Being a celebrity is no hindrance for Cheska Garcia to spend quality time with her family. For her, "My family is my first priority."
So, whenever she has work, like hosting Us Girls or doing photo shoots, the wife of basketball star Doug Kramer always makes sure there will still be enough time to play with her daughter Kendra when she gets home.
In an interview with her recently, Cheska related, "I tape twice a week. There are also other things that I do like magazine covers, I guest [on TV shows] or I have other shows. But I always try to tell them that my priority is my family para it has to be done at a certain time. Kung puno na 'yong week ko, minsan kasi hindi mo na maiwasan, I try to tell them to give me at least my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with my child because it's important to be there. I don't wanna miss out on the things like that."
The sister of young actor Patrick Garcia also said that balancing everything enables her to enjoy the moments with her husband and daughter.
"I don't keep myself too busy," said Cheska. "I have to spend time with my daughter, di ba? I also have to give time to be with my husband. I want to enjoy work, the blessings that God has given me, and at the same time, I want to also have time for my other blessing, which is my family. I want a balance.
"Sa akin, I make it a point na I have time for work, I have time for myself, I go out with my friends, I have my girls' night out, I have a date with my husband, my husband and I spend time with my daughter. Sa akin, nothing is more. Only my family is more."
PATIENCE AND DISCIPLINE. Since Cheska is a first-time mom, she admits that having her one-year-old daughter has taught her a lot of things. These include stretching her patience and becoming selfless for her kid.
"I discovered na, siguro ugali-wise, kaya ko palang maging patient," she said. "Kasi, 'yong nanay kahit gaano ka-patient ka mate-test talaga ang patience mo. E ako, hindi ako masyadong pasensyosa. Pero when I gave birth to my daughter, I was very patient and there was not a time when I started giving up.
"I learned also that I could be selfless, hindi lang yung puro sarili ko ang iniisip ko. in fact, I've grown to master that attribute of not being selfish."
She recalled, "Before, when I go shopping, puro sarili ko lang ang iniisip ko. Now, the simple joys of being a mother-'yong mga binibili mo para sa anak mo, kahit mayroon na siya noon, bibilhin mo pa rin at bibilhin kasi it will make you happy. So, I've learned to be selfless and at the same time love somebody this much and be so thankful."
Does she spoil Kendra?
Cheska said her husband is more of a spoiler. "Doug's a spoiler, but he's not a disciplinarian. I'm a spoiler but I'm a disciplinarian.
"Pareho kaming spoiler but I discipline. When Doug looks at Kendra, she just looks at her dad like, 'Yeah, right!' But me, when I look at her, I really make laki my eyes like that and I really give a stern voice and I show to her that, 'I'm the boss.' So, she learns to listen kasi hindi naman puwedeng laging masunod siya."
Any plan to have another baby soon?
"I'm enjoying my figure, guys," Cheska laughed. "Huwag na muna. I also enjoyed my pregnancy naman. Pero I'm also enjoying na I'm back to shape, na I get to wear my clothes again. I'm enjoying my figure, but, yes, I do have plans to get pregnant again."
Cheska was sure that Kendra could have a sibling in the future because she loves having a baby in the family. She said, "May mga times na naiisip ko, 'Sundan ko na kaya si Kends?' Kasi, sobrang saya ng mayroon akong daughter around, talagang masaya. Mas masaya siguro kung mayroon pang isa."
Cheska advises moms, don't miss a single moment with your growing child.
"You enjoy your time with your child," she encourages. "Kasi, alam mo, before you knew it, lalaki na sila. Alam ko, mahirap 'yong late nights, 'yong wee hours in the morning na magpapalit ng diapers, 'tapos fragile pa ang anak mo kaya mahirap magpaligo, siyempre, 'yong mga sakit that comes with having a child talagang kulang na lang ma-heart attack ka. Those will all pass also in time.
"You enjoy your time with children. Make a bond with them para paglaki nila, mayroong connection. Mayroon silang takot, but not in a bad way, parang mayroon silang respect towards you."
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Cheska admitted that being a mom can be very demanding. Sometimes a mother would lose time for herself, having to look after the needs of her child and her husband as well.
But the celebrity mom said that mothers should not forget to pamper themselves once in a while. For instance, Cheska related that she'd be going out on a date with Doug after the presscon.
"I dress up for him, that's why I'm dressed up today because later we'll go out on a date. We dress up for each other. Siyempre, you have to spice it up a little, di ba? So, I make it a point that I dress up for him, I look nice for him. And siyemore, 'yong lambing, di ba?" she said about keeping the love alive between married couples.
The Us Girls host also stressed, "There's no problem in focusing your time with your baby and your family. But you also have to focus your time on yourself. You also have to feel good for yourself. If you feel good for yourself, you'll feel good for your baby, you'll feel good being with your husband. Hindi naman lagi na 'yon lang ang environment mo. Siyempre, you have to feel so fulfilled as a person, di ba? Sa ibang tao, fulfilled na sila na ganun ang ginagawa nila. Ako, personally, parang there's should be time for everything."