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'Do Not Delay Love': Parents Share Their Most Important Pandemic Realizations
PHOTO BY COURTESY OF EDROY LIM AND LOVE COSIO
  • If there's any silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's that some families were able to spend more time together within their homes.

    In this time of crisis and every day, parents shine through—from waking up earlier than everyone to prepare meals, keeping homes clean and safe, and making sure everyone in the family is well and cared for at the end of each day. All these, while they strive to keep themselves healthy and motivated to live out their personal goals and advocacies in life.

    That's why Smart Parenting is privileged to have a group of moms and dads from all over the Philippines that spark hope and inspire their fellow parents to cope with the uncertainties of the pandemic. May it be through sharing fun DIY craft ideas with their kids or just snaps of their day-to-day grind.

    We are proud to share the stories of these 20 moms and 10 dads from all over the Philippines, who are part of the Smart Parenting Mom Squad and The Smart Parenting Dad Squad. Each has a unique story on what it's like to be a parent in the time of COVID-19.

    Together, we can get through this.

    The Smart Parenting Dad Squad share valuable pandemic lessons

    Parenting during a pandemic brings out the best and worst in me as a father.

    "I realized that parenting during a pandemic brings out the best and worst in me as a father. Worst because mas manipis ang patience ko. So that's something that I must work on as a dad.

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    This pandemic also showed how much we love our children. When my entire family (wife, two kids, and a helper) got infected with Covid last year, I saw how parents would do anything for their children. Anumang pagsubok na darating, hindi padadaig ang puso at lakas ng isang magulang."

    - Alfie Tulagan, The Stay-at-home Dad of Pangasinan

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ALFIE TULAGAN

    Material things are not as important for us to be a happy family.

    "Material things are not as important for us to be a happy family. More than ever, I felt the goodness of the Lord, and He has provided what we need."

    - Edroy Lim, Daddy Host of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF EDROY LIM
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    Having a full-time job meant that we're spending so little time with our children.

    "I realized that having a full-time job meant that we're spending so little time with our children. The pandemic was a blessing in disguise because my wife and I got to spend time with our two sons. We can have unlimited playtime at home almost every day."

    - Ivan Jose, The Travel Blogger of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IVAN JOSE

    I have to be healthy for my family.

    "To be more careful about my health. Because it's not just about me now, I have to be healthy for my family."

    - Jing Ruiz, The TikTok Daddy of Cavite

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JING RUIZ
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    I spend less time with my kids because of my daily activities.

    "I realized that I spend less time with my kids because of my daily activities and work."

    - Boom Domingo, The Pilot of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF BOOM DOMINGO

    Parents have a bigger role in our children's education

    "The pandemic has shown us that parents have a bigger role in our children's education. Most parents have had no choice but to become more involved than ever. Some of them were juggling their careers and monitoring their child's education from home.
    We transferred our child from traditional school to homeschooling. We decided that my wife would be the full-time parent-teacher, and I help her in every way I can."

    - Julius Bayoneta, The Hands-on Working Tatay of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIUS BAYONETA
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    Both gratitude and generosity can exist in times of plenty and empty.

    "I learned that you can still achieve more family time while pursuing your other goals. Life is uncertain, but God is and will always be faithful. Opportunities can still be present amidst the challenges, and both gratitude and generosity can exist in times of plenty and empty."

    - Dreus Cosio, The Marriage Coach Dad of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF DREUS COSIO

    The time spent with family is important.

    "It made me realize how important the time we spent with our family is. COVID-19 hampered our kid's education, social skills, and mobility. And we need to be more understanding as their main support system."

    - Jonathan Uy, Ang Daddy Livestreamer ng Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN UY
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    It's OK to not be OK in front of our children.

    "Although our children expect us to be strong and to have it all together in times of crisis, it's also OK to show them our vulnerability. I realized that it's OK to not be OK in front of them and to show them that all emotions are valid and that it's OK to cry."

