When I moved here almost 11 years ago, I felt like a fish outta water.
I didn’t know how things were done. Whether it was registering for school, figuring out where to buy certain comfort foods, or even getting packages that my friends delivered and had to be picked up at the post office, these were all things that I had to learn as I went along.
Living in a foreign country meant adapting to the culture. To the people. To the way things were done and even how I parented my children.
One thing I can say, is that the moment I found the Mommy Mundo Expo Mom (and later Expo Kid, and Expo Dad) my life became just a little bit easier.
Expo Mom was a gift from the Mother of all Mommas, Janice Villanueva. She had the idea to put all these mom centered vendors and businesses together so that she could make it easier for moms like me, who were constantly looking for things to make motherhood less taxing.
Products for the kids, toys, cute hand made barrettes for baby girls, clothes, earth friendly items, and anything else that would be new and exciting to purchase when you are pregnant or just had a baby would all be made available in one fail swoop.
Expo Mom was like my one stop shop for all the things I looked for while Diego was a toddler, and for all the things I needed once I found out I was pregnant with Gelli.
When Gelli was born, I (AGAIN) felt like a fish outta water. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, or who to call. The feeling was different, because the apprehension came from the fact that Gelli had Down Syndrome. I knew people with Down Syndrome. I just didn’t know how to raise a baby with Down Syndrome.
Of course, I know now, there is not much that changes in the way of parenting a child with Down Syndrome, save for the fact that we just have to pay extra special close attention to the milestones we might not have paid attention to before.
BUT the one thing that does ring true is the saying that “It takes a village.” This saying just doesn’t stand true for the people who will support my children as they grow up. This saying is important for the support network of mothers and women who I surround myself with as well.
Those are women who I have met along the way, with the birth of each of my children. Most especially, the women I have met through the birth of Gelli.
Betty and Neva are part of my net that involves an extra chromosome. I met each of them because of an extra chromosome. And for this I am grateful.
Janice asked me recently, if I was to honor two moms who would they be? These two. They are two of “my people.” They are there for me and I hope that they can say I am part of THEIR net too.
In honor of Expo Mom’s 10th year, Janice has brought together a bunch of different women. All supporting one another in all different ways. Through parenting. Through business. Through sisterhood. And yes, even through (or most especially through) an extra chromosome.
Women (mothers) are such incredibly faceted individuals who not only balance the needs of their families, but as you and I both know, sometimes we need the help of our friends. Other women. People who get it. People who get us.
I am so incredibly honored to be included amongst the roster of amazing women who will be sharing parts of our stories on stage at Expo Mom this weekend. Expo Mom will kick off their 8 city tour of the country offering mommas all over the Philippines the very best of goods, services, and activities that we want, not just for ourselves, but also for our children this weekend in the Glorietta Activity Center, in Makati.
You will find interactive exhibits, a shopping bazaar, and onstage activities all supporting the four pillars of Mommy Mundo’s motherhood movement. Achieving a healthy pregnancy, learning more about breastfeeding, active and mindful parenting, and mompreneurship all focus on taking care of our families in the highest and best way possible as mothers.
Neva, Betty, and I will take the stage on Saturday at 1:30. Please do stop by at that time, if you would like to learn more about Down Syndrome and the support organizations we are all involved in. Or make time to just stop by and say hi 🙂
During each of the 8 stops in Expo Mom, please take advantage of connecting with other mommas, bring your tribe, your net, your crew, post on social media, empower other mommas to share their stories and uplift one another. If you tag your story on #TeamMom from now until November, you will have a chance to win an appliance showcase from Electrolux, a vacation in Tagaytay, or even Taiwan!
Here’s my Team Mom. Share yours with me too?
May 5-7 EXPO MOM KICKOFF Glorietta, Makati
June 17 EXPO MOM CEBU Ayala Center Cebu
June 24 EXPO MOM NEGROS North Point Mall
July 2 EXPO MOM SOUTH Alabang Town Center
July 15-17 EXPO MOM NORTH Trinoma
September 2 EXPO MOM DAVAO Abreeza Mall
October 21 EXPO MOM CDO Centrio Mall
November 10-12 EXPO MOM HOLIDAY Glorietta, Makati
All photos in this post were taken by The Picture Company