Asian moms with their kids

Moms love giving advice. After all, mother knows best, right?. Whether it’s for their kids or other moms, they enjoy spouting out wisdom from their experiences. Truthfully – and you may already know this – no matter what you see on Instagram, motherhood is far from a walk in the park. This shared challenge prompts some much-needed note-comparing and a bit of empathy.

But too much information can be overwhelming for mothers who are all at once juggling personal and professional responsibilities and trying to soldier on through everything else. We asked some moms who’ve been through it all. They’ve waded through all the information, both solicited and unsolicited, and picked the most effective “mother knows best” advice they’ve ever received.

Find the tip that best suits you. You’re ready to become the mother you know you’re capable of!

Listen to Your Baby

According to working mom MianDimacali-Calaquian, she ignores the background noise and focuses on her daughter. “Each baby is unique. You know your baby best,” she explains, adding that trends or practices create pressure for moms. Mian confesses that she’s started to let go of supposed milestones. “I’ve embraced that my baby is her unique human self. She doesn’t have to fit a mold – and, as her mom, neither do I.”

Trust Your Body

You’ll be getting a lot of comments, such as “my baby did this” or “I used to do this with my baby.” That’s all well and reassuring, but you don’t have to take them as facts. You have to figure out your mothering style.

“I’ve been told to trust my instincts and decide based on what’s best for my child according to me and my husband,” says Trixie Zabal Mendoza, digital editor and mom of one. She felt so much pressure from people telling her that she needed to breastmilk. But after still not producing enough milk despite latching, eating pampagatas foods, and hiring a lactation specialist, she decided to feed her daughter formula.

Trixie’s motherly advice: “It’s helpful to listen to what your body is capable of and what your baby needs instead of leaning towards what everyone else said. I think we did alright because we have a happy and well-adjusted child!”

Don’t Lose Sight of Other Things

Your kids might be your life, but they’re not your entire life. It also helps to teach this to your kids. For cake entrepreneur Kris Alcantara Mendoza, her mom always reminded her to treat savings as an expense and make it a habit.

“My kids are still too young to understand this, but last year they were given their first piggy banks so they can start putting away money they receive as early as now,” she explains. “It’s so easy to splurge and overspend, but she’s right – it’s important to have the discipline to set something aside no matter what.”

Kris would prove that her mother knows best indeed. This tip gave her family a financial cushion during the lockdowns.

Live in the Moment

For stay-at-home mom Isha Andaya Valle, nothing beats good, old-fashioned advice. Her experiences resonate well with the popular saying, “They’re only this little once.” A successful editor and entrepreneur for most of her adult life, she’s used to wanting things done a specific way.

“I’ve come to realize that, with kids, I can only loosely plan and then creatively riff along the way,” she says. “The more I try to control them or a situation, the rise and the less happy we are all around.”

Isha always reminds herself to let her kids be kids: “One day, they will be older, moody, and won’t necessarily want to spend time with me. I should make the most of this time.”

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Like Isha, account director Kate Paredes-Ricard’s fallback is an old reliable: “The nights are long, but the years are short.” This advice helps her endure the more difficult hurdles and allows her to focus.

“Parenting can be hard work, but seeing my son thrive despite the insanity we’re experiencing currently just shows how resilient our children can be,” she explains.

Let Things Be

Tin Magsaysay-Matic, a property developer and restaurateur, uses a more laidback and practical approach to her parenting style. Her mantra has become “No biggie,” which she learned from her parents. “When I freak out because my son told a lie, I take a deep breath and try to make him understand that he gets into more trouble because of his lie,” she narrates. “Now, my kids hardly ever lie.”

Tin believes in uplifting her kids, even when they do things other people consider improper. When they cook in the kitchen and make a mess, she would encourage their courage to experiment and create things by themselves. “My parents were the same. I learned to cook at eight because I was relentless at asking my parents to make spaghetti for me,” she recalls. Her frustrated mother taught her the recipe so she could do it herself.

Her mother knows best, definitely. “She allowed us freely and happily to make mistakes and not reprimand us for our messes. That was always an inspiration in raising my kids,” she adds.

Set Your Standard

"Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you're living." It’s a quote that full-time mom of two Impy Eusebio-Agas read online.

“Being a mom of two boys is like chaos waiting to detonate each time (twice!),” she says. “As someone who needs control and order to function, I've learned to not benchmark my kids on standards or expectations based on things I read or from other mommy stories.”

Impy adds that she’s learned to let her kids be by letting the little things go and finding joy in the chaos.

Focus on What’s Important

The typically calm Paulynn Chang Afable found herself a wreck when her daughter was born. She was anxious about breastfeeding, her baby’s sleeping habits, hitting developmental milestones, among many other things. She admits that she broke down often and wonder what she’d gotten herself into.

But mothers knew best. “My mommy friends told me to take it easy and take it day by day. Not everything needed to be perfect,” says Paulynn. “They told me to spend a little bit of time each day away from my little one to rest and recharge.” Currently, she is expecting her second baby and she’s adopted a new mindset.

She adds: “I plan to relish the so-called fourth trimester as much as I can. I’ll go with the flow and take better care of myself. As long as my baby is healthy, as long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters.”

You’re Adjusting, Too

An all too common scenario with every birth is that all the attention is diverted to the baby. It’s understandable, but there’s another new person in the room too: the new mom. And she needs care as well.

Accountant Aimee Macandog Magne learned the importance of self-care after her third child. “Looking after three small kids – one of them an infant – is no easy task. I felt tired as soon as I woke up. I had to deal with online classes, work, a baby,” she says, revealing that she often found herself angry.

To fix the situation, she appointed a day off for herself. Every Saturday, she slept in and rewarded herself with a skincare routine. “When , you feel good about yourself.” She also stretched her shower routine, adding a few more minutes of calmness for herself. “When you’re in a , more relaxed, you can be a better mother,” she adds.

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Parenting can be tricky, but you’ll figure it out. When you’re in doubt, remember that mother knows best. And that mother is you.

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