Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend wonderings: Lessons my mother taught me

My mother and I have never got along.  Perhaps its due to our very differing personalities.  She, for one, is a pragmatic, efficient and practical person (To her, buying flowers is a waste of money as they don't last.  Anything purchased for the home must have a practical use, since paintings on the walls just mean more dusting.  Cleanliness is king.), while I tend to be idealistic and quite her anti-thesis (all my crafting, and love for pretty things, along with our overstuffed bookshelves simply makes her aghast, while I roll my eyes at her for wanting to pack her storeroom for perhaps the 100th time in a year).  We have opposite viewpoints on many things, and I must admit many a times, we do come to loggerheads over this and that.

However, though we are poles apart, I do appreciate how she has taken care of me and my brother all these years, quitting her job and making all those sacrifices to bring us up.  I guess one does not really understand how much time and self one has to give up for the sake of your children, until you actually become a parent yourself.  And along the way, I have learnt from her that:

:: The language of love can be a be a hard one to understand, but it can be learnt:
For mum, she was never the demonstrative type, and she wasn't the type to give you a hug, or praise you.  Often or not, good results would be questioned with a "but how did your friends do?".  She is quick to label Junior J as "lazy" if he doesn't want to try new learning activities.  But I've realized that she shows her care and concern through other means.  Like making sure that you have a decent breakfast before school, and trying to buy your favourite foods for lunch.  Or how she cuts Junior J's hair when it gets too long, or boils soup for him to drink, and buys pyjamas for him when he outgrows his old ones.

:: It is the little consistent acts of devotion that make the largest difference:
Mum took the time to ensure that my dad and us were all comfortable.  She was the one who took it upon herself to do all the chores (to the detriment of her health sometimes), and ensured that we always had home-cooked meals.  While she wasn't the type that would sit with us to read a book (she usually had her hands full running her household), or chat with us about our hopes and dreams, she was consistent in caring for us in the way she best knew how, taking care of our physical needs.  I guess even though it was hard to chat with her, it was always nice knowing she would be at home, there, stable and strong, when I came home from a long day at school.

:: Mothers are strong, because we need to be for our family's sake:
No matter what, she kept going.  She perservered on through the events that messed up our family... hung in there and kept at the housework even when she was sick.  And for this, she has my admiration.

We fight, we quarrel.  We hardly see eye to eye.  But she is still one woman that I do respect and love, and I really thank her for all that she has done for me.

And to all mothers out there... Happy belated Mother's Day.  Hope you had a blessed one!


  1. Thanks for sharing... :) My mum and I are very different too! And I've learnt that just because someone doesn't love you the way you think they should doesn't mean they don't love you. Happy Mothers Day!

  2. happy mother's day, mamaJ! and yup, thanks for sharing too :)
    my mum and i are poles apart, and that 'tough love' stance of hers can be terribly hard to understand and even accept. but as i grew older, it becomes clear that yes, she is also the one woman that i respect and love!

    mothers deserve love 24/7! :)

  3. Happy mothers day jus. For one, uve done a great job as mum n are still doing it! I admire all mothers out there too!

  4. I've learnt that we love our mums but we are not them & we don't have to be them! So it's ok to be a different kind of mother to our kids (exactly the way we want it!) Eg I wanna spend all my time playing, hanging out, chill & talk with Beanie like she's my best girlfren & not stuck with housework like our parents!

  5. I wish I could see my mother in that life...I tried really hard my entire life but I can't anymore. My father worked nearly 24/7 and we were living comfortably, but she wanted to work because by having me, she was forced to give up on marrying someone better than my father and having a better life. I had to do ALL the household chores in the house because it was my "duty" as a daughter. She was not required to do anything because she wasn't a maid. I was a straight A student most of my life, and was often beaten if I wasn't number one in the school (eg. for 100%: Why didn't you get 100% last time? Why don't you ever use your brain? for 99%: Why didn't you get a 100? You're so stupid, I'm ashamed to call you my daughter. Don't bring that here, I don't want to see it) I raised myself and my brothers and watched my parents have a dangerously abusive relationship, blocked the bad side of things from my brothers and sat quietly to take the blame for existing for every fight they had. Last year I finally left home and got married soon after. before leaving, I filed a domestic violence report against her for beating me up while her boyfriend held me down, nearly landing me in the ER, and she swore she would kill me for being an ungrateful burden to her. She later filed charges against me saying she was the perfect mother and I actually attacked her and regularly did so. She has since cut me off from my entire family and slandered my name throughout the country in which I now live. I wish I could see some positivity in her, and look back on our relationship the way you did, but my mother was nothing like that. The only sacrifice she made was giving birth to me instead of aborting me, but she was resenting me (and letting me know she did) every day of my life. There were no hot meals unless I cooked them or she was trying to suck up to family. Buying our favorite foods was considered a waste of money (which she would spend on manicures, jewelry, and getting her hair done). I believed that as I got older I would understand why, but I can't make sense of it. I think she needed mental help. I know a lot of people who had rough relationships with their mothers and later spoke of a secret way of showing love and so forth, but I never felt it, nor did I ever see it, and I still cannot.

  6. Thanks for sharing this MamaJ! It is not easy to take a step back to appreciate someone, warts and all. And so many of us have challenging relationships with our mums! Your mum does sound like a pillar of strength. Perhaps it is with that as a backdrop to your life you are free to pursue your creative side!

  7. Thanks everyone for the wishes, and sharing your thoughts about mums... :)

    AJ Nissa: Thank you for sharing your story. Am very sorry to hear about how tough it was for you. I popped by your blog and read about how you are now happily married and all, hope life is now better! Take care!



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