This week, we focus on our third #CalyxtaGirl, Erika Hocson, who despite juggling multiple roles and titles, manages to look extra fresh in her beige and faux-freckled ensemble. Erika is no doubt your Modern Mompreneur—apart from working as a marketing manager for a well-known seafood restaurant in the Metro, running her own line of swimsuits, Sirena Swimwear, alongside long-time BFF, Sam Pinto, endorsing or modeling for brands like Skin 101, Philip Stein, and Cream Silk, and finding the time to work out daily in between her already hectic schedule, Erika is first and foremost a mom to her adorable 6-year-old son, Jacob, who she shares in a sweet Instagram post, “holds and is her heart.
In a truly real and inspiring interview, Erika talks about what it’s like to balance everything and still find time for herself, what she hopes to instill in Jacob as he grows older, and her thoughts on motherhood in this day and age.
Do you have any beliefs, values, or philosophies that you follow and want to instill in Jacob?
There are several things—I want him to be patient. I just want him to be a patient person. I want him to learn how to wait, like delayed gratification and not getting everything that he wants all at once. I don’t want him to have that mindset that’s like now, now, now. You know—some things have to wait, you have to work hard for. I want him to be kind to people. I want him to be known as a good person, as a good kid. For me, I just really want him to learn how to be respectful. That’s one thing my parents taught my siblings and I, and I think that’s such a Filipino thing—to be respectful, to be patient and kind to whoever, and I think he is. He’s on the right path.
As an entrepreneur and model, plus your day job, not to mention you’re raising a 6-year-old, how do you manage to balance everything?
Woah, that’s a tough one. For me, given that I have all these things that I have to do, and they’re all priorities to me, it’s time management. I have the planner, the works, and I always have to really know what I’m going to do for the day. I can’t just wing it. For example, I bring Jacob to school, and then I even make time to work out, so it’s all about knowing what fits into my schedule. And then I go to my day job, and more often than not when I’m done, that’s when I schedule other projects or shoots. But of course, it’s also unpredictable so sometimes, I’ll just move around and make it work. So when I have work in the morning for that day alone, I’ll drop Jacob off first and then go to my job. It’s just really trying to squeeze it all in.
Modern moms of today like to have their own “Me Time” to regenerate, and mentally and emotionally take care of themselves. What’s your version of this?
If you follow me on Instagram, then my “Me Time” is really working out. Before, it was really just to get fit, but then for some reason, it became my “Me Time.” I use it to unwind and to release stress, because like I said, I have so many things going on—so working out is my way of taking the stress off. I have fun, I enjoy it. And of course, the extra girly stuff sometimes. I go get myself pampered—nail spa, etc.
What advice can you give women who want to have kids but at the same time are afraid to give up their careers or are afraid that it might affect their careers?
Well, if they really want to focus first on their career, then you know, having a kid is no rush. You can have it when you feel like you’re somewhat ready. But you know, if it does happen, I don’t think they should really be so worried. I was very scared in the beginning. I was only 23 when I found out that I was pregnant, so I had the same thoughts. But you know, if you think about it, it’s only nine months. After that, you just get the hang of being a mom and I think it comes naturally anyway. When it does, when you get the hang of it, you can still do whatever you want, you can still be who you originally wanted to be before becoming a mom. You just have to be more responsible. It’s inevitable that you really have to adjust. There are so many adjustments to make but if you’re willing, you can do both.
How can you encourage other moms who feel guilty about doing this to themselves? Like setting aside time for themselves?
That’s a tough question because it’s always a question of whether you’re not spending enough time with your kid, and it’s their crucial age and things like that, but for me, in my situation, I haven’t had a nanny or yaya for him since May? And yeah, sometimes, I feel guilty because I’m doing a lot of stuff, but I always tell myself it’s for him. I always have him in mind anyway. Again, with the priorities, I do my best to make time for him, especially on weekends. Normally on Sundays, I really make time for him—I take him out and go wherever. But during the week, I know that what I’m doing now is for his own good. It’s for his education, it’s for his future. I don’t really listen to what other people have to say, because our situations are different. They don’t know what I have to do, or what I pay for. So I don’t think moms should be guilty. Every mom has a unique situation. If they’re lucky enough that they have help, then good for them, then they can do their own thing as much as they want. If they want to stay at home, that’s great. I know moms who also just want to be home and be hands-on, and that’s amazing. But in my situation, I can’t just really do that because his dad and I, we both do our own share of supporting him.
What’s one thing you’re proud to say about how modern motherhood is viewed in the Philippines?
I like that nowadays, they’re embracing that you can still be whatever you want to be in whatever industry you’re in. Because before, a lot of moms would be stay-at home moms, and again there’s nothing bad about that, but if there are still things that you want to do for yourself or achieve, you can still do that and be a good = mom. I can still be a cool mom at my age, and at the same time still continue to do the work that I want. I can still do projects here and there, so that’s great.
What’s one thing you’d like to tell your 10-year-old self?
When I was 10, I really wanted to be 13. When I was 13, I really wanted to be 16. And then I guess because I had so many older cousins and brothers around me, I wanted to be older, and I thought it was so much better, and it had more perks. But if I had to go back and talk to my 10-year-old self, I’d just say, “Enjoy it. Take all the naps you want because it’s not going to be like that anymore. Just play. Don’t rush because time, for some reason, goes by so much faster when you’re a little bit older.” And I’d also tell her to eat better because my 10-year-old self ate so much junk food. I was such a chubby kid. So yeah, just enjoy and study.
Watch more of Erika and Jacob in their Fast Talk videos below:
Plus—use the code ERIKAHOCSON upon checkout to avail a 10% discount sitewide! (Disclaimer: Code is not applicable on promo items.)