Cheska Garcia-Kramer on Living a Fulfilled Life with Her Growing Family
If we could trade places with Cheska GarciaKramer, even for just a day, we would gladly do it for free. Known for her angelic face, petite frame and fashionable style, Cheska grew up in front of the public eye, starting as a child actress, commercial model, to being a TV host, and a mom to Kendra, four; Scarlett, one; and Gavin, who's just 8 months old. Below, she shares about the seemingly ordinary things she does as a hands-on mom: reading books to the kids, playing with them, and tucking them into bed. Yet, as she speaks about them, her smile widens and her voice fills with pride, and it seems like she's talking about the most wonderful life anyone could ever have.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU BUSY WITH LATELY?
Right now, I'm busy with shoots, events—I'm the ambassador of some brands, and I have some endorsements, but regular work I can't commit to yet because my son Gavin is only eight months old. So it's only now that I'm getting back to the groove again; little by little I have been having talks with people to do some things, but nothing concrete yet.
HOW HAS YOUR MARRIED LIFE CHANGED NOW THAT YOU HAVE MORE KIDS, WITH THE ADDITION OF YOUR SON?
Well, it's made me more content, I'm happier with my life. Just like with all my other kids, I'm always excited and in my family we don't really play favorites so I felt the same excitement with Kendra and Scarlett, and now with Gavin. I'm very happy that my family is complete—I have a boy, and now Doug and I can concentrate on doing our business. Like for me, now I feel like I can try to start my career again when the time is right.
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM BEING A MOM?
It's nice to get advice from other mothers and to compare notes. And it's also nice if you put in your own parenting style. Like when I was pregnant with Kendra, I had a lot of my friends teach or give
me insights on how it is like having a new baby. My first cousin was helpful in teaching me how to bathe my child, and we shared a lot of stories. But at the end of the day, I'm my own kind of person, and I have my own way of caring, nurturing, and my own style of parenting. And it's nice to listen to whatever your gut tells you—because you know your child, and it's your bonding moment with your child. So don't compare yourself with other people and trust yourself when it comes to raising your kids. It's okay to listen to others, and see from there what's going to work or not, but still, in the end you have to follow your own way of caring for your children and your own instinct.
WHAT KIND OF MOM ARE YOU?
I'm extremes—there are times when I can be strict, I make sure I can discipline my kids, like I can tell them what they did was wrong. But at the same time I'm also very affectionate with my children in terms of giving them words of encouragement, my love language with them. Every day I tell my kids that I love them so much. Doug is the same; he's a very affectionate father. The thing with him and me is that we believe in service, we serve our kids. For me, I read books to them, put them to bed… That's why our kids are so attached to us, they sleep with us in our bedroom. And we spend solo time with them. Doug goes on a date with the kids, without the yayas.
WITH THREE KIDS AND MOVING INTO A NEW HOUSE, HOW DO YOU KEEP IT TOGETHER?
I really don't know (laughs). When we moved in here I was almost in my due date, I gave birth January, but before that I made sure that everything was settled, the house was clean, and we were able to have Noche Buena here. There was no way I would give birth then I'd have to fix the house pa. Doug actually got mad at me because I worked too much, but that's just me, I'm a bit OC when it comes to keeping the house spic-and-span.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR KIDS?
Kendra is very affectionate, she sticks to us a lot, very maasikaso and
makulit. She's the type who says, "I love you, Mama; you look beautiful, Mama." Scarlett is a charmer, very cute and pilya, but sometimes feisty. Gavin is just eight months but I can see he's just a chill guy.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO TOGETHER AS A FAMILY?
We are the type of family who are happy here at home. We play in the playroom. We have movie nights. We have some of their friends or cousins over.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE?
I always say the secret is the husband... A good man who's sensitive to your feelings, what matters to you, someone who has a good hold of the family. Because the father is the head of the family. The best thing a father can do for their children is to love their mother. Because from there, you can set an example for them. For your boy, he can show that this is the kind of man you can be. For the daughters, a father gives them security and shows them a good example, teaches them self-respect.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU DO ON YOUR OWN?
I go to the salon. I noticed when I became a mom—before I couldn't stand being there—now it's a place where I can just zone out, I get my hair done, colored, styled. I get a massage at home. Doug and I, we bond over foot massages at home. Me and my husband always talk about anything and everything. We've been together for over 10 years. There's so much to talk about. We always talk about what the other thinks.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I stick to very generic colors, like black, grays, whites, I just change up the bag or shoes, and accessories. It's so hard when you're a mom, because you have to divide your time. I prepare my kids' clothes. So I don't have time to think too much about what to pair with my clothes. I have three small kids, and I'm very hands-on. Especially when we're about to go on a trip, it's such a production. So I make sure they're all well taken care of first.
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS AND BEAUTY REGIMEN?
When Kendra didn't have school yet, I was able to work out two or three times a week. But now that school started, I'm still finding my groove, like what I said earlier. I have to plan things well. For beauty, I moisturize and I wear minimum makeup, and I make sure my face is clean before I go to sleep. I like Estée Lauder's cheek tint and eyebrow pencil. My number one rule is that always have your eyebrows nicely done.
Photograph by Roy Macam; Makeup by Lilian Leung for Estée Lauder; Hair by Ronie Misa for Kiehl's Stylist Series. Styled by RJ Roque, assisted by Lord Rebueno; Green dress by Vania Romoff.