As a first-time mom in the time of a pandemic, actress-singer Janella Salvador shares how hands-on parenting has also become a journey towards extending herself more patience, kindness, and grace.
As if first-time parenthood isn’t daunting enough, raising a newborn during a time of COVID-19 is all the more harrowing. This is something Janella Salvador knows all too well. Since giving birth to her son, Jude Trevor, in October 2020, she has constantly been worrying about keeping their home as safe and virus-free as possible. Luckily, she doesn’t have to go through parenthood and the pandemic alone. Her family and partner Markus Paterson have helped her navigate both the new normal and pandemic parenting.
Janella Salvador: “Don’t stress about it too much.”
Janella now relates to parents who feel bad for their newborns missing out on life beyond the four walls of their home. Apart from not being able to travel and explore the great outdoors, restrictions prevent children from meeting people. This includes family relations—outside their immediate household. “Jude doesn’t get as much social interaction and outdoor play as I would have wanted him to and he doesn’t often get to see our family,” she says. To make up for it, Janella tries to teach her son about the outdoors. Her family also comes over whenever possible. But strictly following safety mandates, of course.
Jude’s doting mum offers this piece of wisdom to fellow pandemic parents: “Things may be really hard nowadays and it’s normal to feel down and to worry about the future, but try not to get too much in your head, and [don’t] stress about it too much. We may not be able to bring our children out to play. But we definitely can make them feel all the love they need no matter where we are. Remember, it all starts at home.”
Parenting During a Pandemic
Janella sets a fixed gaze on silver linings as she shares how parenting during the pandemic opens up boundless opportunities for quality time with her son each day. It is something that would have been extremely difficult with her busy schedule as an actress and singer. “I was there for all of his firsts. And I was really able to be hands-on since I’m home most of the time,” she enthuses. Since becoming a mom, Janella Salvador has been front and center in all aspects of raising her baby—sans help. She gushes, “I cherish the moments when I sing to him or even just talk to him, and he holds either my hands or my face, and just stares deeply into my eyes and smiles. Like he really understands what I’m saying.”
Like any hands-on parent, there are also moments when self-defeat sets in. Janella, who gave birth in the UK, remembers feeling frustrated and guilty when she noticed her milk supply had decreased upon returning to Manila. She soon got over her negative feelings and decided to focus on things that are within her control: making sure her baby is well and healthy. Since becoming a parent, Janella has been on a journey toward learning to extend herself grace.
Janella Salvador: “Do things that make you happy.”
In being kinder and more patient with herself, Janella Salvador has also dedicated herself to health and fitness. She discloses a recent procedure that she’s had under Dr. Vicki Belo to help get back her pre-pregnancy physique. According to her, it was an act of self-love that gave her a confidence boost. She declares, “Do things that make you happy as a person. Because a happy mom or dad equals a happy baby,” Janella says.