WALTER Macpeek has this interesting anecdote regarding a mother who had raised three sons and two daughters, all achievers. When asked her formula for being a successful parent, she answered: “I do not know. I just love them and trust them.”
I asked the same question to a neighbor who happens to have five children as well. Her response was quick and straightforward.
“I give everybody the same love and care although this may vary as to how I would manifest my feelings.”
Then she proceeded to explain that with girls, it is much easier to show affection and it is rewarding since they readily reciprocate. The approach is different with boys, especially when they are in their teens: “Manifestation of motherly affection in public is taboo with young boys. They get embarrassed.”
As household managers, mothers give janitorial, tutorial and shuttle services. Her resume must include knowledge of accounting and purchasing skills. Her culinary skills must be enticing and appetizing so her children will not resort to food delivery. She must be an expert in counseling; ready to act as an arbiter when there is dispute at the home front.
A mother must have some knowledge on first aid, including kissing a bruised knee and a bear hug for wounded feelings. Mothers can relate to this, for it is in the kitchen that mothers are most challenged, especially when she has more than one child.
“Eat your veggies.” Sound familiar? Another may be allergic to seafood. One, hates any food that is black like dinuguan and adobong pusit. Another loves pasta, while the other likes to have burgers, French fries and pizza every day. Picky? If a mother can afford it, might as well hire a chef.
When children get sick, there are those who prefer to be pampered and cuddled. While others would rather be left alone, showing some kind of independence. Limit the motherly attention to dispensing of medications.
Mothers are expected to have a listening ear. Listen to every complaint, legitimate or trivial; to every grievance, petty or serious; to every child’s caprice beyond a mother’s monthly budget.
Disciplining is even difficult when a child has an “attitude.” The situation is compounded when a child is handicapped either physically or mentally. Nevertheless, she tries to give her best and allows her nurturing instinct to lead her.
Mothers did not apply for the job, after all it is not a job. It is motherhood. This is the reason why we honor mothers.