In February 2021, former beauty queen Eva Patalinjug and her long-time partner Francis Lim welcomed their first child, Baby Fredrick Evan.
Just like other first-time moms, it was only then when the 26-year-old Cebuana realized how "super challenging" it was to become a mom especially now that she's also juggling her time with law school and her business.
In an exclusive interview on PEP Live Extra on Wednesday night, May 26, 2021, Eva said she initially had a hard time figuring out what her baby wants when he cries. Nonetheless, she was able to understand what her child wants every time this happens.
She recalled, "Super challenging. You have to meet the demands of your baby like from the milk...
"They're always crying and you don't know what they want 'cause they can't talk. So very challenging to know the wants and needs of my baby.
"But as I go along, parang nakukuha ko na yung timpla niya like, 'Ah, I know he's uncomfortable.' 'Ah, I know he's just hungry.' 'Ah, I know he just wants to sleep,' parang ganun."
Eva also said, "Yung sinasabi nilang sleepless nights, nung after panganak ko, I said, 'Oh my god, legit yung sleepless nights!'
"So I really salute all the women or all the moms out there who juggles everything... work and also who are juggling their babies...
"As in like, super pagod. Wala na talaga akong tulog. I wake up every hour, every two hours to breastfeed. Stress na stress, feeling ko na zombie ako."
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DEALING WITH POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION
Eva admitted that she also dealt with post-partum depression for over two weeks.
The Magandang Filipinas beauty pageant national director found it hard to manage her time with studies, her business, and as a mom. There was a time Eva broke down in tears because of these challenges.
She told PEP.ph, "First two weeks, like hindi ko pa alam how to cope with the sleepless nights, with me studying.
"Parang, hindi ko pa kuha yung flow ni Baby, hindi ko pa kuha yung flow ng studying ko, like, 'Paano ito? Paano ako pag assignments or pag exam?'
"After that, parang umiiyak na lang ako sa C.R., 'Paano ito? Ang dami kong ginagawa, hindi ko kaya, hindi ako si Superwoman...'
"Pero, once I got the hang of it parang, 'Kaya pala, iniisip ko lang pala.'"
Now, Eva is proud to say that she has found her rhythm when it comes to juggling her mommy duties and her studies. Eva is now on her third year in law school.
She shared, "In the afternoon, ayaw magpababa so I have to breastfeed my baby in one hand and study in another hand, so multitask talaga ako.
"When I do assignments, 'tapos gusto mag-breastfeed, 'tapos iyak nang iyak, I have to breastfeed in one hand and then type in [the other] hand. So laban lang."
Eva considers her partner Francis as her biggest support system.
The former beauty queen expressed how grateful she is for having him as a partner and for helping her out with the parenting duties especially when she has to do something important.
"He's very helpful, very hands-on, too. He's the one who baths the baby every morning.
"And of course, pag may gagawin or kakain ako, binabantayan din niya.
"At least nakakatulog naman ako kahit ilang minutes, ganun."
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Eva said she doesn't mind going through all these challenges. The beauty queen said all she needs is to see her baby's smile and she will feel all charged up and motivated.
"It's very tiring. Of course, a lot of moms can relate. Sometimes, you need a break but you can't have a break because being a mom is 24/7.
"Pero once you see you child smile at you, all is worth it talaga, like legit worth it."