Mikaela Lagdameo: Rediscovering Motherhood and Self-Love
From co-parenting her kids to starting a new business, and more, Mika Lagdameo reveals how a shift in perspective has helped her rediscover her “self.”
Mika Lagdameo’s motherhood journey can be likened to the ever-changing seasons—a cyclical nature that undergoes phases of growth, challenges, and renewal.
The spring of motherhood is represented by Mika’s firstborn Noelle, who is now joined by her brothers Tyler and Maxen. Summer—a thriving season—is represented by her success in her career as an entrepreneur and model, which she juggles with the love and support she gives her children as they grow. On the other hand, the transformative Autumn of her journey was when she began to rediscover herself and learn to put her well-being first.
And finally, the Winter of her time. Having the chance to reflect inwardly, she looks back at 2023—a year where she experienced sadness and uncertainty, which have now shifted into newfound inspiration and hope.
Now at the cyclical point of her journey, all thanks to a shift in perspective and inwardly healing from past scars, Mika is now ready to face the new year as a new person.
New year, new her
In an intimate interview with Modern Parenting, Mika candidly admits that she was at a low point in her life last year. “I was really sad,” she begins. “I couldn’t see what was ahead of me. I was literally ‘living one day at a time.’ And I never knew what that [meant until] I was actually in it.”
“But now it’s like, I have so much to look forward to and I’m so inspired,” she continues. “It’s like a new life is ahead of me. I’m excited about life now. I’m really looking forward to seeing where each of my kids are going. That’s a new chapter for all of us.”
Having reached this point in her life, however, took “a lot of healing and really looking inward.” But more than that, she admits that the fast-paced nature didn’t allow her time to “sit down and be quiet and think of what I wanted in my life.”
“I had a lot of time alone and it really allowed me to get to know myself more and just really reflect,” Mika admits: “What is life all about? What do you want to achieve? What do you want to do?”
“And now is the time to do it! I really think that it’s never too late. I’m turning 40 next year, so it’s a big deal. But even so, there’s just so much I can do. I feel like my life is just about to begin.”
This meant learning to choose herself—to become more than just a mother. The year was about rediscovering her sense of self and she was ready to embrace that new season in her life.
“I think that as moms, we really need to think of our own well-being,” she declares. “Who’s going to take care of us if we don’t take care of ourselves? And I really think it starts there. It doesn’t mean that you spend five hours taking care of yourself every day. Even just 30 minutes or a few minutes to compose yourself so you can think good thoughts and just have time to grieve is enough. And then, you could go on with your day.”
Bouncing back, stronger than ever
Motherhood can cause a shift in priorities, as the overall welfare of children takes precedence. Having experienced this firsthand, Mika knows for a fact that it has caused her to lose her sense of self—like most mothers.
“I really think that that’s why a lot of moms go into depression. Because they get so caught up with the things they have to do and some have no choice,” she muses. “But in the end, it’s so important to still be connected to who you really are.”
And this took a lot of learning. Having been a first-time mom at the young age of 18, the years of motherhood have taught her many things—shaping her into a very different person from back then.
“I used to be so afraid to speak out. I couldn’t express myself. I couldn’t express how I felt in words—I would always shut down,” she says candidly. “But now, I’ve learned to come out of my shell and really just be true to myself.”
She adds, “There’s no need to prove myself to anyone.”
But overall, it is through embracing imperfections that Mika was able to bounce back, stronger than ever. “Even in the midst of, you know, imperfections, there’s so much you can learn from it. And there’s so much growth that can happen. I really learned to embrace even the hard stuff.”
“Before, going through the ‘hard stuff’ was a constant battle. Like I always tried to wrestle with it and avoid it,” she admits. “But I realize now to just go through it. Somehow, it makes everything easier. It’s more bearable, and before you know it, it’s over.”
The world is no stranger to the concept of co-parenting—even more so about how Mika and the father of her children co-parent. But there is more to this complex concept than meets the eye and Mika is candid about sharing how she handles hers.
