09 Sep Katrina Delgado-Maderazo
If you told me three years ago that Kat and I would end up being good friends, I would’ve laughed in your face. You see, our very first encounter was not exactly the makings of a friends forever relationship. After hearing her name countless times from our common friend and Project Lilo Mama Muse Amber Folkman, I decided to walk up to Kat and introduce myself. I figured, we lived in the same village, its always good to make a new friend and if Amber said she found someone awesome, I was pretty sure I would feel the same way. So at one of Heyjow’s events I came up to her and said “Hi! We’re neighbors!” Kat looked at me, half-smiled and left. Okay, not exactly the reaction I had in mind. Fast forward a few weeks later at another gathering, I went up to her again and said hi. She probably figured that 1) I was harmless, 2) I would keep on saying hi anyway so she might as well say hi back and 3) we were neighbors, there was no escaping me! I’m so glad I persisted though because I got to know this wonderful woman who as cliché as it may sound is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. While she is smart, funny and talented as hell (she is THE Bento By Kat, maker of the cutest and most creative bentos ever, a former actress— 10 points to whoever can guess her show, and an incredible singer. Check out her videos on @iamkatmaderazo IG handle) she is also one of the humblest, nicest and most thoughtful people you’ll ever meet. Sheila and I spent the afternoon at the charming “Maderazoo” abode where Kat graciously and openly talked about the importance of respect in your marriage, love languages and the power of healing.
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
I felt scared. The first time I got pregnant, Sid and I weren’t married. At the back of my head, I was thinking of what our families would say, what society would say. This happened 12 years ago so the world wasn’t exactly as open minded as it is today. At the same time, I wasn’t emotionally ready, my mom had just passed away a few months prior to us finding out so I wasn’t exactly in the right head space. Sid however had a different reaction, his was “Oh! Ok! Good!”
We got married that same year. While it was a bit rushed, we were both ready to take the next step. Our relationship was moving towards the same direction, we just took a little detour along the way!
With Sky naman, I cried. It was just too close to my first pregnancy. They’re only twenty-two months apart! I had a really hard time. Zen was barely two when Sky started crawl. Zen was practically still a baby at this point and needed my attention but then I also had Sky who needed me more. It was difficult trying to meet their needs and I felt like I was failing them both. In fact, I found myself crying at times asking “ Bakit ba sila magkadikit?”.
Of course, as they got older, being close in age suddenly became a blessing. They’re each other’s best friend.
Six years later, Ocean came along. It’s funny because even though I said to myself that we were done having children, I never got rid of Zen and Sky’s baby clothes. For some reason I held on to them. I guess now we know why. With this last child, I also realized that while I have 2 older children and had gone through the newborn-baby-toddler phase twice, it still felt like the first time. Mangangapa ka parin at first until you get back into the groove of things.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
The hardest thing or the hardest part of being a mom for me was the breastfeeding stage. You know how some mothers absolutely love it? I didn’t. I felt pinned down and at the same time guilty for feeling that way because I knew what I was doing was the right thing for my children. It also didn’t help that while others lost weight breastfeeding their babies, I was actually gaining weight! The combination of physical exhaustion partnered with a low self-esteem really did not help make things better for a sleep deprived mother of a new-born.
With each child though, I’ve learned to feel less guilty about allowing myself to take a break. It started with two nights away just Sid and myself, then 5 days, a week and now 10 days which is probably the longest we’ve been away from the kids. Each trip fills our hearts and gives us a huge appreciation of what we have back home. I realized that taking time off even for just a bit to reset and recharge does wonders for myself and how I take care of my family. We can’t keep on giving if our tanks are empty.
What’s the best thing about being a mom?
The best thing about being a mom for me is the love I get back three times over. Ang sarap lang. Motherhood is probably the hardest thing in the world but when I look over at my children, all I can think is “Wow. I’m their mom. How did I get so lucky?”.
How did your marriage change when you had children?
Our relationship changed drastically. When the children came into the picture, my focus was solely on them. I was obsessed with breastfeeding, caring for them as newborns and teaching them as toddlers. So much so that I forgot to prioritize Sid. He was so patient and supportive all throughout but of course after a while, my lack of attention did get to him and put a strain on our relationship. He pointed out that while I checked on everyone at home and asked if their needs had been met, I more often than not neglected to ask him. I had to consciously be more mindful and sensitive when it came putting my relationship with Sid first.
