me-time-300x300Women seem to have it all these days: children, careers, families and relationships, social and civic networks, among other things.  They seem to have everything, yes, except time for themselves.

As a mom of three I wrote this not too long ago in my blog : Moms should find time for a “ME” time. Emphasis on “ME” time and not “MOM” time.

Is this being selfish? — this wanting to spend time with one’s self, without the children, without thoughts of house work and just focusing on oneself and not one’s role as mother or wife.

Too often we moms spend  our time doing a lot of things. We even boast that “Multitasking is my middle name.” The result:  stress and fatigue and sometimes a feeling of angst.  “Is drudgery our lot?” we sometimes ask silently.

Many moms seem to be able to work on autopilot mode.  They operate on little sleep because the toddler is too fretful at night or the teenager needs to be fetched from a classmate’s home where she joined group study.  Some moms are in the “sandwich stage” — taking care of young children on one end and of aging parents on the other, while trying to make it professionally. This  role strain will make even a young, healthy woman so needful of occasional breaks, lest she burn out or get sick, or worst, break down.

Becoming a mother doesn’t change who you are.

Moms usually spread themselves thinly over many tasks and responsibilities, leaving no room for them to be the person they were before becoming a mother. The creative side, the free-spirit, the essential self is neglected and set aside. Some moms feel unhappy because they feel confined and constricted.

Young women get married to their men wanting to be more together.  But before long, too many things separate them — the early morning rush to work, the dishes piling up in the sink, the bills running due, the washing machine breaking down, the often problematic children. So many a woman would listen to their husband’s snoring at night wondering what happened to her romantic dreams.

Moms do not have to wait for their nest to empty to enjoy their time away from drudgery.  They can in fact have this on a daily basis, with determination and time management.

Yes, it IS possible.

Importance of “Me” time

The time to be “You” and not “a mom” should be a real “ME” time and not hours spent planning what to do for the long weekend, writing down recipes and ideas for the youngest child’s party next month or putting the toys away in the baby’s room. Mom’s “Me” time is a time to be selfish, a time to just do what you love and a time to relax and be yourself and find your own self-worth amidst  the daily grind.


me time

Mom’s “Me” time ideas

How can moms find their own “Mom’s Me Time”? How can they make it happen?

1. Schedule the “Me’ time. Perhaps waking an hour or half an hour earlier than everyone to be able to enjoy a quiet time with a cup of coffee and a good book or a walk around the neighborhood.

2. Make time. For those with young children, make “Me” time the time when the children are taking naps. For those with school children, it is best to do the house chores early in the day to have extra time before the children get home from school. For those who work outside the home, half an hour before going to work or before bed or lunch break at work would be best.

3. Connect with friends outside the family circle. Have lunch or coffee with friends or even a spa date to connect with them. Make sure that talking about kids are kept at a minimum level because after all, this is all about you.

4. Focus on yourself. Just sit back, relax, and do what you think would qualify as your “Me” time and savor the moment.

5. Follow your passion. The passion for things unrelated to being mothers or wives should not take a back seat but rather nurtured and encouraged.

i need me time

More ideas

Not sure how to go about having a “Me” time and needing  ideas? Here are a few more for that perfect time all to yourself:

• Once-or-twice-a-month salon pampering like having a haircut or manicure and pedicure
• Spa date for a full body or just foot massage
• Sit-down dinner out with friends
• Movie time with your BFF
• Coffee time with college friends you haven’t seen in years
• Once a week lessons on cooking, crafting, sewing, dancing, yoga, floral arrangement, quilting, scrap-booking, guitar or piano playing
• Going to church
• Early morning/evening walk at the park or around the neighborhood
• Reading
• Gym time or exercising on your own at home
• Enjoying a slice of your favorite cake or a bar of chocolate, alone.
• Enjoying a movie or a television series that has no animated character in it
• Dancing
• Honing skills like crafting and needlework. (There are a lot of online video tutorials if there is no time for formal lessons outside the home.)
• Afternoon with friends: Gather your friends with the same interests and learn together or learn from each other.
• Pampering your skin with your DIY skin care products or store-bought ones
• Taking online courses to feed that inner nerd in you (because learning doesn’t stop even for mothers)
• Tackling a challenge: Train to run a half or full marathon, learn to ride a bike or sing solo at Sunday Mass.

The possibilities are endless if only moms look hard enough for that special time  and activity to indulge themselves.

Remember: Healthy, fit, stress-free and happy moms make happy homes.

me time

Photos: By the author, some rights reserved

Written by Julie Fuertes-Custodio as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles

“As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” – Ezekiel 1:28

What do you do when a rainbow graces its presence upon you? Well, my first instinct is to take a photo. A year ago, my sister and I travelled all the way to Tagaytay to meet up with my brother over the weekend. There were slight rains that day as we sipped coffee at the Bag O Beans.  Such a beautiful day to be together. I just wanted to hold that moment and enjoy the company of my siblings and the chilly breeze at the veranda.

rainbow in taal lake

It is not often that my brother is in the Philippines and we took this opportunity to just have small talk and gaze at the view of Taal lake.  Earlier that day, we had breakfast by Taal Vista where we had the view of the other side of Taal Volcano.

with my brother

The first rainbow photo I took was when I was with my daughter in Tasmania in 2011. I believe rainbows mean blessings. “A Rainbow is one of the most beautiful artistic creations that Nature herself can paint for us. When we are given the opportunity to view a rainbow ,  we become mesmerized and enchanted by the breathtaking beauty which appears in the untouchable distance; a Beauty which comes to us directly from the paintbrush of Divinity.”

rainbow in tasmania

This rainbow photo was taken during a bus ride from the airport to our hotel in Tasmania shortly after lunch. Now that my daughter is in Europe, I treasure these memories of our travels.


