I think I am at that part of my life where I am learning my parents as adults. I used to put them on a pedestal and then I get upset when I dig deeper. But despite all her flaws and whatever hurt I felt, she is my mother. I don’t know whether that is me being a filial daughter or the twisted truth of life. On my good days, I can attest that my mother checks all the boxes for
On my good days, I can attest that my mother checks all the boxes for favorite parent. As compared to my other siblings, growing up my family was (and is) in a financial loop of crazy. My dad lost his job (and refused to get another). So I always admired my mother for dragging the family on the uphill battle of daily life. She made sure we had food on the table, money in our pockets and championed the importance of education. She is my hero. I am painting a very dramatic portrait. My family is not in poverty but we struggled in comparison to the other families of my extended bloodline. People judged and criticized. Yet, my mother quietly fought for our future.
She is not perfect. She can be difficult to deal with and critical of me. She even has her emotional blackmail moments. She was strict which meant no such thing as hanging out with friends. She pointed out my flaws constantly. But she did all that out of love. (Do you see my conflicted love for her now?) She wanted nothing but the best for her girls and I applaud her for her courage as a working mother. I think it takes a special lady to become a mother despite growing up without one. As a student of psychology, becoming a mother without having a mother growing up or having a tyrant mother-in-law is not an easy feat. But she did.
I remember growing up (and also being so naïve) that I wanted bags and shoes to look fashionable. (Yes even then I was obsessed.) We couldn’t afford it. But she’ll buy me bags that look similar and we would have those rare blissful moments where she’ll spend on me. She wouldn’t get anything for herself but she will always get me at least one thing. I would roll my eyes at all the conditions she listed for me in order to get that bag or top. But now, looking back I am so lucky to have her as my mother. She would sell Tupperware on the side as a second job to make extra money so we can have family vacations and have the luxury to see the world. She cultivated my love of travel because of her job and her hard work, we could see kangaroos in Australia, ride camels in Dubai, and roll in the snow in Switzerland (*humble bragging* not!). She wanted us to see the world because there is no limit to our potential. When I screwed up all my major national exams, she never failed to tell me how proud she was for giving my best. When I had to go to a private institution for my university studies, she said it’s okay I want you to study because I want you to have a future.
So thank you, mama. For not only being my mother but also for being my champion. For being the biggest feminist role model. For showing me that women are just as good as men and that we should always reach for the stars. Importantly, for believing in me when others looked down and for loving me despite all my flaws. That’s why I choose to love my mother at the end of the day in spite of all the anxiety that grew in me and pain. I love you always.
Always your sunshine and tinky winky. (Yes that’s right. Those are her pet names for me.)
Also, this is my sisters’ first mother’s day. I am so happy for them for reaching a new milestone in their lives. I know that both Sofya and Aleia are very lucky to have them as mothers. In fact, my sisters feel like surrogate mothers to me. Especially with our age gap. So, they definitely had practice in dealing with an angsty teenager.
Happy Mother’s Day to all superwoman.