Metro.Style #HipAndHappeningMoms 2019: Vanna Garcia-Kaw
On Vanna: Vest and pants by Mango
Who knew that becoming a mom could turn you into an absolute queen?
For former teen star, blogger, and interior designer Vanna Garcia-Kaw, this is exactly what it feels like to be surrounded by the men in her life: her sons Ethan, Lucas and Tyler, and her husband. As the only woman at home, she’s the uncontested goddess of the household, the sweetest apple of her family’s eyes, the ruling matriarch who makes each of her boys happiest.
Yet a mother who holds a queen-like status like Vanna is unlike the typical royal. She neither basks in attention nor asks for admiration, but rather, does quite the opposite; Vanna gives selflessly, loves endlessly, and nurtures without bounds—even if it means giving up the last gummy bear that you’ve been saving when your son asks for it, she jokes.
As a queen who chooses family fulfilment over worldly satisfaction, Vanna says her motherhood style focuses on the things that matter most.
Vanna knows that her three little princes won’t stay little forever and that they’ll soon be asking for much more than pieces of candy, but she’s certain they'll be well-armed with the values and morals they learned at home to handle bigger responsibilities and a much bigger world altogether.
Up high on her throne, Vanna feels nothing but gratefulness for everything she’s been blessed with, and yes, the feeling remains even during the times her boys decide to hold a contest for who can be the most makulit. All of it, she says with a mother’s warmth, is part of being a parent and that she loves it all.
What is the most challenging thing about being a mom?
"When they were younger, it was just more of correcting and disciplining them, teaching them boundaries. Then they just cry and won't answer back. But a certain time comes when they already have their own minds, and they already start to answer back.
"You think that when they're younger, when they're around seven, you can already be hands-off, but honestly, you can't be. Because then comes the molding of the character. You have to mold their ugali towards other people, you have to keep them close so that you can correct them. It's still a challenge—even more of a challenge sometimes, or maybe just a different set of challenges.
How important is it for you to not forget about yourself and your passions even now that you're a mom?
"I know a lot of people who really prioritize their kids and there's nothing wrong with that. But for me, it's important to never lose yourself. Because sometimes, you tend to tumble down into depression. When you're with your kids, yes you're happy, yes you do everything for them. But when you're alone, you feel like you're not complete because you're not doing anything for yourself.
"For me, spiritually, your well-being has to be fed, too. You have to do things that you love and will fuel your tank of happiness. Sometimes, being with kids is stressful! Yes they're so fun to have around, but of course, dealing with them and just taking care of them on a daily basis can be stressful at times too.
"You have to take a break from that. That's what I told myself before, that I'm still going to have to find time for myself. I'm lucky enough to have people around me who let me do that."
What is the best piece of advice you've received about motherhood, and from whom?
"My mom told me to always put my children first at the moment, because eventually, they'll learn the trait and then put you first too. That I have yet to see because my kids are not yet grown-ups, but for me, that's really good advice since sometimes you wonder, 'I'm doing all these things for my children. What will they give me after?' I've never thought of that, but that thought from my mom gave me an idea. You care for them, then they'll care for you."
What is your parenting style?
"Family time is important to me because spending time with your kids really molds their character. What they see in their parents is really what they grow up with. And then also—since time with the barkada is starting—I'm trying to be a cool mom, so that my kids share everything with me and their friends will be cool staying in my house and they'll come over.
"But sometimes my husband tells me I'm too pa-cool that my boys tend to treat me as their friend. That's the challenge that I'm having right now: how I can maintain that boundary of 'I'm still your mom,' but I want you to tell me everything. That's the struggle I currently have."
What to you is the most fulfilling thing about being a mother?
"I enjoy the company. Coming home to your kids' laughter just makes you feel less tired and stressed out. I can just imagine being stressed out then coming home to a very quiet home. Kids are really the life of the house and that's fulfilling.
"I like it that my sons rely on me so much as of the moment and that I feel like I'm the best girl or woman they have around, especially because they're boys. I like the whole idea that I can mold them the way I think would be best for them since they look up to me a lot.
"It's really different when you've become a mom. You become selfless and you think of your kids more."
What words of encouragement can you share to first-time moms?
"For me, just keep your cool all the time if you can. Don't forget to do things for yourself because that will make you a better mom to your children."
"Motherhood taught me to not think of myself all the time, to be able to care for and look after other people"
Photos from @vanna_garcia
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma
Hairstyling by Vivere Salon
Styling by Gelie Manansala
Special thanks to YummyTummy.PH
Visit Metro.Style again for more #HipAndHappeningMoms Mother's Day special features.