Being a parent is a lifelong learning process. This is true even for the little moments we share with our kids that others would take for granted.
We talked to three moms about the lessons they learned from spending time with their kids:
Everything this mom does, she does for her kids.
Anne Penalosa has three kids, two of whom are already grown and live away from home. The youngest, Gia, is the family's baby at 9. Despite holding a full-time job, Anne is very hands-on with Gia's daily activities. "Her papa and I make sure that we're there for her and her siblings whenever we can," the working mom shares. She and her husband take time off work to travel for hours on the road or on a plane to attend important school events such as recognition days, graduation, and family days.
She does most things with her children in mind, like planning meals. It's one of the moments when Anne can bond with her daughter. "Especially for Gia. She's not a picky eater but she has very specific favorites," Anne says. She goes through the trouble of going to the nearest Jollibee, two towns away from their home in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, just to buy her bunso's favorite Jollibee meal as pasalubong.
"One of the most valuable things I've learned from being a parent of a 24-year-old, 17-year-old, and a 9-year-old is that spending time with them, regardless of how old they get, makes all the difference. It helps us understand what they think and feel and vice versa."
This mom found her best friend, sister, and soulmate in her daughter.
Patricia Arribas's daughter Kate is her complete opposite. She's headstrong, makulit, and adventurous.
"We're almost like sisters," Patricia muses, "maybe because I had her quite early on." Growing up an only child, the mom of one has dreamed of having siblings. To her surprise, this dream is realized in her daughter Kate. "We do fun things with each other," she shared. They even dress up and go to costume parties together and have salon days. "I hoped I'd done with a sibling, I did with her," she added. However, having a really close relationship with her daughter doesn't come without its pains.
"I remember the first time Kate saw the Jollibee mascot for the first time. She was incredibly happy," she recalls. "Other kids flocked around the mascot for pictures, but we couldn't. I'd just pawned my phone hours before to pay for Kate's medical bills because she was sick at the time."
"Kate just stood behind the mascot and held his finger. The happiness I saw on her face was beyond words. Since then, I promised myself that on her next birthday I would make sure they would have their picture taken together." Months after, Patricia finally fulfilled the promise she made her daughter. Kate finally got to celebrate her birthday in Jollibee.
"Imagine climbing up a long mountain trail just to see a sunrise. Tiring? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely! That's what being a parent is like, just double the exhaustion and triple the reward," she says proudly.
This mom makes the most of every moment with her sons.
A nurse and a single mother of two, Ming Querubin doesn't take any bonding experience for granted. She recently took her boys, 8 and 9, to Boracay to do one of their favorite activities together: snorkeling. "It was also their first plane ride experience," she shares. It was their "happiest time together."
While they enjoy these adventures, the family of three also happily bond over simpler moments like their favorite dishes. "Jollibee is my kids' favorite, and mine as well," Ming shares. Their go-to order? "Jolly Spaghetti with Chickenjoy," she says.
All Ming wants is something every parent does as well. "I can say that we really have a strong bond. I want my children to feel that they are loved and appreciated, even if it's just in the simple, everyday things," she shares.
Creating a lifelong and meaningful relationship with your children might be a parent's toughest job, because even when they stop being kids, you'll never stop being a parent. So take every opportunity to bond with them-even if it's as simple as spending an afternoon at Jollibee and munching on your favorite Jolly Spaghetti.
Watch this video to know more:
With every bite and smile shared, your relationship grows stronger and warmer.