This PR Mommy

Balancing kids, family and PR work.

Talking about yourself, thanks Jennifer…

I’m so busy promoting others, it’s hard to get that discipline to talk about yourself. I found this experience challenging when I was privileged to speak with Jennifer Navarrete as part of her November series of podcasts dedicated to influencers. In some parts, I’m hoping people will listen to the interview, get to know me and maybe get inspired. On the other hand, I’m so shy and vulnerable to think either no one will care or they will find me flawed. In any case, I’m glad I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, despite having done this viable interview in my walk-in closet. Here is the interview:

Thanks, Jennifer!




We’re headed to the Texas Hill Country, wish us luck!

IMG_2042So it’s been a while since I’ve written. Busy times with balancing work, raising my 6 year old and my 2 year old. At the beginning of my son’s nursing excursion, I figured I would give it a 3 year go. Well, we’re now a month away until the kids 3rd birthday together and I can’t seem to figure out how to stop nursing. I asked my son’s pediatrician and she said, ask your doctor. I asked my doctor and he said, well there really isn’t much you can do. And no, that’s not a Hiaku, it’s my reality. That really didn’t make me feel any better. So next weekend I’m trying to make lemons into lemonade or better yet grapes into wine. What’s my plan? Leaving grandma with the kids for three days, with the hubby, to see if I can wing him off. Where to? Texas Hill Wine Country. Wish me luck!

Scaling Back…

Despite my previous attempts to book the ultimate Disney European cruise, I have decided to keep the extra money and scale back the experience, scale it way back. Let’s be real, as a PR mommy, you kinda have to know when to hold and when to fold ’em. I knew I should put my cards on the table and admit that despite wanting to see the world for the price of a Honda, this dream trip will have to wait until the kids are older, and we can opt to go solo with my favorite companion, the hubster.

Despite the scaling back, I’m happy to say that I am still going to able to keep my promise to my little girl for a proper Disney princess visit by staying at a Disney resort instead and keeping the grandparents happy by making it a “family trip” and visiting them.

The PR mommy lesson is that even though I’m ready to see the world, I need to keep my dreams a little more close to home since my little ones are still so little, and try to see the world from their eyes. Plus, I need to think of my family (the grandparents) and know that these may be the last few precious summers to see their grand babies.

The pastor of my church says “the days of parenting are long but the years are short” and it’s time that I follow this idea and stop putting pressure on myself to see the world now. There will be plenty of time to do that when they are older.

Be Calm, Goodbye 2015

It’s another year coming to an end, and as a PR mommy, I think the biggest thing I want to reflect on is that no matter what side of the grass you are on, it always seems greener. There is a tendency for working moms to think that life would be so much easier if they had the chance to take off at any time to be with their kids. Or to host that romantic notion that you can take care of your kids home alone. It’s doable, but really hard.

By nature, you give it your all but sometime you have to learn what your limitations are and learn to just let things go.

I work from home, but am five minutes from my kids daycare and school. I choose to be there for the big and little things, e.g. parent’s day, without having to ask for permission. I absolutely love the option of being able to pick them up early or pick a day to take them to the doctors without worrying about how much leave I have to leave!

So to reflect, I gratefully accept that I am PR work mommy who sacrifices a lot for her job, kids and home but I need to give myself some slack and be ok that there isn’t enough time to excel, that just being able to accept the fact that I am living a lifestyle that I have chosen should be good enough. I need to give myself slack with finding that delicate balance to try and find more time to play with the kids or work harder to please my clients. And I need to be ok with finding more time for me to just relax and stay calm.

My message for 2015 is love your kids, be humble for your projects and clients and not be afraid to call the shots on how much time you deserve for you.

Be Calm


It’s about time…Disney Cruise

It’s about time that I decide to take another vacation. This time around, it’s not just +1, it’s actually +3. My family unit now consists of the hubster, my four-year-old daughter and my little 7-month-old boy. We have decided to go to Europe again but by way of the almighty Disney Cruise line.


It’s quite simple-


1) Seeing the ocean for miles on end and being there to watch my little girl witness something majestic.

