For someone who says that she is “just like any other hands-on mom”, Nina Ruiz is sure doing A LOT of things outside the immediate context of home.
A typical day for her involves preparing the kids’ breakfast and baon, bringing them to and home from school, helping them with her homework, and running the household — all duties we associate with conventional motherhood.
But then she also manages the staff and customers of her husband’s photography business, brews and brings iced tea to their barbershop in Makati, and runs their Mr. Quickie franchise in Cavite. For this Supermom, it’s not about how she does it, but why.
In three simple words that’s: Lance, Lana, and Lorian – their 3 lovely children.
That’s the modern traditional mom for you – characterized by an insistence on really being there for the kids, despite and with the other roles she plays. This balancing act seems exhausting; but not for Nina, who still describes herself as cheerful, happy-go-lucky person. This is because this new breed of mom may be doing 10 things at once, but the focus is laser-sharp: the family. Nina unknowingly summarizes the concept in this statement “I like to travel, but I love it more when I travel with my kids.”
Read: These Metrophoto family photos will blow you away
The mom Nina epitomizes will not be held back by the black-and-white definitions and expectations that come to mind when we hear the terms ‘housewife’ or even ‘working mother’. She is a hands-on mom who does what needs to be done for her kids, for her husband, for her business, and for herself.
What’s your secret to being a Supermom?
Oh, that is a secret. Haha! There is actually no secret because all moms are supermoms in their own ways. A mom just needs to manage her time, keep herself healthy, and of course look beautiful despite a hectic schedule and the tons of things that we have to do. I try to balance myself as a mom, a wife, and also an individual.
Tell us about your kids!
My son, Lance Ocean, is 10. He’s in 4th grade now. He takes up violin lessons, karate and soon futsal. He loves making animations in his iPad. He loves to draw, do origami, and swim. He loves to make people happy. He loves telling jokes to his classmates, and to his sisters. He used to play tennis but with so many things going on, I needed to have him let it go.
My daughter, Lana Oasis, is 8. She’s in 2nd grade. She takes painting classes, and soon swim class. She loves to draw, paint, and cook/bake. She seems shy but has a strong personality. She reminds her kuya to behave whenever her kuya is being so kulit na. Hehe! She loves making her younger sister laugh, she loves to carry her and hug her. She used to take piano and tennis lessons as well.
My youngest daughter is Lorian Oxbowe. She just turned one. She’s the more serious version of her kuya.
Given your busy weekday schedule, what are your weekends like?
On weekends, we have family time. Every Friday night, we have “pizza” night. This was my husband’s idea. If he has work on Friday, we do it on a Thursday so he can still spend “pizza night” with the kids.
On Saturdays, if my kids have homework, they have to finish that first before we can go out. I usually cook dishes that they like. Sometimes we do things together, like we make desserts, or cook something they love.
We also do art together, or play board games. But most of our weekends are spent at home. My son and daughter love playing with their baby sister. They love to make her laugh. They get excited whenever they see their baby sister. 🙂
On Sundays, we go to Church. Sometimes we eat outside, take a stroll in the mall, or watch a movie. We also do picnics in UP, ride their bikes, eat taho, fishballs or kikiam.
Read about her funniest, proudest, and most heartwarming moments as a mom on the next page.
Tell us about your:
Favorite parenting hack/s:
When it comes to disciplining my kids, sometimes I get serious and tend to be a bit strict… take note, just a bit. We have house rules especially if it’s a school day. I give them at least an hour to rest when we get home from school.
Then after dinner, it’s homework time. Watching TV, playing, and gadget time only happen during the one hour rest time. I set alarms for everything: from homework time to getting ready to sleep, to lights off. But there were times that my kids would negotiate with my rules especially if they finish their homework earlier. Like if they can watch TV or play after they’ve finished their homework. Most of the time, I give in.
Most heartwarming mom moment:
After I gave birth to my youngest, I saw my son and daughter get teary-eyed when they first saw their baby sister. They said it was tears of joy. 🙂
Funniest mom moment:
I have lots. Hahaha! I am forgetful kasi. My daughter even calls me a forgetful mom. So most of my funny mom moments were because of my being forgetful. One time I almost left the house wearing bedroom slippers.
Oh, there was this one time [when] I was in a hurry to fetch them, I wore my shirt the other way around. So when I got to their school, I went straight to the comfort room to change. Hehe!
Proudest moment as a mom:
When my son won in their school’s Math Marathon.
When my daughter got chosen to join an art fest contest. Only three students from grade 1 were chosen and she was one of them.
When my youngest daughter called me “mam-ma”! (Hehe does that count?!)
Favorite parenting book:
My fave parenting book is “How To Raise Godly Kids”.
Did you turn out to be the parent you wanted to or thought you would be?
Before I got married, I was with the Department of Foreign Affairs. I took up my MBA as a requirement for a promotion. But things changed after I got married and after I gave birth to my first born. My husband asked me to resign and be a full-time hands-on mom. I didn’t have second thoughts about this big decision.
Looking back now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a stay-at-home mom and seeing my kids grow up to be the persons God wants them to be. I can say that it’s what I have been praying for, to be the best mom to my kids. 🙂
What parenting issue are you dealing with right now and what you are doing about it:
Since my son has his own iPad, being a requirement in school, I am worried that he might access some sites not suitable for his age. Aside from that, they use it more often now for school work. I worry about being in front of it most of the time and causing problems with their eyesight, attention span, and headaches.
So what I do is, I give him time limits in using it. I also downloaded in my phone, the apps that he has in his iPad so I can check what’s going on in his.
What do you think is the biggest mistake you’ve made as a parent and how did you feel about it then? How do you feel about it now?
Biggest mistake I’ve made was giving my kids their own iPads at an early age. It really sucked out their time and energy. During that time, they seldom went out and played, their focus on school work went down. I was really upset at myself during those times. So what I did was, I gave them at most, two hours on weekends. On weekdays, no gadgets except if it’s school-related.
What unique aspect of Pinoy/Asian parenting have you found to be the most helpful in raising your children?
Being family-oriented and God-centered. Filipinos are known to be so close to their families and relatives and putting God at the center of our lives can go a long way in raising Godly kids. Teaching them the importance of a family can help them grow up to be a happy people.
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