Today is mother's day. Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there! I have been a mom for more than six years now and I still feel giddy whenever I am greeted on mother's day! haha.
Earlier today, I wanted to google something (google is now a verb right?) I found it amusing when the laptop showed a letter G wearing a pearl necklace while 2 letter O's came bounding in giving the letter G a big hug. Google has such cute ways of celebrating various important dates, Mother's Day included. Then I realized, I also own a pearl necklace! Am I now part of the stereotype that is motherhood? My mother didn't own a pearl necklace, but she was the best mother in the world, showing me unconditional love and understanding and forgiveness and support. I just wish I can even be half the mother that she was, then I would've known that I am a good mother.
As much as I love my mother, if there was one thing I could as her to change, it would be her overprotectiveness. I know my mother loved me, and I know she believed in me and that she wanted only the best for me, but in so doing she protected me from so many things, including many important life lessons I could have learned.
Until I was in high school, my mother chose what I wore, and because of this, I developed no fashion sense at all. I guess she wanted to spare me from the time-consuming decisions a teenage age girl goes through about what she wants to wear for the day. Sadly though, because of this I never discovered my own fashion style, what I liked, what I didn't like. It was only in college (during summer classes since we got to wear civilian clothes and not our uniforms) that I got the chance to choose my own clothes but by then I was just lost. It was all Tshirt and jeans for me. I never really develop the love for good and tasteful clothes, and shoes for that matter.
Another thing she protected me from was choosing impractical courses and choosing a too progressive (radical) school. Yep, I never got to choose my course or school in college. I am sorry to say that although I know my parents only had the best intentions for me, this has caused me (and still does) a great deal of sadness and confusion. Being good (or at least acceptable) at something you don't like at all is a curse. They were correct of course, I found a good job almost immediately, and have stayed on because of the security and stability... but I am unhappy.
I was also protected from basic social obligations. My mother always did the talking for me. I was terribly shy (still am) and being the youngest, I was taught not to join in the "adult conversation" (usapang matanda) so whenever we had company, I'd greet the visitors politely and retire to my room. I was never expected to entertain. And so I never developed the gift of small talk, and entertaining. Thankfully I have a husband who is a born entertainer... hahaha, and now he does most of the talking for me too.
When I got married and became a parent, I told myself I will not do these things to my child. I will not overly protect or limit and I will not impose. Now however, I realize it is easier said than done. When one has a child, all you want to do is to protect and spoil the kid to death. Yes, that is the instinct. I want to give my Bea everything, and I would like to give in to her every whim. I also have this idea that I, being the adult, know what's best. What does she know, she is merely a child (who happens to have strong opinions)? The world is a bad place and this child must be protected... always.
This must be how my mother felt about me. It's true what they say, you'll only truly understand your mother when you become one yourself, and I appreciate her even more now.
But as much as I love my daughter, I must resist. Tough love and all that. I want her to be happy, to be fully developed, and be her own person. I want her to go through the process of finding her own personality not just the goody-goody personality dictated by society. I want her to experience life. Hopefully, she will thank me later. Hopefully....