“In a world of command, they must rise, march, run, endure bad weather, go without sleep or food, be isolated in some distant post, work until they drop. They have ceased to be the master of their own fate”.Charles de Gaulle
Just a few lines from the famous Military Professionalism by General Charles De Gaulle, a French statesman during World War I. And that’s the doctrine we have lived from the day we took oath, up to the moment we die.
Being a military officer, and a mother at the same time, needs tremendous effort. Balancing work and family is something that’s hard to perfect. Different worlds, but both need time and attention.
Since I advocate on breastfeeding and I don’t have help during the first 7 months after birth, I was bringing my baby to work every single day. Hard isn’t it?
I wake up early everyday just to prepare myself and my baby for work. Not to mention the sleepless nights I have to endure during those weeks that my baby still doesn’t have a sleeping pattern.
I was just lucky enough that my senior officers that time understood my situation that they allowed me to bring my baby in the office. And when I needed to travel, I tagged my baby along. As early as 2 months, I brought my baby with me to Tarlac, and at 4 months, I brought my baby to Zamboanga and then back to Manila the next day.
I didn’t say no to any tasks given to me because I fully understood that is part and parcel of my job. For a lot of times also I have to sacrifice some moments with my baby because of work.
And that is the hardest part, setting aside your family, especially your kid because your work tells you to do so. But being a mom, it gave me an undeniable strength to survive all the hardships I have encountered. They said that motherhood is always an act of courage, and I can attest to that. There is nothing a mother cannot and will not do for her family, for her children.
My baby is about to turn 1 year old, and looking back on the previous months, I still can’t believe what we have gone through. The experience made me realize that I am stronger than what my training taught me. Motherhood taught me to be selfless in different ways.
To all struggling moms out there, don’t give up. That too will pass. Never ever think that you are weak, we are made to be brave, for our family and for our children.
2LT Andrea Cesarie Berida PAF
Andrea Berida, a military officer from the Philippine Air Force, proud Cebuana but currently resides in Pasay City due to her work assignment. A mother of 11 months old baby girl, who loves to play with her during free time. An advocate of breastfeeding, health & fitness as she is a registered nurse too. She is currently into keto diet to manage her weight problems. She shares her fitness journey on her fb page @fitnessformomsph.