#YouTheMom: Amanda Griffin Jacob
#YouTheMom brings focus to moms who inspire others by how they live, by what they do for their families as well as their communities.
By Jing Lejano
Amanda Griffin Jacob certainly has a lot of things on her mind. As a blog publisher, author, and model, her life can get totally hectic specially since her family shuttles between Singapore and Manila.
"In Singapore, I don’t have that much help. Not only am I mama, I’m also the driver, yaya, and part-time cook,” says the mom of three.
"My life in Singapore is actually quite different from my life in Manila. In Singapore, I’m pretty much in mommyland the whole time. I squeeze in blogging every day for an hour and the rest of the time is devoted to running the household and the kids, and the husband.”
In Manila, she's on working mom mode.
"I like the contrast. It makes my life more diverse.”
With three children ages six, three, and one, Amanda has learned how to roll with the many punches that come with motherhood.
She says, “It’s funny. When you go from having one kid to two, you kind of expect that they will be the same. But you learn pretty early on that most children are completely different from their siblings.”
"Kieran is an independent and adventurous soul. He is extremely stubborn and is very strong-willed but is simultaneously fun-loving and sweet. Kalon is pure joy. He’s a very sensitive child who is so kind. He’s also very inquisitive. Lila is a demure girly girl who knows exactly what she wants. She’s very affectionate as well. I call her my Velcro baby as she always sticks to my side.”
Suffice it to say that there’s always a lot going in her household. And Amanda cannot help but worry about her children's safety, the kind of world they're growing up in, and even the state of the planet.
But amidst all these issues and concerns, Amanda knows how to enjoy every moment. She says, “Just being with my kiddos brings me so much joy. We have a lot of giggles, wonder, and adventure together. I love seeing the world through their innocent eyes. It provides a much needed reset on your perspective from time to time.”
More than five years ago, Amanda founded the Glam-O-Mamas blog to provide Filpina moms with the answers to their mommyhood woes and to support them as they go through their motherhood journey.
She says, “I’m all about keeping it real, honest, and authentic. I don’t gloss over the messy stuff as I think that’s part of the magical world of motherhood.”
A couple of weeks ago, Amanda rebranded Glam-O-Mamas to amandagriffinjacob.com.
"Glam-O-Mamas is well past the newborn and toddler phase, and I felt like it was the perfect time for my website to grow, develop, and diversify with me,” she explains.
"Glam-O-Mamas isn’t going anywhere. It still has a starring role on my site. I’m just expanding to include topics that I feel are so important for this generation of women. My aim is to share, educate, and disseminate the ways in which Filipinas can live a more natural, more gentle, and healthier lifestyle. With knowledge comes awareness and the power to change. I want to be an advocate for better living to help encourage and support Filipinas to take charge of how they live.”
Amanda certainly knows how to take charge. A self-confessed Type A individual, Amanda knew how to take charge of her pregnancy weight in a safe and healthy manner. She shares, “I gained 70 pounds when I was pregnant with Kieran, 45 pounds with Kalon, and 55 pounds with Lila. That totals 200 pounds. So I have gained and lost a total of 200 pounds over the last seven years.”
"There’s no big secret. It just takes work.”
"I’m pretty disciplined. When I’m pregnant I tend to indulge because I get terrible morning sickness and I just eat whatever I can stomach (I always get an aversion to healthy food in my first trimester for some reason). And I figure I’m pretty good about what I eat when I’m not pregnant so why not have some fun? It’s not like I eat bad stuff. I just eat bigger portions. Once I give birth, I cut out processed food completely. I’m also active after I give birth. I go walking a lot and I start exercising the minute my doctor gives me the okay.”
Amanda also knows the importance of having time for herself.
"I’m a multitasker. Me-time is essential as is keeping healthy, so it’s already penciled into my schedule every day. I practice yoga or go for a run. That’s the one hour I have each day when I’m on my own and no one is asking anything of me. I literally don’t hear my name called for one hour and it’s not just bliss, it’s a necessity!”
While Amanda certainly has other projects that she wants to work on, she says, “They are just percolating.”
"These days anything I think about takes a long time because I have so much going on at home. I can’t just start working on passion projects the way I used to. I simply don’t have the time. Now I have learned to be more patient and work on ideas at a much slower pace. Kids change your universe that’s for sure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Main photograph by Stork Studio; photograph of Amanda and her family by Zeus Martinez; photograph of Amanda and her husband David by Stanley Ong