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  • Mom Truth: We Are A Work In Progress, But It Doesn't Mean We Cannot Be Fun And Sexy

    These moms get real with the highs and lows of parenting.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
Mom Truth: We Are A Work In Progress, But It Doesn't Mean We Cannot Be Fun And Sexy
PHOTO BY Dix Perez
  • These six moms, who are members of the Smart Parenting Mom Network 2020, know that every woman interprets self-care differently. But their advice: Never neglect taking care of yourself.

    Listen to your mind and body. Find a way to drown out the noise that does nothing but put you down. And know you can always do better.

    ANNA CO-UY, 30

    “As much as I love being there for my kids and husband, I need an avenue to grow and to be myself still.”
    PHOTO BY Dix Perez
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    Anna feels lucky to be doing what she loves to do, which is to work as a professional makeup artist while raising two kids with her husband. Their firstborn, Selah, is 3 years old, and the second, Royce, less than a year old. 

    “It uplifts my mood to see my clients all glammed up,” she said. “It drives me to learn more about that industry. Work also allows me to help with the house expenses and spoil myself once in a while.”

    Spoiling herself as a form of self-care doesn’t always mean lavish and elaborate. As Anna puts it with a smile, “When you become a mom, most of the time, you need to be fast, fast, and faster.”

    That’s why she adheres to a simple daily routine of facial wash, toner, moisturizer, and eye cream, but make sure to use “good products, so all my efforts don’t go to waste.” After all, she pointed out, “a clean face always goes a long way.”

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    If given a superpower as a mom, Anna said she’d love to be able to multiply herself so she could personally attend to both her kids and not miss out on the things and places that she needs and wants to do and visit. “All the time without sacrificing anything,” she added.

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    CLARISSE VALDECANTOS, 25

    “Iba-iba ang journey ng parents. Maybe I can contribute from my own experience.”
    PHOTO BY Dix Perez
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    Clarisse agrees that one of the biggest challenges in being a millennial mom is having the impulse to document even the littlest detail of her child’s life. An ever-ready camera phone has made it easy to shoot photos and share those preserved memories on social media.

    “Sometimes, I feel bad,” she confessed. “Alam mo ’yong you’re so focused on capturing the best photo and or get it on video that sometimes you forget to live in the moment? There’s social media pa. When you see a cute photo, ‘Gusto kong gawin ’yon.’ Oo, that kind of pressure.”

    The aspiring lawyer (Clarisse is graduating from law school in June 2020 and plans to take the bar exams five months later) is concerned about her daughter’s privacy. She does wonder how her daughter, Olivia Natalia, now 3 years old, will feel when she sees snaps of herself posted online in the future. So she asks herself a lot these days: “Would my daughter appreciate it in the future?”

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    Clarisse wants to be more careful and discerning in what she shares online. She makes sure her posts are “’yong hindi mga sobrang nakakahiya or personal sa amin” while bearing in mind that “a child is a person, not a pet or a thing na prop or accessory.” 

    She also advises fellow moms to be vigilant offline as well. She once encountered “a random person” who was male and decent-looking who asked to have a photo taken with her daughter. Clarisse was startled by the randomness of the request, but she had the presence of mind to say no to the stranger firmly.

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    EMERALD BAILEY, 34

    “No to mom-shaming. Kesehodang breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding and traditional or non-traditional schooling [ang issue on social media]. Nanay tayo, period.”
    PHOTO BY Dix Period
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    Whenever Emerald reads unsavory comments on her social media feed, even if they’re not directed at her, she feels like sinking into the ground in embarrassment. 

    “Minsan sa mommy group, may isang nagtanong, first-time mom siya, di niya alam. ’Tapos ’yong mga know-it-all, pupukulin ng comment…kawawa naman ’yong mommy.”

    “Parang mas maganda kung positive,” she replied when asked what is needed online, “especially sa ating mga nanay kasi pagod na pagod na tayo ’tapos nagtanong at gano’n pa ang sinagot. Sana ’yong moms will lift other moms!”

    Emerald homeschools her two kids: 8-year-old Briley and 3-year-old Briel. “Tinatanong ako kung kaya ba [ang homeschooling] kung working mom,” said the former registered nurse, who’s now a virtual assistant working the night shift. “I think it all boils down sa dedication pa rin ninyong mag-asawa. Wala masama kung aaminin mo na hindi para sa ’yo ang homeschool.”

