Sharon same, but different With four kids to care for, motherhood is a flurry of activities and emotions for the Megastar. But the more she grows into the role of mom, the more she learns that the values she imparts may be the same, but they manifest in each of her children differently, and always beautify.
What’s it like being a mom to a 20-something adult, two gradeschoolers, and a toddler?
Schizopherenic. Ha, ha, ha! No, it’s amazing. It’s lots of fun. Since my eldest is now her own person and I think I’ve raised her well, I’m a bit more confident in raising her siblings. I think the eldest child is always the one that’s sort of ‘practiced’ on! Kawawa naman in that sense, but babies don’t come with a manual so when you’re a new parent, you just take it day by day and it’s mostly trial and error. Basically, you apply all of your parents’ ways that you feel impacted you the most-made you happy or taught you a lesson-and just not apply all their ways! And then when you feel that you’ve somehow succeeded in instilling values in your eldest child and have been able to teach her to distinguish between right and wrong, you just go on doing the same things to the other kids. The age gap between child number 1 and numbers 2,3, and 4 is pretty wide, so taking care of the younger kids now is very different from taking care of a child more than 20 years ago. There are infinitely more distractions now and you have to make sure that they keep themselves focused on what really matters, like God and family and school.
YOU WERE A YOUNG MOM WITH KC. HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AS A MOTHER SINCE THEN?
I’m now in a much better place than I was when I was raising KC. She was kind of shortchanged when it came to my time with her because I did have to work. Now I’m much more secure, both in the career I’ve built and in mothering, It’s nice now because when KC and I talk, it’s like I have a kakampi because she’s already an adult.
The small ones are a bit of a challenge, energy-wise! I was practically still a kid myself when I had KC so though l was still growing up while raising her, and working my rear-end off to keep her in school and put food on our table, I enjoyed our playtimes and could still, for example, join a morning race at her school’s sports test, even if I hadn’t had any sleep because I was shooting the whole night before.
KC got the best of my youth; the younger ones are getting more of my time and hopefully, wisdom.
Does your role as a mom change as your kids grow older? How?
I cannot run around or after or with them too much anymore because of the energy levels! Ha, ha, ha! But it helps so much that I am in a loving marriage and married to a husband who shares the same values. We are crazy about our kids and we know we’ll be worrying about them until the day we die. It’s nice also that I’m more mature and parenting mostly based on experience and not just a little experience but with lots of advice. I’m also not trying to prove anything in my career anymore I’ve built a solid one, I think. One that I hope would always be appreciated even when I’m gone So now there’s no more rushing and having to compete even with just myself! I’m more secure in every aspect of my life, so that has to impart only positive things to my children.
How did you adjust from being a solo parent to one that shares the parenting responsibilities with your husband, Kiko?
For some reason, things just fell into place when Kiko and I married and we had an instant family because KC was 11 years old then and she and I were a ‘package deal!’ He also ‘glued’ us together into a solid family unit and it was nice that KC finally had two parents she could run to (it home, and not just her Mama. She finally had a father figure besides my dad. I saw when I was a single mother that children were realty meant to have two parents loving them. Some of a father’s duties I couldn’t perform as well as he could and I could feel the strain. Even if I appreciate that I became a working mother early on that I could and can go on working I always felt that there had to have been a father sana to earn a living for our family and not just me, because it’s realty the mom’s role to care for the children. Now, we’re so balanced and Kiko is the best father I know, so I’m having such a great time and am allowed to just have fun with my children without the former worries.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW NOW IN TERMS OF PARENTING THAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE?
