back, they have tantrum episodes pa and very malikot. So I thought we would struggle to buckle them in their own carseat. However, I was wrong!

I first borrowed a carseat with one of our church friends to try it out. And then I bought a second hand Takata in “BabyandMe Savers” in Facebook for only 1,500 pesos. And I was so surprised how behave they were. They sat still and enjoyed the ride from our house to Metrogate Silang.

They liked the thought of having their own space in the car. And so when this happened, we decided to buy another one. This time, it was a blue Lehman carseat for Naya.

I think what worked was that we let them sit on them at home while watching TV to get a “feel” of it.

After almost a month of having them ride the car in their carseats, I saw an improvement on their behavior whenever they are inside the car.

  1. When they know we are leaving, they are already expecting that they will be buckled in their seats. They willingly slide their arms in the seatbelts.
  1. They are relaxed and still in their seats compared when they were just sitting in our laps where they push every button they see or walk around the vehicle.
  2. They can sleep well on their own without nursing or hele. The car itself makes them hele. Hahaha. They just ask us to remove their shoes when they start to get sleepy.
  3. And of course, pwede na kami mag-family time na kami kami lang! As in solo trip #TheFabroses na sobrang ine-envy ko sa iba.
  • Of course, there are times when they still cry but we never try to take them out of their seats. Either we take out a snack or play their favorite song or nursery rhyme. Or just distract them on whatever method we may think of right in that moment. I don’t know but kids hates it when the car stops or worse, when you are in traffic!
  • I still believe that they should’ve started since they were newborns but when they started a month ago, it was easier for us since they understand more now and we can just talk to them. Or I don’t know, maybe nag-mature na talaga sila. Hahaha.
  • We only have four months before they both turn two years old. We are planning to go to Baguio for their celebration and we can’t wait!! Excited but also getting emotional and proud when seeing them now. Hay, my heart
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    The Twin Working Mom by Nessa Fabros - 1y ago

    I have met a lot of fellow parents here in my new work. From where I came from, I am already considered old in my age group and I never really had any conversations regarding parenting because I am one of the firsts. After meeting and hearing stories about different ways and styles of parenting, I can’t help but feel guilt about some things, but also discovered a lot. Even if some are working moms or dads, they still have time to be super hands on with their kids.

    I met someone who prepares food for her kids every morning, with bento styles and all, because she didn’t want the yaya to prepare it. And then I was like, how can you squeeze your time for that?

    I realized that a lot of parents still take their kids to school every morning. All along I was like, “Don’t we have school buses for that?” But of course I didn’t say it. It’s just that I grew up taking the school jeep/van growing up that I always had that idea once my kids go to school. However, Nayj also have the same desire to take the kids to school every morning once they start.

    Some people may smirk at the idea that our yaya takes care of the twins’ meals or that I chose to work rather than stay home at the age that they need me the most. I don’t teach my kids ABC, teach them to count 1-20 nor do they know anything about colors yet. They watch nursery rhymes on the TV during the day. I can’t attest to that “no screen time” below 2 years old promise because its really easier said than done. We are busy parents and we cannot be hands on most of the time. We all have our struggles. What I do is that I don’t compare my kids comprehension with numbers, alphabets, songs or colors with another kids’. They are still young and I’d rather them enjoy themselves being a kid, they’ll eventually learn those when they are ready. I still remember that I learned everything in my Prep years, my parents aren’t that pressured to teach everything to us early on.

    As a young mom, we may tend to get pressured with what other people tell us, or what advertisements on TV shows us. There are so many unsolicited advise about raising kids and being a parent but I guess you’ll learn how to ignore them and stand by your own techniques. Also, I learned to not judge what other parent does because you don’t know their story or their struggles. I suggest you follow Kristine Kuzmic, the truthbomb mom, and you’ll know what I mean.

    Happy busy parenting!

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    The Twin Working Mom by Nessa Fabros - 1y ago

    How do you really categorize a “real” mom?

    I came across a post in Bianca Gonzales’ page where she was featured in Leading Women about being a millenial mom. See the Fashion Pulis thread here. And then I read about a commenter that says, ‘You should feature “real” moms … not like these pseudo moms who has like 3-4 maids who does the work for them…’ And then go and scroll down the comment section of the post in the website itself where there are numerous comparison of “working mothers with yayas” versus “stay at home moms”.

    There was once a scenario where I took a leave at work when the twins were still less then a year old. It wasn’t really a vacation but I just stayed at home and took a break. I remember someone asked me, “Kamusta bakasyon mo?” And then I said, “Okay lang, parang di naman ako nag-bakasyon kasi inalagaan ko yung twins.” And then I was surprised with the reply, “Bakit? Dalawa naman yaya mo eh, hindi ba sila nagaalaga?”

    When I still had two yayas, most people get the impression that I don’t do any “mom” task anymore. Sure, I do get a lot of help. I mean, wasn’t that the whole point why we hired them anyway? But what they don’t know is that when we are at home, we are as hands on as we can get. They can do all house chores as they want and we’ll take care of the twins. But when they are too much to handle, then that’s where they come in and take over. Just because you have a yaya, doesn’t mean that you’re less than being called a mother.

    What saddens me is why people compare the tasks of a working mom to a stay at home mom and why mothers who can afford a yaya suddenly becomes pseudo moms. How do you define a “real” mom anyway?

    I know for a fact that being a stay at home mom is very difficult because you do everything without any price – taking care of the baby, cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes, etc. But working moms also should get the credit of doing work plus doing some mother duties once they get home. Sure, they don’t do everything that a stay at home mo does but do we really have to count?

    What I liked most was the comment where it says, “There are no real mothers or pseudo mothers. There are only ‘mothers’. Period.” Just because a person asks for help on taking care of a child doesn’t make you less than being a mom. As long as you do your best in raising your children, then that’s all that matters. Each family has their own methods, you just have to find what works for yours. Besides, we all have different needs than others. We all have different field of work, our child also have different needs than other kids, so we shouldn’t compare what other family can or cannot do.

    In this day and age of social media, I feel like it is so difficult being a mother. Aside from different brands popping everywhere, we also see a lot of mom “influencers” showing their perfect life in their posts and as a new mom, you always compare your life to them. What we don’t realize is that what we see on camera isn’t really what’s real. I am also guilty of this when I posted the twins eating on their own and my cousin said she was so impressed how much they are eating. I said, “Don’t be fooled by my post. Hindi nila nauubos lahat yan. Most of the time, they just play with it.” Which is true, but I don’t post behind the scenes of it. Because we tend to only show the best moments and not the realest ones. That is why I admire mothers who show both. The best moments and the worst struggles.

    So, please, let us stop comparing or labeling mothers. Let us stop mom-shaming. Instead, let us help one another with just well, being a mom. Period. Being one is so hard already so let’s make it a better place for everyone! You are a great mother. Don’t let other people say otherwise.

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