A year ago , it was amazing to spot this rainbow while strolling with my husband, one rainy afternoon in Vienna at around 5:00 PM.

rainbow in vienna12

I moved closer to get an uninterrupted view of the rainbow. Pretty soon,  some bystanders took photos as well.

rainbow in vienna1

I will never forget this afternoon walk with my husband. We really didn’t know where to go in Vienna so we just strolled aimlessly until we spotted this rainbow. It just felt romantic being there at the moment.

rainbow in vienna

An unforgettable rainbow experience  was after visiting the grave of my son in 2000.  Looking down at my son’s gravestone, I asked my son to give me a sign of hope. As I left the park that afternoon..behold the rainbow. I was not able to take a photo of that rainbow moment but looking at it gave me hope, that I could achieve a new normal after the death of my son. It is said that “God gave us the rainbow as a symbol of the trustworthiness of His promises – as a symbol of hope in Him.” If you believe in God, this is just heartwarming.

Nevertheless, beholding a rainbow is a gift . As I encounter its beauty, I take this opportunity to be grateful for all the gifts in my life.

You might want to ponder over the potential messages of the rainbow:

1. Is it time to take a fresh look at the opportunities available to us?

2. There is always another way. What other options can we see?

3. Are we prepared to move into a new light, and see things with a new perspective?

4. Are we ready to cross over from one phase of life to another?

5. What kinds of promises have we made in our lives, and are we honoring those promises?

6. Likewise, what kinds of promises do we expect from others? Are they reasonable? Are they being upheld?

7. What’s the condition of our connection (bridge) to our Higher Power (the deity of our understanding)?

8. Are we ready to be initiated into a new dimension of living?


Who would have thought that my passion for blogging would lead me to earning income?   Earning from my blog was farthest from my mind. I was blogging for an advocacy, to offer hope to parents that walked the same journey as I did. Little did I know,  opportunities came in the form of being a social media resource speaker, an editor and contributor . Blogging also paved the way to the awareness of new products and services. How timely that Security Bank gathered bloggers together and affirm that we can pursue our passion without going broke.


Two bloggers, Monica Manzano and Christine Dychiao, shared their stories on how they pursued their passion yet are able to invest part of it for the future. Christine Dychiao, a fashion entrepreneur , says that one must make it a habit to save a portion of our income. Monica not only shared her dreams and passion but the eight steps to manifest anything:

  1. Meditate
  2. Write goals: then tick them off one by one
  3. Collaborate with like-minded people
  4. Time management
  5. Have a Plan A, B, C, and D,
  6. Protect your own life missions and boundaries
  7. Learn how to flow with change
  8. Failing is part of the process.

There are many great lessons in failing. One gains new insight and confidence after having been there and done that. One can create a revised model at pursuing bigger and better dreams after your experiences. My exposure to investments has always been real estate which I learned from my dad. Thanks to blogging I got exposed to other ways of investing money like the offerings from Security Bank.


Security Bank encourages us to make investment a habit as you pursue your passions. There are no excuses because it is easy to invest. The best time to invest was YESTERDAY and the next best time is TODAY. Since the long term trend of the market is to go higher, the sooner money is invested, the sooner it can grow. There is no need to time the market. Investments made over time will earn and will be reinvested over and over again to generate greater earnings.  This is a good mantra to remember. Invest today. Now na.


I got  introduced to the Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs). A UITF is a curated investment fund that is managed by experts to ensure high yield and quality returns. I get to enjoy the profits of a diversified portfolio by purchasing units of participation in the fund. It’s the perfect investment option for me since I am not an expert in actual stock trading. Experts will manage my  investments through securities, bonds, equities, and other best-in-class instruments.


Security Bank offers UITFs with options for every risk appetite. I started  investing with just PHP 10,000 for the money market . This is the short “Investment and Risk Profile” questionnaire I took. Though the results show I am moderately aggressive, I chose to be conservative considering I am nearly 60 years old. I may not be as productive in my golden years as I am today.


So why invest? I was shown this infographic below on the results of investing 10,000 each month for 5 years . There is a potential return of 10% in an investment fund . Well , this is comparably bigger than the 0.25 % per annum in the savings account.  The inflation rate is usually higher than prevailing deposit rates and it decreases the value of your money. By investing in a UITF,  I will be able to invest in assets that offer higher rates than ordinary bank deposits. Investing in UITFs gives me a better chance of beating the inflation rate. I still do the same with my investments in real estate but the latter is not liquid. Diversified investment is the key.