It’s funny that after 13 years of being together, we recently just talked about and found out what each other’s love language was. In fact, I had to explain to Sid the different types of Love Languages and that my language was service which caught him off guard. He assumed that since I was artistic and visual, my love language was gifts which was why he would lavish me with presents. He didn’t realize that all of the things I would do for him and our family was my way of expressing my love. On the other hand, I found out that his love language was touch. He didn’t need grand gestures or words, a simple squeeze on the arm or a quick hug was enough for him to feel loved. Sometimes how we express ourselves gets lost in translation. What may seem like an obvious sign for us, may not necessarily translate the same way to our partners which leaves us frustrated and misunderstood. Learning about each other’s love language was a game changer. We are now more aware of each other’s actions and words and appreciate how each one expresses their love.
Best marriage advice you’ve ever received?
This is something that Sid shared with me, which was imparted to him by a friend— constantly show your children how much you love and RESPECT your spouse. Sometimes when we’ve been together with our partners for a long time, we become too comfortable and complacent that respect slowly goes away. It could be through the language that we use, the way we treat each other or something as simple as being considerate of your partner’s time. As parents, we have the responsibility of forming the way our children create and foster relationships.
Another piece of advice that I learned the hard way was the importance of healing myself and being whole on my own. It’s the key to having strong and meaningful relationships. When you’re happy on your own, that happiness, peace and calm will radiate in your relationships with your spouse, children and everyone around you.
I hear of a lot of couples splitting up with one party thinking that their partner is to blame when the reality of it is that they themselves are the ones with issues. Sometimes their partner will say something completely innocent yet will be taken the wrong way because of their personal issues. This has happened to me before and I really had to look within myself and address my personal struggles. I would take something small and make it into something bigger. Only when I was able to heal myself was I able to be truly happy.
You’ve mentioned healing several times. It’s not something people openly talk about. Would you mind sharing with us how this all came about? What made you decide that you needed healing?
I just felt unhappy. I had two beautiful children, a loving husband, a wonderful life and everything I could ever possibly want yet I felt sad. I just couldn’t explain it. On paper my life was perfect yet it didn’t feel that way. People around me were saying I should be happy, I should be grateful ya di da di da. Yes, I knew I SHOULD be happy, but I just wasn’t. My sadness and depression got so bad that it manifested on my body and I was rushed to the ER for what I thought was a heart attack. I was 32 years old with a 5 and 3-year-old. After undergoing several tests, the doctors said that what I experienced was an anxiety attack and advised me to see a psychologist. I actually felt insulted when they suggested it. I mean I could feel it in my body that something was wrong. How can you possibly advise me to see a Psych?! So anyway, while browsing through Facebook one day, I saw an ad for a free healing session. I went thinking it was some sort of pray over type of thing when really it was Theta healing.
That first session changed my life. I felt like I was talking to a psych but in a deeper and more spiritual way. I was hooked and knew I needed to do more and to learn more about Theta healing. I immediately enrolled myself in all the courses that I possibly could. Theta turned my life around. I had a bigger and deeper understanding of my life. I was able to remove belief blocks that was stopping me from living my life fully. I was able to resolve childhood issues and belief programs that I never knew existed and was actually limiting me from becoming a better person. Up to know I continue to take classes and apply everything I’ve ever learned in healing myself and my family.
How has healing changed the way you interact with your husband and the rest of your family?
After going through healing, I just became a better wife, mom, daughter and friend. I also learned to be kinder to myself. As someone who grew up as a perfectionist, this was the hardest thing to do. Slowly but surely, I learned how to be more open, understanding and am no longer quick to judge. It has taught me how to change my perspective. Once you learn how to see things differently, issues that used to bother you, suddenly don’t anymore.
Most of my classmates at healing took the courses to be certified healers. I took the courses to learn how to heal myself and my family. I wanted to fix my energy. As mothers we share our energy with our children. They get the frequency that we give out. I didn’t want my children to repeat the negative cycle I went through.
What lessons have you learned from your children?
My children have taught me patience. No one can stretch my patience quite like my children. They also taught me that I am capable of loving, learning and accomplishing so much more than I thought possible. What they say is true, no one can multi-task quite like a mother.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be kind to yourself and love yourself. Take things one day at a time. Don’t be in a rush to grow up. I would’ve enjoyed my younger life more if I didn’t take myself too seriously.
Photographed by Sheila Catilo.