On the surface it is easy to identify the similarities between celebrity moms Lotlot de Leon and Majorie Barretto.
For one, they both have beautiful daughters who are making their own names in show business—de Leon is an ever-supportive mother to GMA 7 primetime leading lady Janine Gutierrez while Barretto is a proud mom to one of ABS-CBN’s prized young stars, Julia Barretto.
Another similitude between the two is that they are raising four children each. The 45-year-old de Leon’s brood is comprised of Janine, Jessica, Maxine, and Diego from her 19-year marriage to former husband and actor Ramon Christopher.
The 41-year old Barretto, on the other hand, has Dani (her eldest daughter with actor Kier Legazpi), Julia, Claudia, and Leon (her children with ex-husband Dennis Padilla).
Digging deeper and chronicling their “open book lives,” one would also notice that the two actresses—who both hail from showbiz clans—have similarly headed their sizeable broods as single parents.
Despite having one too many commonalities, these extraordinary mothers share one more trait—this time not only with each other, but also with almost, if not all, mothers around the world—which is their soft spot for their beautiful children.
Challenges and fulfillments
For de Leon, who had her first child at age 19, being a working mom during her children’s formative years had been a tough challenge.
“I would tell them, ‘Kailangan ni mama magtrabaho.’ No choice, as much as I wanted to be with them all the time, I explained that mom needed to work,” de Leon told The Manila Times during Sofitel’s Mother’s Day special launch.
The actress also shared that they would have “moments” whenever she would try to leave the house.
“Naiintindihan naman nila kasi growing up, parang nakasanayan na rin nila. But of course when they were kids, it was kinda hard kasi nakahawak yan sa palda mo at sasabihin, ‘Mama don’t leave,’” de Leon said, adding her kids would also go through confusing moments, most especially when they would see her on television while she was carrying them in her arms.
“When they were small, they would be crying and they would look at me and then look at the TV and as if to ask, ‘Bakit dalawa yung mama ko kasi yung isa nasa TV, yung isa karga ako,’” de Leon added laughing.
To make up for her absence during her workdays, de Leon said she always made sure to free either her Saturday or Sunday for her children.
“We always eat out kasi my children and I, nasanay ko sila na every weekend, I would usually just take them out, watch a movie, and then eat. That’s our perfect bonding,” Superstar Nora Aunor’s adopted daughter noted.
Asked what she considers the best part of being a mother is, she easily replied, “Just watching your children grow up to be good people—I think that’s the best part of being a mom. Yun yung parang pinaka-award mo na you did a good job, na kahit na hindi ka perpekto pero you were able to raise good people.”
For Barretto the challenge in raising millennial children becomes tougher with the advent of technology.
“My children are very active on social media so one challenge would be that they are open to all these judgments and [online]bashing, and the rest of it. With this, I would tell them to go with the times, and lawakan natin yung pasensya natin sa mga tao,” Barretto, whose four children amass more than 3 million Instgram followers combined, related.
“Another challenge is getting them together with no phones. You know, one good dinner with no phones but I’m also guilty with that,” Barretto admitted with a laugh.
Having teenagers and young adults for children, Barretto said she is at the stage of motherhood where she is more relaxed. “I like them better grown up. When I old see pictures, I go ‘They are so cute,’ but I think I am a more relaxed and happier mom now that they are older, na barkada na ang tingin nila sa akin.”
But while she’s happy being treated by her children as a close confidante, Barretto clarified that she still sets limits in her relationship with her children.
“I am a modern mom, and yes I am their friend but I told them I want to be respected as a mother. I always tell them, ‘You can have one million friends but you can only have one mom.’ So, kailangan their manners and respect sa akin and the obedience is still there. I think I’m pretty modern pero sa values, I’m still traditional,” Barretto shared.
And traditional she truly is as Barretto finally shared how they celebrate Mother’s Day annually.
“We’re together but my kids still write me letters. They give me gifts, and go by the traditional way of celebrating Mother’s Day. They give me that day. And then we celebrate the rest of it with my siblings and then my parents, and I never get tired of it year after year.”