Georgina "George" Wilson has one of the most recognizable faces, having endorsed some of the best global brands — but there was a time when she didn't want to enter modelling or the world of Philippine entertainment. She was poised to join the corporate world in London after earning a degree in accounting and finance, when her family members encouraged her to try out modelling first. She fell in love with it, and soon she began to receive projects one after the other. Now, millions of her fans consider the host of 2015 Asia's Next Top Model as one of the most influential style icons of the decade.
After her dreamy wedding to Arthur Burnand, a British businessman and hotelier in April 2016, the 31-year-old model, TV host and entrepreneur was surprised to find out four months later that she was pregnant. But she embraced her new role wholeheartedly, with the same drive and passion she brings into her career.
George researched and prepared herself as much as she could, wanting only the best for her coming baby. Then she came across CHICCO, a beloved brand from Italy that has been making high quality baby products, toys, carriers, strollers, walkers and playpens since 1958. Immediately, she knew she would be able to trust the brand to help her take care of her baby.
"Nobody thought I would be super excited to be a wife or a mom since I was very career-driven. When I got married, it was not in my plan to have a baby so soon, so I was so surprised when I found out. I was like, 'Wow, this is happening!'" Georgina shares with a laugh. "But there are some things in life that you can plan for, and there are some things that just happen at the right time," she adds.
So in December 2016, she gave birth to Archie. It was challenging at first, but she was determined to learn as much as she could. "I planned as much as I can because, really, you’re dealing with another individual. Archie is a human being too and he has his own kind of sets of wants, needs. He has his own thing going on so being a mother has taught me that I am not in control of everything. It was very difficult but an important lesson as well," says Georgina.
Georgina believes that motherhood has changed her, and made her stronger. "I was so excited to do breastfeeding, but it was extremely challenging. I was in pain, and was up for so long during the night. Night after night I was up from midnight until 7am," she recalls. "I wish somebody would just have told me that it is this difficult. Mothers are strong women that sometimes they forget to share such difficulties. That's why I’m sharing my story — so that other moms will be empowered to feel okay when they have difficulties, that the pain is part of motherhood, and it's okay to have that."
Despite the many challenges, Georgina says motherhood is extremely rewarding, and having her son Archie makes all the stress worth it. "The pros outweigh the cons all the time," she chuckles. "The first few months were difficult. But Archie is so loveable and he’s such a good boy! He’s such a nice baby that I have to share him with so many people. So even if I am his mom, everyone loves him so much so I feel that he is not just mine, you know. Even fans come up to us and ask him for a photo with them so I think he has grown to love that. Well, that’s a different and nice way of growing up."
Jetsetting Mom, Jetsetter Baby
Georgina is no stranger to travelling, having grown up in four different continents before her family settled in Manila when she was 10. And her work takes her to different parts of the globe. As such, she considers herself a bit of an expert now when it comes to travelling, and the best part for her is when she is able to bring her son Archie along.
"Archie has been to lots of countries already. When he was 3 weeks old, we brought him to England and since then he has been traveling! Every week he has a flight. He has been to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Queenstown, Tokyo, L.A., Paris, Copenhagen… and I think I’m missing some more. But at his age, that’s a lot of places to have been to. In the Philippines, he’s been to Siargao, and Palawan," she shares.
"The thing is, everytime I bring him somewhere new, he learns something. When he gets exposed to these new environments and when I bring him around with me, he discovers something new," reveals Georgina. "Like the first time I brought him to Palawan, he started talking!" says the happily proud mom.
As a self-confessed nerd who loves to research products and tips for traveling and other adventures, Georgina has her own list of travelling essentials. "Number one on the list is our car seat. It is super important, and I really want to raise awareness on car safety, especially here in the Philippines. I don’t like how it’s NOT mandatory here to have car seats for children. Just Google "car crashes without car seats" and you'll see it’s not a joke," Mrs. Wilson-Burnand says in a serious tone. "So number one travel essential is my CHICCO car seat that fits perfectly. I bring the CHICCO walker too, because Archie is obsessed with it, and they’re handy to bring."
