Metro.Style #HipAndHappeningMoms 2019: Christiana Collings
On Christiana: Blouse and dress by Zara
Love comes in many forms. But if you ask Christiana Collings-Canlas which of them is the most unconditional, the most powerful, and the most important of them all, she'll point to herself and her daughter Cami and tell you that it's a mother's love that's unlike any other.
Ask her about why she believes this, and tears might well up in her eyes from the intensity of the feelings she has about motherhood that include gratefulness, positivity, groundedness, and selflessness. After all, Christiana credits her little girl for giving her direction and bringing her to a place of genuine happiness; who was once a carefree young adult with responsibilities only to herself has grown into a level-headed, purpose-driven mommy with a mission.
She breathes a deep breath of satisfaction now that she's come to understand what other mothers before her had learned for themselves: that motherhood changes women forever, and it is not a change to be feared, but one to be welcomed.
Having moved past her moments of self-doubt and first-time mom jitters, Christiana is certain that she's now leading a meaningful existence—even on bad days when Cami is under the weather, feeling fussy, or overall doing everything a toddler does that pushes mommy and daddy to their limits.
It's all part of the ride, Christiana will gladly tell you with a smile, and just as the most thrilling rides require you to do, you must do it with both eyes open, expect the unexpected, and at the end of the day, never forget to have fun in the process.
The Beatles got something right when they sang it all those years ago: to truly enjoy life, all you need is love—a mother's love, that is.
On Cami: Dress by Zara
How has motherhood changed your life?
"I feel like the time when I got pregnant, I wasn't focused. I was losing myself. Even my husband said he didn't know who I was anymore, but he stayed with me because he loved me. I was really starting to lose myself but when I had her, everything fell into place. It opened my mind. I asked myself, 'What are you doing? What is happening? Get yourself together!' Cami became my anchor."
How important is it for you to not forget about yourself and your passions even now that you're a mom?
"It's so old school to think that you have to give up your life when you become a mom.
"That's why, when you're in your 20s, you get scared of becoming a mom because you feel that you're going to lose yourself, or you're going to look so different. But, haven't you met moms who are still sexy, even after giving birth? I did. There are so many of them. So during my pregnancy, that's what calmed me down. I was worried too that I was going to become unrecognizable and feel that 'the best is already gone.' But then, I feel so much better now, physically and mentally.
"It's a myth to think that when you become a mom, you can't travel or do anything. It's even better now because you have someone to share everything with."
What is the best piece of advice about motherhood that you have received, and from whom?
"I read this letter from a mom to other moms that said 'Don't blink, really soak up everything like her growth, and her every day life.' Because the days and weeks are long, but the years are so short. One day, she's super small and doesn't know anything and doesn't even recognize you, but the next day, she'll be arguing with you. It will all go by very fast."
What is something about motherhood that surprised you the most?
"Before, I didn't know how moms could spend their whole days, literally, with their babies and not get sick of it. I wondered how they didn't get bored or how they knew what to do. But as it happens to you, it comes very naturally.
"I used to be so scared of going into labor, but when I was there, it was a natural thing for me. Everything flowed. Everything has fallen into place.
"Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me. My voice is shaking now even as I say it. It's very cliché, and it's very cheesy, but it's true. Having Cami was the best thing that ever happened to me and seeing my husband help me, it goes to show that I picked the right man. Cami brought us closer, and really, when I see the way he is with her, I love it. And when I see my baby—I really see her as the perfect human being—I thank my husband, too, for bringing her into my life."
What is the most challenging thing about being a first-time mom?
"Cami got sick for the first time when she turned one. I had so much anxiety. It was a good thing that my doctor was always on call! I always tell first-time moms to have your pediatrician just one text or call away.
"But thinking about the future, I also get so much anxiety because I worry about her well-being, how she's going to be. What matters most to me is that she's safe, happy, and healthy—her foundation, when she knows what's wrong from right. She just needs to be a good person. It makes me so emotional just thinking about it."
What words of encouragement can you share to first-time moms?
"Don't be scared of being a mom, if you're not one yet. Your life gets better. It's a myth to think that you're not going to be able to do anything anymore. It's not the end. It's like having one more life! You get to experience everything again. When you were a child, of course, you don't remember all the fun things that you did. As a mom, you get to experience everything again through your child, which is such a blessing."
"Motherhood changed my life plenty, but all for the better. I feel that if I didn't have Cami, my life would be such a mess. She completes me. She saved my life"
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Art direction by Butchie Peña
Makeup by Alex Lisbona for MAC Cosmetics
Hairstyling by Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Styling by Gelie Manansala
Special thanks to HotDish
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