Let's face it: family relations aren't always easy to navigate. It's no secret that it's the kids who bear the brunt of a failed marriage or relationship, and it becomes even trickier when one or both parties move on and start a new family with someone else. But, whatever the challenges having a "modern" family entails, it's definitely possible to co-exist in peace and harmony.
A Facebook post that recently went viral is proof that everything can work out between you, your ex, and his new love. Mom Audrey Nicole from the U. S. shared her heartfelt gratitude to her ex's girlfriend: "This is my daughter's father's gf. The sweetest thing ever! I'm super thankful for her because when [my daughter] visits her dads, she feeds her, takes care of her, buys her gifts, and basically takes care of her like her own." The last line in her post is the real message that should be practiced not only during this holiday season, but all year round: "Love more, hate less."
Indeed, this is the next best setup you can give the kids after a failed relationship. And we don't even have to look very far to see that blended families (note: not broken) can work: these three pairs of local celebrity moms are proof that it's possible to set aside differences -- and maybe even form lifelong friendships -- for the sake of the little ones.
Nikka Martinez and Jennylyn Mercado
This time last year, actress Jennylyn Mercado took to Instagram to share the very first family photo she had with her 7-year-old son Jazz and her ex, Jazz's dad Patrick Garcia, Patrick’s then-fiancé Nikka Martinez, and their 2-year-old daughter Chelsea.
No one said it would be easy, but it is doable. On their road to co-parenting, Patrick and Jennylyn had overcome ups and downs. Nikka admitted in a blog post that she had feelings of insecurity before she met Jennylyn. "I just didn’t know my place. I didn’t know how to act. I did not want to make pa-extra. I did not want to be a distraction," she wrote. Nikka knew that sooner or later she would have to establish some kind of relationship with Jennylyn, and there couldn't have been a more opportune time to break the ice but before their wedding earlier this March.
When she finally had the courage to meet Jennylyn, all was well. "I have nothing but respect for Jen because she is the mom of Jazz. I know my place in Jazz’s life. I am and always will be his Tita Nikka who loves and cares for him genuinely," wrote the mom of two, whose daughters Chelsea and Patrice get to visit and spend time with their Kuya Jazz regularly.
Jodi Sta. Maria and Iwa Moto
It was in February 2015 when Iwa posted the very first photo of her and Pampi Lacson's daughter Eve, and his ex Jodi and son Thirdy. "Lord thank you for yesterday. Thank you for giving us the time to bond with @jodistamaria. Ang saya ni muy super namiss ka daw niya, Jodi," she wrote as caption.
Although there are claims that Jodi was still married to Pampi when his relationship with Iwa started, the sexy actress insists that she did not cause their breakup. At that time, issues about extra-marital affairs were brought up and a word war ensued between the two ladies. It was only in 2013, when Jodi reached out to Iwa after the latter gave birth to Eve, that they made peace. Iwa, via a text message, said she admires Jodi and admitted she regrets the hurtful words she said in the past. The two get along well now.
Pampi and Iwa's relationship is growing strong, as evidenced in Iwa's Instagram account. Jodi, on the other hand, is happy with reported new love Jolo Revilla. Half-siblings Thirdy and Eve have also been spending a lot of time together, sometimes with dad Pampi, and, on some occasions, with both Iwa and Jodi.
Meryll Soriano and Jerika Ejercito
Recently, Meryll's son Elijah celebrated his ninth birthday, and among the guests at his intimate party were his younger half-brother Isaiah and his mom Jerika. Both kids were fathered by actor Bernard Palanca.
Meryll married Bernard in September 2006, but they broke up February the next year while anticipating the birth of their son. Bernard and Jerika welcomed their son Isaiah in 2014, but confirmed their breakup in January this year. Meryll and Jerika are former schoolmates, but their relationship has grown closer since Jerika gave birth to Isaiah. "Siyempre, magkapatid [si Isaiah and Elijah], so I made it a point that I’m there to support that. Tapos, we’re family. Kahit anong gawin mo, pamilya na kami. Connected-connected na kami," Meryll had said in a past interview. Jerika also treats Meryll as family, her co-parent and confidante.
Meryll and Jerika had vowed to raise their sons as brothers, because they are brothers even if they have different moms. The two ladies see to it that the boys spend time with each other, even if only one of their “two moms” are present. It brings them joy to see them together.
This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the FemaleNetwork.com editors.