As we honor and celebrate the most important woman in our lives for the unconditional love, courage and sacrifice, this Mother’s Day story — in collaboration with Ayala Center Cebu — features empowered moms who share their stories, tips and insights in balancing work and family life at home during this challenging time.

“Understand that ‘balance’ doesn’t mean equal, it just means that you are happy with the choices you have made. Some days you could work while having the extra time to leisurely make dinner with your kids and play board games with them after. While other days, work needs more attention, so you order food or turn on Netflix to occupy your kids and keep them entertained. Do not feel bad. You are not alone in this. Some hacks do help ease the mom guilt, here are some of them: 1. Delegate/ask for help. 2. Plan ahead: I am a planner, so I have learned to lay out my top three goals in a week and top five main tasks I want to achieve in a day. 3. Realize that sometimes you need to compromise, and that is okay.” - Gretchen Choa, businesswoman and mom of two boys

“As a working mom, it was a difficult situation to be in as we were tackling problems and challenges in the restaurant, trying to shift from a dine-in to a delivery-based resto and, at the same time, helping and guiding the kids with online school. It was easy to lose your cool and it was very important for me to be conscious about that. We had constant talks, (and we still do) with the kids about their challenges and ours too, so there would be a better understanding of each other’s situation. And as a homemaker, it did not stop with kids but also with the team that I work with at home. It was important for me to make sure that our help at home was adjusting well, too. Coming up with activities for the kids and the help at home was something we did during the first six months until we reached a point where we were used to the fact of being home.” - Kristine Kokseng, product development manager of Golden Cowrie and mom of three

“I’ve accepted that there’s no perfect work-life balance so I just ride the waves and manage my expectations. If things don’t go as planned, I try not to waste my time dwelling on it and just move on to being more productive. It is also important to try to let go of mom guilt. I’m able to keep things together because I have a strong support system. It really takes a whole village to handle my businesses and our household at the same time and I’m pretty grateful for them.” - Kd Tiu, owner of Cabana Cebu and mom of two

“As a working mom, I make sure everything is scheduled and plotted. I try my best to work only Tuesday to Friday and every other weekend between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. so I can still have the time to prepare food and other needs at home and spend more time with my kids and family.” - Dyan Gayas, Nono By Dyan proprietress and mom of two

“I find it very important to keep my long-term plan in mind as I go about my day-to-day activities. I am a visual person, so I have a clear picture of where I see myself and my family in five years or 10 years down the road. I work backwards from my future goals and take steps today to bring myself and my family closer to those goals. Having a clear vision helps me to keep the balance between my roles. Taking care of my physical, mental and emotional health is essential so that I can find clarity in my vision. I take breaks as needed, allocate time for my hobbies and for regular exercise. It’s important for me so that I don’t get burnt out and lose sight of my vision.” - Tiffany Tan, IT entrepreneur, artist and mom of two

“Try to let go of mom guilt! It’s okay to do something for yourself once in a while to help you recharge.” - Gillian Uang-Uy, interior designer and mom

“It’s all about setting priorities. This may seem a little technical but I employ Stephen Covey’s time management matrix. I categorize my to-do’s into four quadrants: urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important and not urgent and not important. This matrix somehow guides me on how I go about my day or week. Sometimes, this may all get jumbled up, but I somehow always find my way back. To avoid burnout, once in a while I step back and re-center through physical activity like baking and, of course, a good K-Drama marathon. We moms can’t keep pouring from an empty cup. When we learn to love ourselves, then we can take care of others better.” - Kim Gothong, entrepreneur, resource speaker and mom of three.