As Expo Mom celebrates its tenth year, the longest running event of its kind pays tribute to #TeamMoms that have served as a lifeline for mothers all over the Philippines. Here is one such group, initially brought together by social media but later on bonded by their commitment to lead healthier, happier lives.
It all started in Twitter. For one reason or another, mommy bloggers Chessy Alejandro, Jackie Go, Michelle Lim, and Cai Sio started “bumping” into each other in Twitterverse. One would reply to another’s question, or another would agree with one’s tweet.
“It was all so random,” Jackie recalls. “I can’t remember the exact topics but I’m pretty sure that they were about motherhood.”
When they started meeting each other at blogger events, they found so much more to talk about. More importantly, they found out that they really, really liked each other.
However, it would take an Instagram post to cement the friendship of the four moms.
When Michelle posted a photo of her and Jackie doing Pilates on social media, Chessy and Cai privately replied. Chessy recalls, “We said, ‘Next time, we’ll join you.’ The next time turned out to be the next day!”
“I booked them right away,” Jackie says.
By then, Jackie and Michelle had been doing Pilates for some time. Jackie wanted to get herself healthy as she noticed that she was getting sick all the time. She says, “After I started doing Pilates, I became more motivated to live an active lifestyle.”
Michelle hoped that Pilates would not only help get her healthier, but also relieve her chronic back pain.
Chessy says the first time she did Pilates was particularly memorable. During the session, the girls cheered her on, boosting her confidence to follow through.
Cai did Pilates once before. She says, “I tried because I had lower back pains but then I stopped. I found it boring.” When she tried it again, this time with Chessy, Jackie, and Michelle, it felt different. Cai actually enjoyed it.
From then on, the women would go to their Pilates sessions together as often as they can. And it didn’t take long before their online friendship evolved into something so much more. It wasn’t long before they became a #TeamMom.
Jackie says, “Since we’re all moms, we found a common ground. We became our own support group. We’re also our shopping group. We’re each other’s enablers.”
“Since I stay home most of the time, they’re the ones that I talk to through Messenger,” says Chessy.
“The messages, they’re random at times. But sometimes, you just need to have someone to talk to. I’m with my kids every second of the day so at least with them, there’s adult conversation,” she adds.
Their relationship evolved naturally, says Michelle. “It wasn’t forced.”
Because they couldn’t talk to each other during their Pilates sessions, they ended up having a breakfast group afterwards. They would exchange mommy hacks and online shopping finds. They would share food adventures and recipe ideas. They would also talk about all other issues in between, from weight problems to personal concerns, from the serious to the mundane.
“We talk about anything under the sun. It’s something that every mom should have,” says Michelle.
Having a Team Mom, says Jackie, “helps her grow as a person. If you have the support that you need, it’s like everything is easier – though it’s not really easier. You can get through the day even if you don’t see each other often, even if you don’t see each other regularly, because you know you’re connected.”
“It’s important to let it all out, to have an outlet,” says Chessy. Sometimes, there are things that you cannot share with your spouse or your family or your other friends and that’s what your Team Mom is for, she adds.
Different groups meet different needs, says Michelle. What’s great about their Team Mom is that they compliment and complement each other. There is also no judgement, which can certainly be such a refuge for moms who are judged almost every day.
Cai adds, “I wouldn’t have had the motivation to work out without them. It’s true what they say about fitness buddies. I am really motivated when I’m with them.”
Michelle says, “I look forward to our mom dates, specially when we’re complete. It just brings us so much joy, this feeling of being together.”
Watch our interview with this group of fit mamas here:
Every mom has a #TeamMom cheering her on. Share your #TeamMom story on social media. Join Expo Mom #TeamMom at the Glorietta Activity Center from May 5 to 7, 2017. Bring your #TeamMom along and connect with other Team Moms.
Join the Mommy Mundo #TeamMom Grand Giveaway!
PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE PICTURE COMPANY