Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, and Rossana Unson tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
My mom was crazy. I mean, whose mom wasn’t, right? She wore her Walkman in the supermarket and sang along to Barbara Streisand/Barry Gibb duets at the top of her voice, without realizing the whole bloody supermarket could hear her. I know. Cringe-worthy, right?
When I was 13, she caught one of my classmates at a party, passing a bottle of gin and tonic to our driver so he could help open it. She ended up throwing its contents on my poor male classmates lined-up in our garage, coupled with a 30-minute speech on the evils of drinking alcohol at the tender age we all were. Of course, while this was going on, my teen-age BFF and I were crying buckets foreseeing our popularity quotient plummeting from 10 (because I was having a party at my house!) to maybe -12, IF I was lucky.
Those two examples alone, we have already confirmed my mom’s insanity. I have a lot more instances that will convince you without a doubt that she was quirky, but this isn’t about dissing my mom. I’m pretty sure if you ask my daughters now if their mom is crazy, they’re going to tell you exactly the same thing I’m telling you now (except I do not sing. I dance. And I don’t dance in the supermarket. I just do it at home. To irritate them, because it’s fun.) All moms are crazy.
Despite this, now that I’m a big girl, with daughters of my own, I know that despite her eccentricities, I also learned a helluva lot about strength from her.
She used to say this a lot. Now I know that the only one who can carry out what I want done, in the best possible way, is me. Common sense, actually. Counting on others to carry out tasks may be called delegating but at the end of the day, you know exactly what you want done and how. So do it yourself when you can. Except ironing, because I iron like sh*t.
Way before there was Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, there was Falcon Crest and Knot’s Landing. We used to get advance episodes on Betamax with two to three episodes per tape. I remember her excitedly loading them into our machine while I wailed, “But I have homework!” and she’d reply, “Do it later, after this!”
Yes, homework is important. Don’t tell your kids it’s not, but let them live a little! Life isn’t just about homework, exams, grades, etc. It is also about fun. And having fun with a parent or both parents is a good way to make normal people out of your kids.
It really pisses me off when I hear women to this day, say they’re “just” housewives or “plain” housewives. WTF! Yes, my mom was the quintessential “doña” back in the day when we had three house helpers and a driver, but as time wore on, and things happened, I saw my mom do housework I’d never seen her do before. Cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry are not easy. My mom did all that for herself and for me and I don’t remember her complaining much about it. She just did it and from what I can recall, she did it pretty well.
My mom had a hammer, nails (cement nails, too!), a drill and her toolbox was complete. My mom did a lot of handiwork around the house mostly by choice but often out of necessity. She was never helpless because we didn’t have a dad around the house and if ever the handiwork was something she definitely couldn’t handle, she called for help. We were never helpless females at home.
So yes, even if my mom was crazy, I learned so much from her. From her strength, her drama, her way of looking at life and from the way she loved me, however strange it sometimes was. This March for Women’s Month, I pay tribute to my mom. I love you!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya