Examples of Conscious Parenting
A working mom of two, Aliw Garcia Pablo shares how her fears and hopes keep her present for her children and allow her to be a conscious parent.
Aliw Pablo: You know, I’m not gonna lie. There will be seasons where you just don’t feel connected.
Bernie Rosquites: Right.
Aliw Pablo: You know, but that’s like in any relationship, right?
Bernie Rosquites: Yeah, you have to constantly work at it. You have to work at it.
Aliw Pablo: Yeah, you’ll have your hills and valleys and I think it is a constant work in progress.
Bernie Rosquites: Parenting isn’t easy. It’s challenging and frustrating, but it’s also rewarding and inspiring. We just need a few reminders. Parents, dads, mamas, you’re not alone. Let’s do this parenting thing together. I’m Bernie Rosquites.
Jewell Buenavista: And I’m Jewell Buenavista. We are the tired but inspired moms. And you’re listening to the Faith and Family Podcast, a Christian family community that aims to promote Christian values for every phase of your family life. Have you ever had those days where you just feel like you’re not doing a good job as a mom?
Bernie: I’m going to raise my hand on that one and that was yesterday. I really felt like I just really was not doing my best as a mom. Yesterday, it was just during my son’s distance learning. And I was losing my patience with Jojo, because I was trying to help him with his math. But I was getting so frustrated to the point where he just checked out. And I think he cried a little bit. So…
Bernie: And I felt bad. Because I’m like, *gasp* you know, and here I am, I’m supposed to be guiding him and trying to be patient and trying to like, you know, be there for him as he’s trying to learn. And here’s me. “What are you doing? You have to borrow and then carry over. Borrow. Borrow the one, carry the one.” I was doing all that and it just got to the point where he looked at me, and just from not just his eyes, but just his whole demeanor of his body, you can just tell he checked out, like his body just kind of sunk. And then he tried to do his homework, he wasn’t even holding the pencil right. He was barely holding it with two fingers. And I felt horrible. It’s over now, you know.
Jewel: I feel you. Well, I have a million, I feel like I’m constantly having mom fails. Well for me, I think I purposely try to forget my mom fails, so I don’t feel guilty every day.
Bernie: Right. Right.
Jewel: So, but there was one that I do remember, I mean, this was when the kids were still back in school. There are many times that I get really busy, especially in the morning, that I don’t get to make my kids lunches for school. So I tell them, you know, pack your own lunches, you know, there’s stuff there, right. They know how to make stuff. You know so there was a day that I couldn’t pack his lunch, and then Hayden’s teacher randomly checked to see what he had for lunch.
Bernie: Oh no…
Jewel: So of course, what does he pack? All chips. All chips available in our pantry. That’s what he packs. So I definitely win mom of the year award for that one.
Jewel: So when things aren’t going the right way. I always look to other moms in my village. And I find myself doing that often to look for some help and comfort. And so I wanted to bring on one of the moms I look up to in life.
Jewel: Aliw Garcia Pablo. I know she’s in your circle too Bernie, since we grew up in a very close knit church community. I have known her for I don’t know at least 15 years. She was actually a sponsor at my wedding. And our families always get together all the time. She’s a dedicated working mom, she’s a supervising producer at INC Media. And she just recently survived the teenage years. But she’s not out of the woods yet. She still has one teenager left.
Bernie: I can definitely see why Aliw is one of your picks. You know, reason being, her and her family have gone through many, many challenges, and yet, she’s managed to stay focused. And how she’s done that I don’t know, you know, but you know, and the reason why I say this because her husband Jason, was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy in 2000. Then had a [heart] transplant in 2008. And then in 2016, Jason needed new kidneys and guess who was the donor? Guess y’all, everybody guess on my listeners out there, guess? Aliw. All right.
Bernie: That’s amazing. I mean, I’m sure Jason needs a lot of things but he was like that kidney girl, I need that kidney. But, you know, seriously, that’s a lot of challenges. But through all that, she manages to stay afloat. How does she do it? How?
Jewel: Well, this is a reason why she’s definitely one of my favorite moms to look up to. And guess what, let’s ask her right now she’s on with us. Aliw?
Aliw Pablo: Hey moms! Hey Bernie! Hey Jewel!
Aliw: Hey Jewel!
Aliw: Oh my gosh, I feel like we’re just going. I go way back with the both of you and it’s just really fun.
Jewel: Yes. You know, as Bernie was saying all of that I can remember every single part of that journey and to be able to witness it and just how you, you’ve carried yourself. I mean, I admire you so much. So thanks for joining us. And one of those things that I learned from you was to ask my children, what are you thankful for? I mean, I remember when your son, Zay Zay, I think he was like four or five years old. And when we would visit you, he’d be like, I forgot what he called my husband, Harmony.
Aliw: Uncle Harvey. He couldn’t say ━
Jewel: It was that, he was like, “Uncle Harvey, we’re thankful for?” And I just thought, I didn’t have kids at the time, and I just thought that was so awesome. That he at a young age, was constantly thinking about, you know, what are you thankful for? And that’s something that you’ve really instilled in your kids. It’s every day, and it’s so simple, but it’s made a tremendous impact on my children, because I do the same with my kids now on a daily basis.
Aliw: You know, that’s why we started the whole, “What are you thankful for?” Because at that time, you know, we wanted them to focus, really make the effort to focus on finding the good in the everyday. You know, having gone through all of the medical issues we’ve gone through with their dad being sick, and all those years of lots of prayers and lots of begging God on our knees, begging for mercy, begging for miracles. You know, Jason and I are both thankful because we believe that that really set up a great foundation for their faith, a great foundation of who God is in their life.
Jewel: You’re definitely one of the moms I look up to, you’re one of my favorites. But I know things aren’t perfect. You must have some parenting fails too, right? Please share some of them.
Aliw: Yes. Oh my goodness. How long is this podcast? I think Alison must have been, gosh, she was a pre-teen, so maybe 11, 12 [years old]. We were at Old Navy. And, you know, she was always a healthy girl. So I remember we were trying to look for jeans, because it was before the start of the year for school. And we couldn’t find a pair that fit. Just going one size up, wasn’t cutting it anymore. You know?
Aliw: And I kept saying, “Okay, what about this? These are stretchy jeans. These are…” You know, I just kept forcing, forcing. And she just says, “I don’t want to try on any more clothes mom. Can we just go home?”
Bernie: Aww, my gosh…
Aliw: “Can we just go home?” And I said, “Are you sure?” But you know, I was still trying. And she was crying. She was just in tears. And then we left the store. And we went home and we never talked about it. I didn’t know what to say.
Jewel: I want to cry just thinking of her!
Aliw: I told you this was an epic fail! She was now 16,17 [years old] you know, and this was years later. I remember her telling me about it. And she’s crying and we’re standing in the family room. And I started crying. And I said “I’m so sorry. I never talked to you about that. I’m sorry about how I reacted. I’m sorry, I didn’t comfort you. I’m sorry. I didn’t do the right thing.” And I didn’t know how.
Aliw: And these are the types of things you know, I think as a mother, you don’t have manuals for. You know, you can learn how to change a diaper. You can learn what to do when they’re sick and all of that, but this kind of stuff man, you are unprepared. And she actually wrote a blog about it, you know for incmedia.org but we’ve talked about it since. The blog is titled “The Load I Carry,” I think but you know, that is one of those, I have many, but that was one of those moments where that is not a proud mommy moment for me. So now she’s 20 [years old]. Okay. Now she’s 20 and I really believe in ━ you can still make up for mistakes.
Bernie: That’s true.
Aliw: And I tell my kids this all the time. Your mistakes don’t define you.
