In the last few months, I’ve seen just how powerful connections are between like-minded moms. That may sound funny, coming from a person who works alone, at home, with no one but husband, kid and kitchen as her constant companions! It’s the reality, of course, of many women like me, who are what I lovingly call “WAHMderful” women.
Being a work at home mom is challenging because you are often isolated, on your own. I felt this way, and I yearned for some form of community to fill in this void. As a mom, I needed to connect with other women who knew what I was going through as a mom who worked from home. I was hungry for the companionship of fellow moms who understood my dreams, my goals, my intentions as a parent.
And so, I made a bold intention, which I broadcast to the universe (and the people who read my blog): I wanted to create an event by work at home women, for work at home women. This event would connect, inspire and empower the work-at-home community in Manila to be the best mothers and homemakers they could be.
In short: It happened. Twice, in fact! We recently held our second “WAHMderful Life” workshop here in Manila. It was a meeting of the minds, as around 70 women (and two dads!) got together for a day of learning, support and empowerment. Our topic? Well, working from home, naturally! Aside from that, we had specific streams about actual work-at-home jobs for moms. It was all pretty informative! In fact, it was so successful (just like the first event, last October 2012), that we are re-running this workshop again this year. Best of all, I got to see one of my life list goals come to fruition.
And you know what? Seeing the fruit just motivates me to pursue more of my goals for the WAHM community.
To be honest, I’m still in a daze. I never though this workshop would take off the way it did. Since we launched it last October, the clamor for it has reached fever pitch, and we are re-running the workshop again this April. Plans are in the works as well for a bigger conference, later this year. And considering this success, I’m sure of one thing: This wouldn’t all be possible were it not for key connections I’d made.
I’ve learned two life lessons from conducting the last two workshops for the work at home moms in Manila. These two lessons actually apply to any mom or woman, whatever her vocation or occupation.
Life lesson 1: Connections can give birth to collaborations.
Giving “birth” to these workshops happened when I connected with another mom, Ginger of Manila Workshops. It was she who put my dream into a viable business partnership, one that married two core elements of the workshop: (1) my creative input and valuable message to work-at-home advocates (especially mothers), and (2) Ginger’s marketing savvy, logistical know-how and entrepreneurial spirit. We both believed that moms had the power to take control of their lives and find a lifestyle system that worked for them. And so this fusion, this meeting of two brains and passions was what set the ball rolling for this movement we call the “WAHMderful Life.” And it all began with two moms.
If not for that key connection, my goal of holding workshops for the work-at-home community in Manila would never have been realized. This is why I thank heaven every day for Ginger, because she is, like me, committed to empowering women to be the best they can be. And when you find a fellow mom like that — a like-minded mom — you can’t help but be encouraged and pursue your dreams to even greater heights.
Life lesson 2: Constant connections with like-minded moms is fuel for change.
When you connect with a like-minded mom, you are bound to go places. Seriously! (I mean, just take a look at all our WMBs around the world, connecting locally, actually being the change! You ladies rock!) One of the reasons why I joined World Moms Blog was because it felt like “home” to me. I’ve always been at home in a community, whether virtual or local, and the fact that this community seeks to inspire women and embrace the world makes it even more dear to me. As a person, I know I thrive best when I am surrounded by passion-driven women. This online community has proved to be just that. (Special thanks go out to Ruth Wong, who introduced me to Jen Burden and got the ball rolling! I love my WMBs!)
At home, in Manila, I’m grateful for the active and vibrant community of work-at-home moms that has mushroomed, thanks to the WAHMderful Life workshops. More than that, though, I am grateful to have found friends, moms who truly understand what it is like to work from home, make a home, and be an intentional parent here in the Philippines.
It’s not easy; it’s not anything glamorous or noteworthy. What is noteworthy, though, are the meaningful relationships that have sprung from this local community. I hear of work-at-home moms collaborating, starting businesses together, empowering each other… and it just motivates me to keep serving this community in any way I can.
In any worthwhile cause, any movement or advocacy, the fuel for change isn’t in the funding or the form: It’s in the connections between like-minded change makers. In the end, we all need each other. Whether we connect online or over coffee at the neighborhood cafe, one thing is for sure: If we’re like-minded and we commit to following through with our connections, then we will never be without a friend. Yes, even if we are miles apart.
What meaningful connections have you made with other women that have given birth to movements, missions, or something similar? Let’s share about it in the comments below.
This is an original post by Martine de Luna for World Moms Blog. You can find Martine blogging about her bliss at Dainty Mom, or encouraging other work-at-home women on WAHMderfulLife.com. Photo credit to the author.