I actually want to squeal with happiness because my guest mom at the start of the year is a V.I.P. - in short for - Very Inspiring Person. I took my chance of asking her to share her motherhood thoughts and you can just guess how happy I was that she agreed.
I met Tita Monique through Human Nature. I have worked with her for a few times and I must say that she is very graceful and dedicated and really smart. My husband and I actually look up to her and her husband, because of their dedication to our country. It is no wonder that I also asked her to be one of our Principal Sponsor in our wedding and I am really grateful that she have graced us with her presence. Tita Monique runs a business and at the same time, she is one of the very lovely owners of Human Nature - Davao. She is also active in Gawad Kalinga, together with her husband of 24 vibrant years, Tito Ricky. Tita Monique is mom to 3 brilliant teenagers: Kimie (18), Reesa (17) and Indy (15).
Read and just simply be awed with this amazing Mom.
Me: How would you describe yourself as a Mom?
Tita Monique: After 18 years, I realized that who I am as a mother evolves with my children and adapts to their needs at a particular age and stage in their life.
In their infant to toddler years, I was a caregiver with unconditional love. I felt that I could not compromise my physical presence with my children. Motherhood in these early years turned out to be a crash course-cum-OJT on the art and science of care-giving. To the un-trained eye, this stage of motherhood seems very one-sided, where all we do is give, give and give all that we've got. But to us mothers, the mere sight of our children's first step, first smile, first word, first hug blows our mind and pumps our heart with gratitude beyond words for having been given the privilege of motherhood.
I became a disciplinarian with benefits when they started going to school. The expansion of their intellectual and social circle also opened them up to not always positive influences, rules and standards became an integral part of our relationship as mother and child. This was my way of making sure that their concept of right and wrong remained intact and that they pushed themselves to the personal limits of what they can achieve as individuals.
Now, two of my children are off to college in Manila. They are very independent and their discipline is now self-imposed. At this stage, I am their close friend and confidante. But, and this is a big BUT, they are fully aware that their growing freedom should always be tempered with a sense of responsibility and that every decision they make has a corresponding consequence. The choice to study and live away from home makes them both independent yet still accountable for the every day choices they make on their own. At this stage, I am their friend with expectations.
Me: What did each child teach you about motherhood?
Tita Monique: There are countless things that my children have taught me...too numerous for this blog. But, the greatest lesson that I learned from them is this: Their mother is not perfect. She is not expected to be, but they love her anyway. Their love has shown me that its okay to make mistakes. It's ok for their mom to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong.." to her children and not worry that her imperfections make her any less of a mother.
Me: What value do you want your children to learn from you?
Tita Monique: Just 3 things: God is number 1 - in EVERYTHING. No exception - God always comes first. Second, be the best that you can be. The parable of the talents has a very special place in my heart. God gave you those talents and He expects you to use them in the most excellent way you know how. Laziness and mediocrity disrespect these God-given talents. And third, success is defined by only one thing - the number of people whose lives are better because they knew you. Money, career - these are just tools for you to touch the lives of others. If you choose to use these resources to enrich oneself, then life is meaningless. But if you use what little you have so that someone else can be better off, that is success.
Me: Before we end Tita, what piece of wisdom do you want to share to moms?
Tita Monique: I don't think anyone is every really prepared to be a mother. You may read all the "What to Expect" books, take all the classes on child birth, attend all mother-baby conferences - yes, all these will help you anticipate some of the daily occurrences in your child's life. But when the big day arrives, every mother is a neophyte. Books and classes will only take you so far. In the end, it is Maternal Grace that will carry you from the delivery room and beyond. Some call it maternal instinct, I call it Grace. I truly believe that God has a special kind of grace that He gives only to mothers. How else can you explain how we can love a crying piece of crumpled flesh that the nurse places on our bosom? What power on earth can make us forget sleep and rest to love and take care of another, with no certainty that you will be loved and taken cared of in return? How else can we know what our children need even before they ask? There is only one explanation for the unexplainable: Maternal Grace. God has it in abundance, and is ready to give to mothers who ask.
I may have said it a lot of times, but again, thank you Tita Monique for taking time to share your insights in my blog. Your simplicity as a Mom has greatly touched me and I am positive so are my mommy readers out there.
Just to insert a little plug, visit Human Nature-Davao at Plaza del Carmen, Obrero Davao City and experience world class organic products that is 100% Filipino, Pro-Poor and Pro-environment. Who knows, you might catch Tita Monique and have a little chat with her.
You can read about Dindi, my previous guest mom, HERE. Till my next guest mom feature!
Follow me at Twitter, @devimbarcena