Mom-Style: Tina the Phenomenal Mama

For today's Mom-Style, allow me to introduce one of the first ladies who have supported my blog from the very beginning.  She is one domestic diva I truly admire.

Though we've known each other since we were kids, it's only recently that we've been able to meet and get in touch again because of blogging! Amazing right?  The spotlight is now on phenomenal mama Tina Ong of Our Phenomenal Life.

Mom rules! =)

1. Please share with us what your typical day is like?

A typical school day for me is waking up early, around 5:30am, to help the kids get ready for school.  I get far more things accomplished in my day when I start early enough.  When the kids are in school, I use that time to do chores, run errands, write posts for my blog, do prep work for what I am going to serve for dinner, etc.

During school days, the kids always come first, no matter what else I have on my schedule.   I make sure to take an early afternoon nap most days since I know that my day really shifts to a frenzied mood once the kids get dismissed from school. I personally supervise my kids during study time so I want to be at my most relaxed state when I deal with it.   A mid-day nap assures I am strengthened enough to complete my responsibilities with a pleasant countenance.

I bravely take on the challenge to tutor all of my kids because I want to be able to develop and instill in them the discipline of effective time management and good study habits.  I am slowly reaping the fruits of my labor as my oldest child has started studying by herself, and still manages to maintain her place in the honors list.  My second kid has always been independent and a go-getter so she deals with her homework almost unaided.  My youngest just entered grade school, so this is where I focus most of my energy on.

All three are actively involved in competitive sports so after-school training is a part of our daily regimen. 

Dinner is quick.  After eating, it is their free time if they are done with homework, but watching TV and playing with the computer are not allowed on weekdays. 

By 9 in the evening, the kids are in their room already, tucked in bed and ready for our night-time prayers.  This is the time of day where C and I can spend time together.  We usually talk about our day, read the papers, do some computer or watch some recordings of our favorite TV shows.

2. What do you enjoy most about your current occupation?

I am appreciative that I am fortunate enough to enjoy the lifestyle of a stay-at-home mom.  I am rewarded with the magnificent opportunity to shape my children’s character and guide them rightfully towards the best direction that God has planned for them.

Though the life of a stay-at-home mom is rarely a glorious one - it's the hardest, most challenging job anyone could ever take on; however, it's also the most rewarding, fulfilling and gratifying!

3. As a follow-up, can you share some practical tips or advise in relation to what you're doing right now?

As a full-time mom to 3 growing kids, I really have my hands full.  Here are some tips on how I manage to get along with a smile on my face:
1. I do not think I can carry out a wise management of my home and family apart from my relationship with the Lord.  I small-talk with Him throughout the day and ask for the ability to faithfully, patiently and lovingly complete my tasks.
2. Routine is a beautiful word in my world.  I am able to organize my day and complete my tasks because of it.  My kids do well when they know what to expect. And my husband gets all the benefits of a peaceful home.
3. Flexibility.  One of the advantages of making the rules is I can also break them.  With 3 fast-growing kids, our routines constantly need adjustments from time to time, as something is added or another is dropped.
4.  Keep priorities in the right place - Relationships are what matters. I remember what a friend posted on her FB wall, and my heart was really convicted with her message: We all want to be the perfect mom, but our kids just want to have a happy mom.
5. Mind your own business.  Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying.  Stop seeking the validation of others and be confident in yourself.  Just concentrate on loving and taking care of yourself and your family.
4. I launched Mom-Style to feature mothers with style and substance, and I believe you possess those qualities.  So what's your Mom-Style?
Describe your mothering style and personal style in fashion or design philosophy.

Mothering style - I'm greatly influenced by the Proverbs 31 woman.  I look up to this nameless biblical woman as the archetypal model upon which all mothers should measure up to.  I do not claim to have her qualities, but her traits are what I am striving to have to enable me to raise my kids in best way possible.

Personal style - I resort to a lot of thrifty indulgence to allow me to feel less guilty when I indulge in enjoy some items.  For instance, I have never paid for pedis.  I have painted my own toe-nails since I was in college that I now consider myself a pro at it.  I also give my tresses a deep-conditioning at home.  And instead of paying for those high-end massages at the spa, I avail the services of the home-service masseuse.

While I derive satisfaction over being able to save, I still firmly embrace my personal philosophy to value quality over quantity.  I appreciate the mellifluous texture of silk on my skin, the supple quality of genuine leather of my bags and shoes. That said, I legitimately and indisputably believe that quality has a price, and it is best if you invest in it. 

Mom-on-the-go:  smart, comfy and casual day wear
To keep me grounded, one of my favorite verses from the Bible gives a nice and constant reminder:  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3: 3-4)

Design philosophy - I do not really have a typical look that I go for, although I find myself fascinated with designs that have a clean and modern appearance; I would love to have a home where iconic furniture pieces are displayed alongside sentimental family collections.  But overall, my design for my home is simply to make our home a comfortable and peaceful refuge for the family.
Barcelona dreaming... Tina's dream (iconic) chairs
5. Who are your Mom-Style icons? (why?)

When you say Mom-Style icons, I suppose I should name people whom the majority know.  But in reality, a lot of the women I truly admire and think highly of are the numerous mothers that I have personally met in my daily interactions.  I encounter them as we patiently wait alongside each other for our kids to get off from school, in the soccer field, by the pool side; the generous ladies from church who volunteer their time for ministry; the multi-tasking mom-bloggers who share their stories with a blog post.  All of these women show authentic dedication and a resilient commitment to their role as a wife, mother, and home-maker – all of these, AND still finding time to make sure that they are still the attractive woman their husband married.

I am now wishing I could have at least half of your discipline in running an efficient household, seriously!  I salute you for the standards you've set for yourself and for your family. Thank you for further inspiring homemakers like me, and hopefully everyone reading this, to strive for a balanced and better quality home and family life.

Visit Tina's wonderful home and parenting blog site:
All photos courtesy of Tina Ong.
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MOM-STYLE : a special feature for mothers with style and substance. 
To highlight their diversity, expect the same questions for each mom on the spotlight.

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