23 Sep Agoo Azcuna-Bengzon
There were only a handful of things we knew about Agoo prior to this interview, her amazing career as a beauty editor, her transition into being a Pond’s Beauty Ambassador (so fitting!), her ridiculously flawless skin, her impeccable taste in accessories and her undying love for Ryan Gossling (#LoveRyanHateEva). What we were pleasantly surprised to find was this refreshingly candid woman who wears her heart on her sleeve. She is hilarious, down to earth and as lovely in person as she is on social media. Read on as we talk about cone heads, mom guilt and why your husband should be your first and foremost priority.
First thought that entered your mind when you found out you were pregnant and what were your birthing stories like?
First of all, both my pregnancies were planned. Let’s just say we knew we were getting pregnant that night. Haha! Fast forward a couple of weeks later, I took the pregnancy test alone then I called Andy through landline pa. At first he didn’t believe me but of course when he finally did were both very happy.
I suppose as with everyone, you’re always a bit nervous, unsure and scared with the first child and my first labor experience didn’t help either. It was very long and arduous. Every time I had a contraction, it was off the charts. Instead of peaks here in there, mine was all constant peaks! I hated my husband so much during that time just like in the movies. Haha! He said “Agoo, whenever you have a contraction, just squeeze my hand.” So I squeezed and squeezed to the point where I was already crushing his wedding ring. Andy finally had to stop me and say “Honey, no more nalang.” I finally gave birth 24 hours later.
I don’t know why, maybe it was baby blues or post partum but I wasn’t ecstatic when I first saw Angelo. It wasn’t sadness either but more like a realization that my life was about to change. I remember looking at him thinking, he’s so small, wrinkly and hairy, he looks like Elvis! I mean, he had side burns! It didn’t help that my pre-conceived image of what a baby was suppose to look like was a Gerber baby. Totally unrealistic, I know. But of course your motherhood instincts instantly kick in and you’re in love.
I’m the type of person who links memories with emotions, I can recall how I was feeling at particular moment. I remember the exact instant when I found him so cute. He was on the bed and he lifted his head and I was like, Oh I’m going to love this boy forever.
Five years later…
I was scheduled for normal delivery but ended up having a C-section. I stopped progressing at 7 cm and my OB said we had to do a C-section. I remember trying to negotiate by saying “Doc, wait, just give me one more hour to push” To which my doctor replied “But Agoo kasi, naco-cone shape na siya. Push ka ng push wala namang progress.” So I was like “cone head or my vanity? Oh sige na nga… I want a normal looking child.” I insisted on bikini cut of course because, priorities.
How did your marriage change after having children?
After I had children, I wasn’t afraid to go out with my husband and leave them alone with the yayas. For me, your marriage should be your first and foremost priority. It should never be kids first, husband takes a back seat. Because that’s the beginning of it all, you got married and the kids are special, they’re gifts but your relationship with your husband I think is most important then everything else follows.
I see a lot of moms who are so devoted to their kids, its like they’re married to their kids and their husbands are neglected. Its nice to always be a good mom, to think of your kids and to always take care of their needs but I think there has to be a balance. You can’t do that at the expense of your relationship with your husband.
I never really had mom guilt, is that bad? When I had Angelo, I continued to work, I didn’t feel it was something that I had to give up. I can work and still be a mom, there’s nothing wrong with that. Some women feel that once they have children, they should stop working. I don’t agree with that, I think your life should be kind of the same and kids are a great bonus. They shouldn’t alter your decisions career wise or your relationship with your husband. I try my best to balance it, I need my date nights with Andy and time on my own. There are days when I don’t necessarily want to spend the whole day with the kids because also I think they need to have time on their own. I don’t like to hover. I make sure they’re okay but from afar. I don’t believe in doing everything for my children. We must not forget that children are resilient. They need to figure things out on their own and they need space to be independent. Its not so much as I’m neglecting them, I’m just watching them from afar while trying to maintain a healthy relationship with my husband and them and not just them. I don’t agree with being with your kids 24/7. I think you need your own time. I’d probably go crazy if I’m just with the kids the whole day.
Most challenging thing about being a mom?
In general, I think its telling your kids what to do and not knowing if its necessarily right for them. I have a problem with knowing what my limitations are as an authority. There are no set rules. As a mom, you make up your own rules. Do you stick to them or adjust them depending on the child and age? It’s a struggle for me and is especially hard because I’m a people pleaser. I don’t want my children to be mad at me. I try to keep it as democratic as possible. My struggle is consistency and disciplining without feeling bad at having to do so.
Advice for parents with older children?
Keep communication lines open, your child should be able to talk to you when they need to.
Legacy you want to leave your children:
Be positive. Kids nowadays are so easily defeated. I’m a positive person and I always try to find the silver lining no matter how hard. I don’t believe in dwelling in negativity. I feel it makes me physically ill. Of course I have my bad days and I’m not happy all the time. But I try my best to be positive. When bad things happen to me, I just think it also happens to everyone and there’s a reason behind it. More often than not, it’s a prelude to something better so just think positive.
Best thing about being a mom?
The love that you get back. To come home and be told by your children that they love you And just to see them grow up. They started with you and to see your good traits passed on. You’re basically forming a person and your traits both good and bad are being passed on. Its such a joy to watch them grow up but at the same time, I wish I could just press the pause button.