July 25, 2017

K-Drama Mama: Has Becoming a Mother Dulled My Senses for Romance?


Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. JulianoMarla DarwinMonica Eleazar-ManzanoRossana Unson, and Ronna Capili-Bonifacio tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.

I blame my children. One fateful evening, after they had gone and played for hours in Timezone, they hit the sack earlier than usual and I found a bit of extra free time on my hands. What’s a momma to do? Mop the floors? Fix my closet? Marinade tomorrow’s meals? I figured, the wisest use of my time was to watch one episode of a popular K-drama just to see what all the fuss was about.

After watching three full episodes and upon realizing it was already the next day, I finally figured that the actual wise decision—at that point at least—was to shut my laptop down. It was only a matter of hours before my tiny humans were bound to wake up with a fresh load of energy just waiting to be exhausted. And I was sure going to need a fresh brew when that happens.

Goblin was the hottest K-Drama at that time so I indulged my K-drama loving friends who were egging me on to try it (like Anne Curtis) and gave it a go. I admit I couldn’t stop binge-watching but I was also looking at everything with my newbie, outsider’s, and mama point of view.

I had so many questions—why does each encounter of the lead love team always necessitate scoring? Why do they spend so much of the episode just thinking about what could have been and what happened? Um, would it not have been more productive if they just went out and grabbed life by the balls? Most importantly, why is everyone’s skin immaculate?

Rather than watching Ji Eun-tak and Kim Shin’s will-they-or-won’t-they as if it was my story, I kept thinking, what if these are my kids? What would I do? (Obviously, if I was Kim Shin’s eomma, I would probably be dead and unable to give any sage advice seeing he’s almost 1,000 years old, but you get what I mean, right?)

I finished the series, because I’m no quitter, and told my husband K-drama wasn’t for me. So I downloaded the Viu app and tried the latest series being talked about by my friends online, Fight for My Way. Maybe it was just that one series that didn’t pique my interest as I had expected it to.

More than halfway through Fight for My Way and I find myself thinking about the same things. What if these lead characters were my kids? What would I do or say? I watch the older characters, the parents of the leads and think, how heartbreaking it must be to fail your kids, or, all she wants is for her daughter to be valued and be seen as the precious girl that she is. I gloss over the romantic dialogue of Ae Ra and Dong Man, not minding that I need to miss the subtitles to check if my baked chicken is done roasting but I can’t miss the discussion between the parents of the second lead, Sul Hee, about her future marriage. (No spoilers here.)

Has becoming a mother dulled my senses for romance? I would hate to say that I’ve lost my capacity for sweet nothings and stomach flutters but when I watch these gorgeous Korean characters struggle to find love, I am not moved.

I’m realizing that perhaps the realities of early motherhood and wifehood has given me a new perspective. While new love is exciting, loyal love is what holds us together. I’m not interested in stories of fated-ness, because every day, through the daily grind of being a mom, I am taught that love chooses. It chooses to show up. It chooses to sacrifice. It chooses to serve.

Being a family woman has taught me that it’s the quiet sort of love, one that doesn’t need to announce nor prove itself, that is the most spectacular. It’s the love that changes diapers upon diapers, even when you’re cross-eyed from sleep deprivation. It’s the love that does laundry even when it’s not your assigned chore. It’s the love that cooks a full breakfast to let mommy sleep in. It’s a love that calls their fully-grown adult child just to see if they’re eating properly.

I’m still going to continue to finish this K-drama that I’ve started, but largely it’s because I can’t start a story and not know its end. But as for the romance that hasn’t captured my attention, it may no longer be my cup of tea but I don’t belittle it. And when I see it in real life, I won’t say it’ll fizzle out once you get married and have kids. I will smile and know that one day, when your love grows, you will enjoy an even better kind of love. And what will make your stomach flutter will be someone’s first steps, or the sound of their key’s opening the front door.

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

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Filed Under:

culture, Goblin, K-Drama, Korean drama, marriage, momhood, Motherhood, relationship, tv, Viu

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