I grew up with a stubborn streak that I did not notice until my mom pointed it out to me. I often contradicted her, she said; to which I replied, “That’s not true.” Observation confirmed! 😀
Mama was concerned that I didn’t heed her warnings and reminders. “Wag kang magpagabi sa daan, delikado.” “Magdala ka ng payong, uulan.” “Tumawag ka naman kung gagabihin ka.” And whenever I ignored her words, somehow what she warned me about would prove true (so bring your umbrellas, kids!) leading me to conclude that, in the “battle” between moms and kids about doing what is right – presuming of course that moms espouse what is right — God will always side with mothers. 🙂 I teach this to my kids to this very day!
“Magiging magulang ka rin.” Now that I am a mother myself, my own Mama’s words resonate with me. Her counsel makes a lot of sense to me now as I mother my kids, so I review them and am no longer quick to dismiss them.
Wisdom is a mother’s territory, it seems. And so, I surveyed some of my mom friends to find out what wisdom they “inherited” from their mothers, hoping we all learn from them. Read and learn:
“You don’t need lots of money to enjoy a good life.”
Simple and clean living: we had lived in many houses as a child, but ours would always stand out as the cleanest and most orderly, with the most beautiful garden. My mom was very industrious and believed that even low-income families can enjoy a decent, debt-free, healthy living. What is important is that you can sleep soundly at night without worries. I lived up to this principle even now as I mother my own children. – Ruth M.
“Find a way; be resourceful.”
Whenever we her kids would come to my mom, asking, “What should I do about this?”, without batting an eyelash, she would say, “Use your common sense.” So off we would go, finding ways to solve whatever our challenge was. In contrast, when common sense nowadays seems rare or people tend to overthink, I have found solutions to many problems and challenges I encountered growing up by using simple, common sense. – Donna T.
“Tuklasin ang talino bago kumerengkeng.”
Nanay’s wise words were a classic, considering we were nine girls in the family: “Tuklasin ang talino bago kumerengkeng,” meaning, “Prioritize your education before entering into a relationship.” – Marife P.
“Family comes first (after God, of course).”
My mom gave up a prestigious position when her career was picking up as one of the pioneering pediatric ophthalmologists in the country because my brother and I were still little and needed her more. She never regretted that decision, and even when she made us her priority, the Lord prospered her career just the same. Now that I am a mother, that principle guides my decisions. – Melissa C.
“Huwag mong piliting yakapin ang hindi mo kayang mayakap.”
I have several words of wisdom from my mother, including being devoted to God, but one that stands out distinctly has to do with managing our finances. She always said, “Huwag mong piliting yakapin ang hindi mo kayang mayakap,” or as paraphrased in English, “Live within your means.” – Michelle A.
“Let small things go; choose your battles. Do not hold a grudge.”
Kids are never perfect, and if we go after every “problem”, we will stress ourselves, and them, out. And don’t let disagreements cause you to withhold love from them or to stop doing what you usually do for them just because you feel bad. Say your piece, but go on loving them. – Sara R.C.
“God will provide.”
My mom shared countless faith-stretching stories trusting God to provide for our needs. There was a time when everyday, she would prepare our breakfast and then pray for God to provide our next meals. I’ve seen her work so hard for us and yet give all credit to God, not herself — and she inspires me to do the same. – Kristina C.
“Kung kaloob talaga ng Diyos.”
I would always hear her say that even when she was suffering from an illness. My mom was the most persevering woman I have ever seen: persistent in faith, I would see her fall asleep reading her Bible, holding on to God’s promises. I thank God that through trials and waiting, I have learned to persevere in faith because of the innate capacity to trust God that I got from my mom. – Cristina B.
“May awa ang Diyos.”
Widowed the first time at age 30, left with seven children and four months pregnant with me, Nanay weathered a lot of storms in life and experienced God’s sustaining grace through it all. Indeed, our God is full of mercy! – Marife P.
Just as our own mothers’ words were wisdom to us, may our own words to our children be life words they can hold on to guide and empower them as they grow up and even when they become parents themselves.
Michelle Joaquin is the editor-in-chief of Familywise Asia and is wife to Boris and mom to daughters Ysobel, 17, and Julia, 11.