Strong Pursuit of Passion


Caltrate Plus (Calcium + Vitamin D3 + Minerals) helps keep moms’ bones healthy and strong and has partnered with Mommy Mundo to shine the spotlight on Strong Moms. These are women who have successfully juggled their many roles while never forgetting to take care of themselves. By sharing their stories, Caltrate Plus hopes to inspire other moms to take better care of themselves as well. Meet two strong moms who are pursuing their passions so persistently, and in the process building lives with great meaning and purpose.

The Musicmaker

An essential part of motherhood is fatherhood, and moms would find it more difficult to be strong without the support of dads. Jeannie Castillo, founder of Kindermusik Philippines, knows this only too well, and says, “Every day, I am amazed and grateful for God’s love that comes through my wonderful husband. He and I truly work as partners, both at home and for our business, and so I’m completely thankful that I can rely on him to help balance our responsibilities when it comes to raising our kids and taking care of things, both at home and at work.”

Jeannie was initially attracted to Kindermusik, the world's leading international music and movement program for families, as it addressed the learning needs of her eldest son Jamie, who was born with Down Syndrome. She says, “As a parent, I knew it would be the perfect way for me to help teach Jamie, as music has always been such a natural way for him to learn. As a mompreneur, I also knew Kindermusik was the perfect fit for me. It combined my love for music and children in a harmonious way that would allow me to connect with other families and help empower more parents to take an active, positive role in their children’s learning and growing years.”

Teacher Jeannie with son Jamie

At the start, however, Kindermusik was literally a one-woman operation with Jeannie doing everything, including carting music instruments from one location to another. But her hard work paid off and today, Kindermusik Philippines is ranked number one in the world.

Teacher Jeannie with son Jack Jeannie stays strong by having faith and clarity in her passion and purpose. She says, “When this is clear, being able to stay the course through the day-to-day demands of life takes on new meaning. Being surrounded by lots of love and plenty of positivity also definitely helps bring joy, light, and lots of celebration to every day.”

She stays strong too by being conscious of her health, eating clean and organic, drinking plenty of water, and getting as much sleep as possible.

“Above this, I think one of my best health secrets is singing, dancing, and being joyful in class and at home every day. It definitely helps keep my heart young, and makes my days that much more fulfilling!”

The Surfer It's amazing to see how Noelle Hilario's varied interests have manifested themselves into real-life businesses. An artist who loves surfing the waves of La Union, Noelle is one of the moms behind Flow Retreat, a boutique retreat company organizing wellness retreats in the Philippines and Asia, and a part-owner of Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar, an organic restaurant providing healthy dining options for everyone. She is also co-owner of Brown Belly Clothing and brand ambassador of sportswear line Roxy.

Noelle and her son Kai Noelle explains, “My businesses are usually a reflection of my lifestyle and passions. I create businesses out of things I love doing or interested at. It makes working so much more fun that way and that always gets me excited about what I do.”

While Noelle doesn't have a degree in business, she's a very good student, learning everything she possibly could about an enterprise before taking the plunge. She also loves challenges, and looks at a new business as something to test her will and wit. She says, “There's a lot of problem solving in business, and every day I learn something new. Seeing the business grow, knowing how my products inspire others or make clients happy is what I enjoy most about it.”

But more than making other people happy, Noelle loves being an entrepreneur for the flexibility it brings her everyday routine. She says, “Having my own business allows me to spend more time with my son since I am on my own schedule.”

She manages her time by making to-do lists, ticking off all work that needs to be done by the end of the day. Of course, her son Kai, who has also become adept at surfing the waves, is a very important part of her schedule. She says, “I make sure that my son and I do activities or spend meals together. If I am having a busy day, I make it a point to get home before he goes to bed so that I can read him a bedtime story. Making time for family and work every day is how I balance things.”

With everything she has on her plate, Noelle admits that she can sometimes feel overwhelmed. It is during those times that she takes a moment to put things into focus. She says, “I just always take it one thing at a time and focus on just one task until it's finished and then I proceed doing the next. That's how I get things done fast and efficiently.”

Noelle and her son Kai

Never forgetting to take care of herself also helps. She says, “I do yoga from time to time, I surf during the weekends, or get a massage. I am also very mindful of what I eat. I'm a vegetarian and eat all-natural or organic food when possible. Being a vegetarian really benefited my overall health and I rarely get sick. It's important for us moms to stay healthy because we need to be there for our children when they need us most.”

Having a happy family life, pursuing her passions, eating mindfully, and taking care of her physical and mental health—these are the elements which keep Noelle strong in body, mind, and spirit.

Strong Moms, Best Advice Noelle and Jeannie are definitely strong moms. But the concept of strength differs from mom to mom.

Jeannie says, “A strong mom embodies love, hope, forgiveness, and joy for her family without even knowing it. By simply being herself, and true to her spirit, she can unlock her own strength and inspire her family to unlock theirs. Truly, a strong mom is at the heart of every strong family and the secret to building a strong future for our kids.”

Noelle describes a strong mom as someone “who lives for her family, who puts her children's needs above hers.”

A strong mom, she adds, is “someone who still manages to smile and keep her chin up through the challenges, battles she faces in life.”

But even the strongest mom can sometimes feel overwhelmed. To these moms, Jeannie advises: “Never be afraid to ask for help. It is when we recognize our need to rely on others and our need to rely on God most importantly that we are strongest.”

Noelle says, “Take it easy and don't be too hard on yourself. Some things can wait.”

“Sometimes just taking a breath, and allowing things, and life, to fall into its own natural rhythm can be the best way to find our step and learn to dance,” adds Jeannie.

“Everything in life is music, and sometimes the best way to find balance and harmony is to stop, listen, then play on.”

Trivia Batch 1-03

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