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  • This Author Mom Tells First-Time Parents, 'We Are Here To Help Each Other Out, Not Compare'

    Mommy Victoria Dang is the author of Go Momshie, where she hopes to inspire first-time moms to 'keep it real, get it done'
    by Judy Santiago Aladin .
This Author Mom Tells First-Time Parents, 'We Are Here To Help Each Other Out, Not Compare'
PHOTO BY COURTESY OF VICTORIA DANG
  • This story is part of Smart Parenting's new advocacy, For Parents, By Parents, which aims to help newbie mompreneurs and dadpreneurs promote their products and services to our parenting communities. Do you have great products or services for moms, dads, or kids and need a bit of marketing push? Email us at smartparenting@summitmedia.com.ph with the subject, "For Parents, By Parents."

    "A book about motherhood written by a first-time mom, who needs that?"

    Mommy Victoria Dang said she chose writing as a way to cope with postpartum depression. She gave birth to her son Seiya at the height of the pandemic lockdowns in May 2020. She said that like motherhood, the road to becoming a published author was not easy. It's filled with judgment, self-doubt, and anxiety. 

    But this 28-year-old mom from Las Piñas believes that "real moms fix each other crowns." And that is exactly the reason why she wrote the book. Now, her books are available in select National Book Store branches nationwide. 

    A member of the Smart Parenting Mom Squad, Victoria shares her purpose for writing the book "Go Momshie," and why every mom should read it, no matter where they are in their motherhood journey.

    A frustrated writer

    Motherhood doesn't come with a manual. But the journey gets easier when you find inspiration and courage from people who have been there, and share their stories without judgment. 

    Victoria told Smart Parenting, that her journey to becoming a published author was unexpected. It was borne out of her love for writing, which also became her outlet when she struggled with postpartum depression.

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    "Nung college, madami tayong heartbreaks, personal problems, ang nagiging outlet ko talaga is to write. Since I want to practice my writing skills and fluency in English, I started a blog, but only my friends know about it. Nagsusulat ako pag heartbroken ako, yung mga essays ko about politics, current events, dun ko pinopost. Tapos nag-aask ako sa mga friends ko, "What do you think about my blog?" They'll give me criticism, and I'll take it in a positive way kasi I want to improve myself."

    Victoria worked as a teacher in an international school and then as a flight attendant. She also finished a Master's in Education in International Teaching, and worked in her husband's business. She eventually stopped working when she became pregnant to focus on herself and the baby.

    They were based in South Korea, and moved to the Philippines in December 2020. The coronavirus hit the Philippines shortly after.

    Becoming a mom

    "Noong pregnant ako, I had so many emotions going on. Nag-start ako ng blog - gomomshie.com. Doon ako nagsshare ng experiences ko on my first pregnancy. Nakita ng friend ko, "Oh you love sharing your experiences, why don't you write a book? I never thought about it, pero I love blogging."

    "If I don't progress, I'm gonna rest. If I don't get inspiration, I talk to other moms online."

    "Sabi ko, "Okay, I'll try my best, pandemic naman, I have nothing else to do, nowhere else to go. Sabi ko, sige, I'll just focus on my computer and write everything whatever I feel, experience, and think that could help other people."

    As she take care of her newborn son, Victoria didn't realize that she was able to write thousands and thousands of words, and it helped her. She was able to finish her manuscript in less than five months. She said the key was to pace herself and allow herself to rest.

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    PHOTO BY COURTESY OF VICTORIA DANG

    "If I don't feel like writing, I'll give myself a deadline. If I don't progress, I'm gonna rest. If I don't get inspiration, I talk to other moms online. Kaya ko siya natapos within four months kasi I was really inspired, structured, and organized."

    READ ALSO: This Pinay SAHM In Australia Creates Free Planners For Moms 

    Dealing with postpartum struggles

    "Around the time I was writing, Seiya was around seven months. Medyo okay na siya, kaya lang ako hindi pa ako okay." Nag-a-adjust pa rin ako sa sarili ko as a mom, and kailangan ko talaga ng outlet to release my feelings kasi wala din akong friends na close circle friends na moms. Ako yun pinakaunang [naging mom], so wala sa aking nakakarelate, wala akong mapagshare-an whatever I'm feeling. Kaya na-inspire ako to write down my emotions and my experiences."

