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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Karen Davila: Being a working mom not easy

We see her seven days a week co-anchoring the ABS-CBN newscast TV Patrol World, so cool and composed even when reporting the most earth-shaking news here or abroad.

But how is Karen Davila off camera, specifically as wife to David Jude “DJ” Sta. Ana, former news editor of the same station, and mom to their children David Joshua, seven years old, and Lucas, one-year-and-five-months old?

“I’m just like any wife and mother,” admitted Karen. “Even at work, my mind is with my family.”

In an exclusive interview a few issues ago, Karen talked about her career. This time, as a nod to Mother’s Day, she reveals her parenting style:

How do you divide your time between home and work?

“Being a working mother isn’t easy for anyone. I’m fortunate that I’m able to do what I love to do — being a broadcast journalist — but more so, that the hours are flexible compared to that of other working parents. I really manage my time. My sons are growing up fast so I make it a point to spend a lot of quality time with them and include them in my daily activities. Sometimes, I take them with me during light interviews then we take a break for lunch. At home, I read a lot to David and play with him and Lucas a lot. I’m very malambing; I kiss and hug them like there’s no tomorrow. In the Philippines, we’re fortunate to have a good support group. The yayas and lolas are around to help me watch over my kids.”

When at work, how do you check on your kids?

“I call often and know how their day is going. And we chose to live near ABS-CBN so not much time is lost in traffic. We have chosen schools, play groups, therapies for David that are also close to our home.”

At what stage of growing up does a child need hands-on attention?

“I think at every stage, there’s a different need. When I gave birth to Lucas, most of my time was spent breastfeeding and caring for him with the help of my mom and yaya. David had special needs when he was three years old. At four years old, he was diagnosed with having mild autism and that completely changed my mothering style. I was obsessed in making sure he got the best treatment possible — from therapies to the right diet to biomedicine. Now at seven, he’s in a regular school. We are proud of how he has grown and developed so beautifully. He’s smart, and plays like any other child. But we’re always hands-on with him in a unique way.”

Are you bringing up your kids the way you were brought up?

“Growing up, I was very close to my mother, so I can’t imagine having it any other way. But I want my two boys to become close to DJ because I know there are things that only a father can teach.”

How does DJ’s parenting style differ from yours?

“DJ is very quiet, but he’s very supportive and very there for us and the kids. He gets the boys with just a ‘look’. I have a hard time with that. I become ‘soft’ and kiss them after I get upset. Hahahaha!”

Values that you and DJ instill in your kids.

“They are still very young, but we encourage them to be themselves and for David to express how he feels. But at their age, they are trained to stand and kiss us when we get home no matter what they’re doing and to say sorry when they have hurt someone or done something wrong. David and I pray together, which is really cute because he has the simplest and funniest prayers. He prays for a sunny day and for his classmates to have fun.”

Would you and DJ encourage your kids to pursue the same careers as yours?

“No, not at all. I want to discover what my kids are passionate about. But definitely, I want them to be a positive force in the community and help change the world. I think it would be nice if one of them could be President. Hahaha! Why not, Barack Obama did it. If he could, every other child out there should think that he could, too!”

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