Bernie: But you know, that’s amazing. And you’re a minister’s daughter, as a minister’s daughter, what advice has your dad, Brother Ruben Garcia, who I will have to say, I will say this. About your dad. My parents called on your dad, when I was dating somebody and we were together ━
Aliw: No way!
Bernie: Wait, yeah, he came to the house girl. My parents called on him because this person I was dating. I was dating him for I think, almost two years. And you know, marriage was like, I could see it.
Jewel: Right there.
Bernie: Right there. And it did not happen. And it ended not very well, and my parents didn’t know how to handle. So one night, I didn’t even know he was coming and your father, I just remember the love and care and sincerity in his words, you know, as he helped comfort me because my parents were like, I don’t know what to ― she’s not eating. So you know, and then he sits down next to me and my parents kind of like kind of disappeared into the kitchen, you know. And then he opened up the Bible, and he just said these words, and after that I’m like, I’m cool. I’m good. I’m ready to move on. And I’ll never forget that day.
Jewel: Wow, I never knew that!
Bernie: Yeah, that meant a lot to me. You know, because at that time, my parents didn’t know what to say or what to do, you know. But your dad, what advice has your dad given you to become a good Christian mom?
Aliw: So one of the things is always said to me ― You know, I started working for the Church before I had kids, and I, you know, at that time, we were, you know, INC Media, there was only like, a handful of us. So I felt like we were starting, I always say like, I was raising two sets of kids, you know, my kids, and then the office. And, you know, we were starting and so, you know, there were really some challenging times. But there was one thing he said to me that stuck with me, he said, you know, as a producer, you know, “Whatever you do. Anyone can do that, anyone can do your job. But your children, they only have one mother.” So that stuck with me. And that no matter how busy I was, no matter if I was traveling somewhere, I always had to figure out, it was up to me, had to figure out a way to still spend quality time or let my kids know that they mattered. And one of the things that, you know, he always told me too, is don’t make God your babysitter. And you know what I mean by this, I think what he meant by it is that, you know, we can pray that God takes care of our children, we can pray that God help us in raising them to do the right thing. But we as parents, we also have to put in the work. We have to couple our prayer always with action, with works.
Jewel: You know, I want to go back to what you said earlier Aliw. That someone else can do your job, but no one else can be a mom. You know, one thing that I really admire about you, because it doesn’t mean that you stop working, right? Because we there’s a lot of moms that need to work to help, you know, their spouse in the family affairs. But why I admire you, is what I recognize. And I think what I learned from you is the importance of conscious parenting. You know, so in the times that what I’m hearing is, even though you get home maybe late at times as tired as you are, you’ll you’ll take the time to do something very intentional and it counts. You know, so how do you practice conscious parenting? I know some parents think that, okay, it’s family hour, let’s watch some TV and then ask a few questions. And then sometimes they think, that’s it. I put my time in.
Bernie: Yes girl.
Jewel: You know, you’re constantly asking your kids questions, sometimes even hard questions.
Aliw: Yeah! Which they’re like, “Mom, come on. Can we just get Taco Bell?” I mean, yeah, it’s true. It’s like, “Why do you keep asking such deep questions?” Yeah. You know, I want to get in their heads.
Aliw: And I always tell them, I said, “My biggest fear one, one of my biggest fears is that, realizing that I never knew who you guys were to begin with.” Because they’re one way, at home.
Bernie: And another, I’m scared.
Jewel: And that happens, you know, just you saying that. Yeah, I can ― I know of people, and it’s a scary thought.
Aliw: Yeah. And so that is my biggest fear. And so I want to know what’s in their heads and I, whether it’s good thoughts, bad thoughts, I want to know. So these fears, these apprehensions, it really pushes us to work harder, it pushes us to be more aware and more conscious, it pushes us to have these conversations with them, to ask them questions. And it pushes us to pray harder, and to work harder, so that they can grow up to be, you know, good Christians, and who are always thinking about not just of themselves, but you know, everything they do having purpose and the purpose always being how to serve God better, and how to make God happy. It is a constant work in progress. But I think, you know, car rides are one of the ― well now we don’t really go out much anymore. But you know, I think finding those pockets of being together, uninterrupted, not watching TV or whatever, but finding ways to connect.
