Lessons from working moms

 A “selfie” painting by Atty. Marianne Guerrero (right) and her daughter Marra (left) recreating her mom’s picture.

Motherhood is a life-changing experience. There are those however who choose to juggle motherhood with a career, delicately balancing their time to fulfill their duties to both.

Atty. Marianne Malate-Guerrero

For Atty. Marianne Malate-Guerrero, a Senior Vice President and heads the Legal Department at SM Investments Corporation, it is a matter of making those crucial moments count.

As a mom to Josen, 21, an Economics major and Marra, 16 who is in High School, Guerrero says she prioritizes those situations with her children where her presence is most productive.

“There are situations when you are needed at home but you are expected at work, you should choose to be at home. If there’s an event in school for instance and you have to be present, you have to be there. On the other hand, though you’re expected to be home but you have to attend to an urgent matter at work, you have to prioritize work at that point. You have to be flexible. You have to choose at any given moment which task counts the most,” Guerrero said.

Working in SM for the last 10 years, Guerrero said she has also tried to instill the same value of hard work in her children. “That’s one thing this generation is beginning to lose, that idea of working for what you deserve,” Guerrero said.

As a mom, Guerrero also realizes that her children have lives, minds and interests of their own.

“I have to remind myself as a mother that these two are not mine. They are here for their own purposes , for God’s own life plan for them,”: she said. “Everything that happens to them—good or bad—is part of God’s plan. I just have do what’s best for them based on my limited abilities and to influence them to be a good and responsible citizen and be the best that they can be.”

Cecilia Patricio

Working in a corporate environment can be demanding, says Cecilia Patricio, a Senior Vice President heading the Tax Division at SM. But she says she always tries her best to free up her weekends for family.

Patricio has three daughters—a physician, a businesswoman and one who is currently doing volunteer work.

“I work to fulfill my career and professional goals and to help support my family but I am always a mother and wife. That means taking time at the start of the day to make sure that my family is taken care of. I also spend time with my daughters by driving them to work or school so we can talk and catch up. When I get home, I try as much as possible to leave work at the office so that I can focus my energy on my family,” Patricio said.

Patricio said quality time with the family is important as she makes it a point to talk to her family whenever she sees them. “Modern technology has its advantages. The responsibilities of a mother does not end when she enters the office,” she said.

Ms. Cecilia Patricio, SM Senior Vice President for Corporate Tax (fourth from right) with her family.


Having been with SM for over two decades, Patricio said she has learned the value of hard work as well as appreciating that certain tasks need to be done urgently without comprising quality.

“This helps in my journey through motherhood because I know how to prioritize matters and balance my time between my home and work,” Patricio said.

There are four things she would like to impart to her children, namely faith in God, good stewardship, the importance of investing in education and setting a good example.

For other working mothers, Patricio has this to say: “Working mothers should not feel guilty when they are at work. There are so many ways we can make our love for our family felt. We have to make sure that our family knows that we love them, that they are the reason why we are working and that we prioritize them through different means.”

Source: Manila Bulletin