How This Millennial Mom Juggled Kids, Career, and CollegeMom at 19, Ava Te-Zabat is now eyeing a second degree at 28.CREATED WITH PAYMAYA
Being a mother never comes easy, and it becomes even more challenging when you have children at a young age. Lifestyle blogger Ava Te-Zabat learned this the hard way when she found herself expecting her first child after high school, at the age of 19.
"I thought rock bottom na yun, yung parang end of the world," Ava recalls. "It was very hard. People talk about you… They would always think that I would fail, and that I wouldn't go far."
The odds were stacked against her, but Ava soldiered on.
"It was tough, but if you really love something, you'd really push yourself to the edge to really make everything work. So for as long as you're passionate and you love everything [you're doing], I think there's no excuse for you not to be able to achieve it," she says.
And achieve she did. Ava concentrated on growing her lifestyle blog Artsy Fartsy Ava. She became a freelance stylist and got her work featured in some of the country's leading publications. She also went back to school, graduating with a degree in export management just last March.
On top of that, Ava is a loving wife to her husband Gershwin and a doting mother to her sons, eight-year-old Athan and three-year-old Asher.
Having been a blogger for a decade already, Ava's accomplishments are impressive, considering that she just turned 28 this year.
Her next big goal is to go back to school to study multimedia arts.
"I think everyone has their bad days [when] they just feel like, 'I wanna quit already. I don't like this anymore,'" Ava says.
"But I always think: What's going to happen if I quit, right? My kids are going to grow up knowing that their mom is a quitter… I always go back to that, and I feel better already just seeing them happy."
Ava is thankful to have supportive family and friends who have stood by her side during the most challenging times. "My mom was there, my lola was there, and my husband was always there. I'm very thankful for the people who always believed in me," she says.
It also helps that Ava, a blogger, takes advantage of technology to manage her time efficiently. She uses PayMaya, a free and secure app that gives you a virtual Visa or Mastercard to pay and shop online.
Ava uses her PayMaya to pay bills at the convenience of her home, with just a few taps on her smartphone. With PayMaya, she can also facilitate money transfers so she can easily send money to her family and friends as needed without the hassle of handling cash and meeting the recipient personally just to hand over the money. It also comes with a physical card that can be used for face-to-face transactions at brick-and-mortar stores such as groceries, malls, drugstores, and gas stations, among others.
PayMaya can be reloaded at any of the 15,000 top-up stations nationwide: SM Business Centers, Robinsons Department Stores, 7-Eleven with Cliqq Kiosks, Petron stations along NLEX, Ministop with Touchpay Kiosks, UnionBank ATMs, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go outlets, Smart Padala centers, select Palawan branches, and online banking via BDO.
Ava was also named as one of PayMaya's brand ambassadors. Her artwork below, unveiled during the launch of PayMaya's "Millennials Beyond the Selfie" campaign, "is a representation of my personality and life."
Ava embodies the traits the millennial generation should be lauded for: passionate, creative, and determined to make their dreams come true. "Millennials are often stereotyped as entitled, lazy, impulsive, and spoiled," she says. "But truly, we're brave, strong, and hardworking, and we rise above challenges!"
Ava can easily rest on her laurels, but ever the go-getter, she has her sights trained on bigger things: a second degree, an art gallery of her own, more opportunities to travel, and the chance to see her sons graduate.
"Don't let people stop you from doing what you love," she advises her fellow millennial moms. "You can't let people's words always hurt you or bring you down.
"If you're passionate about something, do it now. Time is short, life is short, so go for it!"