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Note to Self

denice sy munez

In 2019, I began the year 33 weeks pregnant—overwhelmed with stress and anxiety over the thought of giving birth, and needing to be completely responsible for a life. While simultaneously very restless, waiting to finally deliver because of all the body pains from the last trimester. Since my pregnancy wasn’t planned, I was not the most enthusiastic about the year. In my head, I was worried that my life would be over now that I’d be a mother. I felt like I would no longer have a life of my own. I did not have any expectations, nor did I set any new year’s resolution.

Fast forward today, 2019 wasn’t so bad after all. With the help of my husband Jacob, along with our loved ones and househelp, raising Baby Jake Dean has been manageable so far. Despite pressure from increased responsibilities at my work at Ever Bilena, and my incessant worries about properly serving the role of being a good wife and a good mom to my husband and child, my key learning from last year is that there is always an opportunity to learn and improve (You don’t have to be perfect.), and wherever we are now is not where we will be forever. It’s so important to enjoy our season while working toward God’s direction for our lives.


The author with her son Jake

Entering 2020, I’m not so sure what to anticipate. My mantra is simply to grow in all aspects of my life, and so GROW is a personal acronym I want to embrace in 2020 and the years to come.

G – God. The purpose is to seek and follow God more, as His divine guidance is critical to truly direct my path as I explore my personal dreams, my journey into motherhood, and my expansion plans at work.

R – Relationships. Create more meaningful relationships. Make the effort to know my loved ones, colleagues, and friends at a deeper level, identify what motivates them and inspires them.

O – Opportunity. I hope to seize more opportunities, not only to build more long-lasting memories with my loved ones, but also to be unwavering in business—always keeping an eye out for growth areas that can drive our sales further.

W – Well-being. I promise to take care of myself more: To eat and stay healthy, look good, feel confident, and to find an environment positivity.

In the busyness of life, we tend to live day by day forgetting the importance of self-amelioration and growth. I want to be intentional in living as a human being Baby Jake can be proud of in the future, whether at work, with my friends, or as his mother.

As we embark on the beginning of a new decade, two moms talk about their goals for 2020 and what is it about the new era they are looking forward to most.

A better you
Kaycee Enerva, vlogger and blogger, (@themachomom on Instagram), shares that 10 years ago, she was broken and lost. “From a failed marriage, an abusive relationship, and an identity crisis.” At 32 years old and  a single mother to Geof, 9, she only has one core goal, which is “to raise a good human.”

kaycee and son geof

STRONG WOMEN These loving mothers share what’s important this 2020; Kaycee Enerva with son Geof

While no longer as optimistic as when she was younger, her plans for 2020 are pretty simple. To truly “make the most of it and spend it where it counts. With people you love.” Acknowledging the hardships and struggles we go through in our daily lives, she urges people to feel proud for surviving this far. The nature of her job as an online content creator also enables her to have a better understanding of the anxiety that social media brings.

She gives these four messages for 2020:

It’s okay if you do not have a goal set yet.

Don’t be pressured with everything you see on social media.

Stop comparing yourself with others. Strive to be a better version of yourself one step at a time.

Never alone
As a working mother, former lead singer of Moonstar 88 turned solo music artist, Acel Bisa Van Ommen (@acelbisavanommen), juggles motherhood with performing, running, and managing a non-profit NGO for disadvantaged children called Right Start, and homeschooling her kids Tashi, 11, Yeshi, 9, and Tenzi, 2. This 43-yearold mom is married to Danny and shares that she will remember 2019 as a year of big victories, but with one major loss as well. Acel signed with Star Magic under DNA Label for her music, sang the theme song for the film In Between Maybes, and launched a new single “Pikit Bukas” all in 2019. Her loss happened in the last two weeks of December when she suffered a miscarriage. Though she was heartbroken, it enlightened her to have a deeper appreciation for the power of community. The community in the music industry that supports her career; the community of homeschooling mothers who, for the love of education and mentorship, open their home to her children; and the community of strong women who stood with her during her miscarriage.


Acel Bisa Van Ommen with her family

In Acel’s words, “2019 was a year of sensing the power of a deeper community for me. We all need deep friendships of people who will encourage us, pray for us, sometimes correct us, and empower us to keep moving. I could not have gone through this year alone.”

Consequently, this is the year she is excited to pay it forward. “There is always someone out there who needs your help and there is always someone out there willing to give you help. We just have to be vulnerable and receive it. My desire is to encourage and empower this generation and the next generation to keep on doing what is good and doing that what would benefit others.”

Music and motherhood taught her to become multi-generational. And in 2020, through her platform, she looks forward to continue creating new music that empathises with her listeners while communicating a message of hope, particularly conveying that “we are never alone.”

Source: Manila Bulletin

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