Art By Mikael Hilapo
Art By Mikael Hilapo.

A Mother's Day tribute to all kinds of mothers

Our first playmate, first friend, first teacher—that’s our mother. As years pass and we grow older, nothing can ever replace our mom’s presence in our hearts.

By Maxine Cheung | Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Motherhood is a medley of emotions; from touching feelings of happiness and pride to overwhelming anxiety and fatigue. It is the most challenging and demanding job out there, and yet also the most sacred and rewarding. The role of a mother is a mixture of patience, kindness, tolerance, understanding, discipline, purity, and love–a role that we tend to forget and take for granted. For all mothers who make sacrifices time and time again for the sake of their children, let’s recognize, honor, and celebrate all moms this month of May.


Pulling the heartstrings of a mother

Families are built in many ways. Every person has at least one woman who greatly influenced their lives, whether that be their biological mother, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters who cared for them like one, or even teachers, caretakers, and friends who played a part along the way.


Motherhood is often viewed as the act of giving birth and raising a child, but in reality, it’s much more than that. A mother is a caregiver, housekeeper, cook, baker, driver, psychologist, doctor, teacher, protector, and everything in between–in short, a mother is expected to juggle all these roles and responsibilities perfectly. But of all their many attributes, it all boils down to the heart–a mother’s heart–both powerful and vulnerable and able to withstand anything for their children.


All who mother

With or without children, women have a predisposed call to nurture and love. Every woman who encourages, listens, leads, sacrifices, and shows up for another is a mother.


In a series of interviews with The Benildean, Benildean mothers and mother figures shared their insights and experiences being a mother to those around them.


ID118 Multimedia Arts graduate Kathryn Mendoza shared her experiences as an older sister to four siblings, “Being the eldest of five, I naturally took on a motherly role when our own mom was busy with managing the household and working a full-time job.” She added, “Instead of going out with friends and joining activities in my free time, I would be taking care of them and picking them up from school.”


As the eldest daughter, Mendoza sacrificed a lot of her youth to ensure her younger siblings grew up well and to give her own mother time to do other things. “There were times when I was jealous of my friends for being able to be so carefree, but at the same time, I don’t regret my decisions.” She shared that her experiences ‘mothering’ her siblings made her into the person she is today.


Similarly, motherhood never comes easy to anyone as it’s always a different experience with different circumstances for everyone. For ID121 Architecture student Juliana Felicia, her experience as a mother turned out better than she expected.


Felicia revealed her own experiences becoming a mother to a two-year-old son at a young age. “If you asked me a few years ago, I would probably say that I don’t see myself becoming a mother any time soon just because I'm the type of person who wants to have everything planned out.” However, with her current experiences, her opinions have changed alongside as she can now proudly say that becoming a mother at the time was the best thing that happened to her.


“Holding the responsibility of becoming a mother at a young age is obviously a hard pill to swallow,” she shared. Juggling motherhood and a full-time education, Felicia expressed how she noticed people see her from a different perspective since becoming a mother, often hearing how “bilib sila” that she’s able to manage all her responsibilities. But, she doesn’t take full credit for her capabilities as she said she owes a lot to her partner, family, and friends who have made her journey of motherhood a lot easier.


Furthermore, ID122 Culinary Arts student Trisha Lim is a “furmom” to two dogs, spending much of her time sharing stories and photos of her adorable babies. “Taking care of dogs is far from the weight of taking care of actual children, but I definitely wouldn’t take it lightly either.” 


Being the only animal lover in her family, Lim’s parents were against her having a pet, let alone two. “I got [my first dog] when I was in high school and it was a bit of an adjustment because I had to research and cater to all their needs.”


The light of our homes

Mothers of all kinds deserve respect, admiration, and gratitude for all that they do. From the mothers who birthed us to non-biological mothers and mother figures in our lives, they all share one thing in common: they put their child's needs before their own and are willing to do whatever it takes for them.


Felicia advises all mothers, “Always remind yourself of the joy that your child brings into your life and use it to drive you forward.” While each mother has their own experience, it’s important to reach out to family and friends for support. “Take time for yourself because the woman you were before you became a mother is still there and she still matters.”


Mendoza added, “As children, it’s hard for us to see things from our mother’s perspective, not knowing all the things she has to accomplish while still expected to be upbeat and able to hold conversations.” After becoming responsible for her siblings, she shared how her understanding of motherhood changed completely. 


“It isn’t easy and I can’t begin to imagine how my mother handled all five of us when we were little. It definitely made me respect and appreciate my mother a lot more,” she emphasized.


Mother’s Day is a day to honor and be thankful for all the amazing women in our lives who have sacrificed so much for us. Make sure to take the time to show your mothers the same love and care you receive.