13 Mar Marie Field-Faith
Beautiful, stylish and funny as hell, Marie Field-Faith is the epitome of a woman who has it all–a loving marriage, 3 adorable children and a thriving business. Her sunny disposition, signature belly-laughs and warm persona radiate from a mile away. Yet what most people don’t know (ourselves included until we had the interview) is that behind the picture perfect life is a woman who learned at an early age how to be tough, resilient and resourceful (you can’t exactly graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering from UP and work on an oil rig without all that )due to her less than ideal upbringing. Get to know more about this incredibly strong mama as we discuss how her first born cemented her unlikely love story, every mom’s insecurity and how her tough childhood influenced how she parents her children.
Tell us a bit about your childhood and how do you think it shaped how you parent today?
Tough love would be the best two words to describe my childhood. My mom was not exactly the warm, nurturing type and my dad who was older than my mom believed that child rearing was solely the responsibility of my mother. He provided well for the family but chose not to meddle when it came to matters that involved how I was supposed to be raised. I remember falling down and hurting myself as a child and the only reaction I got from her was “Get up”. In school I was expected to study on my own and get good grades. Needless to say, our relationship was strained. When I was in college, I called home to ask for my allowance ( I was in UP and my family was back home in Palawan), I was talking to my tita and when she asked if I wanted to talk to my mom, I immediately made up an excuse on why I couldn’t (saving my load or something like that) the result was a whole month of no allowance. At all. I literally had to fend for myself. Good thing I had a job at school so I was still able cover my basic necessities. It was hardly the dream situation but looking back now, it taught me a lot of skills I otherwise wouldn’t have. I learned how to be self-reliant, independent and develop a really strong work ethic.
Before having children, I told myself that I would be the exact opposite as my mom. Guess what? Now that I have my own kids, I find myself hovering right smack in the middle. I try to be as supportive as possible but at the same time, I let my children make their own mistakes and teach them to be responsible for their own actions but at the same time, I make sure that they know that I will be there for them no matter what.
What was your reaction when you found out you were pregnant and how did having children change your marriage?
That’s an interesting story! Haha! When Guy and I got together, we were both married to different people. And while the heady feeling of falling in love was there, it was probably the most stressful and trying time of my life. I never took the fact that I broke up a family lightly. The guilt is there and the knowledge that we ruined relationships did not escape me. When we found out we were pregnant that was about the same time our relationships were falling apart. We were at the crossroads and needed to decide If we were going to stay together or break up and go back to our spouses. Obviously, there was drama everywhere. Yet when we found out we were having Sophie, something in us told us to grow up. Being pregnant with our first child took us away from all the negativity surrounding us. In a way it was us saying “Bahala kayong lahat, we’re having this baby and we will enjoy this moment.” It also put the focus on the conversation we were both avoiding. We chose each other and divorced our spouses.
Having children has definitely cemented our relationship. Before Sophie, I was the type to walk away when things got hard. I was used to being alone anyway. But when we had her, something changed, we had to own up to everything. We had to talk about the hard things, sort our sh*t out and deal with problems as a team for the sake of our kids and our family.
What’s the best thing about being a mother?
The best thing about being a mom is learning how to relax again and enjoy the good things in life. The early part of my life was quite difficult, I had a tough upbringing, worked at a young age and pursued a career abroad that was not only male-dominated but immensely hard as well. When I had kids, I had to teach myself to slow down. Having children also pushed me to go out of my comfort zone to make the extra effort to show them the world, and explore different places. I am an introvert and a homebody by nature and never would’ve gone all over the Manila and different parts of the Philippines had it not been for my kids. So in a way, by going to these adventures together, I’m not only widening their perspectives but mine as well.
What’s the hardest thing about being a mother?
The hardest thing for me as a mother is always thinking that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I always feel that other moms are doing so well and I’m over here struggling. That’s actually the reason why I don’t go to school. Haha! Whenever I go to school, I see other moms so engaged with their children, they know absolutely everything about their child while I’m the one who misses vaccination schedules and forgets their heights and weights. I always feel like I’m lacking. I know of women who immediately transform into super moms the minute they have kids, and I sometimes wish that I was built like that too, but I’m not. At the end of the day, Guy and I are just parents trying to do the best they can given the day to day situations.
What’s tough for me is knowing that motherhood has not completely taken over me and it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough of what is expected. In my mind, is this stereotypical of what parents do? I wouldn’t know because I didn’t experience it as a child. Am I repeating how I was raised? I mean I make sure they have a good education, they eat healthy and we go explore the world as a family. However, I don’t obsess about them. I don’t need them to be perfect. I just want them to be safe and happy.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you’re a new mom you keep on thinking about the things that are going wrong instead of focusing on the things that are going right. Just chill out a bit. Children are more resilient than we give them credit for.
Photographed by: Sheila Catilo