    When asked about the superpower she’d like to possess as a mom, Emerald thought of the Pinoy superhero Lastikman, who has the special ability to stretch and reshape his body.

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    “’Yong kahit saan, puwede ka,” she explained. “’Yong sarili mo, mahati-hati mo. Ang dami kasing ginagawa 24/7 [ng nanay] — driver ka, cook ka, teacher ka. Lalo na kung may more than one kid ka. Ando’n pa si husband. Hindi mo naman puwedeng i-neglect si husband. Kailangan mo ng time management. Kung hati-hati ka, everyone happy.”

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    KB BONIFACIO-IGNACIO, 33

    “May mga moments ako na feeling ko hindi ako enough as a mom and as a wife. That’s why my mantra is I’m a work-in-progress mom.”
    PHOTO BY Dix Perez
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    For a working mom like KB, who serves as a client service director in an advertising agency, the struggle is indeed real. One of the times she felt she was inadequate a mom when her son, Uno, now 6 years old, fell ill with primary complex.

    She sensed judgment from some people. They didn’t say it to her face, but their attitude spoke well enough when they found about her son: “Pakainin mo nang tama ang anak mo.”

    KB is grateful she has her husband, Gian. When she is losing her focus, her husband is sensitive enough to notice and takes the initiative to take her out. They’ll dine, wine, and “ipinapaalala niya sa akin kung sino ako dati, ’tapos bumabalik na ’ko sa dati.”

    Needless to say, she loves being a mom that she looks forward to giving her son a sibling. “Sana this year,” she said, crossing her fingers. “My husband wants more. Ako, hanggang dalawa lang. Okay naman siguro ang two or three.

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    LUISA BELTRAN PUA, 33

    “I felt judged when I recently went back to the gym and heard a comment saying, ‘Hindi mo naman na kailangan maging sexy kasi nanay ka na.’”
    PHOTO BY Dix Perez

    Luisa, a former model and now mompreneur, felt the heaviest after giving birth to her almost 2-year-old daughter Lana. So she decided to go back to the gym, not even thinking someone would actually find fault in that until she heard the above. 

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    She asserted, “Just because we’re moms already, we can’t be sexy and feel good about ourselves? In fact, it is even helpful for moms to find the time and do exercise because we will need energy and strength to keep up with our super active kids.”

    Luisa does not see anything wrong with moms wanting to look good. “Even if I only need to do the grocery or have a family lunch to go to, I always see to it that I look presentable enough, especially to my husband’s eyes. We are moms, but we are also wives. [Looking good] is a mood booster, especially when your husband tells you that you look nice.”

    Luisa’s formula in finding balance as a working mom is being practical and calm while allowing herself to show her fierce side and staying positive and patient all throughout. She admits that true to her zodiac sign, Taurus, she’s hot-headed and quick to fight. But she’s learned to listen to her husband’s pragmatic advice to take the high road at all times.

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    She added, “Having my own time and making sure I still get to do the things that I love to do help me to keep my sanity throughout my motherhood journey.”

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    SHARM MACALUA, 42

    “I’ve found that walking helps me center myself while also helping me burn those calories! It’s free and gives me a natural high.”
    PHOTO BY Dix Perez
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    Twice a month, Sharm takes a day-off from being a stay-at-home mom to her daughters Kendra, 9, and Kenzie Winter, 8, and son Kiefer, 3. She spends that me-time walking around the mall, getting a mani-pedi, having her hair and skin pampered, and meeting up with friends.

    Sharm and her family are also Stars Wars fans, so much so that this mom of three and her husband are members of the Philippine Garrison of the 501st Legion. It is an international Star Wars costuming fan group. The whole family loves to get in their Star Wars costumes for events, especially if it means helping raise funds for children’s charities.

    It is no surprise that teleportation is Sharm's wish for a superpower. She says, “I have three kids, one body and Manila’s crazy traffic to deal with — and I can’t be at all places at the same time!”

    She continued to explain: “Teleporting can make my life easier by taking me from one place to another without having to travel the normal, slow way. Being able to teleport can also give me the ability to go on an instant vacation or visit the next big sale event without having to worry about traffic and parking.”

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