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The Lessons We Keep For Life
The new Safeguard ad of Norman King is so inspiring, I shed some unexpected tears especially about the mom-and-son aspect of the story among the many lessons we can take away from it. Mostly, it had me reflecting on the relationship my mom and I have that looking back, really molded me into who I am today. My dad was in the Military as a soldier and was assigned to different far-flung places – so ever since we were little, it really has been my mom who took care of us and was “present” our whole lives. She was a strict, somewhat overbearing mom who reminded us non-stop on everything from taking our vitamins, putting on lotion at night, studying hard, learning to be independent, etc. You know, the typical “tiger mom” who wanted her kids to achieve and be successful in life.
Back then, I thought she was “nagging” us too much – even telling myself that when I become a mom myself, I would never be too strict or naggy (?!) like her. Well, it’s been 5 years of being a mom and I’m realizing I might even be more strict than her with my kids now! Ha ha! One of the things that stuck with me about motherhood was when I was leaving for a semester abroad in France and my mom was hesitant on letting me go live by myself alone in a far-off country with no relatives close by. A friend of hers told her, “She’s almost 20 now. Let her go be independent away from you so you see how well you raised her.” The powerful insight around the Norman King ad – that a mom’s provisions sets her child for life – rings true on so many levels and in different ways.
What I Learned From My Momma
It’s hard to enumerate the various lessons my mom imparted to me throughout these years. But one of the things that she directly or subconsciously taught me which got me through the darkest moments in my life is that she reinforced me to be a strong, independent person. That I can do anything if I put my heart and mind into it – with God above all. That it’s okay to experience failure, to get my heart broken, to choose the wrong decisions sometimes because that’s part of life and we have to focus on our next moves after that instead of being defeated by them. And that no matter what happens, I always have her to turn to – even if we fight numerous times, disagree on the smallest non-issues, and get hurt by words thrown out in anger.
We don’t have the ideal mom-daughter relationship where we’re super close like BFFs but I know that I can always run to her whenever I have problems. Having her in my life made me confident in my endeavors, failures and challenges. And in whatever decisions I make, her voice always reverberates in my head – “Basta alam mong mabuti ang gagawin mo, ipaglaban mo” . Now that I’m a mom, she never fails to remind me “Basta importanteng healthy ka dahil kailangan ka ng mga anak mo. Alagaan mo sila pero alagaan mo rin ang sarili mo.”
In a world where there is already so much pressure to be the “perfect mom” who will do everything for their kids – like she did – she’s been supportive on my work, even taking care of my kids when I’m out. We still have petty fights every now and then, but with more understanding on my part how it is to be a mom. Ang hirap. Sobrang hirap maging ina, friends. On Instagram, it looks so easy and fun and stress-free but in reality, the smallest things will make you want to crawl in a hole and voodoo your kids to be obedient and follow your every word instantly. Hahaha!
Real Mom, Not a Cool Mom
“I’m gonna be a cool mom!”, I told myself a million times over when I was not a mom yet. Well, nagising ako sa katotohanan. With so many spoiled, entitled kids these days who want everything to be spoon-fed to them, I now understand why it’s dangerous to be an overly “cool” mom who will just let your kids do everything and anything they want. I would much rather hear the words “You’re the worst mom ever!” now than have to bail my child out of prison in the future (*knock on wood* OA pero you never know). Of course, it could also go another way if you’re too strict that your kids will rebel and overthrow you and file for emancipation – and that my friends is why parenting is so fun. You will never really know your effect on your kids until they grow up and are off by themselves.
For My Kids
As for my kids, I don’t want to be too optimistic or idealistic. I just want to be the best and happiest mom that I can be – which varies from day to day, to be honest – and let my kids enjoy their childhood. If there’s one thing I remember, it’s that no matter how strict my mom was – she let us experience playing outside in the dirt, getting our knees scraped (way too many times for me) and catching butterflies. I want the kids to experience that same freedom without sacrificing their health, of course.
That’s why even in the simplest things like washing their hands, I’ve been quite the “nagging” mom. In Selene’s case, it didn’t take a lot of reminding especially since she saw up close how germs look like in the Safeguard lab when we went to Singapore. After that incident, she’d even be the one to remind me to wash our hands before eating, after playing and every time she touched something she thought was dirty. Ha ha – she turned into quite a germophobe after that lab tour.
Some of the most important lessons or values that I’m adamant on teaching both Selene and Tristan though is being compassionate and kind-hearted to everyone. I’ve been teaching Selene the value of selflessness – that the world doesn’t revolve around her and that even if we don’t have much, we should give back to those who have less than us. Every day is a valuable lesson to the kids – and they learn most by what they see in us. That’s why though I’m not the perfect mom, I’ve been doing all that I can to #LiveMyBestLife (that damn hashtag going around the net these days) in hopes of inspiring my kids to be their best selves too.
Ending this post with this – my simple pabaon to them to always use Safeguard when washing their hands so that they are protected from illnesses, germs, etc. has been taken to heart. Magtatayo yata kami ng sari-sari store at magtitinda ng Safeguard at Downy sa dami ng kinuha nila, friends. Hahaha!
How about you? What life lessons from your mom got you through your life’s own challenges?
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