Last week, I went through some serious reflections on the challenges of motherhood in the modern millennium. I was thinking how life was much simpler in the olden times—women stayed at home and ran the household while their husbands work; most of the family’s basic needs were affordable; and there weren’t too many flashy things that could easily distract them. In general, parenthood meant simply pursuing a sufficient and well-provided life for the family.
Today, women have become empowered to be beyond the motherhood role the society has expected them to play. Women have been allowed to work and to even assume a position of authority in the work place.
But as much as it is an improvement from men-as-the-stronger-sex era, we have also seen in some families the trade-off of both parents not being around more often than they desire.
Most couples I know today are both working, with the mother trying to work on a flexible schedule so she can still pick up her children—whom her husband has brought in that morning—from school. Almost always, the mother also does tutorial to their kids while preparing dinner for the family. The work does not end there, after putting the kids to bed, the mother tends to her husband and/or other family affairs.
As much as this seems to be an already tiring scenario, there are other moms who are not as “lucky.” After trying their best to juggle their two worlds, some mothers end up rarely seeing their children at home.
So what do they do? They either quit work or opt for a business where they think they can have time in their hands. But can they really have that?
As a home-based baker for seven years now, I can say that working from home can be just as challenging. Distinguishing time for family and for work can be quite a blur—when the phone rings, you need to answer; when there are orders and inquiries, you need to respond or you risk losing business.
Having said that, modern mothers are actively needed almost 24 hours a day, whether they may be employees or business owners.
Quite possibly, the only time for these moms to unwind is to go online, like I do, and visit Pinterest and Instagram for inspirations on how to make the home more homey; YouTube for recipes and cooking videos; and Facebook to socialize and catch up with friends or colleagues.
Then there maybe instances that in their little breathing time, the consumed and weary modern moms take some concerns to social media to solicit recommendations.
She may get substantial tips and valuable information, as well as comments from very opinionated people—otherwise known as bashers or know it alls—who just want to comment but not contribute.
I experienced this bit last week when I asked suggestions on how to better teach Filipino to Gummy whose first and more comfortable language is English. What I got in return was a comment about not loving my country enough to teach Filipino to my child first.
At the pit of my heart I wanted to enumerate the errands that I have to do day in and day out for my daughter, on top of the work I have to accomplish.
But after smelling the flowers and blowing candles, I realized that I have to understand that this particular person who tried to break down my spirit has not experienced what it is like to be a mother. She is probably not even a mother yet. Otherwise, she will not have the audacity to speak that way.
Mothers are compassionate towards not only their children but others as well. They empathize with fellow moms who are having similar difficulties—at least this is how I feel about the mommy community since I became a mom.
May everyone be reminded today, “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)
Also, we should “not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Everyone is going through something and our journeys are all unique. As such, why not make a small difference in someone’s life by speaking hope to them, encouraging them and sharing wisdom upon them? Give more grace today.