Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, Rossana Unson, Ronna Capili-Bonifacio, and Chrina Cuna-Henson tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
My daughter moved out of our house recently so she can be independent. With her first job after graduation going well, I guess she wants to see how it is to live apart from the family and even if it was not what I expected, I figured it will be good for her to learn about life on her own. Unlike in Western culture where kids are expected to move out to go to college and after, get their own place, in the Philippines, it’s common that from the parents’ home, your kids then start their own home with their husbands or wives.
During the Christmas season though, my daughter came home to stay with us and we got around to discussing things like taxes, how to manage meager wages, and other boring adult stuff. I was in the midst of advising her not to eat out every day, “Bring baon to work! A lot of your money gets spent eating out, so save and bring your own food!” But in the midst of providing this golden advice, my better half mutters to me, “Don’t you just wish we were as wise as we are now at her age?”
My first instinct was of course to emphatically agree with him but as I cocked my head to one side and began to mull over his words, I realized several things:
If I were as wise as I am now about things in my very early 20’s, I wouldn’t have a daughter. I most likely wouldn’t be sitting in that chair beside the man of the house and best of all, I am all but certain, I wouldn’t be as smart as I am now. What the significant other didn’t realize is that, well, we became smarter people precisely because we were so witless and ignorant of things back then. Not to mention hard-headed.
My mom told me a lot of things about life, she gave me life and love advice that I didn’t follow, a lot of which I realize, was totally correct. Maybe the way she gave the advice wasn’t ideal but there are many times at my age now that I’ve come to a sudden realization, “Sh*t, mommy was right!”
And so in this New Year, the valuable insight I am sharing with fellow moms out there is that as much as we’d like to prevent our kids from making mistakes, being hurt, doing the wrong thing, dating the wrong boy or girl, they’re still going to do it all anyway.
It is but natural for us to impart pearls of wisdom as we should but if they don’t follow the cheats we’re trying to give them for that great test we call Life, be assured that it’s by their mistakes that they’re going to learn to become their future smart and responsible selves. Some mistakes will be bad and some mistakes will be life-changing, but like all things, they will eventually be fine. My mistakes certainly were bad and life-changing, and here I am today, smarter because of them. Maybe even kinder, too.
Disclaimer: I’m still in the process of learning from my mistakes. New mistakes, new lessons learned.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Marian Hukom
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