With just a  minimum of Php 10,000, I will have diversified portfolio of assets. Diversification lessens the risk in any investment portfolio. I like this option. This is the way to pursue my passion without getting broke.

Make investment a habit as you pursue your passion. Are you ready to invest?

Security Bank introduces the Human Switch Kit, a personalized banking service that gives clients ease and flexibility in account opening. With this service, you can now request for a dedicated sales associate to open your account right in the comforts of your home or office. To get started, just visit and select your preferred branch, and a sales associate will set an appointment with you.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” Charles Spurgeon

Happiness is… having a date with my husband even if it is just doughnuts and coffee.
“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Happiness is… watching a little boy, have fun.


“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is…enjoying life with an empty nest.



“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.”  Bertolt Brecht

Happiness is…walking in the park.


“Happiness is a direction, not a place. ” Sydney J. Harris

Happiness is… stopping to play with the kitties.


“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it. “William Feather

Happiness is … enjoying life as it comes.

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” Bernard Meltzer

Happiness is…the simple joy of winning this Huwaei P9 from Nuffnang Philippines and Huwaei Philippines because of my #ChangeTheWayYouSeeHappiness blog post. I want to share this joy with all of you.


Remember that if you are happy, happiness overflows and you can give happiness. If you don’t love yourself and if you are unhappy with yourself, you can’t give anything else but that.


Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.

I have choices. We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see.


When my precious  son died 16 years ago, I felt my whole world collapsed.  Losing a child is the ultimate tragedy that can ever happen to a parent.  To even describe the pain is not possible.The pain is gut-wrenching and indescribable.  Something in me died.  I often asked “Will I ever smile again?”

luijoe cemetary

I realized five years later, that pain is a great teacher. It taught me to face who I really am and where I needed to move forward to. What I did with my painful experience defined who I became. That is one reason this blog is called “Touched by an Angel” because my little angel inspired me to move forward to my “new normal”. It was a choice between being happy or miserable after going through  this rollercaster grief journey.

me and my husband

I chose to be happy. Who says it is too late to redefine your life?  I was 48 years old when I made a decision to choose happiness over misery.

Ever since I changed my attitude towards life, I  have never felt so much joy. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that I decided to look beyond the tragedy.  I now share that happiness with my husband.

happiness 1

Let me count the ways:

1. A loving relationship with myself

I believe it is important to love ourselves first. A loving relationship with myself works because it leads to a loving relationship with others . Losing weight was just one way of nurturing myself. These days, I walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Walking makes me happy.  I bet it is the endorphins.

fitbit surge

Once a week, I visit the salon just to have pedicure and manicure, massage or facial. It makes me happy just having this Me-Day.

2. Reading self-improvement books like Jane Fonda’s “Prime Time” Book


Life didn’t have to be miserable. I know now that it was a conscious choice to be happy . I continue to improve myself by reading self-help books.

3. Making a difference in my own small way through blogging for social good

socially conscious mom blogger

When I started this blog in 2006, I also defined myself as a Mom Blogger who tries to make a difference in my own small way. It makes me happy to be of help to others, to offer hope that there is life after a painful experience. I am aware that being happy adds years to our life, and life to our years. The glow of happiness just shows

4. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude


There is always something to be thankful for every day. I am thankful to God for giving me the courage to keep on going even if hope seemed dismal. Gratitude unlocks happiness. No matter how tough times are, I knew being grateful transformed my perspective in life.

Choosing happiness  does not mean that  I forgot my precious son.  Choosing happiness allowed me to experience great moments. By being happy , I invite positive vibes, fun, opportunities and love into my life.  Yes I learned to laugh and smile again and I often share this joy to my loved ones through my blog posts and photos .

You too , can change the way you see happiness . It’s a choice.


Changing the way I see happiness also allowed me to be open to possibilities. The photos captured by Huawei P9  changed the way I looked at mobile photography.  You too, can change the way you see mobile photography once you know that the P9’s dual-lens camera allows you to capture both vivid colors and striking black and white images.  The photos taken by my daughter using her Huwaei P9 Plus (same dual lens as the P9)  speak for itself. I love the  bokeh effect –where parts of the photo are artistically blurred out .

Photo taken by my daughter Lauren using a Huawei P9 (Plus)

Photo with a bokeh effect taken by my daughter Lauren using her Huawei P9 Plus

Bokeh effects are usually “achieved using expensive cameras and special lenses, plus a considerable amount of talent. On the P9, taking the perfect shot requires only few button taps.”

Photo taken by my daughter Lauren using her Huawei P9 (Plus)

Photo with a bokeh effect taken by my daughter Lauren using her Huawei P9 (Plus)

bokeh effect of huawei p9

My daughter’s photo with a bokeh effect using a Huwaei P9 dual lens

After all, the Huawei P9’s camera is co-engineered with Leica and that is why it can take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored, light painting photos among others. Doesn’t the food photos make you hungry?

If it can take great food photos, then I am sure the Huawei P9 will capture amazing photos of   happy moments with my dear hubby  and loved ones.  I will continue  to share that joy with all of you .