I am a twin momma but also most of the time, I am a working momma. I can say its been a grueling past couple of months at work. I have been very open that this has been the most challenging team and role I’ve been in. It’s my first team to lead, a team which is concept-wise, very technical and urgent and demanding. Add to that the pressure of handling people, making sure to balance being fair and to meet clients’ needs. Sometimes, when things gets too stressful, I get to the point where I think twice if this was really what I wanted.
A month after I got back from maternity leave, I got an opportunity to lead my very own team in TCS Manila. It was something that I’ve prayed for for a long time but I never really thought of the challenge that comes along with it. Of course, each one of us have career goals. Mine is to be able to manage people and arrive on that point of my career where I no longer have to work on shifting schedule and work more on the background. I never knew that the journey towards it wasn’t easy, I mean, if it was, I guess I wouldn’t know how to work hard for it, right?
I was able to lead a total of 5 people in our team (and soon 6!). I haven’t had any experience of such, to be honest, so I had no idea how hard it would be. Aside from the work in the operational side, this was another big challenge for me: handling people. You meet different types of people at work and you have to know how to adjust and approach each one of them. I always have to remind myself to be fair, to commend what needs to be commended, and also how to get their attention if needed. I guess I also have this fear of being perceived as a “strict team lead”. But as I go along with it, there are times when you just need to be strict so they can learn from their mistakes. At this point, I have no clue how my team perceives me but I am doing my best to lead the best way I could possibly lead.
When I had this opportunity, I told myself that I can finally choose my own schedule just like any other leads in our project. Almost everyone was on a fixed morning shift or on a flexi-sched. Unfortunately for me, I can’t do that yet. I have to be added to the shift roster due to the number of people in our team and because I also have to oversee both shifts for now. I hope that soon enough, I’d be able to establish a stable schedule, keep everyone up to speed with the trainings so I could focus more on the team’s whole progress with what were working on day by day. Being on night shift was such a bummer for me, I mean, I guess everyone feels the same way about the shift but twice harder when you’re a mom. But TCS Manila provides these services because its one of its perks to clients. The 12-hour EST difference is such a plus to North American clients. There are times when my schedule changes in a week (just like today!) because there are issues in our team which are critical, we have to make sure that we provide good shift coverage. If no one in our team can adjust, then I’d do it. I also hope that soon enough, I’d see the same initiative with the rest of my team.
All these points, plus being a mom, is such a huge everyday challenge. I have to think about my babies at home, then I’d have to think about my team at work. To be honest, there’s a point where things never stop for me. And then that’s when I over think: Am I really fit for this role? Or was it too soon for me? Should I start looking at somewhere else? These questions bother me sometimes when things gets too stressful. But eventually, I got to calm down and remind myself that its all part of how I’d be able to be strong as a leader. I mean if I don’t experience such, how would I grow right? God wouldn’t give me something that I wouldn’t know how to handle.
I salute working moms everywhere who knows the right balance. The balance between work, family and themselves because I am still working on it. I am struggling with it sometimes because my priority would always be family. But without work, how would I be able to provide for my family? So I have to achieve the right balance. Nayj and I are doing our best for our family, to pay our car and house loans, pay our bills, set a budget for our groceries and add to that the expenses that comes along with having twins! It’s crazy, I tell you. But we got by because we believe that God always provides. It may seem impossible but He does. Sometimes, I just ask myself how we got through with such a difficult month but I know its all Him. You gotta have faith.
I hope I’d achieve the right balance and be able to be an effective leader at work, a mother to twins, a good wife to Nayj and see the best version of myself.