It was a blessing for me and my Louiji to be invited for the #PantsUpPlayDate last March 24, 2015 at the Gymboree Play & Music, Manila Polo Club in Makati. It was a great opportunity for me participate in a discussion about games, gadgets and bonding ideas with celebrities and my fellow mommy bloggers. This event was made possible by the mommy empowerment magazine, Celebrity Mom and Huggies Dry Pants, the proponent of the Easy Palit campaign.
Bettinna Carlos, an actress and lovely mom to her Gummy, hosted and joined in that afternoon’s meaningful conversation.
Joji Coloma, the wonderful Publisher of Celebrity Mom, welcomed everyone to this very intimate event. I was thrilled when she greeted us at the door and introduced herself to us. It’s not every day that a magazine exec shakes my hand.
Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, the Editor-in-Chief of Celebrity Mom, facilitated the talk and encouraged everyone to share not only their queries but their experiences as well. I must admit that I was intimidated by the presence of this multi-hyphenated woman who stood in our midst that afternoon. Maricel has a very calm voice but she speaks with authority and so much conviction. It’s a good thing that later on, we have warmed up to her and started asking questions and pieces of advice on just about anything beyond the topics specified in the invite.
I had packed on courage that day and was able to share about my qualms on weaning my 26-month-old son from the breast and asked Maricel on how best to do it. It was something very personal to me but I felt the need to open up about it that day. It was a good thing that I did for I was able to get wisdom from a fellow mom who has a Master’s Degree in Family Life and Child Development and a sought-after speaker on parenting and relationships. After listening to my query, she advised me to have a discussion with my husband about weaning our son from breastfeeding. In a brief moment of sharing about my concern, Maricel was able to sense that I was not yet ready to give up breastfeeding. She furthered that if my husband would push for it, I will just resent him and take it all out on him. She added that maybe, the reason why my hubby is persuading me to go about it is that he has concerns and needs that I may be neglecting. She then encouraged me to tell my better half that I am not yet ready but that I need to prepare myself for the time that I would finally wean my boy from nursing on me. She also said that I should also consider my husband’s needs and find creative ways to bond more with him.
Speaking of bonding with the husband, Maricel revealed that she and her husband, Anthony, would always go out on a date every week, whether they like each other or not. I quipped and asked her to elaborate on that. She said that whatever circumstance they may be in on a date day, they would still go out with each other and do just about anything together. She then emphasized that when children see that their parents bond with each other, they feel more secured in love. I have shared this very valuable tip with my husband and he became determined to take me out every week 🙂
Having zero screen time for kids ages 0 to 2 is another lesson that has made a significant impact on me. I was already told by a pedia about it but it has been a struggle for us as a family. We have reduced screen time in our household though there are days when turning on the TV, giving the iPad or our iPhone to our toddler becomes our only resolve. Maricel emphasized the need for zero screen time by saying that studies have proven the ill effects of too much exposure to TV and gadgets on younger kids. She told us to err on the side of prevention rather than paying for the high cost of therapy later on. She has given us tips on how to entertain our little ones like teaching them about what we’re cooking and wearing them if we can as we go about our chores. She even prescribed a daily routine that we can adapt so we can take care of our kids while still managing our household. The ideal is that when our child wakes up, we go about feeding, playing, quiet time and then nap time. Chores will be done when the child naps. I am doing my best to follow the rules on screen time and daily routine because I believe that our family will reap on their benefits in the future.
I have learned a lot of things from that discussion that could make this post longer as it is.
But, that day was not only about Q & A. We also had fun with the games and even won amazing prizes. I was one of the winners in the “If the Price is Right” contest having guessed the retail price of a piece of Huggies Dry Pants. Two packs of diapers was my prize. My son and I were also the first to find the other piece of our pair of socks in the Puma-Burlington game which led us to take home a bagful of high quality socks.
The best part Nobody came home empty-handed because we all had a month’s supply of Huggies Dry Pants which is actually three packs of diapers for our kiddies. I was so happy about it because we now have enough supply of diapers for two months!
The program ended before 6PM and all of us mommies in the room were able to take in impartations about discipline, bonding with our spouse and kids, breastfeeding, nap time and healthy eating among others.
No event is complete without photos. The following our pictures we have captured after the program. In between the selfies and groufies, we also had a nice and personal chat with the esteemed Editor-in-Chief and the endearing Publisher of Celebrity Mom.
A photo posted by Rackell Villareal (@rnvillareal) on
With @biancalapus and Ms. Joji at #PantsUp Playdate. Thank you @celebritymomph and @mommybloggersphilippines. Thank you also to @huggiesphilippines for the freebies. #CMxHuggiesPlayDate #WorkLifeBalance A photo posted by Rackell Villareal (@rnvillareal) on
Some of us stayed a little longer in the venue to enjoy another round of snacks and be reunited with our kiddies who had a grand time themselves at the Gymboree Play & Music while us mommies had a collective Me Time.
That day, I went home enriched, blessed and wiser. Mommyhood is a lifelong journey and learning from the experts and getting tips from seasoned moms surely go a long way. Thanks again Celebrity Mom for inviting me to partake in this wonderful event!