How motherhood changed me - Essay by Regina Posadas
How has being a mother changed your life? We've invited Filipino moms to share their thoughts and insights in this endearing series of mommy essays. Enjoy!
“I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to have a baby either.”
That was my thirteen-year-old daughter talking. I was surprised, of course. They were strong statements from someone so young. She said that the other day while we were on our way home from school. Briefly, it made me wonder how I am faring as a mom and what brought about the sentiment.
But a few heartbeats after Andrea uttered her no-marriage, no-child “death sentence,” I laughed a little too, and asked her, “Why?” I also told her with a smile that most likely, she will change her mind when she finds true love.
It’s a single scene and only one of the countless candid chats I’ve had with my little girl. But it speaks volumes of how motherhood has changed me. Rather than be contrary, judgmental or too serious, I’ve learned to lighten up – to laugh, to listen and to be hopeful when faced with the unpredictable, the uncertain, and the unexplainable.
There are (and there will be) heaps of these tricky, thorny moments, almost always inciting worry and fear and doubt. Accept and acknowledge them, along with the humility that there won’t always be answers or ready solutions.
Over the years, I’ve learned anyway that not all questions require answers. Sometimes, just being there and a heartfelt hug are all that your child wants.
Friends and “frenemies,” food, homework, teachers, grades, gadgets, games, schedules, sleepovers, growing up, death, danger, love and (sigh) the opposite sex will have to be discussed and dealt with. Yet you can’t be all grim and grave over these issues or you will forever be in a blue funk.
As it is, there is already too much to fret, fuss and be depressed about – endless bills and household chores (I’ve never had a maid, yaya or driver), rising food and gas prices, sky-high tuition fees, plundering politicians, nations at war, the merciless ISIS, global warming, etc. Being upbeat and keeping an open mind can counter and diffuse this multitude of negativity.
So what I do is savor the here and now, to delight in the little things and try not to be bothered and overwhelmed by situations and events that I can’t control. I brisk walk, watch what I eat, keep my home tidy, and get enough rest every day to stay healthy and energetic for my family.
I whoop for joy when I learn that my daughter aced both her Algebra test and her school’s essay writing competition and later, we plot on the best way to celebrate.
I let Andrea bike in the streets, but always with a helmet and with her cyclist-dad, amid the pollution, congestion, and reckless drivers galore. Occasionally, we ride rickety, “un-airconed” buses, jump into jeeps and let ourselves get crushed in the ultra crowded MRT.
We go to new places and save money for further travels. One day, she will explore on her own. But for now, we share and create fond memories together.
It’s a lot to be grateful for. Yes, that’s the best thing about being a mom. You grow, get old and exhausted through the years, but you also become infinitely appreciative of what you have.
And I will always be thankful that I had been blessed and entrusted to raise this particular child, who is kind, forgiving, and loving, and who once upon a time, even described me as “perfect.”
As Andrea snuggled up to me last night to tell me the latest trivia she unearthed about her crush, I smile and think what a wonderful mom she’d be one day. She just doesn’t know it yet.
About the author: Regina Posadas
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