2) Enjoy a top rated show with our little singing frog and watching that twinkle in her eye when she sees Minnie up close.

3) Having the option of paying for quality daycare while we go on excursions, feeling like it’s just the two of us for a few hours.

4) Getting photos of my little girl with the characters-knowing you won’t leave the boat until she meets the big M-I-C-K-E-Y mouse and his friends.

5) Oh yeah and being able to see Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, all in one package.

The cost – yeah, that’s the crazy part, because it’s comparable to the cost of our Honda.

The investment- quality time with my family and lasting memories for a lifetime.

After all, when we are older and look back on “woulda, coulda, shoulda” I am hoping we won’t be saying that. Plus, my responsible side knows that in order for us to book our passage to vacation, it will not go without sacrifice. Not only have we chosen to skip this year’s family vacation but any other big plans this year so that we can combine it to next year’s getaway.

Plus, and I say this in all honesty, momma needs a break. Can I get an amen?! As a mom, especially a PR mom, it’s so important to unwind and recharge your batteries in a place that I can spend quality time with my family without the guilt of answering my phone. I’ll be on international waters so my plan is to disconnect and imagine life before cell phones, text messages, social media, hash tags, etc.

Yes it’s true, it takes using a passport to jump on a big boat to unwind, to catch my attention. And yes, even though I could unwind in my backyard with a bottle of wine, I need to go big. I need to grab my own attention that my family and I are worth it.

Over the next 18 months, I am just going to focus on working extra hard, dining out less, skipping those celebratory Starbucks runs in order to save, save, save my money and enjoy time with my family on the big boat. I feel that both my sanity and my family deserve it.

Who’s with me?

You took how long for your maternity leave?! Are you crazy…

I just finished reading an article about an immigration attorney who had to go back to work four weeks into her 6 weeks maternity leave. She literally brought her baby in the court room because she didn’t have family help and the baby was too young to go to daycare, not to mention it was because of the unkind judge who decided to not delay her court date. Yup, son of a motherless goat…

As I started to read the comments in the article, they all ranged from different experiences of their leave, boasting 6 weeks up to a year off, if you are from Canada. I wanted to use this opportunity to share my maternity leave story.

As a freelancer, you really don’t have FMLA, you are your own FMLA. You simply take time off by not working, and working women dream of the chance to take as much time off as possible and now I had that chance. So what was it? A year, six months, six weeks? Drum roll please… How about two weeks? Yes, that’s right my one shot to use all the time I wanted to bond with my baby was shrunk down to no more than two weeks, counting the hospital stay. Yes, I’m sure you’re thinking, she’s crazy, she missed her one and only chance.

Why did I do that? Well, I didn’t necessarily decide that all at once.

Over the summer, work was solidly S-L-O-W and I was convinced that it was only a matter of time before I had to find a “real job”. I counted out my savings and figured that I could take so many magical months to bond and make the most of it. While job hunting, I still met with colleagues in search for more freelance work because leads always takes time and you just never know.

Well fast forward, my lead came 7 months pregnant. By this time, I was a beach whale growing by the week. It wasn’t until my eight month that I had my first meeting planned and I promise you I didn’t want to go. Let me repeat that, I DID NOT WANT TO GO.

I thought of so many reasons why I shouldn’t. First of all, I was huge and expecting any week, per my doctor “you’re a moving target”. If I signed on a contract, I would need to go into full swing, and that full swing would literally hit weeks into my 9th month. What then with my moving target growing inside of me? The logical side of me said, of course, I can handle it, I can do everything. But my fearful side said you’re crazy. It’s human perception, what person in their right mind would hire a 9 month pregnant woman?  Seriously, men are so lucky.  I tried to think of many reasons to miss the “meeting” and I came up with maybe I could play sick and do a conference call, and tell them later after I signed on. But no such luck, they wanted to meet in person. After more time and my hubby’s urging, I took the in-person meeting but not without a plan to reveal my belly.

