After having four boys, Joy and Gian Sotto finally welcomed a princess, Amari, in May of last year. On how she manages a testosterone-filled home with a new baby, the mom of five shared that choosing her battles was key to keeping her sanity -- that, and of course the love and support of her husband.
When asked what it is it like raising a girl, Joy couldn't hide her joy at finally having a daughter. “I’m also glad that I finally have a partner that I can do girlie things with, while the boys do their thing,” she said. ““Our little princess may still be a baby, but as early as now, I think I see a strong willed little girl in the making.”
Joy has already noticed a few differences between her 9-month-old and her kuyas: Hugo, 11, Edrico, 8, Sandro, 5, and Rossano, 3.
“[Amari] can stay put! She can play in one corner and just be quiet, unlike my boys when they need a lot of space and energy to move around in,” Joy shares.
Fashion, however, was a simple affair for her boys. “All I needed was a polo paired with any pants or shorts, plus rubber shoes, and they’re ready to go!” the mom of five quips.
It's different with Amari, who already loves playing dress-up. Joy quickly realized little girls needed hair accessories, stockings if her dress is too short, and cardigans if she’s wearing a sleeveless outfit. “She doesn’t complain when she’s being dolled up,” Joy says, adding that Amari is not fussy, unlike her boys.
Another difference that Joy is already anticipating is potty training. “[I think of] things like do I need to bring a portable potty in the car when she’s potty trained? Or what do I need to bring when she needs to pee in a public restroom? Where do I buy those disposable toilet seat covers?” she says.
Then, Joy's thoughts veer way into the future. “My little girl cannot go out without a chaperone, unlike her brothers. Dealing with suitors is every parent’s fear for their little girl! I pray that she will put God first in her life, so she will be guided in all the decisions that she needs to make.”
Speaking of fears, one of Joy’s worries is Amari ending up with the “wrong group of friends.” While it's something she worries about her sons as well, Joy knows the boys can count on each other's friendship if there are problems with male friends. "I am particular in praying for the right set of friends for Amari,” she explains. “I pray that she can have someone she will grow up with like a sister and will be there for her unconditionally.”
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What calms Joy is the knowledge that her sons will have their sister's back no matter what. She is blessed to have her brothers as her buds for life. “They adore Amari. They complement her every single day, shower her with hugs and kisses non-stop, to the point when she gets annoyed! And they’re very vocal with their 'I love you's,'” Joy said.
Joy credits her husband, Gian, for teaching the boys how to show affection. “My husband is very showy and affectionate, and that is why my boys are the same. What's caught is taught, and with how my husband treats his mom and me, I am very sure, my boys will do the same,” says Joy.
Amari will turn one in a few months. It’s another milestone not just for her but the whole family as well. “I can’t wait to see how she’ll turn out to be!”