I know now that parents can raise their children in exactly the same way but the kids will have different personalities, and so you may apply the same methods in dealing with their issues but each will react in a different way! And like the sports fest race I joined for KC? She doesn’t remember it at all. Ha, ha, ha! Sana pala natulog na lang ako! But seriously, even if she doesn’t remember, I do. And even when I’m old and gray, I still will. That’s enough for me. Pero mas maganda kung naaalala ng bata! Ha, ha, ha! I also know now that you may be their whole world when they’re little, and you may be so close that you can’t stop thanking your lucky stars, but they will leave you! Ouch. They will seem like angels talaga in the first several years, then they enter their teenage years and when KC did, i asked her, “What did you do to my daughter?! Bring her back! Who are you?!” Now, basta I do my job as a parent: giving them all the advice they might need even when it’s not solicited, but also allowing them space to make their own mistakes and decisions. In the end, ‘yon pa rin you just have to have faith in God and faith in the way you raised them. Also, now I know that kids can’t be glued to the TV for as long as they want, And that the window of childhood closes in no time at all, so you have to make the most of those precious and priceless times while they’re still there.
In this age of the Internet, what values do you want to teach your younger children?
I think there have been studies that prove that children’s attention span nowadays is much shorter than before because of the very many (and mostly unnecessary) distractions And technological advancements are sometimes being abused by them. We never had so many gadgets when we were kids. I still don’t know how we made research papers in school without laptop or Google! And now, lots of kids don’t even eat during lunch because they use their allowance to buy load for their cell phones. Lots of kids are obese because instead of engaging in sports, they play video games when they’re not in school. It’s the MTV Generation 10.0!
Okay lng to enjoy but not at the expense of need-to-dos. This an age of instant gratification and lots of kids are growing up feeling entitled Only parents cm try helping them adjust from their core, and then their teachers help In following that up, Our kids are not allowed to watch TV or play with my iPad or Wii (at least interactive nag Wii at di sila sedentary!) an schooldays. They are allowed to use the Internet for school but with adult supervision They also can’t just buy everything they want when we’re at the grocery or the bookstore or the toy store. We have to set limb for their own good, so that they’ll still know how to appreciate what they have and not just expect it to be handed to them. They should be made to do chores even just small ones, para matuto magtrabaho paglaki.
And in teaching them to be independent someday, we have to make sure they will have a sense of responsibility and also some social responsibility. I remember when we brought KC to Paris for college. I could have had her accompanied by a yaya or helper and put her up in a nice apartment, and given her an obscene amount for her monthly allowance. Kasi princess ko siya. But no, I didn’t. She had to clean her own apartment, stay within a budget, and if she really wanted to buy something so bad, she was allowed to touch just a littie bit of her own earnings (and very little lang talaga) and it wasn’t always an available option. She had to ride a bike to school and back to her house, cook her own food, and really learn how to take care of and be responsible for herself. Now I see what all that has done. She’s experienced being both very pampered and overly protected, and also having to live on her own and being responsible for her decisions herself. Ngayon, napakatinong bata. Wala naming perfect, but she’s in her 20s and hasn’t given me any major headaches or kahihiyan I couldn’t possibly recover from. She has a good heart. I guess God really watches over those who both have faith in Him, and strive to do their best. Parang kay KC pa lang, may degree of success na ako as a mom. Nami-miss lang namin siya. So I will do my darndest best to make sure my three little ones grow up just like her, but more nakadikit to Mama!
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU STILL WANT TO DO OR ACHIEVE AS A MOM AND WITH YOUR WHOLE FAMILY?
I want to be the kind of mom her children will rush to visit when they’re all adults and are living their own lives, even away from home. I mean I want my children to be crazy about me! Ha, ha, ha! All I want is still the same as when I had only KC: to raise very, very good human kings. My prayer is that my children improve the human race in terms of heart that theirs stay pure and sincere and honest and giving. Anything else that comes, like school awards or whatever, will be just a bonus. Mas gusto ko naman ng di hamak ang mabuting anak kaysa ang damming achievements pero di mabuting anak at tao. And very important: that they are able to fulfill their own dreams and not anyone else’s. Mas importante sa akin na happy ung mga anak ko. These are what will count in the long run.
SMART PARENTING, MAY 2011