Lou of Covet + Lou
Meet Lou Burgos. The Lou in Covet + Lou.
We wanted to highlight Lou for Mother’s Day this year. This feature reads as a conversation between Tina (the lady behind Covet + Lou!) and her Mom. We acknowledge that mothering looks different for everyone and we hope that this conversation brings you a bit of warmth for Mother’s Day this year.
What is your approach to parenting?
My approach to parenting is called the Lou Burgos method. It is based on a combination of basic principles: lots of love, compassion, empathy, sympathy, honesty, common sense and faith. The most difficult part was to allow you to venture on your own and having you risk making mistakes but hopefully learning how to manage those mistakes. Unless it was threatening to your well being, I tried to hold off, which was a significantly more stressful path.
Even though you were extremely busy with your careers as an anesthesiologist and professor, you always had time to spend with me and Erik. How did you develop that work/life balance?
I had to discern priorities and did the best I could. Time was of the essence so there was no minute to waste. If I needed more time, it had to come from my sleep - just sleep a few hours less- no big deal. I tried to finish work related materials at work so that when I came home you had my undivided attention. There were occasions when I would unexpectedly be done early. Those times were special because I would drive straight to school and depending on what was going on, I would either sit in your classroom, watch you in the playground followed by a trip to a fast food (usually McDonald’s which was Erik’s favorite; not healthy I know) but it was a treat.
I cannot not take all of the credit for parenting. Dad was very much involved from changing diapers to everything else. He too had a full time busy career but when we needed him he was there.
Food has always been an integral part of our home and Filipino culture. We are always sharing meals with family and friends. Most impressively, you made it a point to have everyone sit at the dinner table almost every night. Why was this so important to you?
Having dinner together was difficult to achieve during weekdays but most weekends we were able to have leisurely breakfast and dinners. On school days it gave us a chance to hear about school and the rest of your day. No confrontational talks were allowed during meals.
What is the most lasting piece of advice your mom gave to you?
I am who I am mainly because of my Mom. I still can hear her telling me “you can be whatever you want if you study hard and do your best”. She inculcated in us that education was very important. With education, there was no limit to what you can achieve. Her favorite line was - Education is an inheritance better than gold. You can never lose it and nobody can ever take it away from you. Ever since I can remember I always wanted to be a doctor so I became one. My mother was a disciplinarian but she made me feel that she was doing it out of love. One thing she never did was put her kids down no matter how angry she was. I can go on and on about your grandma. She was a wonderful woman, way ahead of her time. Hers was the parenting style I wanted to emulate. I hope I have succeeded.
What are the most significant lessons you hope Erik and I have taken away from you?
I think that through life’s experiences and parental guidance both of you developed a set of values that equipped you to be good citizens of this world and valuable members of society.
Remember life is not always a bed of roses. There will be successes and failures. If you do your best, it does not matter if you are successful or not; you are still a winner. Don’t let failures slow you down. It’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.
What do you enjoy most about being Lola (Filipino for grandmother)?
I love being a Lola. Hugs and kisses from those little ones takes away all of my arthritis pains. I can love them and spoil them and let their parents worry about the consequences!
Since this is for our Covet + Lou family, I have to ask: What is your personal style?
I don’t shy away from contemporary fashion as long as it is age appropriate. In general I like clean and casual lines. I usually don’t go for structured styles like classic suits except for work related events. Fortunately you have my style down pat at Covet + Lou. That makes it very convenient for me.
Finally, the answer everyone wants to know - Who is your favorite child?
That’s an easy question. My favorite daughter is Tina. My favorite son is Erik.