Thrilled. Ecstatic. Humbled. This is how I feel right now, during the aftermath of the first WAHMderful Life Workshop: A Work at Home Moms 101. Forty wonderful women — some professionals, others stay-at-home moms, and some work-at-home moms — gathered together last October 27 at the COWO Asia for a day of talks, info-sharing, and most of all, fellowship with other like-minded ladies.
For me the workshop was a culmination of something I always wanted to do: To have an offline event that was an extension of my blog, that championed the WAHM revolution. As grace would have it, Neva of Manila Mommy recommended that I sit-down with her sis-in-law, Ginger of Manila Workshops (also, Manila Fitness), who had a business planning out-of-the-box workshops. After a few meetings, email exchanges, and planning, we launched the event on our respective blogs.
We filled up after only two weeks of promotion. We ended up accepting 45 workshop registrants, which was a bigger number than we initially planned for!
Let me talk you through what went down. The pictures do a better job of that! (Thanks to Ginger’s hubby, EJ, for the pics!)
The second talk for the day was entitled “From Working Girl to Working Mom,” and featured two speakers, both of whom are wonderful work-at-home moms. What I loved about this segment was that these moms didn’t sugar-coat the whole WAHM lifestyle. In fact, they presented it in all its ups and downs, which (I believe!) was a relief to all the moms in attendance!
During the morning session, I also gave my personal testimony as a work-at-home mom. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll be able to piece my story together from my various entries. But, during the workshop, I gave a quick once-over look into my journey, just as Toni and Marge had done. I hope I didn’t ramble on, ladies! Every time I speak, it’s like I completely zone out and have an out-of-body experience, haha!
That was the morning session. The afternoon began with a short talk on self-care for WAHMs, courtesy of the workshop’s co-presenter, Celeteque.
We also did some raffling off of prizes, courtesy of some of our sponsors, including Unilab, Xend, and King Sue. I launched into my second talk for the day, “Are You Ready for the WAHMderful Lifestyle,” which had a ton of info. In fact, there was just SO much information during that session, I had to whiz through some of the items! (Maybe next time we should have a two-day workshop?)
Our last session for the day was a panel Q&A with my friends, fellow work-at-home moms. This was a great way for the participants to get to know some real WAHMs, most of whom have been working from home for two years and more. We had some great questions from the audience, from how to register for a business license or sole proprietorship, to how to manage our homes, to how to work from home while homeschooling, etc. (Ladies, if you have any more questions, remember to ask away on our Manila WAHMs Facebook Group! Request for an invite today.)
What made this day WAHMderful?
New friendships and connections. The moms in this group are the most supportive, warm and welcoming women ever. I didn’t get to talk to everyone personally, but I had connected with each mom somehow, whether through Facebook, or email, even through the blog comments. It was great to hear how they exchanged business cards and email addresses, how ready they were to make new friends and naturally build their networks. Balsam Brands — one of our exhibitors — gave the moms an opportunity to apply for “work at home mom-friendly” job positions with their global company.
Validation as work at home moms. During the day — throughout all of the talks — the “buzz words” were “intentional” and “objectives.” We learned that it was normal to have the drive to work from home, and that we each had a mission, an objective to fulfill. We learned how to craft our personal mission statements as moms, whether we were WAHMs, working, or stay at home moms, so that we could live intentionally, according to our beliefs, our principles. Being in a venue filled with like-minded women all seeking to define their personal missions: Awesome vibes!
Finding our WAHM tribe. During my afternoon session, I mentioned the concept of tribes, as Seth Godin (one of the best Internet marketing gurus) defines it: “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to an idea… A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” Holding the workshop confirmed that we were a tribe, as like-minded women who believed in our right to work from home. It felt amazing, and even gave Ginger and I the motivation to keep on planning events under the WAHMderful Life movement. Yay!
Thank you, God, for this workshop. Thank you, Manila Workshops, for being an awesome partner — to more collaborations! Thanks to everyone who registered and attended. And stay tuned for more workshops in the future, especially for our second WAHMderful Life workshop, slated for sometime in January 2013!