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  • Andi Manzano, Erwan Heussaff, And Other Celebrity Parents Open Up About Their Struggles With Raising Kids During A Pandemic

    No parent is alone in this journey. Here's how they've navigated parenting in these challenging times.
Andi Manzano, Erwan Heussaff, And Other Celebrity Parents Open Up About Their Struggles With Raising Kids During A Pandemic
  • Raising children is a challenge made tougher with a pandemic. But keep in mind that you are not alone.

    In PLDT Home’s video series #NoParentLikeYou, celebrity parents Andi Manzano-Reyes, Erwan Heussaff, Camille Co, Marie Lozano, and Markus Paterson open up about the challenges they faced raising their kids in the middle of a pandemic. Here are their stories.

    On being unable to let your child experience the world

    For Erwan Heussaff, father to Dahlia Amélie, one of the toughest things about raising Dahlia in the pandemic is being unable to take her outdoors.

    “I’ve always found such peace and comfort [from] going out to nature and just doing things,” he says, “You have a new baby and all you want to do is show her the world—show her what a tree looks like, what a sky looks like, [but] that is just completely robbed from you.”

    With the world now confined to the four corners of your home, Erwan resolves to simply be there for Dahlia as she grows up.

    “Being at home is very different from being present at home,” he emphasizes. “Just try to be more present and just be there for your child, and you won’t regret anything.“

    On doubting yourself as a mother

    Prior to giving birth to Sienna, Camille Co made it a point to read up all about motherhood. However, she quickly realized that one will never be as prepared as they would like to be.

    In her video, Camille also talks about comparing herself to other moms and feeling frustrated and alone in her journey. “There were moments in the first weeks of Sienna’s life here on earth that I just couldn’t understand her,” she admits. “I felt like everything I was doing was wrong. I just felt like she hated me, like she despised me.”

    But honesty, openness, and authenticity are part of the motherhood journey, and so Camille wants to encourage moms to be more open about their experiences.

    “I think we could have more real stories online. I feel like we see more of these picture-perfect mommy-and-baby stories and photos but we don’t really see a lot of the struggles, like the real day-to-day struggles when it comes to caring for your newborn,” she says.

    On figuring things out for yourself and for your baby at the same time

    Markus Paterson did plan on becoming a father. His little one, Jude Trevor, just came a little bit early.

    He shares: “If there’s anything I learned [about being a father], it’s that it’s a struggle — emotionally, physically. I just got out of my teens. I was enjoying my life and all of that stuff.”

    But seeing his baby smile was all it took to wipe away the frustrations that naturally come with being a father.

    He gave credit to his family, who has been his support system. Markus wants to remind other parents this: “There’s always somebody right next to you, a phone call away, a text away, [who’s] gonna help you through anything.”

    On making up for the kids' lack of social interaction

    While getting to spend more time with the family is indeed a blessing during this time, there is no denying that we all still need the company of other people. And Andi Manzano-Reyes eventually figured that her kids do, too.

    “Since the pandemic happened, Olivia started distance learning. At first, [there were] a lot of adjustments that had to happen, but then she started enjoying it,” Andi shares.

    “And then I realized, it’s not just me who needs people, but also my kids. [They] need other people. [They] need to see other people. [They] need to talk to other people, aside from mommy all the time, or dad.”

    To counteract these feelings of isolation, Andi keeps her kids engaged with various activities at home — such as swimming, painting, cooking, and dressing up.

    Similarly, Marie Lozano tries to accompany her son, Nikos, in such a way that can fill in the shoes of his friends.

    “Now [that] I’m juggling all these roles, I [sometimes] catch myself giving in. But I take a step back [and try] to be more understanding,” she says.

    One thing she particularly does: “I try to put myself in the position of a child; if I was 13, what would I do?” Marie now strives to be a little bit more playful, curious and imaginative. Now, this mom-and-son tandem bonds over games at home.

    With or without a pandemic, being a parent is a complex, challenging, but fulfilling experience. And while every day is a chance to be a better parent for your kids, remember to be patient with yourself and give allowance for mistakes.

    Remember that there’s no parent like you who can do it better for your own kids, and that in itself makes you the perfect parent for them.

    Watch the #NoParentLikeYou video series on PLDT Home's Youtube channel. Follow PLDT Home on Facebook for more information.

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with PLDT Home.