Christiana Collings-Canlas on the Simple Things During Life in Lockdown
Seeing life happen through her daughter’s eyes and watching her learn new things is one of Christiana Collings-Canlas’ biggest fulfilments.
With her fresh face and a charm that radiates even through a computer screen as we held our interview via Zoom, it’s easy to see why Christiana Collings-Canlas has gained over 360,000 followers (and counting) on Instagram. She’s grounded and isn’t afraid to show her authentic self. She shares her dreams and her fears, and her love for family and traveling. She loves peppering her feed with posts of her adorable daughter, Cami, too!
In our spotlight story on the half-Filipina, half-Brit, we talked about how it’s like being a first-time mom to a toddler while dealing with the ongoing pandemic, and the most important things she’s learned from being a mom.
Raising Her Mini-Me
It’s evident how crazy in love Christiana is with her daughter, who looks just like her. Since the beginning of the lockdown, she admits that it wasn’t difficult for her family to adjust to a work-from-home setup. It was something they’ve been doing ever since. Christiana tells us as well that because this is the first time Cami is attending school, it wasn’t hard for her daughter to adjust to an online environment. A mix of work, classes, and quality time fill their days.
“I usually wake up at 6 or 7 in the morning to do my work. Cami wakes up later since her school starts at around 12. When I’m done with my work, and while waiting for her, I read my book or I watch Netflix. Cami has her morning routine before attending school. And after that, we have lunch. Then we play! She also has a bit of iPad time if her dad and I are working before dinner.”
Though Cami is an only child, Christiana is grateful that she lives near her sister and that her daughter gets to interact with her cousins. But at home, Christiana beams with pride that Cami is independent and knows how to keep herself entertained.
“Just give her a set of crayons and paper, and she’ll be happy. Her dad and I would take turns playing with her. But if we’re both busy, she can be on her own. She’s four years old now and is more independent. You can let her be and not be so worried.”
“She has a big imagination. You can just leave it up to her, and she will always find a thing to do or something to play with. She talks to her cousins online. She has her own Messenger Kids and she will talk to anyone in our family.”
Staying Mentally Healthy During This Time
While Christiana enjoys spending her days with her husband, Mark, and their daughter, she practices self-care to keep herself mentally healthy during this time. “I definitely limit my news intake. That’s my number one. If it’s getting too much, I back away from it and just enjoy my time at home.”
“I think I appreciate being at home more now. Before the pandemic, I was always out. But now, I’m forced to stay inside the house and I found that I like it. I like spending time with my daughter and my husband. I still get to talk to my friends through text, Viber, or FaceTime. And it’s nice that they’re also there for me. A big part of that is my sister. We always still see each other since we live near each other.”
“Even though I grew up with my family, for some reason this pandemic made us even closer. We like renting Airbnbs so all of us can be together. I guess because the pandemic makes you realize how uncertain things are. And you kind of want to hold on to everyone. Every night, I pray that my family stays healthy.”
Christiana Collings-Canlas On Motherhood and Parenting
When it comes to parenting her daughter, Christiana thinks her style is pretty gentle. “I prioritize being empathetic to Cami and when I get mad, I don’t hit her. I think that’s why Cami never learned how to hit other kids. Because we never showed that. I find that whatever my husband and I do or practice, she will copy.”
“That’s why we think that she is able to eat vegetables and do things that are good for her because she sees her dad and me doing it also. She’s smart. Children are very smart. They understand right away when you show or explain things properly to their level.”
If there’s one thing that Christiana learned from being a first-time mom, it’s having patience. “Before Cami, I was living a fast-paced life. I was always on the go, always traveling. I’d always go out with friends. But when I had her, I was able to enjoy everything fully. When you deal with children, you need to have a lot of patience. And I found that doing literally nothing the whole day with her—I’m happy with that.”
As a mom to a 4-year-old, Christiana advises expectant and first-time moms that it’s normal to feel mom guilt. “You always want to do everything for your kids, but you feel like you’re not doing enough.”
“Don’t be consumed by it. If you need to rest, rest. If you have to ask for help, ask for help. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Give yourself time to fully heal physically and emotionally after giving birth. And just do the best that you can. Don’t listen to other people. Just get the positives and block off the negatives. It’s your baby, it’s your body, and it’s your family. You get to decide what to do with those aspects of your life.
Shifting her content from fashion and lifestyle to suddenly being a mom came naturally for her. “I think I’m pretty much the same person as I was before. It’s just that I’m a mom now. It just added, but nothing really changed. I always just bring Cami everywhere with me. Being a mom is just another part of me. My life became bigger and more meaningful with Cami around. Seeing life happen through her eyes, watching her learning new things—that’s my joy and fulfillment.”
Words GRETCHEN GATAN FRAGADA
Photography ED SIMON
Styling SIYA DARYANI & ROSHNI MIRPURI for CLOSET CULTURE
Makeup TAMARA PINEDA for NARS PH
Hairstyling JOSEPH FANTONE for COLORBAR PH
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