To Melissa Ricks, motherhood is a continuous learning process.
Though she was already 25 when she gave birth to her daughter Kiera Kelly last January 12, 2015, the actress wasn’t quite prepared for the enormous responsibility that went with her being a mom.
Aside from caring for her baby, she had to do the household chores as well.
"Ang hirap talaga. Kasi ako siyempre sanay ako I have a PA [personal assistant], I have everyone doing stuff for me.
"I don’t wash the clothes. I don’t have bills. Now, every thing.
"And lahat ako na.
"It’s like ngayon pa lang learned every thing all at once,” Melissa told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the media lunch of Philips MOM for Moms, a campaign that empowers and educates expectant mothers in the Philippines.
She continued, "Even pag-aalaga ng bata, you know, I don’t. Hindi ako nag-aalaga ng bata kasi nga working, I don’t know how to change diapers, anything like that.
"Every thing is a first for me. Mahirap talaga.”
Doesn’t she have a yaya?
The Kapamilya star answered, "My yaya is her yaya now. So bale it’s the same yaya.”
But she stayed in the U.S. for a year and four months.
"I took care of her by myself. I did every thing by myself so I think that’s a big part of me growing up as a person.
"Sobrang proud ako sa sarili ko dun."
PRIORITIES. Financially, she also had to make adjustments.
“It’s harder kasi dalawa na kami so every thing just totally changed, pati perception ko in life, on working.
"Every thing changed talaga.”
She has learned to value money.
Melissa said, “Hindi na ako yung parang dati kasi gastos lang ako nang gastos, I don’t care.
"I don’t even look how much it is.”
These days, she would think twice before buying something for herself.
And whenever she’s shopping, she thinks about buying something for Kiera.
"Ngayon, I’m like, ‘No, I have to save for this. I have to save this for her school. Ang nabibili ko diyan, mga tatlong toys for Kiera.'
"Basta lahat it’s all about her.”
"At hindi OA yung sinasabi ng parents na yung mga bata laging iisipin, actually, true, na when you’re out, nothing is on your mind except children.”
When was the last time she shopped?
Melissa couldn’t remember the date, but she most likely bought "make-up lang, nothing on the handbags and expensive stuff…"
All her “luho" when she was single are now a thing of the past.
“Every thing is budgeted.
"Before, every thing was mine kasi. My parents pay for every thing. Now I pay for every thing…
"Actually, all my clothes nung nag-aartista pa ako, hindi na ako bumili coz I have too many.
"And then I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I have so many shoes…It’s crazy, I mean, every color, design, I have.'
"And then I go, ‘What do I need it for?’
"Parang I only need a pair of rubber shoes. I need one sandals and shoes.
“Now, I need to get her nice bottles, nice pajamas…"
Most of all, she has learned to be grateful for whatever she has.
"Ngayon, I learn how to budget.
"Talagang I appreciate the value of money now. I appreciate na I have a house over my head. I appreciate na we have food.
"Dati like, whatever, I’m okay. Now, every thing is like so much thank you po Lord, ganyan."
Being a mom has taught her what she needed to know about responsibility.
Melissa ended, "Kiera was what I needed in my life for me to grow up.
"Every thing’s so easy. Every thing’s going well for me. And then sabi ni lord, ‘Kailangan na ting tutuan si Melissa.’
"And then every thing changed at that point."