There's more to Sheila Catilo's beautiful images than what meets the eye. The mom of 3 uses photography as a tool to empower modern moms like her through projects like #Mompowerment for Mommy Mundo and Project LILO.
Here, she shares with us some lessons she learned on family, faith and parenthood:
What are some valuable lessons you learned from your mom that you are now applying to your own kids/ family?
"My mom is the most selfless person I know and she has spent her life caring for people. It’s not always the easiest job, but the difference she has made in so many people’s lives inspires me a lot. You see, my mom gave up being a career woman when she had kids. And back then, I never realized how much effort it took for her to be able to do all those little things for us – like wake up before the crack of dawn almost every day for 2 decades. She drove for us, made sure all our assignments were done, stayed up while we did school projects, made sure we had something to eat every day, plan whole summers of activities, taught us how to sew, cook rice, do chores."
Sheila wearing the Nyes gingham tube top and skirt from Offbeat Alley with the Eve bracelet set and Cider earrings
"She was not a perfect mom, but she always did everything out of love in the best way she could with what we had. She taught us to love God and love people. She raised us to know Jesus and to have a real relationship with Him. This way, no matter what life throws at us, we have a foundation anchored on faith."
Sheila wearing the Marina 2-piece swimsuit from Coral Swimwear with Chestnut hoop earrings
What lessons on parenting did you discover on your own?
"I haven’t really figured out that one quite yet. But I’ve always believed that we are all learning on the job, and so far, here are some things that have helped me get through this motherhood stint, some clichés that have proven to be true:
- Pick your battles
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Do everything out of love
- Count your blessings
- Celebrate small victories
Sheila wearing the Lira embroidered blouson from Offbeat Alley with Ember earrings and Mita bracelet trio
What's the best mom advice you've ever gotten?
"The days are long but the years are short. Make the most out of every phase in your children’s life and enjoy them while they’re young. It will never be the same again and they may never want to be with you as much as they do now."
What’s your advice to working moms who are trying to find balance between their family and career duties?
"People over projects. I heard this in a talk I attended recently and it resonated with me. We always say that we are doing what we do for the people we love. It could be household work – making sure the house is clean, the family eats 3 meals a day, bathing the kids, driving them around to soccer practice. Or it could be a job that pays the bills, helps the kids get into a good school, and/or gives you the luxury to take family vacations – and nothing is wrong with that! In fact, hard work is one of the things we also need to instill in our children. But the truth, is we may never really find that balance we are looking for."
"We can always choose our priorities, though, and let that dictate the choices we make every day. So at the end of a long and exhausting day, when we find the house messy again, or we need to read that bedtime story for the third time before bed, or that little certain girl asks mommy to stay “a little tiny longer” in her bed – ask yourself what those 15 minutes is worth compared to the hours we’ve spent working on a deadline for a client. It just doesn’t compare – it’s priceless."
Follow Sheila on Instagram: (@sheilacatilo)
Photography by Jorem Catilo (@jorem)
Swimwear from @coralswimwearph