Danica Sotto-Pingris: Her Motherhood Journey
At home with her husband Marc Pingris, Danica Sotto-Pingris noticed that their newly-painted walls already had smudges. "So I was telling my husband, 'Grabe! We just repainted the walls and there are so many fingerprints already.' But my husband goes: 'You know what? You'll miss that. When they're big and they have their own lives, you'll miss the mess. You'll miss the noise, so enjoy it while it lasts.'"
Indeed, if there's anything that Danica Sotto-Pingris has realized about motherhood, it's that everything goes by so fast!
"When I was young, I was in a hurry to grow up. I wanted to be a teenager. I wanted to have my own place right away. I wanted to travel on my own already. Now, here in my journey as a mom, can I just have the pause button? Can we pause it for awhile? I'm enjoying it so much!"
The mom of Caela and Mic, Danica is head over heels in love with being a mom. She says, “I love chatting with them, playing with them, reading with them.”
At this stage, Caela and Mic are super curious. They can carry on stimulating conversations peppered with lots of questions. These questions, Danica adds, should not only be answered, but explained in full detail, which she finds highly satisfying.
"I'm having a blast! Actually, I want one more. Soon, tomorrow! Tomorrow na Lord, please! Help me to get pregnant soon... I would like to have a big family, 'yung maingay na dinner, 'yung magulo 'yung house.”
Challenges of Modern Motherhood
While Danica loves being a mom, certain challenges and issues can still get her reeling at times.
Living in the spotlight as their family does, it's a constant struggle for Danica to give her children as normal a life as possible. When the family's out, for example, some of their fans would want to take photographs of them or with them.
She explains, "I don't want them to feel the pressure that just because we are in this line of work, they have to do that also. Even if I'm on television, for example, I'm not going to force my daughter to be an actress. My son, he loves basketball. I want him to continue to develop his skills not because he wants to please his dad but because it's in his heart. I don't want them to feel the pressure."
Social media and gadget use also present Danica with another set of challenges. As much as she wants her children to be technologically adept, she doesn't want them to spend too much time using gadgets. She adds, "Social media is a blessing, but it could be dangerous if you don't put limits or boundaries."
But more importantly, Danica wants to raise children who are confident but respectful, independent but with an empathy for others.
She says, “My greatest fear is not to be able to raise my children well... I want to be able to teach them how to listen to others. I'd like for them to be able to express their ideas openly, but still in a very respectful manner.”
"Sometimes, people can get trapped in this selfie generation. When you look at other people, it's mainly about them, their faces, how they look, they put out what they have. But sometimes we have to stop and think and remind ourselves about what we can offer to the people around us? It could be a relative or a total stranger. I'd like my kids to have that kind of thinking. Who can I bless today? Who can I influence today? Who can I listen to today?”
Parenting Children with Different Personalities
Her kids may seem like night and day, but it is in their differences that Danica finds much joy. Her firstborn Jean Michael, or simply Mic, loves sports and is very active. He's shy, sweet, and reserved. Caela, her daughter, is the more outgoing. She likes gymnastics, taking pictures, talking to people, and making friends.
Mic's love language is time. Danica says, "He needs quality and quantity time. If my husband's been busy with practice and I've been busy with other things, you'll really feel that he is somewhat detached."
Caela's love language is words of affirmation. Danica says, "She likes it when you tell her: 'Oh, that's nice. Good job, Caela. I really love that song you were singing. I like your drawing.' For her, that's a big deal."
"Sometimes it's so easy to neglect those little things. The little things matter to your children. We just say, 'On his birthday, let's have a celebration.' But sometimes, it's just that 10 minutes but you're super into your child. Because you could be with your child the whole day but you're online naman, or you're on Facebook or Instagram. It defeats the purpose.”
Though Danica is happy with the way her children are turning out, she is the first to admit that she still has a lot to learn.
"I'm so excited about the things that I can learn and unlearn. I know that there are things that I'm doing that may be not effective. I'd like to research on those also. I'm so grateful we have a lot of materials... So that's my challenge: to keep on learning, to keep pushing to improve myself as a mom."
Fortunately, Danica can count on a lot of people to give her the right information and proper advice. Apart from her mom and her family, there is the community of moms dedicated to making motherhood more fun, fulfilling, and easier to all moms, Mommy Mundo.
Danica was pregnant with her son when she went to her first Mommy Mundo event along with her cousins, Expo Mom. She recalls, "Grabe! Super heaven! My cousin, who has four kids, said, 'Bakit walang mga ganito before?'"
"I was able to attend the Mompreneur Summit, too. I so enjoyed that day because it was super informative. I learned a lot and was inspired by the women who were there."
"Mommy Mundo has been part of my motherhood journey since Day 1. I'm so grateful that we have this community of moms helping each other, sharing thoughts. It makes you more confident. Motherhood is challenging but when you have these moms with you, rooting for you, sharing with you what you're going through, you feel that it can be easier after all."
Has your motherhood journey been as exciting as Danica's? Share your motherhood journey at Expo Mom Holiday, which takes place from November 4 to 6, 2016 at the Glorietta. See you there!