MANILA, PHILIPPINES – They say a mother’s job is like no other. It doesn’t start from conceiving and giving birth, or end even after the time a child has been nurtured as a grown up. Beyond being a mostly thankless job, it entails 24/7 commitment and sacrifices which only they 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.
A MOTHER’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
For Allstar ground staff Klarisse Yu, a single mom to a son with special needs, a day isn’t enough to get everything done. For nine years, raising a young child meant finding contentment and happiness in the simple things in life.
Two years after giving birth, K 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.
In a Center for Disease Control report in 2018, 1 in 59 children in the US are diagnosed with ASD. Here in the Philippines, about 1.2 million children were reported having this condition.
“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,” K shared.
Thankfully, K has strong support from her own Mom, who has always been there to support and fill in while K works hard to make a living for the family.
K’s typical day would start at dawn. Before taking the 5AM 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.
K admits there were a lot of rough days but she continues to soldier on for the love of her son.
K said, “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.”
K’s wish like many others is simple—for the pandemic to end soon so she and his 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,” K lamented.
In the meantime, like what most mothers do, she patiently guides and teaches her son the value of patience, compassion and respect. She said, though her son may not be able to communicate effectively about how he feels, caring for him and loving him unconditionally is more than enough for her.
A FIGHTER FOR LIFE
A smile on her child’s face usually completes Allstar Cabin Crew Kathryn Morancil’s day. “Kaye” as addressed by her colleagues has been flying with AirAsia for 10 years now, and needless to say, her driving force at work is to be able to provide for her 6-year-old daughter, Karynn.
Being a single mom, she needs to be the image of strength, courage, and positivity. When confronted with challenging situations, she never entertains the thought of failure.
“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,” Kaye shared.
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, most of them always find something “extra” to make sure their kids are shielded from hardships and inconvenience.
While waiting for the return of pre-covid air travel demand, Kaye managed to find a way to earn money on the side. When not flying she has engaged into buy and sell activities which provides 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.” Kaye proudly shared.
THE THREAD THAT BINDS…
Allstar Culture Manager Karen Meneses may not be your typical mom. She’s always cool, well made up 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.
In her 10 years with AirAsia, she’s the go-to person of everyone seeking comfort and motherly advice. You will never go hungry when you visit her station as it is usually filled with goodies.
“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 shared.
Apart from taking care of others, Karen reminds all moms to take good care of themselves. She said, “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.”
TREASURES BEYOND COMPARE
‘“Klarisse, Kaye and Karen are priceless treasures not only for AirAsia, but as inspiring moms in general. They shine bright – even amongst diamonds or 24K gold. It is only fitting that we value and appreciate all their efforts not only during the second Sunday of May but each and every day,” said Steve Dailisan, AirAsia Philippines Spokesperson.
“Cheers to all mothers who need not physically bore their own child and yet have shown undying love for a child. We are truly grateful to all mothers who continue to navigate this difficult time, and make sure the light of hope springs eternal.
“As Cardinal Meymillod said, ‘A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take’.
“To all our Allstar Super moms, you are irreplaceable! Happy Mother’s day!”