Metro.Style #HipAndHappeningMoms 2019: Katrina Santos
On the surface, mommy influencer and B&B Salon and Spa owner Katrina Santos could be your typical life-loving twenty-something. She's fashionable, mellow, ladylike, and gracious, but what outward apeparances don't immediately reveal is what her heart contains: outpouring love for and razor-sharp focus on her son, Lucas.
When Katrina looks back at all that she's experienced and accomplished as a mother since welcoming him to this world, a clear sense of satisfaction takes over; she's incredibly proud of her ability to balance personal and family time, her discipline in caring for her physical and mental well-being, her voluntary change of priorities, her newfound expertise in nurturing a pocket-sized human being—all of which are ingredients of the unique recipe that is her journey of motherhood.
Together with her husband Luigi, this mom finds joy in seeing how much her son has grown in his first two years of life and looks forward to all that's yet to come—except for the day when a grown-up Lucas brings home a girl for the first time, she jokes.
These days, spending time with her toddler is what she's most excited about and what makes her happiest everyday. It's a far cry from the "no kids" policy Katrina gave herself in her adolescent years, and as it seems, motherhood was always something she was meant to go through. It has since been an experience she has embraced with open arms. Little Lucas has changed her life forever, and—surprising even herself—Katrina vows she wouldn't have it any other way.
From transforming from an independent millennial to a beaming mommy of one, Katrina knows she's exactly where she's meant to be.
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How has being a mother changed your life?
"I honestly thought I'd be more of a cool mom, super chill. But I'm super strict, no fun at all! I feel like the moment my son can complain, I'm going to hear so much.
"My routine before would be to wake up, workout, prepare breakfast for myself, then meet up with friends, then we go out, then it's the same thing the next day. Now, it's completely different. You're not really thinking about yourself anymore. You're not thinking about the things you want to do. It's more of what you think your child might enjoy doing... You think about his school, his safety. There are a lot of things that you think about that you didn't really consider before."
How important is it for you to not forget about yourself and your passions even now that you're a mom?
"Guilty. I used to be like that for months. I would just wear a baggy shirt and pambahay shorts, then I would be good. But, I felt the need to make myself maganda—for myself. Whenever I would look in the mirror, I would think, 'Kawawa ka naman, ganyan ka.' I wanted to change that. So with effort—you really need to exert effort—I changed that.
"It's super important. I feel like if you don't get to do what you want, or achieve your goals, you won't be complete. You won't feel whole. If you're not complete or whole, then you won't be able to give your whole self to your kids."
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What is the best piece of advice about motherhood that you have received, and from whom?
"I think what I probably got from my mom is her love for me and my sister. We're her top priority, and I think that's how I am with Lucas. I would cancel and throw away anything and everything just like that for him. It's family first. Like what my mom would always say, enjoy every moment... That's what I learned."
What to you is the most fulfilling thing about being a mother?
"Whenever you see your child reach new milestones. The moment Lucas started walking, I felt so proud. It's different when you witness it for the first time than when you just hear about it from others.
"I'm open to having more kids but maybe after three years. I want to enjoy Lucas, I want to make the experience sulit. Lucas is my first baby, and he'll always be that.
"I cried when I found out I was pregnant. Because, prior to having Lucas, I had a miscarriage. After two months, we found out I was expecting again. I was so scared. The pain I felt then—I swear, I wouldn't even wish it upon my worst enemy, kasi sobrang sakit talaga—I thought I was going to die."
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What is something about motherhood that surprised you the most?
"That I cannot leave the house without him. After just 30 minutes being away from him, naiiyak na ako. The bond is really there, even though I wasn't expecting to be like that. I used to be so independent! In my college years, I would visit my family once a month. Now, when I think of even the simple things like getting a massage or going to the salon, I think 'wag na lang because I'd rather stay at home with my baby.
"The first time I left him, it wasn't even for a whole day. It was for two hours to watch a movie with my husband and I felt so guilty. The whole time, I was checking my phone for messages from our yaya and my husband said, 'Really? We don't even get to go out and this is the only time we get to have alone time, and you keep checking your phone.' I'm so attached to Lucas."
Any tips for traveling with kids?
"When you travel, always, always, always have a checklist! That's crucial.
"When I travel, I even have notes and I put together outfits for each day. Speaking of clothes, always have extra sets, especially on the plane. Kids get super messy. And, honestly, you can never pack light when you're with an infant, so you have to sacrifice your own space. Tipirin niyo 'yung clothes niyo, so your kids can have more space! And bring comfortable shoes—sneakers please, forget the heels and even flats."
What words of encouragement can you share to first-time moms?
"Don't expect anything. Don't read too much articles because they'll confuse you. Things will happen if they're for you. For example, if you've been trying [to conceive]—me and my husband tried for one straight year, then we lost it the first time then got pregnant again—and you've been trying for long, it doesn't necessarily mean that it can't happen. Maybe it's just not your time to get pregnant yet. But when you do, enjoy it. Don't stress out too much, don't overthink. Let things be."
"I never really wanted to have kids. It wasn't in my life plan. But when Lucas was born, I dropped everything for him. It wasn't even because I needed to, but because I wanted to. Everything just changed, and I'm super happy. I wouldn't trade this for anything"
Photos from @katrinasant
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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