It’s a myth that once a woman becomes a mother, she cannot pursue her dreams any longer. Take it from Vea Kristine R. Vallo-Magsaysay, mom of two, owner of four business franchises, and dean’s lister in Executive Master of Business Administration at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), who juggles roles in the name of pursuing her dreams.
Mommy Vea humbly recognizes the “everyday struggles” and “high levels of stress” that come with the path she is taking, but her stance has always been to pursue dreams sooner rather than later. “As moms, we tend to delay our dreams, but if you can do it now, do it. The more you delay, the more it’s not going to happen,” she asserts.
If you’re a mom or parent who has been putting your dreams on hold and doubting if you can ever do it, find inspiration and courage from Mommy Vea’s tips below!
Mommy Vea grew up seeing her parents juggle roles and handle their own businesses. When she took up BS Legal Management at De La Salle University Manila, she became even more exposed to business strategies, and as she started to work for her parents’ businesses, she developed a thirst to learn and explore more.
It was only her husband who knew about her taking the entrance exam at the Asian Institute of Management for postgraduate studies. Like many hopefuls, she feared the possibility of not being able to get in. But she pushed through anyway, knowing that it was only through taking advanced studies that she would have a back up plan and manage the risks of owning a business.
“If you have a degree, you will be prepared for different circumstances. You will really understand the world you’re in. You will have a full understanding of the strategies you’ll need,” Mommy Vea shares.
She also mentioned that her children are part of her motivation to pursue postgraduate studies. She wanted to set an example to them that “in whichever phase you are in your life – married, with children, work, business, if you really want to fulfill your dream, with hard work and prayer, it is possible.”
Mommy Vea married a dedicated and hands-on husband and father almost 10 years ago in the person of Daddy Jonathan. According to Mommy Vea, “Before he met me, he already knew how much of a dreamer I am. He already accepted that dreaming big and achieving bigger things are part of me.”
In fact, her husband is her biggest cheerleader. He was the one who encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree. He would never miss out on an opportunity to tell her, “If not now, when?” This rhetorical question is also an assurance that he would wholeheartedly stand as a full-time parent even if he has his own duties as a beekeeper at Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm, and while his wife attends to her other roles.
As a hands-on mom, Mommy Vea cooks meals for her family even if she’s busy with work and school, and she personally tutors her kids. At home, it’s really just her and her husband, without nannies for both kids. Even if they can manage on most days, having multiple roles requires humility to accept help from family members who are most willing to help.
“Grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren, so grab the chance if they offer to look after their grandchildren, even on weekends,” she reminds.
Prayers, planning, and PTA Meetings are three of Mommy Vea’s non-negotiables.
According to her, “As cliché as it may sound, your faith and prayers can power you through. Faith will be your source of power, strength, guidance, and energy to be able to push through with everything for the roles you’re in.”
She also shares that she used to have physical planners where she wrote things she needed to do. However, given that everything is fast-paced in her life now, she finds that her phone calendar is more efficient to use, where all her kids’ schedules and her own are listed so she can keep track of everything.
To be updated all the time is one of her secrets to balance everything. Her staff can contact her anytime whenever they need anything. This way, she can respond efficiently and accordingly.
As for PTA Meetings, “I don’t miss being updated and informed about how my kids perform in school, or personally know what their teachers’ feedbacks are.” At times when she really can’t make it due to her work and study commitments, her husband happily steps in to attend to their kids’ needs in school.
Even before she got married, it was already part of her dream to study or work abroad. “Back when I was still working in the Bureau of Immigration, I was assigned as an Immigration Attaché in Taiwan Meco. I was away from my family for three months,” Mommy Vea recalls.
A part of her had to give up family time, but she shares a viewpoint moms and parents must strongly consider: “Part of my growth as a mother and a wife is fulfilling my own dreams, to reach what I want to reach as a person.”
“With my kids, I’m very transparent. I talk to them as if they’re old like me. I tell them that there are things I need to do for work or school and we need to make sacrifices for our dreams. Sometimes it would entail being away from them, but it’s also for them that I do these things. I can give them a better life or I can improve the life we’re in,” Mommy Vea explains.
To make up for lost time, their family invests on local trips and staycations. If her workload is not too heavy, she and her husband would bring the kids to the playground or schedule an eat-out. Of course, at night, they eat and watch TV together.
It’s important for Mommy Vea to be honest and transparent to kids about the reality of any situation. “You’ll be surprised! You think they’re still young, but their level of maturity goes beyond their age. My daughter already understands, and sometimes she is the one who explains to her brother that I need to study or work.”
Mommy Vea admits to getting burned out, too. The different roles take a toll on her health, and sometimes, she has to face the reality that even if she’s sick, she still has to continue working. Even her duties as a mom does not stop as well when she’s sick.
So she reminds moms and dads to “Take breaks and take care of yourself in whatever form that fits you. I’m very simple – getting a massage or getting a mani-pedi are things that already energize me to face the stress ahead. It’s essential.”
Aside from taking much needed rest, Mommy Vea reminds parents who are going after their dreams to “be forgiving” with themselves.
According to her, moms and dads have to accept that they will have shortcomings, that they cannot be perfect, and that they cannot be present for everyone all the time, but it’s still important to “make the most of what you can out of the time you have.”
Since a lot of her time is taken away by school and businesses, she makes sure that she gives it her best. “Kailangan galingan ko. Kailangan sulit na sulit.”
This is how she made it to the Dean’s List. However, she also reminds that if being part of the honors list adds pressure, “then it’s not worth it.”
She goes on to share that with God’s grace and guidance, she was able to earn full scholarship at IE University in Madrid to represent the school. It’s a fruit of her hard work, and a strong testament that indeed, when one puts her heart in what she does, she will not only excel; she will create an impact that parents and kids alike will look up to and take after.