Thursday, September 20, 2018

Possessed by my mother

WHEN I was young, my mother was the enemy, aka, the “kontrabida” in my life. She was a stickler for rules and enforced such exacting high standards of discipline. She made me cook and clean on weekends, often scrutinizing my output with her crazy levels of OC-ness. Back then, I felt like Cinderella and vowed I would never ever morph into her.

Ah, but apparently some promises are made to be broken! As an adult, I am now swallowing my own words, which turn out to be delicious. For the love of the little humans I’ve spawned, I now often hear the words my mother have spoken/screamed coming out of my own mouth in the hopes that my children will grow up to be God-fearing, kind, helpful, and responsible adults who will contribute to this world. But for the record, I think I am less strict and a tad less OCD.

My beshies Weena Adelante, Joy Co, and I were discussing this topic because of today’s special day, mom’s day! Motherhood is not easy; and it truly pays to have trusted confidantes to talk and laugh with. We all need awesome mommy friends to take away the edge of life’s daily complexities. It can’t all be about diapers, homework, chores, etc. Fellow mommy friends, who understand how your own husband and children have the power to drive you nuts, definitely extend life and add color to it. Spending time with fellow moms also keep us young.

But, I digress from my main theme!

Anyway, in 1895, Oscar Wilde wrote that: “All women become their mothers. That is their tragedy.” This is more than a century old quote, and clearly, the genius writer was onto something. His statement is actually a loaded one that’s especially sensitive for those who didn’t have happy childhoods or close relationships with their moms. There are those who can barely stand the women who bore them, and they will certainly raise their eyebrows!

That being said, in general, for happy, typical mommy-daughter relationships: little girls start off dreaming to be like their moms, but as maturity sets in, these very same girls realize that their moms are less than perfect. By that stage, most fight tooth and nail to disassociate themselves with mommy, even coming to a point where they swear never to become like the woman who raised them. After all, Mom, at some point in adolescence, becomes the enforcer of discipline. She becomes utterly uncool!

Perhaps there is some truth that light indeed does travel faster than sound because mother’s sound advice is usually not welcome in the teenage years and falls on deaf ears. These nuggets of wisdom surprisingly only make sense when we girls become mothers ourselves. That’s why into adulthood, a woman just can’t help but see her mother’s familiar expression in the mirror staring right back at her, with the same familiar words being spoken.

Weena, Joy, and I shared our experiences—including those of our families and other friends—so we know that we are not alone. We all concurred that majority of moms are in the same predicament. We start off vowing never to be like our mothers, but we inadvertently find ourselves mimicking some of our mom’s ways much later on, for the love and service of our children. It’s not like we planned it to be this way. It just happened along the course of life, especially when little bundles of joy filled our lives.

My bff Weena shared: “My mom was so strict before, and how I hated her for it. We were 6 kids in the family, and since my dad was an OFW, mom guarded us like a prison warden. But now, mas labaw pa diay ko niya (I have surpassed her). Of course, times are even more dangerous now, so I have to make sure that my two kids grow up secure. My mom was an elementary school teacher, but she still managed to raise us all well even with my dad faraway. Of course, she is not perfect, but I am forever grateful to her.”

In the same token, my besh Joy said: “My mom was so strict that my only brother and I called it Martial Law every day. She raised us alone most of the time cause my dad was in the US. Then she was super “inot” (frugal) that she didn’t give us allowance. Our house was near the school and she wanted us to go home daily to eat. We really wanted to stay in school to be with friends, being the teens that we were, that’s why we didn’t really like her much back then. But you know, now, with my own sons, I find myself training them the same way when it comes to money. I want them to value it and learn to work for it. But I would like to believe that I am a milder version of my mom.”

All women really imbibe some traits of their moms. It is inevitable for we are the by-products of their "s-mothering". Most likely, it will be the same for our kids because when it comes to them, no stone is left unturned to ensure they grow up properly. We moms all hope that we don't make any mistakes because we only have this one chance with our children.

We all work hard to ensure that we do our best to get it right! Don't forget, it is Mother's Day today, Sunday, May 13. Greet that awesome woman in your life and make her feel special. Happy Mother’s Day!

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