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Inspiration,  MomStar of the Month,  Motherhood

Black Belter and Cheerleader turned Founder of a Mom Community

Mom Community Blog Title

Hello Hello! It’s finally August and it means I’m sharing to you another inspirational story from our MomStar of the Month!

 

What is MomStar of the Month all about?

MomStar of the Month shares inspirational stories of women, no matter what background, ethnicity or race; has a great career or not, is a first-time mom or not, it doesn’t matter. 

Any Mom is a star in her own ways and with these stories, we share the journey of moms who aim to inspire others and transform lives with a purpose.

We highlight different women in our society, with their spirit to motivate others. A unique opportunity for all of us to hear and understand how these Moms learned how to flourish and balance their lives in today’s overwhelming world.


I feel so privileged to share with you a great story of a Mom whom I’ve known since our Taekwondo days.

Who would have thought that the Black Belter that I’ve known, now turned as the founder of Modern Nanays of Mindanao? For those of you who don’t know…”Nanay” is a term for Mom in the Filipino language.

I’ve known her back when she was in High School and I was studying Nursing. She was such a happy and talented person from doing ballet in her early childhood days and cheerleading in her Nursing years.

Mom Community Title

When I finally got a chance to connect with her, it felt like nothing has changed. She’s the same person I’ve known and we both laughed how time and the world has changed yet we both remember each other.

As a Breastfeeding Advocate, I thought of featuring her as our MomStar of the Month in line with August’s Breastfeeding Month. Her advocacy to build a Mom Community has played a huge role in today’s modern society.

If you want to know her story…Don’t miss this and get inspired. She’s a MomStar of her own family and to the Modern Nanays, not just in Mindanao but to the entire Mom Community.

Here it is.


Mom and her children
  1. Tell us about yourself (ex: Family, Children, Profession, what do you do, etc) 

I am NADINE ANGELICA GADIA CASIÑO RN, MN.

In my younger days, I was a ballerina, taekwondo black belt and cheerleader.

I was crazy juggling student life and extracurricular activities and loved meeting a lot of people as the extrovert that I am. 

That being said, I could stretch my muscles and body beyond its normal range of motion.

But now the only thing I can get stretched is my patience with my children’s needs and life’s circumstances. 

Cheerleaders posing on stage

I am a nurse by profession. I am a wife to a very industrious husband who is my complete opposite and thus is my perfect complement. And I am thankful to him for making me a mother to 3 wonderful children, Raelene Cerise, RaiaCiel and Ravi Caden.

My calling definitely is Motherhood. 

I had other plans for myself but the Lord knows where he wants to plant me.  I could choose to follow the usual path which leads most nurses to  “greener pastures”.

Moms dancing ballet

But I stayed behind for motherhood which led me to my vocation the advocacy of helping mothers and babies.

So I created a mother support group that started as Mommy Bright Side and grew into Modern Nanays of Mindanao.  A mother support group that promotes, protects and supports natural infant and young child feeding and care. 

Recently, I opened up a social enterprise, the ALIMA Mother Support Center where mothers can get hands-on help during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and childcare. 


Mom Community gathering together

2. What keeps you busy at the moment? How do you manage your day to day activities with your children?

Motherhood. Community work. Running a business.

I dream of changing the scene for women and mothers. Where they can dream and do while caring for their children too. That takes a lot of work because I dream to create a new norm. That means, changing how things are normally done. 

I am actually a very very very bad manager. I’m super poor with time management, setting deadlines, remembering details, and getting organized.

So I don’t manage… I SURVIVE

Mom Community Founder and her family

How do I survive? I have a team. I have my husband who is my enabler, motivator, primary donor. He challenges me in the most unconventional ways. 

I have a trusted house help to prepare everything in the morning to meet our household needs.  I have my family and friends for sound advice and moral support.  I have a team of colleagues who has the same vision and is committed in supporting other moms as well.

Mom Community Blog Title

I wake up and kick myself to get the day going. It is always a sluggish start to push yourself to get ready early. 

The motivation to wake up eats up much time.. and you realize the clock is ticking then you get the shot of adrenaline to finish everything to the last minute… everything starts to rush in bathing, eating, preparing the snacks and bags for Ate Raelene, then zoom off to school. 

When the early morning is done, I have to prepare to go to work at 9am. That involves social media postings, replying to appointment requests, and thinking about what to do next.