My ridiculous and paranoid self was convinced that I could hide my belly, win them over and then reveal that I was pregnant. So my disguise came together. I would wear a large blazer and dress in all dark colors – black always hides everything. I even had props. I would strategically keep a binder on my belly so they wouldn’t tell. I planned to go to the meeting early so I could pick out my seat and hide out there until everyone entered the room, and when the meeting was over, I would make my big reveal. It went something like “…and now that I’ve told you about my plans, I have a personal matter to tell you about… I’m pregnant.” Needless to say, their reaction was, “yeah, we kinda could tell.”

Yup, I was an idiot. But as faith would have it, it didn’t matter. The organization had already planned to sign with me because of the work I had done with another organization. Side note — I love referrals!  But because my fear had almost took over, I would have never taken the chance to meet with this group and get the business so I could continue to work from home.

Now, after the bliss of “I got the job!” I knew my due date was right around the corner of a major announcement, a big reason why they hired me. That’s when I really started to freak out. I had to deliver! Not just literally but I had to deliver the goods, with good results.

So I started to research online to find out what other freelancers have done and come to find out, a lot of them took two weeks off and it was okay. Why?

As a freelancer you are in control of your work time. Think about it, you work from home. As your own boss, you can choose when to get up in the morning, when to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, if I had to step out for meetings, my MIL (who drives me crazy, but that’s another blog post) would be there to manage things. The key was for me to manage keeping up with the work load but I would be there for all of the feedings, the diaper changes, the coos, the oohs and aahs, and the emotional tears.

I took the chance! And it paid off.

Now it’s 2 months into having my baby and I still haven’t stepped into an office. Who knows what the future holds but I am going to do my best to keep up with keeping business up, because I love, love, love staying home and seeing my huggable, loveable, kissable double B (Baby Boy). Believe me, taking on this crazy work schedule is not the easiest choice. I have sacrificed sleep, beyond the mommy of a newborn sleep, but fast forward, my sacrifice allows me to be able to see my little man every day. And that’s a blessing in itself.

Baby Boy

Keep it Simple, Baby

I’ve been really quiet lately on my blog, and even more quiet after I found out that I was expecting baby #2.

Don’t get me wrong, the hubby and I had been trying for several months to have a second child and when we heard the news that our miracle was here, we were ecstatic. We wanted to shout from the roof tops and I think I even did on FB. But I also paused from the bliss, thinking “geez, what do I do now?”

“What do you mean?” Well simply put, I’m a freelancer. While I have the freedom to work from home and take all of the time I want to work or not work, as a freelancer, you really don’t have a steady paycheck coming in and are at the behest of feeding the financial beast. That’s just reality. You don’t get the job security of FMLA or paid vacation. That’s just not the case for the freelancer.

Over the past few months, while in bliss — today I mark #28 weeks — I have had time to really take a look at my finances and upcoming projects working on getting things together. While scary at first, thankfully, we figured a way that we will be “ok” with our finances so that I can work at a minimum to keep things afloat but still have time to bond with my new baby.

During this time of reflection, I got input from different people to chime in. Surprisingly, the men in my life were the first to say that I can do it all and still work from home while balancing an infant. The women though advised that I should think of putting the brakes on hold for at least a few weeks. Well, I have decided to keep things simple and go for both (working at a minimum while handling baby). Of course, it will be hard at first but think I have a strong enough support system with clients and family to make this happen.

Here are a few things, I’ve learned on the way:

Keep things simple. – Enjoy life’s simple pleasures of staying at home and just laying low as long as it remains special. Excitement doesn’t just need to be built on planning that summer trip but enjoying time at home with family can be just as fruitful. For instance, instead of a huge trip to Hawaii, I took a small weekend trip with the hubby to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary/baby moon. It was just long enough to relax and revitalize.

Keep your options open – A planner by heart, it’s okay to admit that all of the answers don’t always fit perfectly in place. At first things may seem grey and overwhelming but things always work out in the end. I plan to keep my options open by doing what I can handle, without having to give up one for the other.  Remember, that’s called a silver lining.

