What My Mom Taught Me, Week Two

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When we mention the word, Mom, what’s the first character trait that comes to mind? Sacrifice. Sacrificial love. Selflessness. Moms are some of the most selfless people in the world. No matter the status of your relationship with your Mom, you would surely agree that at some point in your life, she has made sacrifices for you and your family. Selflessness is a trait our mothers taught us.

My mom was selfless. She was willing to sacrifice for the sake of the family without thinking of her own comfort. -Mayeen

What does a selfless person looks like? An online dictionary describes a selfless person as one who have no or little concern for the self especially with regard to fame, position or money. That’s probably how I would also describe my Mom.

I’ve witnessed how she forgot her own wants and desires in order to keep the family together. Growing up, we did not have the picture-perfect family. Relationships were not at all ideal but we stuck together because of my mom. But despite all her trials, the Lord has been merciful and gracious to her. In my heart, I know He is restoring our family and He is doing it one family member at a time.

I’m struggling to write this post… flashes of childhood memories and my experiences as a first time mom bring tears to my eyes…You see, I don’t want to sound too patronizing of moms because I am a Mom. I simply want to honor my Mom and other moms who might be reading this. Motherhood is not always about fuzzy feelings. It’s an enormous role given to us by God and only we have one shot at it. But thank God because as He called us to be mothers, he promised to guide us and give us the grace daily. A big hug to all you selfless Moms!

selflessness

What kind of person were you before you became a Mom? Were you the independent, go-getter, results-oriented woman who would stop at nothing to reach her goal and be the best? You’ve created your 10-year plan. Mapped out your travel destinations for the next year or so. Then, everything changed when your doctor confirmed the test, yes, you are having a baby.

You are now faced by your growing belly, hormonal changes and insecurity because of some physical limitations. Yet you continued to work and do what you can until the big day.

Then, in one final push in the delivery room, you’re a Mom. Everything changed when you held your first baby in your arms. As if the 10-year plan or travel bookings were temporarily put on hold because you want to spend every second of your life with this babe in your arms.

You suddenly realized that your world does not revolved around you anymore. Your world has a new star and he or she demands your utmost attention and care 24/7. As motherhood grows on you, you start to think less of yourself, delay or totally forget about your personal interests and start planning for the life of this new baby.

You no longer cared if you have enough sleep. You’d skimp on things that you once thought were essentials. You became more caring not only for your child but for other people too. You prioritized your child’s need first before yours. You’d save for your child’s schooling rather than buy that expensive bag. You’d rather cook a meal at home than dine out. You’ve realized the importance of practical and simple living. You are starting to think less of yourself and more of your child.

As the baby grows older, you then become the clown, chef, teacher, singer, dancer, driver, coach, errand girl, doctor, dentist, psychologist, counselor, problem-solver, trouble-shooter, and even handyman, on top of your work at home, in the office and your role as wife. But you never complain. You get exhausted, of course but seldom do you complain. Why? Because the Lord has changed the once “it’s all about me” woman to a selfless mom.

My mom is the gentle and sympathetic woman. She always have a listening ear to everyone. – Liza

Photo by Remi Walle

Kindness is the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care. Our moms are the first people who modelled kindness.

Showing kindness to our children is effortless. It’s automatic, I guess. Whatever we can do to help them out, we will do it even if it costs us. But we don’t only live for our families. We also have our neighbors, co-parents, office mates, and church mates. The sales clerk at our favorite supermarket, the “Kuya” who sells “taho” every morning, the water delivery boys, the security guard in our village, the helper at home etc. How do we show kindness to them?

Remember the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. You can read the story in Luke 10:25-37. We all know the ending to that story, right? First, let me give you a simple background.

During the time of the patriarchs, (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) God commanded his people (the Jews) not to marry with other nations. However, some of the Jews did not obey God and did take wives from other nations. They intermarried and produced children that were bi-racial or mixed race. One of these group of people were the Samaritans. Pure Jews despised the Samaritans and won’t even go near them.

In Jesus’ parable we see the kindness of this outcast, the Samaritan, toward a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead. He cared for the man who was supposed to be his enemy. He went out of his way and did it anyway. The parable did not stop at that “awww” moment. Jesus continued, when He asked “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” 

Jesus calls us to show kindness and practice selflessness. Whether we are intentional about it or not, we pass on these traits to our children. They see it in how we treat them, their fathers, close family members and even ordinary people and even strangers. They see how we go out of our way to help out a friend. They see if we focus too much on ourselves and getting what we want than on thinking of ways of reach out to help in any way we can.

Whew! Who says parenting was easy? Happy Mother’s Day to all my friends in the hood… Motherhood!