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From Art Director to being a stay-at-home mother of four- Interview with Govinda Trazo

We find inspiration from the day to day ordinary lives of women around us. Sometimes the daily struggles that women have to go through are being overlooked. Like for example, the struggles and challenges of stay-at-home mothers. Most people think that staying at home with the kids are easy escape from working full-time. They don't realize that its a 24/7 job, especially those who don't have families nearby to support them.

Oftentimes, we forget that mothers who decided to stay at home had successful careers that they have to give up to make a more important decision for their family. This is what our dear mama friend from Cebu, Govinda Trazo, has experienced when she had her fourth baby boy.

Govs, tell us a bit about your journey into the design world?

I’ve been designing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I loved designing paper doll dresses, creating a pretend shop, or drawing made-up characters. But don’t we all? I just knew at a young age I want to be part of anything that has to do with colors, shapes, stories, and then be able to share them. After having obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Advertising Arts degree, I've worked at numerous companies such as self-publishing book company, IT, advertising, and design agencies that opened opportunities and shaped my skills and confidence. I also had a short stint as a designer in Dubai. Now that I'm recalling my "journey", I can now fairly connect the dots. It made me realize that it has never been defined by the positions I've had or the years and projects I've collected. It is an ever-growing weave of discovering (or rediscovering) strengths. Currently not connected with any company (but my own!), passion work is another journey worth sharing.

As an absolute admirer of visual design, the work you have done looks amazing 😍 What have been some of your favorite & interesting projects that you worked on?

My favorite ones are from my doodle book. It's nothing grand, but it is where I feel most connected. Career wise, I love working on projects that are under the children's category. Unfortunately, I can't share the details with you.

Tell us about your journey at RipeConcepts while being a full time working mom? How did the challenges change for you when you became the Art Director and mom of 4?

It was the best leap in my career. It was exactly what I was longing for at that time. I had the best team and I was mentoring exceptionally talented young designers. But the real challenge was when I had my fourth pregnancy and was advised by my doctor to stay home. So I had to work remotely. Although my parents live with us, it was hard for me to focus -- being so pregnant and a toddler dangling by my side who all he wanted was his Mama. By the time I had given birth, my older sons' (then 13 and 11-year-olds) school was now closed because of the pandemic. So I was juggling between taking care of a newborn, homeschooling 3 boys, plus my full-time job. I knew I had to give up one. Otherwise, I'd be in a nuthouse! With my husband's support, I was able to quit my job and concentrate on raising my four (plus the furry one!).

People expect a lot from working mothers. We don’t often see moms admit that they don’t know what they are doing or feel scared or worried. Could you share some of these experiences that you might resonate with? What are the hard decisions you made to make it less stressful for you as a mother?

In our minds, it would've been ideal. Raising your kids at home while having a full-time job. I salute parents who can do this, amazing indeed! I love the first few weeks with this setup. It felt I had everything in my hands: being home and spending as much time with the boys while keeping my day job. But the more I am available to everyone all at once, I'm just all over the place. It felt like I had two lives with no clear boundaries. My brain had to make switches -- newborn to toddler care mode, diving into the homeschool scene (we're still a noob to this!), then jumping right back to art directing. No pauses, everything is just, "go, go, go!" It was unbelievably crazy. I was always in a whirlwind of deadlines in small task servings and time seemed never enough.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We worry a lot, yet we put too much pressure on our everyday routine. Living slow is the hardest thing to do, don't you think? But we'll get there. What's important is we acknowledge the little battles and we face them with a grateful heart knowing that we are chosen to be mothers in this lifetime.

What are you inspired by?

I'm inspired by how my kids have grown over the years. They all come from the same set of parents yet are so different from each other! Their personalities and temperaments truly amaze me. I hope to raise them well.

Also by the growing small businesses owned by women. More and more have entered the fray and are bold enough to start and continue to thrive even in a global crisis. The amount of support in this area is also heartwarming.

Tell us about Wudiis? What do you currently do there

Wudiis started as a fundraising project for my son's World Lego Robotics championship where his team had to fly to Thailand to compete and represent the Philippines. At a small bazaar, we sold handpainted, uniquely shaped wooden peg dolls to customers. The positive response was unexpected. We were lucky we found a niche in the local market and so it continued and became an entrepreneurial venture.

We're still young and new to this endeavor but we always strive to get better in our little craft.

What brings you joy in a day to day life?

My boys, for sure! They're my home, happy-mess!

Do you know of other inspiring stories of Bisaya women?

YES! My good friend Karla Quimsing (Ilongga): writer, mother, and who has recently moved her family to Paris. I'm pretty sure she's got stories to inspire us all! :)

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