I do that while feeding Baby Ravi for his morning nap. When the baby falls asleep I prepare my 2nd child Raia Ciel, who is busy tinkering around the playroom and choosing her outfit for the day. 

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Then we go to the clinic. I am lucky to have created my own normal routine of being able to bring my children to work. This has always been my normal ever since.

I finished my Masters Degree in Nursing while bringing along my then months old daughter. I attended trainings, lectures, meetings, and seminars with all of my children.

So at ALIMA, our counsellors bring along their children as well. 

Moms supporting children

My children are well adjusted and are very social. They can entertain themselves while I cater to my clients and brainstorm or be in meetings. Between breaks, we play and talk. 

Raia Cielmy welcomes our clients and gives them their slippers. She makes a big mess with playing but it is an opportunity for her to learn how to make a mess and clean up (many days with a lot of prodding and on some days she likes to show off and get it done with just 1 instruction).

My little baby Ravi just learned how to crawl. So he can already be left on the floor to entertain with his new skill. He doesn’t get anxious with strangers too. Such a natural entertainer.

Most of the time, my 2nd daughter calls for attention especially when she’s bored and when people are complementing the baby or other younger kids. I know she doesn’t mean to hurt her brother.  So I always reaffirm her of my love for her.

Mothers and their children poses as part of a Mom Community

Being a lot on my phone, the baby and the clients, Ciel needs quality face to face time which is hard to catch in the middle of the day. So in slow moments, I listen to her mini plays and intermission numbers.

In the afternoon, I pick up the eldest daughter and bring her to swimming lessons. At the car, I make sure she tells me everything she learned in school, her conversations with her friends and I encourage her to ask me any question.

I love hearing her insights about the world. She asks such difficult questions and such funny realizations “Why Jesus didn’t have a lawyer?” “I don’t want to hurt animals but I can’t help not eating them.” “Why do adults do the wrong things even when they know better?” “Why do you let papa boss you around?” or “Why did Adam and Eve disobey?”

Mom Community Founder speaking on stage

At the end of the draining day, my mind is storming with so much things to do… I look forward to the moments before sleeping where we all cuddle in the bed. Have our mini-shows. Read bedtime stories. 

And when they are finally sleepy, they look for a place for them to cuddle beside me. All 3 fins nooks for them to nestle in and snooze off.

Moreover, I had my fair share of experience with no house help back when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. 

We were always traveling from CDO to Butuan to Tagoloan and I was a full hands-on mom when it comes to cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and everything in between. 

Where everything is on repeat, It was really exhausting.  

Mom Community-Mothers and their babies

The difference now of having help is that I can put my energy into my community work and care work for the kids. My husband has become a better team player. So now I have the enabling environment to serve.

I accept my privilege. The privilege of being secured of my basic needs, and enabled to care for my children and reach my dreams.

So I make sure to take this privilege to make things even better for other moms as well. 

Mom Community poses together with their children

3. As the founder of a Mom Community, can you tell us how did it start? What motivated you to organize such group?

It started back in 2012. I was pregnant and I attended a mall event where they were launching a new product for babywearing. And that wanted me to be the on the go mom. So I vowed to practice that when I give birth. 

Mom Community Founder baby wearing her kid

And so I did. I wore my baby on Day 1 and beyond. I used cloth diapers and saved a lot of money. I  shared it with 2 other friends who I got pregnant with. And they loved it too. 

I attended my Master’s degree classes with my baby along with me and I really felt superb. I wanted other mothers to have this feeling as well. So I wanted to gather moms and teach them about it. 

I didn’t have support from my first health care provider. So I looked for another one who was more supportive.

Then I found Dr. Jessa Sareno who affirmed me that it was a great idea and urged me to make that idea happen. She shared an event for me to attend to be trained as a breastfeeding peer counselor and that was the game-changer. 

I learned about the problems mothers face. That breastfeeding is an amazing practice. And many fail because of the selfish intent of milk companies and just because of misconceptions. 

Many children get sick and die because many mothers are not protected and supported. 

Mom Community Awarding Ceremony

Then I persisted in the vision of creating an enabling environment for families to breastfeed. That means, failing many times and enjoying victorious moments whether big or small.

