To be or not to be a mom

Rachel Alejandro

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I can’t help but ask myself whether I should be rethinking my stand on being a mother, or in my case, not being one

THREE GENERATIONS OF MOMS. (From left) Rachel's sister Barni, mom Myrna, and birthday celebrant Lola Nena at her 80th birthday party. All photos courtesy of Rachel Alejandro

MANILA, Philippines – Like the expression, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride,” I am “always a ninang (godmother), never a mom.”

At age 39, I belong to a rare species of women whose maternal instincts never kicked in. I get constant warnings from concerned friends and family members like, “Malapit nang magsara ang carinderia,” meaning, my window of opportunity to be a mother is closing fast.

I just never felt the need to have a little one of my own. The idea of having a “mini me” has never been particularly appealing.

THREE BEAUTIES. Barni, Arya, and I

When my sister Barni, who had always shared my views about having children, announced last year that she had changed her mind and wanted to have a child immediately after her wedding, I was not overjoyed. I tried to be supportive but deep down inside, I was sad to have to lose her to the world of parenthood.

I even tried discouraging her by reminding her of all the things she would have to give up. I knew that no matter what she said, she won’t be available to do fun things with me anymore. Her life would be all about the baby.

I was right. When Aryana Alejandro-Rennebeck was born a few days before Christmas, she took over Barni’s life. In fact, she made us all fall at her little feet. The minute I saw her come out of the delivery room, held by her dad whom I had never seen so happy, I knew I was wrong about everything. Tears welled up in my eyes as I welcomed our new princess.

HAPPY FAMILY. The Rennebecks

At 4 ½ months, with her large round eyes and chubby cheeks, Arya looks more like me than Barni. Everyone has fallen under her spell, especially my mom, who is a first time grandma. I don’t think any one of us ever expected to be so in love with this little person whom we’ve lovingly nicknamed Arya Ensaymada.

I conceded months ago that I was so glad, like always, Barni ignored my advice. Despite all the difficulties of being a new parent, I can see how it has brought about a change in her, a change for the better. It was the right decision at the right time for her.

Every time I look upon my sister’s newfound happiness — a baby girl who could melt your heart with one look — I can’t help but ask myself whether I should be rethinking my stand on being a mother, or in my case, not being one. I have never been an envious or covetous person so just because my sister has an awesome baby doesn’t mean I have to have one, too.

NINANG RACHE. Rachel with goddaughter Bella

I know I will probably never feel the need to have a child. My life already feels more than complete with my family, career, and business. My husband and I are so busy, always working hard to fulfill our dreams of seeing the world before we are old.

With a lot of soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I so choose to be a mom, it would be the very best thing that could ever happen to me. But if I don’t, I would be perfectly content as well.

I sometimes imagine having a dark-haired, fair-skinned boy with luscious red lips and Coke bottle glasses like his dad. It’s fun to think about.

Maybe one day, who knows? Meantime, I will enjoy being fun Ninang Rache. –

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms! How are you celebrating the day with YOUR mom? Tweet us your pic @rapplerdotcom, use the hash tag #loveyoumom.

Rachel Alejandro is a singer-actress turned entrepreneur. She is co-owns the The Sexy Chef, OBC 5Star Inc. a diet and healthy meal delivery and event catering service, with sister, Chef Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck and mother, Chef Myrna Demauro. She will be back on stage in July in Atlantis Productions’ hit musical, “Rock Of Ages.”

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