We often know our mothers as those who tucked us into our beds at night, made our baon for school, got mad at us for doing something stupid, and many more “ah same my mom does that too” moments. Many of us don’t realize, however, that being a mother is just one of the many hats they wear.
Here at NOOK, we hung out with two of our favorite mommas—Jade and Rhea who we generally perceive as hard-working girl bosses in their respective fields. We kind of bothered them during their busy work days (we super appreciate you Jade and Rhea!) clicking away on their computers, catching them in between meetings, and even going the virtual route just to get a glimpse of their innermost thoughts. What we discovered though, was a wonderfully intersected not-so-secret life they have been living.
Jade is a 25-year-old first-time mom to a wonderful little boy. She works for a company that holds their private office at NOOK. A soft-spoken individual with a big personality, we often see her at her desk click-clacking away throughout the day. Rhea is a 47-year-old with 2 beautiful daughters. She owns her own consulting firm that holds its private office at NOOK as well. A girl boss through and through, we often see her zooming in and out of the space throughout her busy work day! Throughout our conversations with them, we really got to know them as mothers, professionals, and their most authentic selves.
Hat One: The Mother
For Jade and Rhea, being a mother has its pros and cons. Surprisingly, their most memorable moments as mothers are the ones that physically showed their struggles and journey of becoming a mom. Jade reminisces about waking up in the middle of the night to feed her little one. She says it’s tough, but very fulfilling as a first-time mom. Rhea, similarly, said that the most memorable moment for her was giving birth to her child. She has 2 daughters, her eldest is her stepdaughter and her second is her biological daughter. This doesn’t change the fact that she is and always will be a mother of 2. She says seeing her children come into the world and watching them grow and transform in front of her eyes makes her feel like the luckiest in the world.
When asked what else they wanted to accomplish as mothers, Jade, being a first-time mom, wants to instill good values in her child by teaching him how to become a God-fearing person and how to put himself in other people’s shoes. For Rhea, as she has a 28-year-old and a 10-year-old, she wants to be able to grow old and healthy enough to see her daughters reach different milestones as they age.
One thing is for certain—these moms would do anything for their children, and if they could speak to their children 5 to 10 years from now Jade says one specific thing she wants to tell her son is to become a responsible and God-fearing person. “I want to tell him about my journey during my pregnancy. I had a cesarean section delivery when I gave birth, and I want to tell him that it was really hard for me” she adds, as she wants her son to appreciate what she sacrificed for him. Hoping never to lose their sense of wonder and passion in everything they do is what Rhea wants to tell her daughters. She wants them to know that she and her husband will always be around to support their decisions even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. “I hope they never lose their belief that there is something bigger than themselves in the world, whether in their minds that they continue to believe in God, that’s one, or the universe in itself—just that there’s a growing force in the universe that is bigger than them and never lose sight of it. I wouldn’t really know what my children are going to be like in the next 5 to 10 years, but that would be my prayer to them, is that they continue to evolve and find themselves while staying grounded and never lose that sense of curiosity and wonder in the world” Rhea beautifully adds.
Hat Two: The Professionals
Both girl bosses in their respective careers, we asked them how they balance everything in their lives while still being on top of their day jobs.
As a new Data Analyst, Jade is still navigating this new industry she recently stumbled upon. She actually graduated with a teaching degree and dabbled in some BPO work, but eventually ended up in her career now. She wanted to challenge herself and explore new opportunities, which is why setting priorities and establishing boundaries is what works best for her. She states that knowing what you want and need is very important as a working mom. Hats off to Jade for navigating two new completely different experiences—being a first-time mom and testing the waters in being a Data Analyst!
Rhea, on the other hand, owns her own Organizational Development (OD) consulting firm. She recalls that she has always been fascinated by human behavior and the social psychology space, so she found herself gravitating towards OD ever since college. Being driven by observing how human behavior generally impacts everything, she carries this over to her family life as well. Because she is on top of her career, she is also on top of her family’s schedule, often looping them into her calendar. She loves to time block anything and everything—from her work days, weekend activities like her kids’ schedules, family trips, etc.—it’s all plotted in one calendar where her family can be kept in the loop. She also adds that it is important to purposefully make time to do the things you love or have the occasional intentional downtimes, may it be watching TV, not getting up early and sleeping longer, exercising, etc. She wants to make sure that she has something that grounds her on a regular basis. Those are the things most important for her in navigating her career as an OD practitioner and a mother.
One piece of advice that we caught Rhea giving can also be applied not just to mothers who have trouble balancing their full plate, but also to individuals who want to make time for other aspects of their life as well. Rhea states that work-life balance is and always will be a choice, it’s not something that just happens to you. As she handles big groups for her job, she knows the “sana you give me work-life balance” phrase all too well. But, she strongly believes work-life balance is a choice you make and therefore anything and everything you do is actually what creates that balance. We love Rhea for being the realest! She really knows how to ground herself and practices what she preaches.
Just like Jade and Rhea, being professionals should never hinder you from creating the perfect balance between navigating your day jobs and your lifetime job of being a mom!
Hat Three: Just Jade and Just Rhea
So who really are these wonderful women? We asked them how they want to be remembered by their children, grandchildren, and the people they have met throughout their lives. These mommas want to be remembered as strong, responsible, and empowering individuals that allowed their families, children, and colleagues to have endless possibilities.
Adding to the insightful discussion with Rhea as an OD practitioner, we found out that her career is deeply rooted in her personal life, helping her clients in transformation and change, which is why she wanted to be remembered as the mother who supported her children as they grew and transformed, helping them become better versions of themselves. She also wants to be remembered as a colleague who mentored her team and created opportunities for people in her company, as a professional that created insights and impacts for companies she handled that allowed them to transform and become better companies, and lastly as someone who created space—someone who created safe spaces for people to transform and be better versions of themselves.
These identities are just a very small glimpse of the different hats our moms wear. Who knows what not-so-secret lives we are yet to discover from other captivating and insightful discussions with them?
So, who are “Just Jade” and “Just Rhea”? Strip away all their identities and we get their most authentic selves? It’s not that simple. There is no “Just Jade” and “Just Rhea” without The Mother and The Professional. These identities and not-so-secret lives they live are what make them, them. This fascinating and beautiful intersection of who they are—mother, colleague, and these identities that make up their most authentic selves—is just a mere fraction of the space they take up as individuals who live their lives for others, especially for their children.
From the bottom of our hearts here at NOOK, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who live a beautiful, chaotic, and everything-in-between not-so-secret life!
Written by Gilly Pangan