Nothing can really prepare anyone from the trials they have yet to face in life, but Jasmine Mendiola is a living proof that no matter how difficult your trials are – if you have the right perspective, you can survive it.
Jasmine Mendiola: The strongest Filipino mother that shaped her own world
Looking back when she had her first child, Jasmine was fresh out of college – a whole life ahead of her. She had big dreams and a longing for a career that would later shape her future.
“Being a single mom meant that I had to humble myself and accept that I will have to ask for help from my family on the get-go. The cliché goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,‘” Jasmine said. “Not having a co-parent when I had Mio at such a young age, fresh out of college and yet to make, let alone find a career for myself that will shape my future and this tiny human was already very daunting in itself.”
The life-changing perspective that kept her going
“I remember feeling very entitled to things I didn’t have, thinking that I deserved so much more because I was different from other Moms. And then when cancer happened to Mio, it was like a smack in the head,” Jasmine shared. “I met so many other families who had humble means and more challenging situations, while here we were, me and Mio, surrounded by the support of our family and friends, and then strangers.”
Mio, her son, shares that every time they went to the hospital for his checkups and chemotherapy, his mom would always be there to hold his hand for the big injections and comfort him.
“Being a single Mom and having an entire “village” of my own for Mio, precisely because I was a single Mom gave me a perspective of my life that in spite of it, my glass was actually more than half full, rather than half empty like how I used to think,” Jasmine said.
“Ever since then, the struggle of everyday chaos and my inner demons have been overcome by a wash of extreme gratitude and beats the negativity that comes our way.”
The power of becoming a mother
“I never thought I’d be a mother again after Mio. When I met my partner now and we decided to have children together, my greatest fear was that, ‘how will I be able to love someone else the way that I love my only child for 10 years?‘ Mio is my whole life. It was just him and me for the longest time.”
“And then when my daughter Roux was born, my heart grew. I never thought it was possible, but it did.”
“And when Paco was born 8 months ago, I felt like I had been infused with superpowers that keep me up all day and all night, powering through work and breastfeeding at night.”
The best thing about being a mother
“It drives me crazy on so many days and it’s so hard to think up of something good about being a mother when you’re overwhelmed by teenage hormones, a toddler screaming or a baby you can’t put down and your own life and happiness feel like it’s on pause.”
“But I learned that parenting is nature’s way of fostering kindness in people. It transforms our kind of species into compassionate humans, apparently capable of nurturing and caring for other people outside of themselves without expecting anything in return.”
“The love of a parent is over-flowing, bottomless and endless. And motherhood, in it’s most deformed physical state is a testament to how our bodies demonstrate that humanity.”
Shortly after having her youngest son, Jasmine underwent an emergency hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove parts (or all) of the uterus.
“Women’s bodies change so much throughout the process of child-bearing, child-rearing and it’s never the same. No matter how fit and toned we strive our bodies to be afterward, the strength required by our bodies after all that motherhood puts us through shapes us differently for the rest of our adult lives.”
“My body post-hysterectomy is a boiling water of post-partum hormones and depleted adrenaline so aside from my physical constraints, I have so many feelings I am battling with.” Jasmine shared. “Overcoming each and every one of them takes so much grit and at the same time, a level of humility and a lot of patience with myself. Having to balance a sense of determination that borders on arrogance, and find that a huge amount of overcoming them involved having to forgive myself for my own short-comings and striving to always be kind to others sort of make me cuckoo!”
“So my mold and foundation had become so malleable that it can be anything I set my mind and heart to, but never strong enough to hold anything without praying hard.”
Despite the many trials she had to face, Jasmine is an unstoppable, empowering woman. She continuously shapes her life in the way she knows best. Now, Jasmine is a work-from-home mom, bridal makeup expert, and a style and image consultant.
“As a young mother who has gone through and survived difficult life experiences, I want to be able to encourage other women to never let other people’s perceptions get in the way of them pursuing their passions.”
“Every mom, young or old, is strong. So just keep going. Do what makes you happy because a happy Mom is a powerful Mom. You can do not just anything but everything you need to do for your family.”
“I’m proud to be part of Levi’s #IShapeMyWorld campaign for their 300 Shaping Jeans because it’s an initiative that motivates women to break stereotypes and achieve their dreams and wearing them makes me move and feel good about my body and that helps me stay strong through the everyday challenges of being a mother.”
For mother’s day, we want to celebrate the unconditional love and support of our mothers.
Mio, who has had his mother by his side throughout his journey in surviving Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, wants to say something to her for mother’s day:
“I don’t think I can say thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me. The things you’ve done for me are just so amazing. And the same thing goes for saying sorry. I hope you know that despite me not showing it as much, I love and care for you. Even more than how much you think I do. Happy Mother’s Day!”