Accept things and people – I have received so many offers for help, from hosting a baby shower to help with finding work projects. It’s not easy to “pitch” for new business with a growing melon strapped to you.  Surprising, and this is content for a few more blogs, I have even accepted my MIL’s (mother-in-law’s) help to come back and live with us for a year. Yep, she is moving back this summer. This will be interesting to say the least but this is a great opportunity for my daughter to learn Spanish, get undying love from grandmother and peace of mind for help with my son, saving hundreds of dollars on extra daycare costs.

Pray everyday- I find when you pray and have faith in God, you worry less about the future. There’s always things that you may or may not have control over, so why focus on the future (it can always change) and just enjoy now, the present.  He will only give you what you can handle for today, and steer you the rest of the way for tomorrow. I am a strong believer in this.

Enjoy the process – From time to time, I do find myself asking “what do I do now”? Well, I have decided to enjoy time being pregnant. Plus, since I am working at a minimum, I will take this quality time and spend it with my daughter before my baby is born. This summer, I plan to do some more mommy and daughter ventures, more content coming up.  Plus, I look forward to having a newborn in my arms and watching my little girl bond with her new brother.

Since I have asked myself and others on how this should fare, what do you think? I would love to get your input.

Working from home=Stay at Home Mom?

A year ago, if someone asked me if I would try to work from home to be a stay-at-home mom, I would have said, yeah!

When I started this new business venture from home, I have to admit in the beginning I romanticized the idea that my life would be more balanced because I would be working from home. I think it had to do with being excited about the fact that I would be able to sleep in and wear jeans to work. Most importantly, it was the flexibility of being the boss and “calling the shots”, dictating my schedule of when I could take a “day off” with my daughter for an unscheduled tea party.

Fast forward to today, my day starts off with getting up early and dropping the toddler off at daycare. I greet all of the work moms in their nice looking office attire, while I’m fashioning my own attire of jeans and a T-shirt. And always, always, rushing to be back to the home office to manage the ever demanding task of being juggling PR artist.

How did I get here?

Well, as it turns out clients don’t understand setting their schedules based on your daughter’s tea party or parade day is standard practice, and pitching media for press conferences doesn’t exactly work when your biggest client “the kid” needs your potty attention.

Soon enough, I was “hiring” help from friends who needed the extra cash, and I felt no different than the moms who turned their kids over to a babysitter. Except, I wasn’t going out to a fun date night, I was going back to work.  Even when I was home with my best girl who is like sunshine, I missed spending quality time with her. I had to really have a reality check and ask myself if she was truly enjoying watching every episode of “Peter Rabbit” while mommy was busy working on her laptop.

After a few months of balancing meetings, conference calls and trying to cleverly hit the mute button so that the background of “mommy, mommy, mommy” was not overshadowing a client request, I knew enough was enough. I think it started when one of the calls was from an unscheduled caller that I just had to get. Fortunately for me, this business associate was older, much, much older and his hearing wasn’t really the best. When he heard my daughter scream out loud, he immediately asked “what’s that, a puppy?!” Of course, I responded “no sir, that’s my daughter”.  However, I still think about whether or not I should have just said “Uh, huh, yeah”.

I can honestly say that after this lesson in trying to make it all work, it was ok to admit that I can’t do it all and it doesn’t make me any less of a loving mother.

Recently, I made the tough decision to put my daughter in full time day care. Do I regret it? In the beginning, I was sad and did my best to not compare myself to those who “can do it all”, at least I tried for a while to stay away from the fun mommy reports on FB. But, that grew old fast because I love to hit “like” on those mom reports because if you can’t, embrace those who can!

I also learned a valuable decision that my little one deserves [what I think] is best, and right now, my best is giving her quality time and being ok with her spending time (while I’m working) with kids her age and with affectionate teachers who are trying to slay the diaper dragon every 30 minutes. Plus, and let’s be a bit more honest, I think I can be fun for a toddler for a while. But it’s not the same as a classroom full of 3-and 4-year olds.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with being a perfect mom, if you were to ask me today, what I would rate myself, I’d rather not give myself the extra pressure to vote.

For me, I’m ok with not being a stay at home mom. I still rate myself as the best mom for my little one, and that’s all that counts!

Here’s to making it count:


Mommy, let’s have a tea party.

