In the eyes of a child, a mother can do it all. For mothers, they will, indeed, do everything for their children. Often, there are sacrifices that are now made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Geraldine Sab, a mom of three, relates to this scenario. She gave up her degree as a chemical engineer and her dream to become a teacher to give her kids the life and care they deserve.
An entrepreneur from Davao City, Sab is a hands-on mom and a full-time businesswoman. She attends to her children’s needs while managing a beverage distribution business that is as demanding, as well. In short, she does it all.
According to Sab, having a business makes it easier for her to be a mom to her kids. “One of the reasons I decided to do business, instead of working for a company, is my children. I opted to stay home because my eldest has special needs. He needs my care as his mom. So I sacrificed my degree as Chemical Engineer. I also passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers. But for my children, I chose to stay home and do business,” she said.
For 12 years now, Sab is a distributor of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI), the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country. She supplies PCPPI products to eight barangays under the second district of Davao City.
“The life of a full-time working mom is not for the faint of heart, especially during this time of pandemic,” Sab said. She has to ensure that every child is safe, performing well in their online class, and their basic needs met—from food, shelter, clothing, to health and safety gears to remain safe from the virus.
Add to that equation the need to take care of her workers’ needs, she continued. “I really am an all-around at home and at work. I cook for my family and my staff at 4:30 in the morning. By 6 a.m., I do an alignment meeting with my people. This is while we have breakfast together. I am like a mom to them, reminding them of the things they need to do, where they need to go, etc. I am also the checker, manager, and cashier. I do it all.”
Citing the recent study, titled LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021, of professional networking site LinkedIn, it stated that “women, especially working mothers, are facing more significant obstacles under the current set-up compared to men. Close to half of working mothers (47%) have said they are struggling to balance their work and household responsibilities.”
But even before the pandemic started, Sab already hit a roadblock in 2019. “I reached that point when I wanted to give up and end the business. I was depressed, as I suffered losses after a former driver stole money from us. But I persevered. I recovered.”
During these challenging times, it is hard to ask working mothers what keeps them going. But Sab easily answers, “As moms, we always need to be strong, because we will never know when trials will come into our lives. I see to it that I remain focused for and on my family’s well-being. I work even harder for them. As a current Pepsi products distributor, I saw how the business changed our lives. And as a mom, I know that all our sacrifices and our hard work will pay off.” Indeed, a fact.
But another fact remains: The pandemic highlighted the challenges of motherhood across the globe. But if anything, it proved that mothers deserved to be celebrated every day.