15 Mar Chinky Apostol
Ask anyone, Chinky Apostol is major “goals”. But its not her signature curls, enviable tan or killer sense of style that make us adore her. Her warm, open and honest disposition literally shines through making this already gorgeous mama even more beautiful. Aside from being a hands on mom to 3 kids, she’s a partner at a thriving fashion business, runs restaurants with her partner Chef Robby Gocco and still makes sure they have time for date nights and couple trips. We spent the afternoon in her charming abode where we discussed how she keeps the connection strong with her teenage son Zach, the importance of me time, and how keeping one’s independence actually strengthens a relationship. Oh and did we mention that she fed us lots and lots of ridiculously good Greek food and awesome wine? Well she did, and it was glorious. So, sorry not sorry.
What was your first reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
Joy, sheer inexplicable joy. I got pregnant under imperfect circumstances yet the bit players like fear and worry were just that: bit players. The star of the show was always joy.
What’s the best thing about motherhood?
The unbelievable happiness each child brings you in the most unexpected manner. They start as tiny and helpless human beings then all of a sudden they fill your world with new things to learn, love and laugh about. Motherhood comes with its share of heartbreak too, but these cannot outweigh the joy. They’re my badges of courage which make me get up each day and do what I have to do.
What is the hardest/most challenging thing about motherhood?
The biggest challenge for me is the when I worry about their future and forget that I’m not alone in this: that I have God and Robby too. When I go that route the crazy fears come up which morphs into crazier ones. When this happens I literally stop and remind myself who is in this journey with me. Worrying per se is not bad, its when you don’t prepare for these worrisome situations that makes it deplorable.
What’s life like with a teenager? How do you bond with your son?
Initially we had our challenges in the sense that sometimes your fears go on overdrive when they no longer want to talk to you about everything. Now there are other people in their circle, when before it was all about me and the rest of the family. I really make time to just assure him that he is loved. I stay with him when he reads his devotional or help him pick out clothes, these little things help us bond and keep it together. It is the time we spend with them that makes them keep coming back to the fold.
How do you and Robby keep your relationship strong?
We eat, laugh and dream together. He also has Cartier on his emergency contacts so we are both happy. Hahaha! Kidding aside, Robby and I eat, laugh and dream together. I think this is the most important thing. Being with someone and sharing your life with him is to understand that you will have differences too, not just things in common. It’s when you can allow your partner to be himself, to pursue his passions, and find him holding your hand while you do the same for yourself, then you know what you have is for keeps.
Here are some wonderful words that inspire me and guide me in my relationship with my partner:
“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”
“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet)
How do you deal with mom guilt? Do you experience it?
I am no stranger to mom-guilt because I have always worked while raising my children. I know what it’s like to come home and find them sleeping or be in the office while they’re sick. I have, however, realized and accepted that the bond between my children and I goes beyond being there at a specific time and having activities like other mothers and their children. We accept the realities of the responsibilities we have and cherish the time we have together. So it could be snuggle time or homework time or a quick ice-cream run-we choose to be really present for each other and say I love you. Having that knowledge changed them and me, because love overcomes all these fears.
What is me time like for you?
My daily me time is when I run in he morning. it helps clear my head and the endorphins fuel me to be productive all day. Another me time that I do once a month is going to the beach and lay out under the sun.
What is your philosophy on motherhood?
Motherhood is about allowing yourself to really see each child for who he or she is, and ensuring that your children know they are loved. When there is acceptance and love, the task of navigating through life’s curveballs becomes bearable. You have children who are assured of their value and a mom who is not taunted by unreasonable societal expectations.
What lessons have your children taught you?
I learned from my children that there is no limit to our capacity to love if we allow ourselves to do so. Forgiveness is also one of the greatest gifts I got from my children. Children don’t dwell on hurt feelings and unrealized expectations that’s why they are happy. I try to follow that and my perspective has changed for the better.
What advice would you like to give your younger mom self?
I would tell my young mom self to trust God in the unfolding of events. When we live a life that is rooted in prayer, love and acceptance, we can stop hurting ourselves and others.