My mom is a stay-at-home mom. And I’ve become more appreciative of that since I became one myself. All those years she spent taking care of my siblings and me, she taught us a lot of things. But for now, I want to focus on three things she taught me that are still valuable now as it was then.
She taught me how to pray.
“Lord, huwag nyo po sana kaming pababayaan.” It always started with this. I can still remember her and me on the bed before going to sleep saying this. She taught us that we can pray anytime. She taught us that we can lift our concerns to God, and that He will always listen. This is a very valuable thing she taught us.
When I became an adult, I learned that, in life, there is only so much I can do. I learned that there are many things I don’t understand. I learned that people, no matter how much they love us, are not perfect. But with prayer, I became more grateful for the blessings I received, and I’ve learned to be more dependent on God.
She taught me how to do chores and other tasks.
Whenever I adjust the hemlines of my husband’s pants, I remember my mom teaching me how to do it. She used to show me how she would sew my dad’s pants. When my siblings and I were younger, she taught us how to clean our rooms, wash dishes, wash our clothes. I remember there was a time she ordered me to clean fish. It felt like torture then. I was literally crying while I was removing the gills of the fish. I guess there was no need to put salt. Luha ko pa lang, pampalasa na. Hahaha. I didn’t appreciate those chores then. But oh how important they are to me now.
Recently, our helper had a long vacation… a 26-day vacation. (The only time I had a long vacation was when my husband and I had our honeymoon. And it was even shorter than that.) Anyway, even with three kids and being in my third trimester of pregnancy, I was not in panic mode. I was tired, but I knew what to do. Well, the house was not as clean; we had some days when we had our food delivered; there were days when my kids didn’t take a shower. But those were alright.
Honestly, this no-helper situation was nothing compared to what she did when we were kids. There was a time when we had no water source (other than rain collected in big drums), so we had to get water from a pump that was away from our house. We even had a kariton for that. We had no electricity so she had to use the kind of iron that uses charcoal. Grabe. Wonder Woman.
She taught me that parenting has no end.
My siblings and I are all adults now. But there are still moments when we call our mom for help.
Whenever my sister or I give birth, she was always there. She would teach us techniques in taking care of a newborn – how to put cloth diaper on, how to bathe a baby. She would tell us not to let the back of our babies get sweaty or that we have to keep changing the baby’s position to prevent a flat head. She would also set up a duyan using blanket to help the baby sleep faster. She was also the one who pushed me to move so I can heal faster, especially when I had a ceasarian with my firstborn.
When two of my kids had dengue last year, she was in the hospital with us everyday. I knew going to the hospital from their house was not that easy, but she was still there.
During times when I had no helper, she would be there to lessen the load for me. She would wash the dishes or cook food. Or she would look after the kids so my husband and me can have a break.
Whenever my family and I would go on trips, I am in charge of packing things. I am in charge of bringing what each person needs (like clothing), and what the whole family might need (like medicine). But when we go to a trip with my mom and dad and siblings and their families, my mom will still be the one in charge of bringing ulam for everyone and other things.“Ma, nakalimutan ko magdala ng shampoo. Pahingi ako.” or “Ma, may dala kang extra unan?” And the funny thing is that almost always, she did have extra. 🙂
My mom has done a lot for our family. And she continues to do so even when most of my siblings and I have families of our own. And we are very grateful for that.