Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday of May, and before this month ends, I’d like to share with you this conversation I had with Juneaue, my 9-year old son.
He had this homework in Kindergarten wherein he had to answer “What does your mom do?”. What he wrote was, “Nothing, she just sleeps all day. But she’s brainy. She knows a lot”. Though brainy sounded nice, the first sentence somehow pinched my heart. I never forgot about it; his statement lingered for years. While the sleeping part is true since I worked in the night shift, the guilt that was eating me for quite some time finally engulfed me.
Moments like these sometimes make a mother question her value. No matter how much we validate the need to provide, it is always heartbreaking to step out of the house, especially with a child in tears begging his parent not to work. Imagine how double or triple the pain is for single mothers or OFW parents.
This went on for years. And as much as I would like to stay up for more play or bonding time, there really were times wherein my sleepy head got the best of me. God knows how much I wanted to change careers and be WHOM (work-from-home-mom) – for my situation though, this is nothing more than wishful thinking.
When my son had to move to the islands due to some unexpected and critical life events, my whole world shattered. But as parents, we must always make a choice for our children’s welfare regardless how popular or unpopular the decision might be for others. And so, I chose to be left all alone in Manila to work.
Not seeing my son for months, however, took a toll on me and led to episodes of mental breakdown as the questions of “what kind of mother am I” seemed to be gnawing my insides. I was so ready to let go of everything – my 30+ years life in Manila, my father, my business, all my childhood memories and memento, my career, and all the things that (I think) define me… everything for that one moment to be with my son again. As I’ve said in one of my posts, I do not ask the Lord God to grant anything I want anymore; but, during that time though, I asked Him instead to place me somewhere I can serve Him more. True enough, God’s grace is more powerful than all our wants and desires combined. My granted application to be relocated to Cebu was a testimony of God’s love and mercy.
Ever since I moved to the island city, I’ve been able to spend more time with Juneaue. Frequent trips to the beach have been a regular adventure. Every time we board a boat or ship, we shriek “We are Voyagers!” like how Moana did when she discovered her ancestors’ hidden vintas in a cave. I talked to him about that homework one lazy afternoon under our mango tree and asked him again, ‘What do you think Mama does? What do you think of me?’ This is what he has got to say:
“Mama is a writer and a diver (scuba). Mama is lovable, sporty, beautiful… and brainy”.
Funny how he added brainy like how probably he recalled his answer way back. More than that though, it warms me to know that in some way, he knows me now. Although writing and diving are not really my profession (but side shticks), those are huge improvements from “Nothing”. I love that he had “lovable” as the first on his list; for me, the other adjectives are cherries on top.
As they say, our children grow so fast, and before we know it, they are out there more with their friends than with us. Let’s spend time with them as much as we can. I know this is a challenge for working single moms like me, especially those who are in the night shift, but know that we can find ways to spend more quality time with them before the time gets run out. I must admit that I’ve had a lot of opportunities while we were living together in the city, but clichè it may sounds, it is indeed never too late to start all over again.
Let’s do what we think in our heart is right. It is not easy to tell someone, more over to a parent, what s/he should do, or judge her/his actions as we don’t know what s/he had to go through. One good friend told me before, “Doing something bad in others’ eyes does not mean you are a bad person/ mother. It’s just that at that moment, it was the best and most rightful thing to do”.
“Doing something bad in others’ eyes does not mean that you are a bad person/ mother. It’s just that at that moment, it was the best and most rightful thing to do”.
And for mothers like me who tend to question themselves and/or are unsure whether they are doing the right thing or not, stay strong, Sister. Only you know what’s the best for your children, and no one should judge you for that. I’m not an expert on parenting either, but we are all work-in-progress, aren’t we? Keep the faith! I’m one holler away if you need a friend.
Care to share some parenting tips and tricks? Feel free to comment below.
Stay loved and blessed!