They say a mother’s job is like no other. It does not start from conception nor ends when her child has reached adulthood.
Beyond being a mostly thankless job, it entails 24/7 commitment and sacrifices which only mothers can do, tirelessly with tender loving care.
However, for working moms, life has become more challenging during the pandemic—juggling professional careers, and balancing household responsibilities while keeping everyone safe at home.
For allstar ground staff Klarisse Yu, a single mom to a son with special needs, a day is not enough to get everything done.
Two years after giving birth, Klarisse learned that her son manifested signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to medical studies, ASD is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech, and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors while ADHD is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks.
“Raising a child who needs special care requires a lot of love and patience. What makes it more challenging than usual is the fact that I have to be a mom and dad in one,” Klarisse shared.
Thankfully, she has strong support from her own mom, who has always been there to support and fill in while Klarisse works hard to make a living for the family.
Her typical day would start at dawn. Before taking the 5 a.m. ride to the office, she needs to prepare her son’s meals, clothes and home school requirements. During break hours at the office, she checks on him through a video call. When she arrives home, she feeds and bathes him before finally kissing him good night.
“He is my source of strength. I continue to persevere at work because I want to build a better future for him. If there’s a silver lining amid the global pandemic, that would be me finding more time to bond with my son, getting to know him more, and attending to his needs the best way I can. I am always grateful to have been given such a beautiful blessing from God,” Klarisse said.
Klarisse’s wish, like many others, is simple: for the pandemic to end soon so she and her son can live a normal life again.
“I look forward to the day that this pandemic ends. My son had to stop from going to school as kids with his condition aren’t suitable for online learning. They need special attention which only a regular class can give,” she said.
Meanwhile, a smile on her child’s face is enough to complete allstar cabin crew Kathryn Morancil’s day, who has been flying with AirAsia for 10 years now.
Being a single mom, she needs to be the image of strength, courage, and positivity in order to provide for her 6-year-old daughter, Karynn.
“When I look at the face of my daughter, I see hope. Her smile means so much to me. I find fulfillment in life when I think of her growing up to be the person she aspires to be,” shared Kaye, as she is fondly called by her colleagues.
Kaye is not alone in this journey. Based on a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 15 million solo parents in the Philippines, 14 million of which are women.
Though struggling because of the limited opportunities presented by the pandemic have turned to side gigs to ensure their kids are shielded from hardships and inconvenience.
While waiting for the return of pre-COVID air travel demand, Kaye engaged in buy and sell activities to provide additional income to her family.
“Mothers are like superheroes. They never run out of creative ideas to make life as good as possible. They will always take the bullet for a child. When I gave birth to Karynn, I learned to become a fighter. I may not always win but I make sure I always put on a brave face and put up a good fight,” she said.
Allstar Culture Manager Karen Meneses is not your typical mom. She’s always cool and fun, but she takes her job seriously.
A mother to her two sons, Karen will always find a balance to take care of her family in Pampanga as well as her adopted Filipino allstars in Manila.
“It feels great to be a mother to all. In a company that promotes diversity and a close family spirit, your motherly instincts always come in handy. When someone needs a shoulder to lean on or simply a person who listens, I’ll be there either as a friend, sister or a mom who will give you comfort. It's but natural for all mothers, I guess,” Karen said.
Apart from taking care of others, Karen reminds all moms to take good care of themselves, too.
“Although we are always nurturing others, we must never forget that we too need some pampering whether it be spiritual, emotional, or even a spa day at home. This way we equip ourselves with enough vigor that we can share to our loved ones and our community,” she said.