Bernie: Yeah, it is.
Jewel: And communicate.
Aliw: And communicate and just, you know, like right now, me and Alison, we’re really into KDramas. So that’s our Korean dramas, you know, that’s our jam right now. That’s how we’re connecting. And I think as our kids get older, we just have to keep finding the different ways. And you know, I’m not gonna lie, there will be seasons where you just don’t feel connected.
Bernie Rosquites: Right.
Aliw Pablo: You know, but that’s like in any relationship, right?
Bernie Rosquites: Yeah, you have to constantly work at it. You have to work at it.
Aliw Pablo: Yeah, you’ll have your hills and valleys. And I think, you know, when they’re children, when they’re kids, it’s easier because they will tell you, like they have no sensor in their heads, right? They will tell you everything they’re thinking and feeling. And you’re like, “Can you just please be quiet for two minutes,” right? Because they’re just constantly telling you their thoughts. And then you get to a phase where they’re like, not saying anything.
Bernie: I think about that all the time, you know, because you know, when my son, he talks a lot, he tells stories, you know, and all that. And there are times I’m just like, “Just for two seconds,” but then I remind myself, that there’s going to be one day, where, you know, I don’t really feel like talking to moms, you know, I don’t feel like telling her my feelings. Because for my son and I, like where we find our moments is, you know, we walk my neighborhood, we walk, and, and it’s uninterrupted, like you said, either car, like, those little things, and we walk. And while we’re walking, you know, that’s where, you know, just, we feel comfortable. And he just tells me, and he lets me know, and he lets me know all his feelings. And he always starts off with, “Mom, you know, I know, I’m not supposed to say this, or I know I’m not supposed to think this,” And I was telling him, I said, “You know, just say whatever you feel. I would rather have you just say it, and just be real with me. Because you know, I’ve always been real with you.” And whether it makes me feel uncomfortable or not, you know, that’s what screaming into my pillow later on. But, you know, you’re absolutely right on that, is finding those pockets, those little uninterrupted moments.
Aliw: And, as a wife, you know, it’s knowing that, you know, with how busy my life is, or with all of that, you know, as especially with this quarantine, right? There’s so many studies that show that women. like the demands on motherhood and on mothers and wives and working women have just skyrocketed. You know, and it’s just being able to do everything that’s expected of you, by God and by your husband and by your kids. And just being able to live up to those expectations and to the best that you can and and never taking you know any single day, any single moment for granted because tomorrow is never promised.
Jewel: Well, such great reminders to leave. Thank you for being on with us today Aliw. But I just wanted to really take this time, I admire you, I appreciate you. You’ve taught me so much. I’m a mother today. And a lot of the things that you’ve ever implemented on your kids, I definitely have implemented with mine. And I feel so blessed to be around you. So hopefully some of our listeners can learn a few things from this discussion.
Aliw: Thank you so much, you guys for having me on. This was really fun. And you know, I just want to say that I’ve seen you both with your kids. Jewel, I’ve seen you. I’ve seen your kids ever since they were born. Jasmine, Hayden, and Hudson and Bernie, I’ve seen you with Jojo. And I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that what a great job you both are doing as moms.
Bernie: Absolutely. And I absolutely appreciate you being with us today too. I learned a lot. It was a lot of reminders too as well, this, I learned so much today. Thank you for listening to this episode of Faith and Family. If you enjoy listening to us talk, laugh, cry, build each other up. You can download more on Google Podcasts. IHeart Radio and Apple Podcasts under Faith and Family. Please leave us a review or just say hello. Take care everyone and let’s continue to stay safe.