    - JR Santiago, DADVOCATE and GirlDad of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JR SANTIAGO

    I'm not only a financial provider to my family.

    "As a Smart Dad, I'm not only a financial provider to my family. I also provide love, joy, happiness, and protection to my child."

    - JPaul Hernandez, The Spiritual Coach of Metro Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JPAUL HERNANDEZ
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    The Smart Parenting Mom Squad share most important pandemic realizations

    Fear less and focus more.

    "As a single mom of a toddler, this pandemic made me realize how important it is to understand everything so we could fear less and focus more on what's right for your child."

    - Epo Sindayen, The Mommy Raketera of Antipolo

    PHOTO COURTESY OF EPO SINDAYEN

    I can stretch myself beyond my limit.

    "I realized that I can stretch myself beyond my limit as this pandemic saw me become a mom of two, a mompreneur, and a teacher to my 8yo daughter, and exclusively breastfeed my son."

    - Kathy Alcala, The BusinessMom of Mandaluyong

    PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHY ALCALA
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    Being a mom is one of the most important roles anyone could ever have.

    "I realized that being a mom is one of the most important roles anyone could ever have, especially during this pandemic. From setting up an environment where they can play and learn at home, and stepping up to be the family educator since face-to-face classes are temporarily on hold. All this, while still working full-time, may seem to look out of hand, but with a supportive husband, it's possible."

    - Angelica Tamayo, The Crafty Mom of Las Piñas

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGELICA TAMAYO

    Time spent with family is time well spent.

    "It made me realize that time spent with family is time well spent. I've been pregnant twice during the pandemic, and I appreciate this added time we get to have because I saw all my firstborn's milestones and I’m proud that I've provided her nourishment with my breastmilk

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    Now that I'm currently pregnant with my second child, I'm still looking forward to experiencing all this with him while hoping for a better situation."

    - Ella Denisse Libaton, The MomInTech of Antipolo

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLA LIBATON

    Time is of the essence because life is short.

    "I realized that time is of the essence because life is short. Spending quality time and sharing love and happiness with your family is the most important thing you can give, and if you've done that, then you'll have no regrets as a parent."

    - Victoria Dang, The Go-Getter Bicolana Mom of Las Piñas

    PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTORIA DANG
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    There are a lot of  milestones that you can witness from your child in a day.

    "This pandemic made me realize that there are a lot of quirks and milestones that you can witness from your child in a day. It makes me think where my 6 am to 8 pm weekday went before this lockdown and WFH began."

    - Shaina Santiago-Moraga, The Lingkod Nanay (Community Volunteer) of Quezon City

    PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAINA SANTIAGO-MORAGA

    Money isn't everything.

    "I learned that it's OK to slow down in life and work. Money isn't everything, so we must learn to live life and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I also realized the importance of being physically and emotionally present to my child because I could guide her as she learns about life.

    Health is also very precious, so I've been instilling good health habits into my child Sophia. 

    - Sarah May Tanhuanco-Tan, The Full Time Mommy of Manila

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    PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH TANHUANCO-TAN

    Do not delay LOVE

    "Do not delay LOVE. Never let this season be put to waste. Show up and live the best life for your loved ones. Do you want to gain success? Go and build your home. Start there. 
    While most of us are waiting for things to go back to normal, life teaches us a valuable lesson. Family members have the opportunity to restore relationships. Babies are being held by their mothers often. Prayer time and bonding over meals are part of the daily routine once again. OFWs can spend more time with undivided attention with their kids during video calls. What seems to be an "odd" situation for others becomes “normal” for these children.

    Let's do what we can while we can for the people God entrusted us with."

    - Love Cosio, The Marriage Coach Mom of Manila

    PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVE COSIO
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    Being with the people who matter makes life all worthwhile.

    "Life may not be perfect, but being with the people who matter makes it all worthwhile and beautiful."

    - Nikki Viola, The Hosting Diva of Marikina

    PHOTO COURTESY OF NIKKI VIOLA

    There are small things that we ignore but are very important milestones.

