The Challenges I’ve Faced Made Me The Mom I Am Today: Jodi Sta. Maria talks single motherhood

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We all could learn a thing or two from this strong, single mom

Most moms, especially Jodi Sta. Maria, can vouch for all the conflicting emotions motherhood entails: the joy and the wonder, the loneliness and despair. But being a single mom and having to go through it on your own, that’s a whole other story that Jodi is more than willing to share. But without these experiences, she believes she wouldn’t be the woman she is today — strong and successful, but still on the path of learning when it comes to parenting.

As the executive decision-maker in her party of two, Jodi is able to call the shots when it comes to discipline, education, relationships. While every parent has fears about making the right choices for their child, as a single mom, she doesn’t have the luxury of having a partner to bounce things off of. However, over the years, she’s leaned into the role of both mom and dad and grown exponentially into the healthiest version of herself. Here’s her story:

Learning from one’s mistakes

Jodi’s not afraid to admit that she’s made mistakes in her life. But it’s through working and learning through them that she’s become a better mother to her son, Thirdy, and a better person. In fact, she considers herself lucky to be given a platform to inspire other single moms and moms of teenagers. But as a public figure, with every single move under scrutiny, mistakes can be magnified. “Everyone just assumes your life is perfect; that you have to maintain this squeaky clean image and do no wrong,” Jodi shares. “But what I want people to know is that I’m human, and very capable of making mistakes.”

While motherhood has been quite the exhausting and thrilling ride, she attributes these mistakes as the guiding force through the messy, yet magical world of motherhood. “Anything that’s been said on social media doesn’t have to define you,” says Jodi. “What’s important are the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes.”

Who needs a man?

While she co-parents her teenage son, Thirdy with Pampi and his partner, Iwa Moto, she continues a steady, successful career in showbiz. On top of this, she managed to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. However, separating from her ex-husband of five years has made her more wary and discerning when it comes to matters of the heart. “We should set high standards on how we treat ourselves, especially how we allow others to treat us and how we treat others, ” she shares.

The life and love lessons she’s learned in her 39 years of life are values Jodi Sta. Maria wants to instill in her teenage son, Thirdy. “When you have a son, you need to teach them to respect other people — especially women — and love them. You need to raise them with the classic family values that they’ll be able to carry with them throughout their lives.” The lesson of respect, for Jodi, in particular, trumps all. “Everyone deserves respect; kindness and compassion are also universal lessons I’d like to impart.”

On being a mom to Thirdy

Photo courtesty of Jodi Sta. Maria

As a single mom, Jodi Sta. Maria admits that she’s spent many years being so close and attached to her son, Thirdy. While he’s well into his teenage years — he’s 15 — she’s slowly learning how to manage the delicate balance of letting him be his own person while keeping him in check at the same time. However, she understands that she needs to give him one-on-one time too — even if he’s a teenager. “After every project, I take a month off work and I use it to spend quality time with Thirdy,” Jodi shares. “It’s a non-negotiable.”

Being a mom to a teenage boy also has its challenges, especially when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. While this conversation is usually left up to the dad to handle, Jodi has no choice but to do it herself. “I always tell Thirdy that there’s a right time for everything. Just because it feels right, doesn’t always mean it’s right,” she explains. “And as far as being attracted to someone — that’s absolutely normal. It’s how you act on it that matters.”

While Jodi admits that she is far from being the perfect parent, she is steadfast in her pursuit of learning from her mistakes, even with the public watching. “I’m just Jodi: a mother, a student, a person who has faced some pretty serious challenges. I’m just like any single mom out there — we might have different struggles, but I know exactly what they’re going through. I get it,” says Jodi.

In this tough, beautiful and nerve-wracking ride called motherhood, Jodi is choosing to do it on her own — and we think she’s doing more than a great job.

Words JANA BLANCO
Photography MIGUEL ABESAMIS
Art Direction FERDI SALVADOR
Styling PAUL SESE
Make Up LALA FLORES
Hairstyling JOSEPH FANTONE
Shot on location SHANGRILA-LA AT THE FORT

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