Straight from a Mom’s Heart: Mother’s Day 2011

On Sunday, I’ll celebrate Mother’s Day for the 2nd time. This year is extra special because I can tell Megan I love her and she can respond to me with “I love you, Mommy!” in her most cute and sweet “baby” language and hopefully her Tatay will guide her in greeting me “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!” while giving me her most beautiful smile and sweetest kiss and hug. Priceless, isn’t it?

Unlike the first time, I’m now a working mom. Believe me, going through that phase when you’re confused whether to be a full-time Mom or a career Mom is stressful enough. I wished and prayed that I would get a job so that I can buy her the things that will make me happy upon buying them for her. I didn’t realize it will be this hard. It could have been harder if I were a commuting career mom. Being at home working gave me some more time to spend with Megan. She would probably remember that I am not an absent mom. This online work enables me to not miss her so much. I am enjoying work while still doing things for her – I bathe her, change her diapers, prepare her milk, dance her to sleep and give her her vitamins. But there are times that I wish I am not working at all. There are days when she is sick and I cannot even hold her for long since I need to get back to work. There are days when she likes to play with me but I cannot let Skype show me as away. There are days when I simply give in. It breaks my heart that this is the best way I can balance things. I hope being a working mom is not as complicated as it is. Regardless if I were telecommuting or not, the point is I am an employee who is expected to serve this company while at the same time I am still a round-the-clock mom. That’s one hella big deal.

My growing Megan surprises me with a lot of things. I teach her some words and she’s able to form her own ideas. I watch baby DVDs with her and she’s able to enjoy and learn them. I introduce her to new things and she’s never failed to say “wow.” I give her food and she’s asking for her plate and spoon. I brush her teeth and she’s asking for more toothpaste. I show her pictures and she’s posing in the camera for more. I teach her how to kiss and embrace me and she randomly gives me kisses and hugs. I can go on and on. You know what they mean when they say that only your mother thinks you’re beautiful when you’re not so pretty, I know what the mother is thinking and feeling. A mother knows how to appreciate her child. She knows the uniqueness of a child. She knows how to value small things and make them seem bigger. She knows how to nurture. Above all, she knows how to love.

Allow me to back up a bit. Last Holy Week, I was able to watch TV again. How I missed watching TV! After 29 years, I finally saw the significance of Mama Mary. I pray for her intervention but this time it was different. I appreciate and learn a thing or two from her story. I am inspired to say the least. She was a grieving mother but she was called to selflessness. Our children are not ours. We may have carried them in our wombs for nine months, took care of them for years, sacrificed a lot for them but we cannot decide for them, we cannot hold them back from what they want to pursue in life, we cannot force them to give back. They pay it forward in a sense. It was more painful for her since her child had an extraordinary mission but who can be more proud? Throughout her story, one thing is for sure – her role was to love her child until His most difficult ordeal, until his death and even beyond. That love is simple yet powerful. That is a mother’s love.

That love doesn’t grow big or become intense just like that. It is a product of something that happens inside her heart every single day since she conceived a baby. A woman becomes a better person because of her child. I, for instance, am a picky eater. But because I was pregnant, I got to eat vegetables. I tried to save money before (yes, I tried) but now I know how to budget our finances with her needs first. I am more careful with what I say and how I say it. I am cautious with my actions. I became a forward-thinking person. I crossed out being self-centered in my vocabulary. She helped me discover the many good traits I have and change (or lessen) the bad ones. I am grateful for all the benefits I gained from the responsibilities that I needed to manage so well. Motherhood forced me to become a better person not just for me but for her. I am growing and blooming along with her. Life has more meaning because of my attention to everything that happens and will happen. Life has been more beautiful and more fulfilling. And with that, how can someone not be so dang good with loving?

My fears are as real as any Mom’s. Having so much love, I only want the BEST for her. When Megan is sick, I don’t just wish that I were the one who is sick but I call on to God to make her healthy during her entire life. When I see the negative things around, I pray for peace. When there are problems, I believe in harmony. I worry with everything little thing that seems wrong. I want her to have a life which I never had and more. At the end of the day, she will choose the life she’ll live and I want to be her best friend. That someone who she looks up to, who she will share her joys and successes and who she will go to when she feels alone. And I’d be the most hardcore fan she’d ever have.

Let me share this with you to serve as an inspiration to all Moms for the difference they can make in this world by just raising at least one good child and the karma that it will bring to your generations yet to come – here it goes –

What Will Matter
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no days, no hours or minutes. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will all expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Your gender, skin color, ethnicity will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage and sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
~ by Michael Josephson ~

And if that doesn’t feel enough, here are prayers for you:

O Lord
I need your help today.
I want to care
for those you’ve sent into my life,
to help them develop the special gifts
you’ve given them.
But I also want to free them
to follow their own paths
and to bring their loving wisdom
to the world.
Help me
to embrace them without clutching,
to support them without suffocating,
to correct them without crushing.
And help me
to live joyfully and playfully, myself,
so they can see your life in me
and find their way to you.
Amen.

Today I’m going to smile, and mean it.
I won’t half- listen,
or be too busy to respond.
I won’t shoo them away if I’m occupied.
Today, I will try,
I will fight hard to not be cranky,
and I will hear it all for myself, not second-hand.
Today I’m going to snack on some baby cheeks
as much as possible.
I’m going to play tickle wars,
and video games,
and read and read and read,
and pretend the Jonas Brothers,
playing monsters,
and the princesses are the awesomest things ever.
Today I’m not going to snap,
or overreact.
I’m not going to get upset,
(please don’t let me get upset)
I will promise to count to ten before reacting,
while taking deep breaths.
Today I’m going to laugh a little bit more,
and be brave a little bit more.
I will hug and kiss them,
and remember they’re still learning,
just as I’m still learning, too.
Today I will try not to forget their feelings,
and hope and pray they remember mine, too.
(And perhaps my sanity)
Even if it’s not okay,
I will live and breathe as though it is.
Because they are worth it.
And so am I.
*Content in quotes came from the internet.

When Sushmita Sen said that the essence of being a woman is carrying a child, she meant that a woman’s ability to become a mother in all aspect – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – is a BLESSING like no other. And I will be forever thankful, honored and privileged.