"I’ve always wanted the best for myself. But now that I’m a mom, it’s like going into another level," adds the young mom. "The car seat, it’s a necessity, it’s something that your child needs. And I always choose CHICCO, which is Europe’s #1 baby brand, because they take safety and quality seriously. You don't have to take my word for it, you can search online for the safest car seat, and CHICCO is up there. There are even testimonials on how—during worst scenario cases like an accident, CHICCO always delivers. There really is no price on safety and quality," says Georgina.
Another travel essential for Georgina is the mobile playpen. "It’s also CHICCO and really perfect for Archie and it’s really handy so I’ve been bringing it along for our travels. Since I’m traveling without a yaya, I always have to make sure that when I shower or do something, I just put him in that playpen so I could still watch over him," she shares.
Then there is the CHICCO walker that Archie is really fond of. "The amazing part is, he learned how to do three-point turns or how to back up, how to speed up and how to spin on his own. It’s incredibly important to give children the right things because it somehow speeds up their development," says Georgina.
Even when it comes to baby clothing, Georgina trusts CHICCO. "Archie is like the perfect CHICCO baby because of his easygoing and lovable personality. I like it when babies are dressed to look like babies, which is more natural. I don’t like them to look like little adults or what," reveals the young mom. "And I give Arch clothes for two-year olds, because he’s that big!"
"It may seem kind of weird, but I think Archie was born to have his own kind of look, from his name, to the way he dresses. I feel that I knew him already before he came out of my tummy. I don’t know how to describe it but he really has his own thing going on. And so I feel that’s the reason why it’s so easy to dress him up because I know what looks good on him. He has his own style," says Georgina with a smile.
When she's not traveling, Georgina is a very hands-on mom and is seen to bring Archie around with his CHICCO stroller and carrier. "There’s not much that I do that Archie doesn’t do. I mean, I bring him with me everywhere and some people are shocked to see that because he’s a baby. I don’t know, but he seems happy to be with me all the time. So everyday, we do something together," chuckles Georgina.
Motherhood Brings Her Balance
Before she gave birth to Archie, Georgina worked out a lot and even did prenatal Pilates, which helped her avoid back pains usually associated with pregnancy. "I'm really proud of that, but the next time—if I get pregnant again—I will do a lot more swimming, too. I wish I did, but I only found out I was pregnant four months into it, so my pregnancy flew by so fast," she adds with a laugh.
Georgina is also thankful for her husband Arthur's support, whom she considers her and Archie's hero. "Arthur is like the best dad. He’s so hands-on and really sees himself as Archie’s best friend. He’s based in Shanghai but he’s here every week and when he’s here, they do everything together!" she reveals.
The young wife and mother also shares that she is enjoying life to the full. "Now I just keep telling my mom: 'Mom, why didn’t you tell me about all these sooner? It’s the best thing that has ever happened to my life!'"
"I actually feel like I'm turning out to be my mom whose EQ is crazy high, so I appreciate my mom more now," she says. "When people ask me, ‘What do you want Archie to be when he grows up?’ I say I don't know. I respect Archie as his own individual being, and I want him to do whatever he wants. I'm pretty conscious not to put any pressure on Archie, or comparing him with other kids. I always say he's perfect just the way he is. I guess in that sense I am becoming more and more like my mom this way."
Georgina's favorite part of motherhood is waking up to see her growing little boy. "When we look at each other eye to eye as soon as we wake up... oh my gosh, I don't know how to describe that. No matter how tired I am, I would just have to look at him, and when he smiles at me, it's just the best."
"I guess life is just about finding balance. And I guess things are much easier now than it was the first few months. Motherhood has also made me so much more relaxed. I'm more chill, bad things don't get me worked up anymore. My friends even tell me there's a different aura about me, and that I feel so confident now," says Georgina reflectively. "Everything in my life now has been put into perspective. I'm a mom now. Nothing could be bigger than that!"
Check out the No. 1 in Safety for Baby strollers, carriers, walkers and more — CHICCO is available in all leading department stores nationwide, or shop conveniently online at www.KidsCompany.com.ph.