Being a single mom is not easy, but Sunshine Cruz is able to take it all in stride.
The actress is glad that she can openly speak with her three daughters Angelina, 15, Samantha, 12, and Chesca, 10. In fact, her Instagram followers can attest that she is like a BFF to her kids.
Sunshine believes that this parenting style works because they have grown up to be responsible girls.
"I'm proud to say that my kids, my three girls, are honor students in La Salle, so very confident si Mommy.
"And I know that they’ll grow up to be good people naman because I always talk to them, parang barkada, we’re like barkadas, and I think it's working naman."
But what if the situation requires her to shift to mommy mode? In a cosmetics event, she tells PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "I always tell them, 'You know kapag naglalaro tayo or naglolokohan tayo, friends tayo, but when its time to be a parent to the three of you, you also have to respect and listen to me as a mother, not as a barkada.'
"Sometimes, I could be a spoiler if they deserve it, but I could also be strict."
Like other moms, she also has house rules that her daughters must follow.
"I have rules, like in the house, 'yung oras ng gadgets especially if it's weekdays, siyempre may schedule ako sa kanila.
"But weekends, as long as they’re finished with their homeworks [sic], and lalo na kapag may exam they have to review but if they’re done, okay lang sa akin."
With regard to suitors, Sunshine shares that her eldest daughter has been receiving gifts.
"Even itong 15-year-old ko, La Salle kasi is co-education, nakakatanggap na ng chocolates, ng flowers.
"Sabi ko nga, 'You know what, just say thank you,' because para mag-effort 'yung bata to do that, it's nice. Pero you're only 15. Sabi ko, 'You have a long way to go.'"
She has not allowed guys to visit them in the house, but she sometimes asks for their photos.
"Minsan sinasabi ko, 'Can I see the photo of that guy?' Kapag nakita ko na, 'No, you have a long way to go.'"
What is her ultimate bilin to her daughters when it comes to love?
"Mag-ipon ka muna, especially now... May offer na sa kanya [Angelina] 'yung Universal Records, so sabi ko, 'Enjoy ka muna, enjoy ka with your friends, and 'eto, matuto ka muna mag-Tagalog,' kasi hindi siya masyadong fluent sa Tagalog. Saka na yung ligaw, darating iyan."
Laughing, the actress adds while looking at Angelina, "'Wag niyo muna unahan si Mommy."
Turning serious, she says, "Ako, I always tell them na look for someone who will, una muna, sabi ko it's better na friends muna, start off as friends."
She reminds them that, "Minsan kapag nanliligaw ang lalaki, best foot forward iyan. Pero kapag sinagot mo na, biglang iba na yung ugali. So sabi ko lang sa kanila, always listen to mom, be open, so that I know what to advise. Kasi if you hide things from me, and you will tell your friends lang, 'di natin alam kung ano ibibigay nilang advice. Ako, masasabi kong naka-experience na ako ng heartaches, struggles."
As with every mom, Sunshine wants to spare her kids from the hardships that she has experienced.
"Of course, ayoko din na magiging gano'n 'yung relationship niyo with your future partner, so sabihin niyo lang sa akin."