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Why This Teacher-Mama Is Unbothered With Comments Like 'Paano Trabaho Mo Kung Lagi Mo Dala Anak Mo?'
  • Some mothers choose to stay home to care for their little children, while others opt to go to work and leave their children at home. 

    But this teacher from Negros Occidental proves that working mothers can also be hands-on mothers.

    Meet Teacher-Mama

    On Facebook, Renilen Casagan Tingson's post featuring photos of her in class with her toddler has been making rounds on social media.


    The 28-year-old mom of one told Smart Parenting that she has been bringing her now 2-year-old daughter to her workplace since she returned from maternity leave. 

    Accompanying the photos of her "unfiltered moment" in her life as a working mom, taken by her students, was her bold statement: "Di ako masamang empleyado dahil nanay ako, at di rin ako masamang nanay dahil empleyado ako."


    This statement is her response to comments criticizing her choice as a working mom to have her child with her even at work, such as, "Paano trabaho mo, kung lagi mong dala ang anak mo?"

    Renilen explained, "Kapag naging nanay ka, malalaman mo talaga kung hanggang saan ang kaya mong gawin o ibigay para sa anak, at mga anak (students) mong umaasa sa'yo sa bawat araw."

    "YOU are not considered less of a worker if you're a mother." --Renilen Casagan Tingson

    She told Smart Parenting, "As much as possible po kasi gusto ko po [ako] mag-aalaga sa anak ko, sobrang hirap po maghanap ng taong mapagkakatiwalaan sa pag-aalaga ng anak."

    She echoes the working moms' woes in finding a trustworthy kasambahay, "Natatakot po ako magpaalaga sa iba lalo na at napakadaming cases na sinasaktan ng nagbabantay yung bata, kinikidnap pa minsan at ayaw ko po madagdagan ang stress ko sa trabaho kakaisip."

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    As a first-time mom, Renilen revealed, she wanted to change the narrative for her child. "Lumaki akong walang magulang na nag-aalaga. Alam ko po yung feeling, at ayaw ko rin maranasan ng anak ko yung ganoon."

    "Di porket dala ko anak ko sa trabaho araw-araw pinapabayaan ko ang responsibilidad ko bilang guro sa mga estudyante ko." --Renilen Casagan Tingson

    Now that the school year is almost over, she's proud to say that bringing her child to work didn't affect the quality of work that she gives as a teacher. She even said, "My students know everything, just ask them kung gusto mo ng proof."


    "Di porket dala ko anak ko sa trabaho araw-araw pinapabayaan ko ang responsibilidad ko bilang guro sa mga estudyante ko. Weeks na lang magtatapos na ang school year na ito pero proud ako sa sarili ko - kahit kailan di ko pinabayaan ang pagiging guro/trabaho/responsibilidad ko sa mga anak ko (students)," she said.

    Renilen concluded her now-viral post, "YOU are not considered less of a worker if you're a mother."


    For all the working mothers, she said, "Para po sa mga working nanay na tulad ko, wag po tayong sumuko sa ganitong sitwasyon. Laban lang po, dahil di naman sa tanang oras ay ganyan lang sila. Lalaki din sila at hindi na natin mabalikan ang mga oras na yun, at wag po tayong magpadala sa mga sasabihin ng iba na mga negative. As long as ginagampanan po natin nang maayos ang ating tungkulin bilang empleyado, maging proud po tayo."

    READ ALSO: To The Working Mom: You Are Showing Your Kids Women Can Have A Career And Be A Loving Mom Too

    What help does a working mom need?

    While some netizens praised Renilen for her determination to be a good parent and a good teacher, others advised her to find a yaya for her child. As a mom who is allowed by my company to bring my toddler to the office with me at least once a week, I admire Renilen for her grit. However, like me, I believe there is more that we can do as a society to support new mothers.

    When a mother knows she is supported, loved, and understood at home, in the workplace, and in the community, I tell you, she can conquer the world.

    Getting a helper may seem like the easiest and most logical solution in cases like Renilen's and mine. However, I tell you, it's not that simple. What if mothers could receive support from the government, such as affordable and accessible childcare services, well-equipped daycare centers, child-friendly workplaces, and flexible work setups?

    Rather than shaming us, let's offer mothers kindness and understanding, especially during this season when our kids are young. How about advocating for more job opportunities that do not discriminate against mothers? Let's push for legislation that provides longer paternity leave, allowing fathers to take charge of childcare while the moms recuperate and focus on their career? How about we normalize that dads can stay home and take care of the kids while moms go to work?

    Any form of help is welcome and necessary, especially from the government. Mothers are already exhausted from juggling work and caring for their kids, and we can no longer entertain negativity from others.

    South Korean lawmaker Yong Hye-in making a stand to push for restaurants and establishments to be more child-friendly, as there are 500 no-kid zones in their country.

    If we know and feel that the world accepts and embraces working moms, only then can we overcome the mom guilt that often burdens us. Society has placed roles and expectations on us for generations, and it's time we lift it off of our mothers.


    Instead of judging us as if we have to be "either/or" -- staying at home or working -- let's share stories of how other working parents have successfully balanced or integrated their careers and parenting duties because it is possible, given the right conditions. After all, being a mother doesn't make us less of a person; it only makes us stronger. However, even the strongest among us can only endure so much. We need help too, and when a mother knows she is supported, loved, and understood at home, in the workplace, and in the community, I tell you, she can conquer the world.

    Mommy Ena Marie Dizon, who is a university professor, shared this photo of her babywearing his sick son, "When you become a mother, sometimes you have no choice but to be present in BOTH worlds."

    This photo was a finalist in the Smart Parenting Motherhood 100 photo contest. 

    Our children will grow up, yes, we know that. But in this moment when they are growing up alongside us, let's show some grace. We don't ask for full body massages or days off on Mother's Day for nothing.

    Thank you for the praises, but the truth is, moms are exhausted, and it's time to do something about it.

    Watch this video on how celebrity mom Dimples Romana was able to pursue her dreams.

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