11 Jul Bianca Santiago-Reinoso
Our latest Mama Muse should not come as a surprise. In fact, we believe you can’t say Mama Muse without immediately thinking of Bianca Santiago-Reinoso. Her honest, hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking insights into motherhood serve as a daily reminder that while it may be the hardest job in the world, it is also the most rewarding, beautiful and incredible journey we will ever get to go through. Bianca’s optimism despite the toughest days and and candor about pull-your-hair-out moments make us appreciate the lessons and trials that come with raising children. Read on as we talk about learning more about yourself through motherhood, self care and the legacy she’d like to leave her children.
What was the first thing that entered your head when you found out you were pregnant?
My mom. I thought of my mom when I saw those 2 lines after taking the pregnancy test. She passed away November of 2011, and I gave birth to Liana February 2013. I felt like it was her way of telling me to stop crying na and that I was ready for my next phase.
What’s the best thing about being a mom?
The best thing about being a mom is discovering that I can love more than I thought possible, more than I thought I could give. I think its amazing that I get to know more about myself because of my kids. When I had my children, I had absolutely no idea how to raise them, I didn’t know that I would end up being this type of mom, and everyday I continuously learn and discover my threshold and my unlimited and unconditional love for this little family of mine. Grabe ibang level. Nakakaloka siya.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
I think the hardest thing about motherhood is letting go. I am very passionate about loving my children, about being a mom. I gave up a lot to be able to raise them and my life revolves around them right now. So the hardest thing for me is knowing that eventually I would have to let them go and let them figure out how to live their own lives and be their own person.
They may be the ones crying as we leave them in school now, but it’s mom who’ll cry more when it’s time to let them explore life on their own. Haha!
How did your marriage change once you had children?
We’ve been together since high school and I thought I knew everything there is to know about Raoul, I mean we went to the same schools (high school and college). When I was working in ABS-CBN, he would pick me up every single day, even when I had late night styling duties. We were together 24/7. We we knew each other so well. In fact, you know those discovery weekends that couples are required to take before getting married? Super hindi namin na-enjoy because all of those topics? We knew it na eh. We didn’t even have to think about it. We as a couple were so okay. So we got married and things just got better. We lived together na and had a life together—- and then we became parents. Wild. Suddenly, it was a whole new ballgame na “wow” I didn’t expect that Raoul and I would be so different when it came to parenting. We really had to rediscover and calibrate how we would be as parents because this is no joke. Taking care of kids in this day and age where everything is accessible with their tiny fingers, we had to figure out how to raise them. Even what would’ve been a basic, simple topic would take us a long time to figure out. There were instances where I’d say to myself, I really thought I knew him, hindi pala. Sana if they had Discovery Weekend for parents to-be that would’ve been so helpful. Through our group BCBP (Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals) we’re learning to communicate with each other through prayer. It not only strengthens our relationship but helps us be better parents as well.
Best marriage advice you’ve ever received?
The best marriage advice I received came from our close family friend Fr. Rolly. He was the same priest who officiated our wedding. He said that “When you’re married, your priority is your husband and in turn, you are your husband’s priority.” I’ll be honest, this is something that does not come easy to us. Right now, we’re at the stage where its so hard to find couple time and when we do have couple time, its usually just 2 hours of dinner where all we do really is talk about our kids. But we do try. I think its important to carve out some time just the two of us. If we have this solid foundation, we can get through anything.
What’s the best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
It’s the hardest advice I’ve had to accept and deal with, yet also the wisest—- ” Its okay to not do everything.” I have super type “A” personality, and I’m very OC, more so when I became a mom. I mean, I now have kids that I am completely responsible for, and the pressure that comes with that is enormous. But slowly, I’m learning to enjoy motherhood and not take things too seriously. If hindi nasuklayan is Liana before leaving, ok lang! If Juano goes to school with wild hair, fight! If he sometimes has french fries for lunch, go ahead! There are more pressing things in life, and sometimes letting go of the little things goes a long way.
Legacy you want to leave your children.
My fave outfits and bags for Liana! HAHA! kidding aside, I want them to be goal oriented and to never stop chasing their dreams. If they have this they will always be learning, they will never be bored. I want them to be mindful of other’s feelings and also theirs – they will be good husbands and wives and grow up to be intentional parents because of this. I also want to instill on them the importance of always being kind. I am trying my best to equip my kids with these so when I’m gone I know they are all set.
What advice would you give to your younger mama self?
Self care right away and demand for help! You don’t have to do it all! I learned this the hard way. There was a point where I was in and out of the hospital and the doctors said it was my body’s way of telling me to start taking care of myself. The constant wear and tear of trying to do it all and give my all really took its toll. It was scary. As parents we really do need to be in the best shape possible to be able to care for our children.
Photos by: Sheila Catilo