No mother-daughter relationship is perfect. There would be people who say their moms are their best friends, and just like any friendship, there will always be arguments and disagreements in between. But my mom and I used to fight a lot when I was younger.
During my teenage years, I was a stubborn girl who wanted to get out of the house a lot. I wanted to hang out with classmates and friends without a 9 p.m. curfew and go to school concerts that ended late.
I don’t live in the same house as my mom because my parents are separated. But she never failed to give me an earful whenever I went out without permission. She even grounded me one time and took my cellphone home with her for a week. And understandably so—I was just 14 to 15 years old, it practically isn’t legal for me to be out so darn late without adult supervision.
Fast forward to college, I was given a bit more freedom since 1) I studied in Manila and had to commute every day, and 2) I turned 18. But when I got my first boyfriend, my relationship with my mom became strained. Mostly because she didn’t like him and I hated that she did.
“He’s not a good person. He’s disrespectful,” she would tell me repeatedly. I’d rarely argue with her because of my timid nature during confrontations. But refusing to listen and defending the guy was enough to infuriate my mom more. Although after we broke up, I realized how her maternal instincts were correct.
Those are just a few instances but it felt like years before our fights and frustrations died down. Now that I’m 23, we now act like sisters with how great our relationship is going.
Sometimes I still look back at the times I disobeyed her and how annoyed I was when my mom wouldn’t allow me to do something. But it’s also because of my fear of getting reprimanded that I didn’t try doing anything rebellious like underaged smoking or drinking, which a lot of my high school classmates already did. (I never tried smoking until now.) So I don’t really have any complaints.
Thanks to my mom’s strict attitude and unfiltered words, I learned how to step back and say no when needed. She taught me to choose my battles and how to fight back when it’s necessary. She also told me to never depend on a man, even friends, to keep me going because if they all disappear in the end, I’ll only have myself. It’s like her non-cheesy version of “love yourself.” Fun fact: This is also why I got a tattoo of the lyric “Love yourself so no one has to” on my wrist.
My mom and I still disagree on a few things (like politics) but again, it’s only normal. If you have a tumultuous relationship with your mom, do know that it doesn’t last forever unless you allow it to.
So, happy mother’s day to my mom and all the moms out there. Thank you for being tough on us when it was needed.
Art by Marian Hukom
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