An essay by Edlyn Jane Regner Agsoy
Motherhood ain’t easy. I’m no mother myself but I see all the love and sacrifices each mother gives to their children, to their family. Theirs is a love that knows no bounds. They are our ultimate cooks, our personal doctors, our on-call nurses and/or babysitters, teachers, counsellors, name them all, they will be whenever, wherever. There is even no measure the amount of sacrifice they would do for their family. Literally, they are our life’s hero.
Is there a formula to becoming a great mom? I doubt there is. To say one has succeeded and the other did not is a bit unfair. So how do our mothers do that?
I watched the mother-daughter interview of Lumen and Jenny Castaneda on episode 12 of Issues & Inspiration, a news and entertainment platform based in New York, USA, hosted by Marivir Montebon and Grace Labaguis. Lumen is a retired school teacher in the Bronx while her daughter Jenny works for a construction company in Manhattan. They talked about their loving relationship, how they navigate through life growing up, and shared their life’s greatest lessons. And I can’t help to agree on the following:
1. No FAVORITES. Children don’t take it lightly when they see someone has to be regarded special among them siblings or when their mom takes side when a fight ensues. I remember a scene in a hit pinoy movie Four Sisters & A Wedding when the character of Bea Alonzo narrates her insecurities, those specific times in her childhood when she felt that she is not her mom nor her dad’s favorite. That scene cuts deep. Sometimes, mothers unknowingly creates that kind of perception. They probably might not be aware of it, but children are very keen on things. They see and they remember. Most of the time, they remember well.
As what Mrs. Lumen Castañeda shared in the episode, children must always feel secured in their mom’s unwavering love for them. She said in verbatim, “If you do not maintain that love, then you get out of hand. You have to keep on loving your children, no favorites.”
As we know, siblings are not born exactly alike. Each has their own personality and characteristics that makes them differ from the other. To each his own. Children growing up don’t get it when we just say they are loved equally. You need to show it. Actions more than words. So how do mothers balance care and being fair? It must be tough on them to master this!
2. Walk with FAITH. This moved me. The noise of the world is deafening. It could sometimes drift us and make us think we are here on our own. The world is offering us so many distractions that we sometimes forget there is a God for us. A God who will always be there for us, if we let Him be. Mothers are regarded as the light of the family. This is a no easy feat, a big responsibility I must say. It’s hard enough to think for our own, how much more for an entire family unit? There is even no manual on being a mother. You cannot know it all. Sometimes it’s okay to lift it up to God and let Him guide you on what to do. Just like Ms. Jenny Castañeda said, “as long as you have God with you, you will never fail, He will always be there to pick you up”.
3. Be FORGIVING. Sounds so simple, but I actually find this the hardest! Who would want to forgive those who intentionally wronged us? Those who did not even recognized nor admitted they are wrong? Human as we are, we want to get even. But, should we be the one to do it? Putting things in perspective, this might be actually good for us. Imagine the amount of time wasted in hating someone? It will not only cost us our peace of mind, it also creates so much negativity in our life! That time should be spent in doing things that are good for us, those we find meaning and purpose. There is a God who knows our struggles. We have to let go and let God. Besides, what would it take us to forgive someone? So, let’s forgive and let’s forgive quickly!
4. KARMA is real. There is an old adage, “do not do unto others what you would not want others do unto you.” This is the golden rule. As the song goes, “what goes around comes around, what goes up must come down”. How easy it would be if we all go by it. But then its not, so what could we do? Simple. Read back number 3 and wait for karma to bite them in the ass. #
(About the writer: Edlyn Jane R. Agsoy, a cum laude Psychology graduate, lives in Cebu, Philippines and works at the human resource department of a forwarding company.)