“The moment I became a mom, the words Love, Protect and Support rolled into one word, Sacrifice and that is Motherhood to me.
It is not about myself anymore, my child/ my children are the 1st in line already. I don’t know if it’s only me, but you know what, being a mom is like sleeping with one eyes open. If you are not yet a mom, you will remember me saying this when you become one.”-Jo Ann
Jo Ann A. Dumlao,hails from Ilocos Norte, Philippines.A solo parent to 3 wonderful children; Shaine her eldest is a BS Tourism graduate, Janwin Kirby her only son is a BS Secondary Education graduate- Cum Laude and Jilliane the youngest is a BS Psychology undergraduate student and a mom to their source of joy baby Tahra.She is a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) in Singapore from 2007 to present.
Read her own written story which she joyfully shared to me:
I became a mom at a young tender age of 20, unplanned, unexpected pregnancy. Looking back, I won’t deny, the feelings of regrets and sadness we’re there. But the moment I held Shaine in my arms, everything became beautiful! God has gifted me 3 beautiful amazing children- they are my Rugrats !
Being a mom at a young age is a struggle already- it’s not easy, not easy at all. Nevertheless, once you get to feel the warm hugs, sweet kisses and see the adorable smiles of your children, all goes well and right.
I can say I was not that hard up in raising my children because we were surrounded by our family (and we lived with our grandparents before) who didn’t fail giving, showing their moral support, their unending love and let me say, financially too. I struggled when they cry, they whine, they get sick, they show attitude , having tantrums — ohhh dear, please help me moments !
The most difficult decision Jo Ann made as a mother:
Having the decision to go away from my children is by far the hardest decision I have ever made. I have three children who need my guidance, supervision all the time in their studies and in the difficult growing up years. And most of all, they need my love and care.
I left my children at their very young age and this decision may turn out good or bad (and I crossed my fingers with a prayer). It is hard, how to keep track of their daily lives specially. I have traveled and still traveling the ups and downs of the vast dessert of life. With strong faith to God and undying love for my children- these keep me going.
The greatest downfall and how did she backed up:
This, sacrificing, leaving my children. God knows how my heart feels and how it is broken. I am not with them celebrating their birthdays, their triumphs, going up in the stage when they receive recognitions for giving their best in their studies, not being with them when they get sick that I am supposed to be taking care of them, I am not there to help them get up when they fall in their feet, to put bandages in their wounds. How I dreamed of being with them when they are anxious to what to wear, how to style their hair. How I wish I am able to hear the stories about their crushes as they giggle while we watch their favourite KDrama or movie. So many small and big things that I have missed while my children grow up. And sometimes, I feel or come to think, do I even know my children? Honestly, I don’t even know what each of my children favourite color is (so sad, tears in my eyes). I miss being a mom, really.
But in spite of that, I keep in my mind that I am doing this for them, for their future. I am able to send them to the University, I am able to give their needs and wants with my average salary.
Constant communication or open communication is our bridge in patching the gaps between us. Thanks to the modern technology especially the video call, the internet that keep us connected.
I am the kind of person who is always full of hope, I am optimistic, I will and can still manage to smile even in my down most moments. I am able to do this with my prayers- they are my yardsticks in getting up, in facing life challenges. God is Love, He will not forsake His children.
Who is Jo Ann at present?
( Current life, what do I do?)
I asked one of the closest person in my life that I have met 6 years and 9 months ago to answer for me this- who is Jo Ann now?" According to her,Jo Ann today is the same person that I have met in the year 2016 to now. The same but different Jo Ann who is more focused in helping others- FDW Community. And, she is into writing of poems now. She has been writing but more on Feature / Essay Writing, this is new to her but I can see that she is enjoying it .” I super agree with this and I am going to add, Yes, I am still the Jo Ann I used to be but prouder (not bragging) now, full of gratitude to everything that she has gone through. I am still the Jo Ann who never gives up, fight back to whatever challenges life throws at her. For my children sake and baby Tahra. Me, as an MDW, I am making myself busy, productive , learning new things specially with this time of pandemic- mostly are done through online, on my day offs or after work at night.
Aside from being a “ house manager” I can be your Sister Guide at the National Gallery of Singapore (NGS) also, do let me know and I bring you around at the NGS.
What is Jo Ann’s dream/dreams?
Let me say, in this time of pandemic, all I dream for now is to be with my children, be with baby Tahra, be with my mom, my family. (Their health and safety are what I always pray for.
On the other side, to see my children settled and living a purposeful life is what I dream of that if I look back, I can feel the fulfilment…
And of course to see more books with my name as a story writer or as a poet, to be able to put up a business of my own and to travel anywhere else with my family.
I know, I can’t be like Oprah Winfrey- she’s one hell of a woman! But please allow me to add what my children want to tell to everyone and I quote, “Our mom is a sample of an empowered woman. She is an inspiration to us, her children. She sacrifices ever for the sake of our needs and wants. We keep fighting, we keep getting stronger and we keep moving forward because of her. She has a big impact in our lives. Even if she’s not personally with us right now, we can still feel her presence by her unending love, care and support. The best mother and the only superwoman in our lives, our mommy Jo Ann.” ( I won’t deny, this made me cry).
I will end with a short Bible verse: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Find Jo Ann on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jojo.dumlao.7
And Instagram at https://instagram.com/miz_jojho?utm_medium=copy_link
Thankyou so much Jo Ann for sharing your very inspiring story!