Mommy, let’s play pirate-matey.

I wanna water the seeds.

Being Unplugged

Beautiful sunset.


I recently conducted a social media experiment by “unplugging” while I was on vacation at sea to Alaska.

On the trip, I saw humpback whales, icebergs, dolphins, sea lions, mountains and more ocean than I could imagine. On this trip, I also took the chance to not check personal nor work emails, voice mails, the current news, Facebook, Twitter, Four Square, etc. I didn’t even call home to check in, which was really hard to do. But I did it to relax my mind from everything.

Once I was “off”, I felt a calmness that only a clear mind could give. I caught myself having meaningful conversations with my spouse, reading, writing my thoughts down, looking outside, and thinking again. I felt inspired to want to be creative again, and it was really exciting to think that the sky was the limit with what my mind wanted to reveal itself, even if it was just for a short time. I truly felt free from the constant interruptions of work and the daily juggles of life. It reminded me of when I was a girl, completely off the grid without having to depend on checking my “crack” berry at 9 p.m.

I was even drawing and writing again in my journal, which I had not done in a very long time. It was an extremely calming and relaxing experience.

The funny thing is, once I hit dry land, I felt the itch to just check and see what was going on in the world. It started off with an innocent Foursquare check-in, while I was en route to the airport. Not long after that, I was checking emails, voice mails, texts and FB.

It’s unbelievable because at first when you think you have enjoyed being “unplugged” the old habits kick in and you can’t help to want to know what the “plugged in” world has been up to. When I turned everything back on, I was right back on the speed track of download and upload with little interruption.

Even though the experience with being “unplugged” was short lived, I still feel that I took advantage of the moment by experiencing life as calm as I could make it. There were moments when I just slept for hours, looked outside to see the ocean and breathed in without the self-made stress of the world.

These days of instant messaging, it’s almost impossible to take advantage of our “free” time to get away from all of the noise of advanced technology, but I highly recommend it.

Even if you are able to experiment for a weekend, at your home, just try it to see what you will discover.

Even your phone or laptop has to be turned off every now and then to recharge. The same goes with yourself, you eventually have to unplug and re-energize your own personal batteries.

Being unplugged is just as important as being plugged in, because you owe it to yourself to take time to pause, recharge your batteries and stop to breathe and look at your surroundings. Even though you may not be on a beautiful vacation, there could be a place where you can watch a sunset without checking emails or tweeting about it, or just spend quality time with family without the TV blasting in the background. You owe it to yourself to take a recharge moment to have a clear mind.

Our time to unplug is our own. Is it too much to see if you could give it a try, at least once a year, if not more often that that?

Have you ever gained a valuable life lesson from simply doing your job?

It’s easy to think of this in terms of business, but what I’m talking about is really, truly learning a valuable life lesson.

As part of my profession, I have worked with many different clients and people, and it’s routine to evaluate “what did I learn from this experience?”.

These past few months, my work experiences have really run deep within me, as I have had the pleasure of learning about healthy eating and fitness. Most recently, I dabbled in blog monitoring for a healthy fitness challenge reading comments from those competing, learning about their many sacrifices and their desire to be thinner. At first, I couldn’t help but think that’s a common thread within all of us to want to be a size smaller but that’s not the whole story. After experiencing or following their experiences, I discovered that some people needed to stay healthy to keep medication at bay. Others wanted to be able to run a 5K or to simply be able to keep up with their children and grand children. By the end of the fitness journey, I really felt like they changed my entire way of thinking, with regards to healthy eating, for the better, and I can’t thank them enough.

Since working with these folks, I have found myself counting calories on MyFitness Pal and reading the food labels. I also started cooking and eliminating bad habits like eating past 8 p.m. I have also thought twice about the food I feed my young daughter. Let’s face it though, she’s two and I can’t change everything but I’m trying. For now though, ketchup will have to be considered a vegetable.

Turkey Panini

But seriously, I think now about what I’m eating, how much I’m eating and encouraging myself to make a positive change for my family and for the better.

Have you ever had an “a-ha” moment that you contribute to your job? This PR mommy would love to know.

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