One child alone can turn a woman’s world upside down. What's more with eight children.
As one who knew what's it like, Pia Magalona simply smiled.
“Yeah, it’s a lot of work, really.
"But I always say that everybody should have children,” she shrugged.
She cautioned, though, before deciding to become a mom, it important to “know yourself.”
At the launch of SM Advantage Card Get More campaign held in a Watsons store, Pia told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal, “Basically, I guess I was geared to become a mom because that's all I really wanna to do.
“I idolize my mom; although she was a working mom, I saw she could do both.”
According to Pia, her mother, known visual designer Edwina Koch Arroyo, made sure she personally did the important aspects of parenthood.
“My mom didn't do it all alone. She had her mom, my maternal grandmother, live with us.
“We had helpers or kasambahay, but they were there to physically help us, like giving a bath or something.
“Extended family, friends, ninong and ninangs…
“But regarding the personality, the emotional needs of the children—that became my mom’s constant priority.
“So those who are saying that they can raise their kids on their own, there must be something wrong with them because it really takes a village to raise a child.”
RULES. Family, Pia said, plays a crucial role in the “values formation” of a child.
“Your bond with your kid is from birth.
“And if you will ask me how I manage to raise all eight kids, that’s because I know all them.
“And your parenting method has to be age-appropriate, so I have three sets of kids."
She proceeded to enumerate her children, six of them with her late husband, the much-adulated rapper Francis Magalona.
“I have two teenagers now, Clara, who is 16, and Arkin, who is 17.
"Elmo, Saab, and Frank are in their 20s; Maxene is 30, Nicolo is 32.
"My eldest Una is 33, I'm so proud of her, she’s raising her kids well.
“So there’s no single technique for all of them.
“It also helped that Francis, there’s nine of them, so having a huge family is not exactly unheard of.
“But we do have rules.”
And the most important one, “You are siblings no matter what, there’s no choice."
"We were raised that way," she said, and it actually shocked them when they read in the papers about siblings doing each other harm.
“it's like so unheard of to us, di ba.”
The second family rule is “respect your elders.”
Describing her family as "very traditional," Pia explained "that’s one way of keeping order, especially in a big family.
"Yes, they fight. But they're more 'I got you,' that kind of bunch.”
Third is what Pia referred to as the “best parenting advice,” and it is allotting 20 minutes of your time each day for a bonding sesh with your kid.
“I learned that even before the Internet. I read it in a book the importance of giving 20 minutes straight full attention to your child, and they won’t ever want for attention as long as you do that.
"But it has to be full attention. It cannot be you are in the computer and you are just beside them, no.
"No phone, no work, no nothing, just one on one.”
PEP asked: Twenty minutes with each one of them?
“Yes. It can be done when you pick up one from school or just before she sleeps or when eating.
“That used to be my fear, that as they get older, I would not know them anymore.
“So you have to be updated about their lives, ask them stuff about their friends in school, remind them, ‘Hey, I’m your mom, I am a part of your life.’”