Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stay-at-home moms have tough job

Son, husband respects women in his life

May 12, 2005

I don't have the luxury of seeing my mother. Once every two years is definitely not sufficient. My mother stopped being a teacher when she got married. She was brought up in a culture where the wife's job is to tend to the needs of her husband and children.

She was always there as I grew up with my three siblings. She dedicated her life to serving my father and us. Sometimes I wonder if she had sacrificed the pursuit of her own dreams and ambitions.

But then again, she might have been living life exactly the way she wanted. Her idea of fun was a night out with the kids for a Chinese meal. I have never heard her complain about being trapped or that her life lacked challenge because she loved all that she did for the family. When we were teenagers, she started to have us help with the housework, and despite our complaints, she taught us the proper way of doing chores. She was very effective in everything that she did for us.

Mind you, this was in the days where we didn't have a washing machine, dishwasher or a microwave. Everything from the cooking and cleaning to the laundry she did on her own. Cooking was her solace. She loved it and took great joy in the compliments paid to her for her cooking.

On any given day there would be some unexpected but welcomed relative who showed up during mealtime. It was by chance that they were in the neighborhood and decided to drop by. But deep down, I think my mom knew they were there to savor her cooking. She most willingly obliged. She is the living proof that you can add a touch of love to your cooking.

My wife is a college graduate and had a very good career when we got married. When we had our first child, she decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I willingly supported her decision and took on a second job to make ends meet. I was amazed how well she transitioned from the corporate world to a world of diapers.

Like my mom, she gave herself to the raising of the kids. I soon realized the amount of work she did and how much more of an emotional drain it was compared to the corporate world. Like most people, I thought she had it made, being able to stay at home all day and not have to meet deadlines or goals. I can honestly say to this day, she works harder than I do.

When it came time for the kids to go to school, we decided we wanted to give home schooling a try. She took it upon herself to prepare and teach the kids. I considered that the epitome of multi-tasking because she had taken on the three jobs of housewife, mother and teacher. Most of the days I would come home to a hot meal. This is after she had spent the day teaching the two older kids, caring for the youngest one and doing the house chores.

My kids are in the school system now and we are proud to hear good reports about them. Much of that credit goes to my wife. I played my part in raising them, but the intangibles of being a well-behaved child, being secure in who they are and their thirst for knowledge, all came from my wife's sacrifice for them.

In an uncanny way, my wife has many of the endearing qualities my mother has. Maybe that's why they get along so well, despite not being able to communicate because of the language barrier. I have been very fortunate to have had my mother be an intimate part of my life when I was growing up and am even more fortunate that my kids are able to experience the bliss of having their mom at their beckoning.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to continually recognize and show gratitude to the mothers in your life, even though Mother's Day has passed. One day a year to show appreciation to mothers is inadequate.

For the two best mothers I know -- my mom and my wife -- here is wishing you a very happy and well-deserved Mother's Day, each and every day of the year.

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