Mothers have their own ways of raising their kids and sometimes the differences lead to the so-called “mom-shaming” when one parent imposes her own style to other moms. Celebrities, as public figures, are prone to criticisms, albeit mom-shaming can happen even inside the family circle.
In the November 8 episode of I Feel U, modern celebrity moms Coleen Garcia, Isabelle Daza, and Liz Uy talk about parenting and share their experiences of being mom-shamed.
Host Toni Gonzaga opened the episode with a short interview with guest Kapamilya Devine Encluna, an entrepreneur from Bulacan. Apart from being a businesswoman, Devine also juggles being a full-time college professor and a mom of four.
Devine described parenting as leadership, thus it entails wise decision-making. She and her husband work as a team and they’re grateful for the help of their own parents.
People would sometimes question Devine’s parenting style due to her hectic schedule. They doubt her ability to manage her time and give full attention to her kids. When the pressure gets overwhelming, Devine simply holds on to prayer and focuses on the people who matter and those who are supportive of her decisions.
Isabelle Daza and Liz Uy
The public know Isabelle Daza and Liz Uy as members of the A-list squad “It Girls.” But behind the glitz and glam, they’re like any other moms confronted by challenges and mom-shaming.
The partying might be over due to hectic schedule, changes in priorities, and distance (they’re in different parts of the world) but Isabelle and Liz along with their fellow It Girls sustain their bond. They keep in touch virtually through a chat group where they talk about all things “momshie.”
Isabelle said they’re all passionate about motherhood. She makes sure that her parenting style involves respect not only towards her but to her son as well. Having a background in education, Isabelle learned that little kids are their own person. She gives her child, Balthazar the freedom to express himself while setting clear boundaries to avoid spoiling him.
She would like to make sure two-year-old Balthazar or Baltie grow up confident, in this age of social media when people easily point out your flaws. “Children are being bombarded with what they don’t have, so I’m really trying to equip Baltie to know that everything he has is enough and I want him to be grateful always. Kasi ang hirap now, ang daming mga external factors that make us question ourselves,” shared Isabelle. Her biggest dream for Baltie is for him to grow up happy and content with who he is.
Isabelle turns the stay-at-home phase into a learning season for Baltie. She teaches him life skills and spends quality time with the family. She wants him to see her as forgiving. She wants him to trust her enough that he won’t be scared to own up to his mistakes.
Liz is currently dealing with online schooling dilemmas with her son, Xavi. But she also isn’t the strict type, giving Xavi the right balance of learning and play. She also knows gadget time is an inevitable attribute of her son’s generation.
Her biggest parenting goal is to make Xavi feel loved at home, so when in times of trouble, he knows where to run to. “As a parent, itatama natin ‘yung mali but we’ll be here to guide him. So, enough na ‘yung love na nafe-feel niya at home, hindi na siya mai-insecure outside,” she said. Liz would like Xavi to grow up unbothered by other people’s opinion.
She wants Xavi to see her as ‘extra’ – a mom who gives her hundred percent in everything she does. She wants him to know that mom knows best.
The besties have their fair share of mom-shaming experiences as well. There was a time when Liz was flooded with comments upon posting a photo of Xavi munching down unsliced grapes. But instead of taking it negatively, Liz owned up to her mistake. She would admit that she still has a lot to learn and perhaps comments like those help her earn more wisdom as a new mom.
For Isabelle’s part, she doesn’t dwell on too much social media buzz. Instead, family opinion matters more to her. She mentioned that her mom, as a grandma, would have opinions about the way she raises her child. She didn’t make a big deal out of it until it started to feel heavy.
“I think I didn’t realize it was mom-shaming until I went home and felt bad about these choices. Their intention naman is not to shame you but sometimes it can be very vicious and as a new mom, siyempre, you’re vulnerable to these things and you’re learning, so you can take it in a very painful way,” she said. There was an instance when netizens questioned why her son likes feminine colors more. Most of the time, she’d keep quiet but there are moments when she is pushed to her limits and would reply back.
Asked for a message to mom-shamers, Liz pointed out the value of respect while Isabelle underscored that they are just doing their best as mothers.
Coleen Garcia has taken on a lot of portrayals in the small and big screen. But now as a new mom to Amari, who is turning two months in two weeks, she thinks she found the role she plays best.
Coleen giving birth to Baby Amari in the midst of a pandemic is a beautiful reminder of the brighter days ahead. The Crawford household just got more alive and full of love. Albeit parenting is a daunting task as well, the exhaustion always comes with joy and fulfilment.
Amari was delivered via medication-less water birth at home. “Sobrang sakit talaga,” Coleen described the experience. Her birthing story reflects the strength of a woman’s body. Looking back on that day, Coleen said she listened to her body coaching her and used the pain to dictate what’s going to happen next. The water was a big help in soothing the pain.
“Hindi ko ma-explain but I felt like my body was really guiding me which positions to take at noong time na kailangan ko nang pumasok sa tub, hindi ko alam na 10cm na pala ako pero naramdaman ko na I think it’s time to push na, which I think I wouldn’t feel if I had an epidural,” shared Coleen, who described Amari’s birth as magical.
The new mom is learning to juggle her responsibilities while looking after her recovery as well. Breastfeeding and sleepless nights make up her current motherhood phase. Coleen had to change her diet to make sure Amari gets enough nutrients from her and she won’t fell worn out from feeding him.
Coleen is contemplating on what the “new normal” life would be like for their little family. The changes excite her but at the moment, she opts to just relish her 24/7 mom duty. Amari’s presence changed her perspective about life and she is now more focused on the things that matter. Her world is getting smaller and she doesn’t need to look far to see what’s important.
Coleen knows she still has a lot to learn and she’s determined to figure it all out. “It’s not going to be easy but as long as we have the attitude na we want to keep trying, we want to keep doing the best that we can, at least, we know we’re doing better than we were yesterday,” she added.
Since they welcomed Amari in their lives, Coleen witnessed more of husband Billy Crawford’s patience and selflessness.
On mom-shaming and public scrutiny, Coleen acknowledged that people can be very harsh on social media, which is why they limit posting Amari’s photos. She added that others will always have something to say, so it will simply boil down to choosing whose opinion matters. They would rather listen to their family and friends’ opinion than those of anonymous people on social media.
Naysayers criticized Coleen when she used breastmilk as home remedy for Amari’s rashes. Coleen doesn’t care anymore about what they say because, the truth is, her trick worked. She believes that moms have their own ways of parenting, so there’s no use pushing each other’s beliefs to someone else. Although, she enjoys looking at and learning from other mom’s journey. For Coleen, there’s no perfect formula to parenting.
Coleen looks forward to doing films once things get better. She looked back on shooting the film “Sin Island” in 2018 and romance-drama “Ex with Benefits” in 2015. She’s grateful to have worked with her leading man and now friend Derek Ramsay who made sure she’s comfortable and taken care of while doing the sexy scenes. The action-comedy “Extra Service” was a fun genre to do.
As a mom, Coleen would like Amari to see her as someone present and someone he could always run to. “I don’t want to be the kind of mom who will sugarcoat things. If there are things that he needs to hear, I want to be the one to break it to him. I want to be the one to teach him, somebody na he won’t have to hide anything from,” she expressed. The Crawfords are excited about Amari’s first Christmas and the beautiful things ahead.