    "It made me realize that there are small things that we ignore and that we see now as very important milestones for them!"

    - Dyan Daphne Dy-Gayas, The Photographer Mom of Cebu

    PHOTO COURTESY OF DYAN DY-GAYAS
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    We need to keep our hopes high so they won't lose hope.

    "Being a parent in the pandemic made me realize how valuable we are as parents. We need to keep our family strong and healthy. We need to keep our hopes high so they won't lose hope and still look forward to the future no matter how uncertain it can be."

    - Maryjade Anne A. Manzanero, The Gradeschool Teacher of Quezon

    PHOTO COURTESY OF MARYJADE ANNE MANZANERO

    We can all be a little kinder to our kids.

    "We can all be a little kinder to our kids; they're struggling too."

    - Debbie Villanueva, The Content Creator Mama of Cavite

    PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBBIE VILLANUEVA
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    Nothing compares to being together with your family.

    "It made me realize that in good times and bad, nothing compares to being together with your family. If we can get through a pandemic together, we can do anything. Better days are coming."

    - Judy Santiago Aladin, The Maternal Mental Health Advocate Mom of Quezon City

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDY SANTIAGO ALADIN

    Happy parents make a happy home. 

    "Just when my husband and I decided for me to be a SAHM, the pandemic happened. What I thought would be frequent travels and picnics at the park with the kids became two years of being stuck at home. Last year, we had to cancel our Japan trip. 
    Despite these, I've learned to appreciate our current setup - more family time with my husband able to work from home and more time for self-care. I also learned a new hobby which makes me a happy parent. Happy parents make a happy home.

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    New opportunities can happen in this season of my life as a SAHM, and yes, even amid a pandemic. As one saying goes, "When it is dark enough, you will see the stars."

    - Joselle Therese Ona, The Homeschooling Baker Mom of Valenzuela

    PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSELLE THERESE ONA

     There is never too much time to spend with your family.

    "The pandemic made me realize that there is never too much time to spend with your family, especially with our children. Every day is different, even if we have routines."

    - Dang Ceñir, The Wise Mom ng Taguig

    PHOTO Courtesy of Dang Cenir
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    We need to pause.

    "I realized that with the hustle and bustle of life, we need to pause. Who would have thought that one day this would all happen? We learn to live on what's essential and be content with what we have.

    Parents became more creative in finding ways to bond with their kids. I learned to appreciate neighborhood walks, cooking meals for my kids, and playing Beyblade with my son. I was able to have small talk with my pre-teen son, which would be hard for me to do since my work pre-pandemic required me to be out or be in the field all the time. 
    I was able to learn new hobbies and take short courses online, which would have been so hard for me to do."

    - Gail Arricivita Uri, The Walang Ti-GAIL(Tigil) na Multitasking Mom (The Hustler) of Laguna

    PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL ARRICIVITA URI
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    Health matters the most

    "Nothing else matters more than the health of our children."

    - Rosie Domingo, The Social Media Butterfly of Mandaluyong

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSIE DOMINGO

    God is in control.

    "We faced numerous challenges as a family in this pandemic. The bright side is that we learn to face it with hope and peace because our faithful God is in control. As we look to the days ahead, we resolve to serve Him with all our hearts, and in His strength, fervently love our husbands and children."

    - Ena Marie O. Dizon, The Mompowerment Advocate of Davao

    PHOTO COURTESY OF ENA MARIE DIZON
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    Give hugs and kisses as much as you can.

    "Life is too short. Focus on the important things. Don't sweat the small stuff. Give hugs and kisses as much as you can."

    - Genina Domingo, The IT Mommy of Marikina

    PHOTO COURTESY OF GENINA DOMINGO

    "Treasure every moment."

    - Melody Ann Tomelden, The Frontliner Mommy of Cotabato

    PHOTO COURTESY OF MELODY ANN TOMELDEN
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    What has the pandemic made you realize about being a parent? Comment below.

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