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Motherhood: The toughest, non-paying job

There’s no other job more difficult than that of being a mother

“(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Today is mother’s day and I am writing this blog post in my mom’s house where we had lunch on a really hot Sunday afternoon.  Our day started out quite early today where my wife woke up to four of the best “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings out of about fifty she received today including SMS and Facebook messages.

Speaking of Facebook, majority of the posts I saw in my newsfeed today were all mother’s day-related.  Everyone went out of their way to let their mothers, sisters, and wives know how much they value them especially today when we celebrate the selfless vocation that is motherhood.

Technology has really come a long way and social media has been very much instrumental in making the line of communication easier.  When I was young, we expressed our greetings through greeting cards (I wonder if they still make them) but now, with the internet becoming a resource for just about anything, you no longer have to send letters via snail mail.  No matter where you are, you can always reach out to a loved one even if they are on the other side of the world.

For today, in the spirit of mother’s day, I would like to talk about – yeah, it seems kinda obvious – motherhood.  I’ve been married now for more than 10 years and for all those years, I really can’t help but admire my wife more and more not just for being supportive to a stunningly handsome fellow but also for being a truly great mother to our kids.  I mean I love my kids, no question about it but nothing in this world can measure up to the love a mother has for her children.

Ten years and three kids after, I think I’ve seen it all.  I’ve seen how my wife literally sacrifice her convenience for the benefit of our children.  From the moment they were born and up to this very moment, that dedication and care has never once wavered.  When my kids were infants, we took turns getting up in the unholy hours of the morning whenever we hear them cry but she’s more consistent than I was.  There were times when I was not able to wake up even when the baby’s cry was so loud that it can wake an entire neighborhood but she’s always been there, always ready to get up and feed the baby and give them whatever they need.  Of course I’ll be hearing a lot the next morning for being a deep sleeper but hey, I deserve it.

When my kids were already toddlers (two of them are currently), my wife impressed me even more with her unlimited and “bottomless” amount of patience.  I mean the woman is VERY patient.  My kids are used to multi-tasking and as an example, they like to play, watch TV, and eat all at the same time and I admit, I’m not really the patient type.  I’m more of a disciplinarian.  When it’s time to eat, be at the dinner table and eat on your own.  That’s me.  But my wife is something else.  She follows them around everywhere they go no matter how long it takes if that means they will eat and finish their meal and even if it means eating at around 8:30PM even when we started dinner at seven.

She also is their “unofficial tutor” for all their projects and assignments and believe me, she’s more than a tutor sometimes.  I’ve seen her stay up until early morning to finish my daughter’s project and then wake up two hours after to report back to work.  She truly is amazing and I think she became what she is because of what she saw in her own mother because my late mother-in-law was twice as patient as my wife is.

I remember the times when we didn’t have a nanny to watch over the kids.  My mother-in-law was always there to take over when she’s called upon.  She had a store she runs which will mean lost income but she never thought twice every time we asked her to come and watch over the kids while my wife and I were off to work.  I guess being with the kids gave her a different kind of joy and this is what we miss most since she passed away.

My mom on the other hand, is of a different breed.  We were an average income family back when I was young.  My dad worked in a department store and here in the Philippines, this kind of work doesn’t pay a lot.  My mom used to work in the same department store too but she later quit and started her own business.  She could have opted to stay home and take care of me and my sister but she had other plans.  She wanted us to get better education and be able to pay the bills so everyday, she worked her butt off selling RTW (ready-to-wear) clothes.  I saw how hard she worked back then.  She would go to all of her customers everyday despite the scorching heat.  I even went with her sometimes to carry the merchandise which were not light enough for a woman to carry.  She was tireless and she did it all to keep us afloat.  That, for me, is selfless.  A mother will really do anything and give everything for her children’s sake.

I’ve often wondered how fatherhood compares to motherhood and not once did I see the former overcome the latter.  Our mothers’ sacrifices starts the day we were conceived.  They carry us in their womb for nine months and those nine months would often be accompanied by morning sickness, weight-gain, and at times, depression.  That’s not easy even for a guy, except of course for the carry-us-in-their-womb part.

Most of us don’t get to express our appreciation for the efforts our wives and mothers gave the whole year round and Mother’s Day is the best time to do so.  More than the material gifts, tell them how you feel and how thankful you are for having them in your life.  Go buy a greeting card, post a message on Facebook, or better yet, tell them personally.  No matter how you want to do it, the most important thing is that you let them know how wonderful and remarkable they are as mothers.

What was the best thing your mother or wife has done that you will never forget?

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Noel Rosos: Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions