New Mom Blogger Kelly: Queen of All Trades

Kelly with little Kaaro

Now that you've met Steffi, let me now introduce our next, new mommy blogger. Mommy Kelly is mother to three boys (four, including her adoring husband, Marlon) with whom she's made a home in Cagayan de Oro.

She and her husband are both artists and between mothering and working online, it amazes me that she still finds time to curate museum exhibits, organize artist directories, spearhead conventions, and who knows what else. She even home-schools her younger boys. Lately, she was just in Boracay, where she attended a tattoo convention and learned about the basics of tattooing.

With everything that keeps her occupied you might already be getting the image of a haggard-looking stressed-out mum in your head but you might as well forget about it as Mommy Kelly always keeps a level head. She never panics (even when she is panicking, haha) and pretty much applies a sensible, down-to-earth approach when it comes to motherhood.

Oh by the way, her sons have the coolest names ever: the eldest is Kabunyan (Kabu for short), 16, already attending university, her second is called Kalinaw, 7 while the bunso is named Kaaro, 5. While everyone else wants Western names for their children, this couple sticks to something closer to home. These names were taken from three different dialects, as the boys were born in different provinces. Maybe Mommy Kelly can tell us about the beautiful meanings of her sons' names sometime. :)

Kelly on Motherhood 

What do you love most about being a mom?
I love the funny serious conversations and the fun. I love watching them grow into themselves. I love how they teach me as much as I teach them. I love the collaborative work of sculpting these personalities into being. I love the mutual discoveries and the closeness and the trust and the love.
You've been a mom for many years, what areas do you think you need to further improve?
I don’t think any mom ever thinks she is doing it perfectly. There is always that thirst for improvement; to be a better mom, to have more patience, to spend more time with the children, to listen more, to give more, to be less lazy, more attentive, play more, be more strict…all of the above and none of the above.
What is your ideal formula for a close-knit family?
Be there. Give and take. During hard times just taking it one step at a time. Don’t even entertain the notion of separation as an option. 

On the Boys

Tell us about your boys. How are they similar and how do they differ?
They are none of them alike. I have to consciously adjust parenting styles when I remind myself of this. Example, eating habits: 2nd child eats everything on his plate and even asks for seconds. 3rd child gets halfway done then leaves the table.

If I’m not too busy I feed 3rd child the rest of his food. Otherwise, he just asks for a snack when he gets hungry. The 2nd child is usually ok till the next meal. Eldest, who was an only child for 8 years, couldn't even eat without us around. His father used to follow him with a plate until he finished his food.
Kids grow up fast; do you often fear for your children and the world out there and of what?
I fear, and because I fear, the kids are being brought up so that they can handle whatever comes. They have coping skills: prayer, a spirit that appreciates beauty. They do chores. They are polite. They know how to apologize. They are taught to look out for each other. The Tatay is especially keen on this, bringing them up properly.

We don’t hide the world from them. They are aware that kidnapping happens and I recently noticed the 2nd child becoming more careful and wary of strangers (there was an incident in a neighboring town a few months ago). Eldest knows about societal injustices. We discuss things around the dinner table.
What are some unforgettable moments you have of your children?
Every moment is unforgettable, one building up on another.  
How do you want your children to see you/speak of you in front of other people?
Something funny happened a few years ago. Eldest wrote an essay for school about what made him who he is. He wrote about his dad (with all the life-lectures) and his grandma (the example of daily prayer and spirituality) being good influences. I know I had a hand in the upbringing but I am satisfied to be in the background, the silent force behind their lives. They know I’m there when they need me.

On Working at Home

How long have you been working from home?
Forever.  I shun the corporate life.
Tell us about your daily routine as a stay-at-home mom.
Sadly, I have no routine to share. I do whatever needs to be done, no schedules, no routine. Routine will kill me.
You are an artist, among other things. How do you manage your time?
The only way to survive is to give up the large canvases!
Do you have any advice for moms planning to try working from home?
It’s not for everyone. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages. If you are sure about it, then go for it.

In my case, I love it because I don’t have to pay househelp and a yaya for my kids. I get to know my children the way I should. I love spending time with my family, and it’s easy to just take off for a minute if I need a break, when the Tatay is home.
How do you like spending some alone-time?
I take walks, but I usually call the kids to walk with me. I used to be crazy about books, but I would put it down and have any kind of conversation with the hubby if he’s around. So, when I am working, that is my alone time.
What is your idea of quality time with your husband?
Anytime together is quality time. It’s usually just hanging out at home and talking about stuff.
Who are your female role models?
No role models. Our society is too fixated on the politics of personality. I decided to break away from this line of thinking sometime ago.

A lot of precious nuggets in there. With her experience, Mommy Kelly can provide Mom Notes with a lot of insight on raising older kids and teenagers. At the moment, I could never, for the life of me, imagine raising more than one child, let alone three boys! She and her hubby seem to have everything under control though, don't they?

Visit Kelly's blog when you have the time. Aside from art, she is also into nature trips and scuba diving.

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Now that I've introduced our new mommy bloggers, please make them feel welcome by dropping a comment or asking a question should you have any. Also, keep on visiting to tune in to their future posts. Happy week ahead everyone! ;)


Shaine said...

She's indeed a talented and skilled mother of all time. I wish I could be like her when I become a mother in the future who could do many things.

Shaine from Cagayan de Oro (

Kelly said...

Coolness! I got a comment from, haha! Thank you Shaine for the kind words :P

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