“It took a lot of adjustment and trial and error,” Mika says of her arrangement. “We really didn’t have the answers and we still don’t. We didn’t know what was right. Because in co-parenting, there’s so much emotions involved.”
But both parents agreed on one thing. “We both wanted the best for kids—nothing else.”
For one thing, it meant putting aside all their differences and emotions. “You still have to show up and be there for your kids,” she says simply. “We’ve made mistakes, but I feel like parents really should be aware of somehow protecting them from your own personal issues.”
In finding the right co-parenting rhythm, Mika has learned to put her kids first. “Just focus on what’s best for them, regardless of how you feel—regardless of who’s right or who’s wrong. If you think of them, everything just falls into place.”
“Daddy will always be your daddy, and Mommy will always be your mommy—no one else. And we love you. That’s it. It’s something that we will say repeatedly.”
Putting her kids first
In her co-parenting journey, Mika realized that it was not a competition—nor was it a chance to one-up the other parent. What mattered most was her kids’ happiness, which meant giving them the freedom to set the tone for their arrangement.
“I feel like we just work around the kids,” Mika explains. “A schedule didn’t work for us before because it was just so hard. Like how do you balance everything when there’s emotions involved?”
What’s more, she learned that co-parenting did not have a one-size-fits-all approach. “There’s no right or wrong way. You find what works best for your time. And you learn along the way,” she opines.
Simply put, this meant that “The best way to do it is to listen to each other, communicate, and find what works.”
Welcoming new opportunities
Motherhood is more than what makes up Mika Lagdameo’s identity, as she too is an entrepreneur. In a year that’s brimming with possibilities, she collaborated with Atelier 818 for a jewelry collection and launched her new business: a skincare brand called Beauty Re/Store.
“Korean skincare is just the best! It’s effective and it’s very affordable,” she enthuses. “The feedback has been great and also, I wouldn’t want to share something that I don’t believe in.”
“Because of everything I’ve been through, I really have a heart and passion for that,” she continues. “I just want to empower women and really encourage them that there is so much that they could offer in this world. That they could be amazing moms, amazing businesswomen, and just amazing individuals.”
Living in the moment
If Mika could turn back time, would she have done things differently?
Her answer was simple and surprising. “You know, it’s so funny. I have no regrets at all. I look at my life and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
“I became a mom at 18, but I wouldn’t change that because it made me who I am today,” Mika goes on to add. “I wouldn’t have been able to adapt to things the way I did if things didn’t turn out that way.”
But more than that, her journey has taught her to put herself first and to build a strong circle of support—as the many messages she received from women showed her that she was never alone in the motherhood journey.
“One thing that I can say is that everyone is going through something and we’re not in it alone,” she says, adding that while their situations can be different from hers, it’s important to “take a step back and listen to yourself.”
“Write down your concerns—write down the pros and cons,” she advises fellow moms who find themselves at a standstill. “I took the time to write down what I wanted for my kids and what I wanted for myself. I really had to weigh things down and really look inward.”
But more importantly, all this has caused a shift in perspective. And this has helped her greatly, both in mindset and her mental health. “Now, I look at life and [think that] if this happens, it’s meant to happen. When something hard comes along, I’m like ‘Okay, this is leading me to somewhere that I’m supposed to be in.’”
“Don’t fight it. Just take the steps that you need even if they’re little steps and find your way. I used to be so afraid and stressed about things, but I realized—why waste all my energy on that?”
“Just focus on what you can control—your emotions, your mind, your steps, your actions, and your reaction,” she ends. “I think that really changes the course of your life. You can only control what you do in different situations. Focus on that, and everything else will just fall into place.”
Words DIANE NICOLE GO
Photography KIERAN PUNAY of KLIQ, INC.
Makeup TWINKLE BERNARDO
Hair ANGELI ALFONSO
Styling ROSHNI MIRPURI and SIYA DARYANI of THE CLOSET CULTURE
Art Direction DENIELLE CARAG
Shoot Coordination ANTHONY MENDOZA
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ
Shot on Location at DEXTERTON BGC SHOWROOM