Happy mother’s day to all the mothers in the world. And to those who stepped on the shoes of being one, guardians, aunties, and grandmothers who chose to partake the responsibility. You didn’t only become a child’s first teacher, first love, and first friend, but also the angel to whom everything is owed, as God’s representative in our lives.
This mother’s day, I would like to focus on the very reason we’re having this celebration. There’s no guidebook in becoming a parent. With this innate gift, instinct just dictates everything most of the time when it concerns nurturing, care, and compassion. Let-down reflex, extraordinary patience, tiredness meter extending into full capacity, multi-tasking, and ability to interpret cries. These are some of the areas you will change into tremendously as soon as you become a mom. But this doesn’t measure the entire influence they have in our lives. It’s just something, to begin with.
You see, not all mothers are the same. And one thing I learned greatly is that, no matter how wrong or bad a mom is, in the eyes of their child, they are perfect. I see it in my child’s eyes and this always pushes me to strive to be better every day. It’s true what they say that when you had the shittiest day, it all gets wiped out once you are with your kids. Probably because of this very reason. They look up to us.
And this is how I want to honour the mothers in my family, most especially my mom and my mother-in-law.
25 PUSH-UPS FOR 25 DAYS CHALLENGE
I trust that all of you are well in reading this. But if you’re not, I hope you get something from this story.
Experiencing a lockdown for the first time in 37 years of my existence shook me up. I think the rest of the world is with me on this one. Undeniably, it stirred a lot of emotions, created a lot of awareness, and it made anxiety tangible for me. So crisp that it became a huge elephant in the room for a week. But as a mother, I cannot show panic as much as I want to in explaining to my 5-year old daughter why Chinese New Year break got extended for so long.
Eventually, my husband and I just dealt with it by realizing that this is what happens when you just stay inside the room for so long.
Both of us are outgoing. Between the two of us, my husband just lives and breathes nature. As an islander, staying inside the house eats him up. My kids were in the same pattern as him. Channelling mine into writing didn’t serve me long too. So we decided that no matter what, we’ll go to our building’s empty space by the third floor, and get some fresh air. Don’t worry folks, it was totally safe and it was just us there.
We worked out, we trained, played rugby, danced, had a picnic. We did everything to maximize the tame afternoon sun. Right before the sun sets, we head home. This routine kept us all sane. And then we got extended, being on lockdown, to avoid the second wave of infection so we did more. But something built inside us excessively. We missed our families in Samoa, America, and in the Philippines.
Thank God for the power of the internet, we were able to communicate with them as much as we could. But they were also running out of things to do, parts of the house to clean, and recipes to try. My husband, as the high-chief of their family, thought of something incredibly effective in binding the family together, keeping them healthy, and motivated. Something to look forward to every day. And the best drive was, it was something to accomplish every day in less than a minute.
Facebook was just resonating a lot of the 25 push-ups challenge for 25 days to create mental awareness, specifically, those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. People started to tag my husband which he thought, it could be done but how can it be challenging and fun enough for me to do for 25 days? And so, he involved his family.
Samoans are teddy bears. Strong and warriors by heart. And Hogan’s family were killing it. And it inspired me to do the same with my family. I would like to be careful in saying this. But I don’t want to go around the fact that as a member of Hogan’s family, being a Filipina and all, I’m the smallest.
And with my family, I’m the thickest. Big-boned, a mother of two, in 9 months post-partum in fact, and I have a deep desire to transform my life extraordinarily. The rest of them are just model-skinny despite having two children themselves. Let’s put it this way, fitting into my pre-pregnant clothes wouldn’t be bad is a thought that lingers in my mind. So, I know this challenge would benefit me. I answered him, “OK, I’m in.”
So far, we are passed our 10th day and in my own family, we are approaching there fast. I saw the strong men doing their all and I know they love how they are getting back into feeling good about themselves. A counter of the days are refreshed every day and I feel motivated to get up to add one day next to my name. I hope it goes with the rest. But moreover, I looked forward to seeing how others perform. Their videos were just inspiring, humorous, and were full of effort.
I saw how these extraordinary moms transformed beginning with “I’ll try my best” to a “What’s the next challenge?”. From push-ups, we added sit-ups. And now, we added a minute of the steady plank. Some were vocal of its effects and others posted a photo of their muscles. There were those who preferred doing it at the same time of the day. Some did variations of the ordinary push-ups into doing single-handed one. It was truly amazing to see. But nothing compares to how my mom and my mother-in-law revealed to me.
My mom could do more push-ups than my sister at 66 years old. She gave birth to
the three of us and survived brain surgery. I did not expect she will be up for this challenge and emerging even stronger. I got my volleyball fondness from her though and I know she played tennis during her time. But I underestimated her capacity.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, gave birth to 9 boys and 2 girls. She is 76 years old, with no ailments. She may not do the push-ups but she does the sit-ups with weight plate (10 kg), she can keep up with her grandchild in swimming to the sea, and she has her own aerobics routine every morning where she infuses downward dog and high planks with a little ponche, on both legs. It was mind-blowing.
Happy mother’s day supermoms!
A simple Happy mother’s day greeting can be easily sent. But seeing all of these I thought of writing about it as I don’t know when again could they exude such exemplary strength that it made me aspire a sustainable lifestyle, an innovation of self, and inner satisfaction. It changed my perspective on getting the 25 days finished up. Instead, it made me look to a life that these two lived happily. They delight in both their strengths and weaknesses. And live up to nobody’s expectation, except God’s. I am more than thankful that they are both in my kids. Because of their resilience, creativity, and love for the things they do and for the person they are will be passed on.
Words to part you with
The moment I gave birth to both of my kids, and while being on maternity leave, I always think about these two women. It may not be easy but because of them, being a mom is the most rewarding time of my life. Having kids is a privilege denied to many, but having kids is not the only measure of being a mother. Your bosses, those who had become mentors in career, religion, and growth, nannies and anybody who had nurtured someone to some extent, are all mothers in their own right. I am blessed that I got to fulfil my womanity by my two gorgeous girls. But moreover, I am blessed that I have two mothers to guide me and bless me and my family. You have a lifetime with your spouse and kids but we don’t have a lifetime with our moms, so hug them, tell them you love them, and allow me to celebrate all the moms in the world through this post. Happy mother’s day once again to all of you mothers out there!