    "Around the time I was writing, Seiya was around seven months. Medyo okay na siya, kaya lang ako hindi pa ako okay." 

    Now a bestselling author and pregnant with her second child, Victoria said, the book is for moms in any season of their lives. "May mga moms na nagchachat sa akin, "Momshie, buti sinulat mo ito, naka-help sa akin," it really means a lot, yun talaga yung purpose ng book na magbigay ng inspiration sa ibang moms and magbigay ng tips kung paano nila malalabanan yung battles nila as a first-time, or even as a second-time or third-time mom kasi may uniqueness pa rin sa journey mo as a mom."

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    READ ALSO: This Creative Mom Started Her Biz With Just An iPad, Sold Over 2K Shirts In A Year

    Getting pregnant again

    Victoria shared that her second pregnancy feels more challenging with her clingy toddler son. She revealed that they have plans on how to formally introduce another member of the family to him. 

    "Since my son really likes to read, we'll give him a book that explains what it's like to have a sibling. If we buy that kind of book, for sure he will eventually understand it," she said. She is also teaching her son to share by mingling with other kids.

    READ ALSO: This Book Will Help Prepare Your Older Kid for the New Baby

    Victoria added, "I think the only struggle I would have is because they have different gender, I don't know if I really would have to separate their toys. I will figure it out, and probably would be an inspiration for a second book, maybe a children's book on how to manage having a boy and a girl in the household!"

    Self-care is not selfish

    In preparation for her new baby, she said she's also been re-reading her book. "Chapter 3 resonates a lot right now, the title is "We are trying to get stronger." It's all about saying goodbye to the "endure mindset," it's about self-care, and most of all, healthy habits."

    The book emphasizes that self-care is not being selfish.

    "It's a challenge to have a toddler with you, minsan sa dami mo nang iniisip, you forget about yourself and your baby. I have to remind myself to define what self-care means to me and schedule a time for myself kahit 30 minutes of the day to prioritize myself. The book emphasizes that self-care is not being selfish. It's a way to be able to take care of your kids."

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    READ ALSO: Life With A Toddler Boy In Photos: ‘Mapapa Hay-Naku-Anak Ka Na Lang’

    'Real moms fix each other's crowns'

    Victoria said, "I emphasized in the book for moms to keep it real. On social media, we see a lot of picture-perfect moms. Nobody even told me that the fourth trimester is a mess!"

    She adds, that there is a need for moms to remember that motherhood is not a competition. "If you are going through PPD, you don't need to hear somebody else's telling you that "oh, buti nalang yung anak ko hindi ganyan."

    "That quote is a very nice way to say that we are here in the society to help each other out and not to compare what you're going through and what you're not," she said.

    "Maybe my battles are different, but you also have your battles for sure, maybe you're just not telling me but it's okay. We face our challenges in our own way, at our own pace." 

    Victoria recounts receiving feedback that caused her to doubt herself. "May other moms na nagsasabi, "You're just a first-time mom, bakit mo ginawa itong book? Di naman siya reliable?" Pero it reminded me that I did this for people like me who didn't have experience, resources, who's drowned with all the information in the internet na di mo na alam kung sino ang papakinggan."

    Go Momshie books are now available in select National Book Store branches nationwide
    PHOTO BY COURTESY OF VICTORIA DANG
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    "I'll just put it out there for all the moms who need it, if you don't need it, it's fine. But if you need it, the book is here for you. No judgment," she said.

    READ ALSO: 'Nabebenta Mo Talaga Yan?' This Mompreneur Grew Her Fashion Business From P3K To 6 Figures Monthly

    Keeping it real, getting it done

    From being a first-time mom who is learning the ropes of motherhood to becoming a bestselling author and soon-to-be mom of two, Victoria tells parents that becoming a parent doesn't mean it's the end of their dreams.

    READ ALSO: This Mompreneur Has 5 Kids, 3 Start-Ups, 'We Need To Create Something Sustainable For Our Children'

    For anyone who wants to pursue a passion or just wants to become a good mom, she said, "Go Momshie! Kayang-kaya mo yan. Just keep it real, and get it done. Be yourself! Don't care about other people's comments and judgment, you do you. Malay mo your story or your book can change someone else's life."

    "Stay patient, creative, and inspired. Be inspired, Momshie," she added.

    The Go Momshie book is now available in select National Book Store branches nationwide at P499. You can also order through Shopee here.

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