A Parent First, Before a Professional


Having businesses that allow us to stay at home more often has its advantages and disadvantages; the greatest advantage is that we get to spend more time with the kids, attend most school-related activities, and witness their milestones (unlike when I was still working, I only witnessed Stacey’s first time to roll over, first time to crawl, and even first time to talk through video and photo).

As for the disadvantage, it takes quite a bit of time adjusting (both on their end and ours) whenever we have to leave or to work at home. Working (or attempts to work) are often interrupted by requests to join “tea parties,” to attend their “classes” or eat at their “restaurants,” to watch their “concerts,” even to watch “Frozen” for the nth time (they just couldn’t “Let it Go”) or the latest episode of “Sheriff Callie” on the very desktop we’re supposed to be working!

Tuesday night was no different. I was in front of the computer, typing away letters and blog entries while doing online consultation with our team. Stacey and Essa were busy playing, reenacting scenes from their favorite shows. A lot of times they asked me to watch their “concert,” but I had to decline and explain that I had important things to finish. Perhaps sensing that I was getting tired, Essa approached me, asked me to help put her mask on, and after thanking me she commented, “You know dad that you’re so handsome?” Stacey also chimed in, “Yes daddy, you’re so pogi!”

Their comments made me smile and I thanked them before returning to work. Next it was Stacey’s turn to approach me and request that I watch their performance. Even before I had the chance to turn them down yet again, she immediately said “Ay si Batman na lang pala!” referring to the Batman toy beside the computer table.

I was aghast with what I heard! I knew there have been too many times I had to decline playing with them because of work, but when my child would rather have a toy watch their performance because they had to adjust to my schedule, I knew something was already wrong.

Still reeling, I left the computer and sat on the floor mat, and watched Stacey on the bed (her “stage”), complete with her “cape” (a blanket), perform (you guessed it right) “Let it Go.”

This incident reminded me of what my priorities should be. I can rationalize all I want that what I’m doing is for them anyway, but the truth remains that I am sacrificing precious time with my kids for work, which is ironic since having more time with the kids is our main reason for quitting work and engage in businesses instead. I am thankful that this incident happened, so I will always be reminded not to miss any more “tea parties” or “classes” or “concerts,” that I am a parent first, before I am a professional.


Jelson Estrella Capilos graduated with a degree of AB English Literature, cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas. After a teaching career at the Ateneo de Manila University and stints as researcher and writer at the House of Representatives and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network, he established EducAid with his wife Hyacinth, to help build a better nation through better education. EducAid offers world-class trainings, seminars, and workshops to corporations, and the funds they receive are used for the free, year-round trainings they do for public school educators and students.

To learn more about EducAid, visit EducAidEvents.com, facebook.com/EducAid, and twitter.com/EducAid. You may contact the author at jcapilos.educaid@gmail.com.