Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski lives a busy, busy life—so much so, in fact, that even her husband, Pasig congressman Robert “Dodot” Jaworski, couldn’t understand her drive in the early days of their marriage. “[Dodot] would say, ‘How can you be a good mom if ang dami mong ginagawa?’” Mikee shares in the April 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping. “Ang sinasabi ko naman, I need to believe in myself in order to raise good kids, and for them to believe me or respect me. Maybe they will love me, but will they be proud of me?”
Indeed, even after having three sons—ten-year-old Robbie, eight-year-old Rafael, and two-year-old Renzo—this Asian Games champion equestrienne still manages to find time for her riding students at the Manila Polo Club, and to actively participate in her cousin Noynoy Aquino’s presidential campaign. This, in Mikee’s mind, is the best way to show her kids how to live full lives: leading by example. She says, “I want my kids to have a certain amount of independence, and I also want them to have a certain amount of dependence… So I am hands-on, obsessive-compulsive to a certain degree, but since I’m busy, then naba-balance siya.”
After over a decade of motherhood, Mikee has discovered that the relationship between parent and child is reciprocal—you learn things from one another, as long as you keep an open mind. Here are a few life lessons that this celebrity mom has learned from her kids—giving her a well- balanced outlook on life in the process.
Every child is unique, and Mikee has learned that the manifestations of love among her children are just as distinctive. “It’s different with each child,” she says, describing one son’s expressive capacity and another son’s more subtle affections. The important thing is to make sure that each child knows exactly how much he or she is loved—and never doubts it for a second.
ON RAISING A FAMILY
“The most important job of a woman is to raise her family well,” says Mikee, who thinks full-time working moms who don’t have her flexible schedule are “amazing.” Without a doubt, motherhood is the toughest (and most rewarding) profession a woman can undertake—which is precisely why all our mothers are heroines.
ON LETTING GO
Perhaps the hardest thing for a mother to do is to let go of her children once they start to grow up. If growing pains are difficult on the kids, imagine how it must be for their moms, who were there every step of the way! Mikee’s advice? Anticipate the letting-go process, and prepare yourself accordingly. “Sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, it’ll come, so when the time comes, hindi masyadong malakas yung blow.”
Growing up in an all-girl family didn’t exactly help when she became a mother to three boys, but Mikee takes it all in stride. Part of the joys of being a parent is discovering new things through your kids and believing that, just like you, they’re going to turn out alright. “There are things about boys that don’t make sense to me,” Mikee confesses. “But what I’ve learned is that they’ll be OK!”
Photos by Paolo Pineda. Read more about Mikee in the April 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping, out now.