Our children were our lifesavers | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Being a wife is a wonderful blessing, but is never as easy as it seems. Whether you are married to a private businessman, doctor, politician, soldier, it doesn’t matter. Each marriage has its own set of trials and challenges designed to test the limits and capacity of both the couple and the couple as individuals.

Some challenges may come in the form of internal problems, with issues meant to be threshed out only between a husband and a wife. In other cases, the issues may be an external factor that the husband and wife must face together.

Sometimes these external problems still manage to be relatively private but in other cases, especially in the case of those who are involved in work that is public in nature, one must be ready for every move and word to be recorded and broadcast, whether you like it or not. After all, those are the rules of the game that you agree to when you enter show biz or run for public office.

But being a mother makes things even more complicated. Whatever the age of the children, they will always be a priority. I believe most problems pass, but we can’t always say the same of the effects they have on children.

It may be that the children are at a delicate stage, where they may not be emotionally mature yet to accept and understand what is going on. Therefore, in cases like these, many opt to keep the young ones out of the loop in order to shelter them from the ugly realities the family is going through.

Conversely, there are also situations where the children are old enough to face problems, and in cases like these, I’ve seen many teenagers and young adults mature overnight as they try to deal with what is going on and be there for their parents.

Unfortunately, sometimes, it is the opposite that occurs, and instead of an additional shoulder to lean on, the parents end up with a new problem in the child, whose defense mechanism may be set on a self-destructive mode.


There are also families where the children are just too young, and sheltering them from what is happening becomes unnecessary as they really have no clue yet.

As I mentioned earlier, being wife to a man you love gives one so much fulfillment, but it is no easy task. Many challenges arise that a wife is expected to handle with patience, strength and grace, even if she doesn’t always feel that patient or strong. Though it is not her battle, if her husband is under attack or under stress, and words are being said against him, his wife suffers with him, too, and it becomes her battle, as well.

Recently, our family had our own trial. I stood by my husband and watched as every accusation hurled against Miguel landed heavily in my heart. Every time I saw him silently reading the newspapers, I wished I could take it out of his hands and magically make the words disappear. And when I would catch him distractedly staring out the window, I knew what his thoughts were, and I hated the fact that I did not know what to do to chase them away.

But what bothered me the most was when people would talk and write about a man they did not know at all.

They discussed my husband’s motives and reasons with so much conviction, some without once having even met him. As I read the malicious assumptions they made on his character, it was frustrating and painful that I could not do anything to defend my husband.

During those weeks, I was grateful our children are as young as they are, as they truly served as beacons of joy and distraction during moments that would otherwise have been unbearable.

Since they had nothing to do with what was happening, I felt it would not be fair to make them feel the stress alongside us, so I tried to keep their schedule and activities as routine as possible.

We kept their play dates and visited Adriana’s friends for some princess playtime. I continued to take both kids twice a week to their swimming classes. I tried to stick to our old plans, so I made time to enroll and start her in it, as well.

While at home, we continued to read and learn. And when they played, the sounds of their laughter and singing would chase away the darkness of our days and make us forget, at least for a while.

One particularly heavy morning, I decided it was time to have a “parade”—and so off the two little ones went, dressed in whatever costumes we could scrounge around for in their closets, happily singing and shouting at the top of their lungs and bringing cheer with them around the house.

Too young

Indeed, what a welcome lifesaver they were during times when it seemed things could not get any worse.

However, just because Adriana and Juanmi were too young to understand the situation and shielded from it, it did not mean they did not play a big part in the discussions on how to confront the issues on hand.

On the contrary, they were the crucial factors that convinced my husband to do what he did. The time we spent with the kids became time to consider what we really valued and wanted for ourselves, as a family. As he himself said during his speech, he is a “husband first, before a Senator; a father first before a legislator.”

If one were to focus only on the present and face the situation without considering anyone’s future, it might have been harder to let go. But knowing we were letting go for a greater value immediately made the decision for us.

Children carry their parents’ names and decisions all throughout their lives, whether they like it or not. In other words, parents’ actions today echo all throughout the future of their children. It’s our responsibility to make sure the name they carry is not one stained by shame. It’s simply not fair to make them suffer the consequences of actions they have nothing to do with.

I am grateful to those who understand and agree with us but I know others will probably continue to criticize. What is important to us is that years later, when our children are older and they look back on this, one thing will be clear. Thanks to them, we believe we made the right decision.

Things are a little more peaceful now and I remember a line that my daughter frequently uses as she pulls my hand when we climb up the stairs, or I make my way around sharp corners. She likes to say it, as it makes her feel like she did something great and important for me.

“I save you, mama.” Yes, you did, my love. Yes, you did.