Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles share their stories, insights, and experiences in parenting and raising kids across the lifespan.
We are all familiar with their Instagram accounts and how much they love working out — they are after all, fitspirations for most parents. But as dad and mom to three kids born in almost three different generations, Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles have witnessed how the times we are living in affects parenting. From the toys, tools, and methods, they saw that while their prior experience helped, there were some changes they still had to adjust to. From relying on manual methods to learning more digital methods, each moment with Maurie, Hunter, and Rocket has been enjoyable learning experience for both of Troy and Aubrey.
How parenting changes with the times
Time changes everything, including how parenting’s done. Aubrey shares, “20 years ago, Maurie grew up in a time where things were more manual. There was little guidance and no online stuff. Hunter was easier because it was a mix of both. We could go to the mall or order stuff online to get some things. But for Rocket, everything is online. The teaching, the workshop, the parenting — it’s all online. I learned so much from my three kids and I think I’m still learning.”
Troy adds, “Everything was much easier then. It was just playing cars, playing with blocks — kind of like the style I grew up with. When Hunter was born, there was better technology, more inventions, better parenting tools. But Hunter was a really easy baby, usually laughing and giggling; Maurie was a bit clingy and would have a hard time seeing us off to work. For Rocket, it was different and kind of tough for her. Since she was born in the pandemic, she couldn’t be exposed to things like Maurie and Hunter. It’s why when it comes to people, she can be a bit hesitant in meeting them.”
Aubrey and Troy believe that their kids being almost a decade apart allows them and their kids to help one another. Troy says, “It’s like we have a live-in babysitter. We can take short breaks, knowing that Maurie or Hunter would look after their little sister. But sometimes, we miss the times they would gang up on us. Maurie’s like the third parent now. Hunter’s still waiting for Rocket to grow up a little more so they can play with more things.”
How the pandemic has affected the three kids
The pandemic leaves both a good and bad impact on kids whether they’re toddlers, teens, or young adults. The ultimate plantita shares, “Maurie’s usually in his room, playing online or attending online school. Probably one of the conflicts is that he feels more relaxed or chill. Unlike before, after school, he used to hang out but now it takes a little more convincing.”
“It’s like being on a 2-year summer break,” Troy adds. “It’s like he has school before it blurs to online gaming and other things he does online. Good and bad, it’s like everyone’s wearing pajamas 24/7. But I think the one who gets most affected right now by how things are is Rocket just because she loves to go outside. Maurie’s more of a homebody but Hunter and Rocket miss the outdoors. Hunter definitely misses physical school. Rocket, although she jams to CocoMelon, she still gets bored.”
“Although Maurie does go out, it’s usually just to a friend’s house which I’m okay with. But the good thing about Maurie is that he never demands that we go out somewhere. He doesn’t complain that he’s bored. Actually, the kids usually don’t say they are because we’re usually doing something like board games and other things. It’s just that after 3 years, we have to be creative especially with Hunter. But I’m actually proud that Maurie’s okay being home. He’s even planning an online business with his friends which I offered my help for free,” jokes Aubrey.
Parenting across the lifespan
Parenting across the different stages in the lifespan offers its ups and downs, especially in disciplining the kids. Troy shares, “Every once in a while, they’ll forget that we used to discipline them in the same way. So when it happens, we usually remind them that they also went through something like that. Kind of like, the way we’re talking to the younger one, we usually see the older one roll their eyes a bit. But we’re quick to tell them that, ‘Hey, you were there too. It’s just that you don’t remember.’ Then, we’ll tell them the backstory.”
“It usually happens when we offer something to the younger one. Like, before, Maurie would ask when we’d offer Hunter something, “Why would you do that? He’s too young for that!” Now, Hunter’s doing the same thing when we’d give something to Rocket,” laughs Aubrey. “We really have to explain it to them sometimes that they’ve been there and that they’ve just forgotten.”
Balancing the wants and needs of Maurie, Hunter, and Rocket takes a lot of negotiating especially when it comes to food or interests. Troy shares, “For food, we all get to vote which is good but it gets tough when Hunter gets to choose because it’s usually pizza. But since his request is always the same, it’s every 3 days or so.”
Aubrey adds with a laugh, “If not, we usually have three different orders like a pizza place, a Chinese place, a Japanese place — everyone orders and decides. But the kids know that I’m not into fast food so they already take it into consideration. Although the good thing about ordering everything online means we can order separately.”
How do they balance themselves
Keeping up with three kids with almost a decade in between them takes a lot of energy and if there was a trophy for being unlimited parents, they’d both get it. Aubrey laughs, “You know what? I don’t even know where I get the energy. It’s just there and I’m like, “Oh my God, I can do that?” Sometimes, I actually surprise myself after running around for an hour after Rocket. When you’re a parent, you discover things you can do that you didn’t know you could. With Maurie, he teaches us about everything online, and Hunter, reminds us to stay active. With Rocket, it’s like a whole new world. She has a different attitude and character; they’re not the same.”
Troy jokes that it’s because “there is no choice.” “I think with us also, especially during this time, the last three years — Aubrey and I have our own work and hobbies and we just try to manage it. We just keep open communications with each other. That’s the biggest thing so that we’re not double-booking things since we don’t have any extra help especially with Rocket. We always make sure that we go over our schedule the night before,” he says.
But when it comes to parenting, Aubrey and Troy offer one piece of advice: never assume and just have fun. Troy chuckles, “One thing we noticed with our family is that we’ve made it that as we’re getting older, there’s still someone there. In a way, it’s more like we’re the clingy parents. But we also noticed that we had to evolve with the times since everything’s different. From the stroller Maurie used, to the stroller Rocket now has, we’ve seen it all. It’s made us more well-rounded.”
“Even with kids close in age, never assume that they’re the same,” advises Aubrey. “As a mom, with everything, always expect the worst and hope for the best. We expect things but when it doesn’t happen, it’s something to learn from or appreciate. Having an adult, pre-teen, and toddler, you’ll see things that you’ve probably missed or want to improve. So, enjoy them at every age, along with the attitudes they give you. Just learn from it. You can seek advice but you also have to do what’s right for you.”
Seeing how well-mannered and thoughtful Maurie and Hunter are, Troy and Aubrey seem to have really nailed the parenting game. The Modern Parenting team also wishes Rocket a happy, happy birthday!
Photography ED SIMON
Art direction MARC YELLOW
Styling SIYA DARYANI and ROSHNI MIRPURI for CLOSET CULTURE
Makeup TAMARA PINEDA for NARS PH
Hair by JOF FANTONE for COLORBAR PH
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ
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