Kids (and quite a number of adults) are growing up with superhero movies. And some will say that’s rather childish, but that shouldn’t dismiss the fact that there’s much to be learned from superhero movies. They teach us the age-encompassing lessons of heroic values that, given our social climate, have become important now, more than ever.
Very recently, we looked to the Avengers to teach us these values; the most prominent of them being strength.
“Wow! Thor is so strong.”
“No! Captain America is stronger!”
“No way! Iron-Man is the strongest!”
That’s what most people said, anyway. I pitched in, saying:
“I think Pepper was among the strongest,” and instantaneously, I am shot confused looks followed by dismissive statements like, “oh, that’s only because Tony gave her a suit,” or “humor me, and tell me why she’s the strongest when she didn’t even do much.”
I hope that everyone has been able to watch ‘Avengers: Endgame’ by now, because I’m about to make a reference that is a major spoiler.
You see, while everyone was looking up to Captain America for his impeccable leadership, to Thor for his infallible strength and control of lightning and thunder, and to Iron-Man for his massive intellect and sassy wit, Pepper, at the very end of it all, epitomised the very woman some of us dream of becoming.
A strong woman who, despite all the hardships she went through with Tony and the hardships that will follow after his death, always handles herself and her challenges with strength and grace. She looked into Tony’s eyes before he closed them forever, and instead of asking, “what will Morgan and I do without you,” told Tony to rest and that, “we’ll be okay.”
Because she’s a strong woman, and she’s a strong mom. A supermom, if you will. Just like all our moms. And in the spotlight of this story is one particular mom who single-handedly takes care of two little rascals, runs her own lifestyle blog, a homemaker, and a fitness enthusiast.
Behind the camera lens and the computer screen
You would know upon meeting her that Jackie Go is anything but an ordinary mom in all of the best ways. However few are the times I was able to personally encounter her, I knew off-the-bat that she was her own kind of mom, and it’s awe-inspiring.
Her wide smile and tiny laughs makes it easy to be around her, and you just know by the look of her that she is strong, not just in an emotional and mental sense, but in the physical as well.
She was always on-point, even on days she claims as an “off-day” for her, and she shows just as much perfection on her Instagram profile and her website. But she tells me differently:
“I’m an introvert! I am actually [a] painfully awkward and shy person in real life! Most of the photos of myself I shoot when there’s no people around. I get really shy to take photos of myself when there are people looking. Heehee,” she tells me… well, shyly. Just as she said she was.
For a person who hangs out with the social butterfly who is my Editor-in-Chief Jeff Lo, you’d think that Jackie Go would be a more outgoing person. But I guess the shyness is her own charm and definitely not something that should make you think takes away from her supermom status.
All because of family
When do you realize that you have the potential to be one of the top local bloggers in the Philippines? If you ask Jackie, apparently… you don’t. For her, becoming a blogger was a two-factor decision that needed: 1) a good old nudge from friends and family, and 2) a passion for sharing stories of motherhood.
“Motherhood was the biggest inspiration for me to start my blog,” Jackie says proudly. Our feisty supermom took no time to rest as she got started on her blog just three months after giving birth to her firstborn, Jasmine. And what stories did she share? Anything and everything about being a mom—from products and services she’s been able to try, to all the mundane and extraordinary moments that motherhood brought into her life. And our moms loved it. “Finally! A share of voice for us,” the moms in the Philippines hailed.
And just like a true mom, Jackie does what she does best out of the compelling need and want to share what she knows, keeping in mind that what she has to share has an ear or two that has to hear—or read about—it. This includes, of course, everything she knows about fitness.
True to being a mother, her fitness endeavours are yet again motivated by being her familial obligations. On top of the chores and errands, the early mornings to prepare her family’s meals, and keeping a home, Jackie also works out for her family.
According to Jackie, even though she was skinny, she couldn’t really call herself healthy. “I tend to catch my breath just by walking three blocks. And I realized that I cannot take care of my family if I don’t take care of myself.
“Moms tend to put ourselves last just because we know our families need us. But as the old saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup.’” She adds further that being a fitness enthusiast is greatly motivated by the way she finds herself better each year as she keeps up with it. And that to ‘constantly challenge’ herself and to bring herself to becoming ‘better than who I was a year ago,’ has become part of who she is.
Family above all
The current colloquial term for people who are involved in the line of work as Jackie’s is ‘influencer.’ And it is loosely used to refer to an individual who receives payment for ‘influencing’ people to purchase or avail of specific products or services by promoting it in as much of a seemingly organic way as they can.
To achieve this image of genuineness, ‘influencers’ often share their lives online, sparing no detail about what they use to cook with, wash their hair with, shave, wear outside, put on their face, etcetera, etcetera. And this kind of work, however glamorous the pay-out, also has its downsides to it.
What about oversharing? In recent years, we’ve discovered that, in a world of abundant and easily accessible information, the problem of misinformation has rooted itself into society. And we have been warned time and again to be careful about what we share online.
And what if a brand’s values do not exactly align with yours? Would you compromise integrity to earn that extra dime? For supermom Jackie who understands these things well, oversharing and compromising integrity, are never an option.
Becoming an influencer, as Jackie shares, has taught her to respect her children’s choices as they grow older and more insightful about the kind of work she does. “It has also taught me to be more conscious on what I post and what I do that involves them.
“Because I’ve started their digital footprint the moment they were born (and no, I cannot take it all back). It’s my responsibility as their mother to protect them from an exposed life online.”
Whenever a brand requests to collaborate with her and asks that her kids get involved, she politely declines the offer, if her kids do not like the idea of it. And with that, she leaves her kids with the valuable lesson of work ethics and integrity.
A few more supermom lessons
And so the credits roll on my chat with Jackie. I get up from my seat after watching the tiny peek she allowed me of her life, and despite closing it off with much of my questions answered, I turn back and ask her two more things:
What would you tell our mommy readers who look to you for tips on how to stay fit on top of taking care of a growing family and follower-base as an influencer? To which she smiles and answers:
“Don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first, especially if your family will benefit from it as well. Workout. Eat right. Try and lead an active lifestyle. There are so many ways on how you can start. You’ll figure it all out. But the one thing that you need to do is just start. The will to start is all it takes for you to kickstart your fitness journey…
“This is also applicable whether you plan on starting a blog or a business. Know your ‘why’ (why you wanna do it) and then just start. When you have the right motivation, it’s easier to start.”
And secondly; what important life lesson does she want her children to learn from her?
“That nothing in life comes easy. No amount of advantage nor shortcuts can give you the experience to earn grit and grace—two of the things you need to thrive in life. And as much as I want to hand them everything they want in life, sometimes, guiding them on how to overcome challenges is the best thing I can give.
“I want to equip them with the ability to believe in themselves and the courage to change in order to be the best version of themselves.”
For a second, I thought I was talking to Pepper Potts. But I guess every mom is a Pepper Potts and a Jackie Go. Inspiring us because they’re all just all-around supermoms. And be they a house-mom, an influencer mom, an accounting manager mom, we know they’re all supermoms.
And God, do we love you all for it. Let us be damned if we don’t ever show you today on Mothers’ Day, and every single day that we love and appreciate you so much. So go ahead and give your mom a hug and a kiss after reading this article. You know she deserves it.