My motivation? For moms to know of their options and choices. For them to be informed to help make them make decisions based on love and information. For moms to hurdle their struggles with a supportive environment so they can be the best woman for themselves. And so they can be the best woman for their children and their families. 

Once upon a time, I was that mom who is not supported and enabled. I am that woman hindered and judged. I was that mom who wants to do things but think often that I can’t. 

It was an awful awful, awful feeling. I still even have those moments when I say “I can’t do this” but having other moms who cheer you on and tell you about their shitty days too makes you feel you are not so bad after all. Nobody is.

My next motivation is my own children and the other children. I want them to get their best start and best foundation because they deserve it.

Look into the eyes of a little child. Listen to their giggles. Feel their cuddle. 

They deserve the best care and that can be given when their primary caregivers, as their mothers are their best selves. 

Mom Community Recognition by Local Government

4. How do you balance your Mom Life at the same time, organizing events for this community?

As mentioned previously, no balancing. Just surviving. We can’t hold too many plates at once. Some will eventually crash if you try to juggle and balance alone. So you have to have other people helping you out to do it. 


5. Do you feel fulfilled in your role as a mom? What do you think is the most rewarding part?

When my children are sleeping peacefully. Those little breaths and light eyelashes. Them getting magnetized to you. When they want nothing else just mama…. the cuddles, warm hugs. Aaaaahhhh…. the random “I love you Mama you are the best!”

No matter how many bad days and bad decisions we make, these little ones will always hold us as their star; no matter how mad we were at them.

No matter how much we wish to be away from them to do our own thing.  No matter how much we think for everything to be over (to stop the pain, exhaustion, and disappointment). 

These little ones will love us wholeheartedly and unconditionally and they will forgive us again and again. 

Mom Community Founder

6. Leave us a message to all Moms who struggle with Motherhood and those who need support.  How can they connect with you?

Motherhood is a walk in the park. Jurassic Park. There is no other way around it. It is not cupcakes and rainbows. But you have to embrace it. 

Motherhood. Many times we get lost of who we are in between the feedings, laundry, caring and everything. Look in the mirror you may not like what you see.

But try looking at yourself at the view of your child.  You are amazing, you are wonderful, you are everything. 

It doesn’t matter what other people say and think about you. What matters is you and your child. Your intentions and motivations. How you can be your best self.

Fall down. Get back up. Fall down. Get back up. 

Don’t stop persisting. 

Mom Community poses in an event

That is what keeps me going despite the many failures and wrong moves. You win some. You lose many. If you are having a bad day…. Many many many many of us are… 

I pray to God for strength and wisdom. I look at my goals and my whys. I find solutions. I fail. I stay down in the dumps for quite sometime. I complain and whine and have and thoughts about the things that are not going my way. 

I face my failures with embarrassment and disgust of what I did. I slowly stand up. Dust off the muck from the failure then face another day. Ready to fail and ready to make things happen again. 

Mom Community and their children on stage

If you need support join us at Modern Nanays of Mindanao on Facebook or like ALIMA Mother Support Center to schedule your appointment. 

I also want to invite everyone to this year’s INTERNATIONAL BREASTFEEDING AWARENESS MONTH CELEBRATION-the HAKAB NA CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY 2019 Celebration. Please see more event details in our Facebook Page.

During August, we celebrate breastfeeding all over the world.

In the Philippines, at different locations, mothers come together to breastfeed their babies simultaneously for 1 minute. To show support for each other and to show the world breastfeeding is normal.

The event in Cagayan de Oro City will be the coming together of families, health care providers, and the local government to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Mom Community photo

“In the mother’s eyes, her smile, her stroking touch, the child reads, the message: “You are there!”-Adrienne Rich

If you like this post, feel free to check out our previous MomStars of the Month:

A Mom of 5 shares the importance of Faith and Self-Love

MomStar of the Month: keeping strong with Single Motherhood and Chasing Dreams

MomStar of the Month: Empowering Women to Live a Life of Purpose

MomStar of the Month: A Mom of 2 expands Montessori learning at home to her community

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    Mitchelle is a first-time mom and the buzzy Mama of a sweet little man. She's here to connect with other moms, parents or soon to be parents by buzzing positively with Mom & Baby Activities filled with Self-Care Ideas, Family Fun, and Inspiration to help you balance Mom Life and Wellness. Welcome to the Hive-where Mom Life keeps buzzing!

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