It's tough being a mom, yet tougher as a good mom.

It has been a very tiring day today (Saturday)... all of us in the family had quite a full day, starting as early as 7.45am til almost 10pm just now and this toughcookie fell asleep unintentionally only to be sharply awaken by little jj who badly needed the attention from someone. Well, my 13-year old was busy on the net while daddy was engrossed with his PS3 and I guess the only fair thing to do was to wake mommy up as mommy will do anything to keep her happy.

I woke up, gave her the much deserved attention and passed her back to daddy while I finally get to do laundry at such a late hour. In a situation like this, we all do what we have to do, don't we?

Anyways, this got me to thinking about Mothers' Day tomorrow (or today, rather, as this post was drafted just before midnight prior to Mothers' Day). Now, whomever says that mommies are allowed the same benefit as those in employment during Labour Day? Which mommy can tell me if they really are granted an off day, like totally, 100% - no cleaning, no cooking, no tending to any members of the family, nothing... anyone?

It's never easy being a mom, and it is even more difficult to be a good mom....

A good mom doesn't just deliver a baby into the world and raise the baby up hoping that they'd be a successful person automatically... a good mom does much more beyond taking care of their kids. A good mom tends to the family, put everyone else's needs before hers, raise her children up well to be a human of strong character, tell them frankly if they have made a mistake so that they would be a better person and be sure to support them in times of need. A good mom would not be afraid to let her kids know who's boss yet allow her kids to develop into who they want to be even with some pressure put on them because she has experienced it all before and does not wish to have her kids go through life's tough lesson the hard way.

I am not sure how good of a mom I've been so far... but I do know that I've worked very hard to support my family even during those 7 years of life as a single mom, raising a child with ADHD and Dyslexia, so that I could afford the therapy bills and additional classes for my growing child's needs. I would so want to be a good mom but seeing how different my 13-year old is now that he's in a stage where his friends seem to be more important than family, I would want to learn how other moms with grown up sons handle their teenage needs and how tough it is to want to be firm and tough without putting too much pressure on them.

It's never an easy task being a parent, not just for a mom. But since I am on the topic of Mothers' Day, allow me to just indulge in my emotional rush via this form of expression that I know best - writing.

I think I started to fully appreciate my mom as my mom when I got my first child. I suddenly realised the sacrifices that she had to go through, especially having us kids who didn't necessarily made her entirely happy. Yes, she has her weaknesses where our personality clashes like nobody's business and yes, we had our heated moments back then. Heck, there were too many disagreements especially on my way of life, the decisions that I made and so forth that made our relationship a little tense at one point in time, but I've realised that she has not been a mother who's not good.

Having a teenage child and one baby who clings on me constantly, I realised that my mom, despite whatever situation we're in, would always not fail to remind me that she's my mother, so that I will never lose ground.

I realised that despite whatever challenges that went her way, she would never lose sight of her children, bring us all back into what's real, nags all she wants if she feels she needs to, make us hate being in that situation if the situation calls for it yet at the end of the day, we all know that all was done because of her love for her children and her children are hers for an entire lifetime. No mother would want their kids to suffer through life yet no good mothers would want their kids to not learn their lessons after a bad fall, either.

It's never easy being a mother, as I have recently realised after some bouts of crisis, and even harder being a good mother.

A good mother does not need to be afraid to correct the wrong yet admit that she has made a mistake, and lower her ego all in the name of love. A good mother doesn't protect her kids who have done grave mistakes while she reprimands those who truly love her, who does whatever it takes for her and constantly thinks only of her feelings. I mean, what good does it do to mistreat the better children only to protect those bad apples because a good mom would know that that will never solve the problem, and the individual will never learn her lesson.

A good mother doesn't go against her word just for her convenience but demonstrate equal respect to all her kids because she knows that respect is earned and that she would want her kids to respect and love her, not only because it's her rights as a mom.

A good mother is able to tolerate life's challenges because she, of all people, would understand more about life while her kids are still only less than half of her age, who still needs time to learn while they tread the rough pathways of life and that they need all the guidance they can get unconditionally, not being treated second class just because they are willing to put up with everything in order to learn and be a better person.

Yes, it is hard being a mother, and more so, being a good mother.

I am still learning especially in this recent development dealing with a growing boy-turning-into-a- young man who sometimes rebel and unsure of what he needs to do or where he should step. A good mother will not let her child get lost and bring him back with proper guidance.

As much as I had so much resentments with how my mother handled me before - of how overly protective she was of me in my teenage years, so much so that I couldn't even go out with my friends until I've completed my SPM exams... I couldn't understand why I needed to be chauffeured driven everywhere I went and why I was constantly reminded to take good care of myself, as if I didn't already know of that particular fact.

The truth is, as much as it sounded really irritating - of her repeating to me constantly to take good care of myself, I guess I now am so thankful for that constant nagging as I now know that she loves me that much to be so worried of me and afraid that I'd lose myself in the beauty of life as a grown lady.

Mak, is a conservative woman who didn't bother much about being a friend to her daughter because she felt that discipline and doing everything proper, according to her style was the way to raise her children. It was a stressful life being a teenager under her roof and I never understood her style fully.

Now that I am a mother myself, I am exhumed with total relief that she raised me the way she did as all her qualities of a good mom suddenly became so clear to me...

Yes, being a good mom is not very easy but that her ways of raising her children made us who we are today, prevented us from making any irreversible life mistakes that could ruin our future but most of all, ensuring that her kids do not take her for granted. She's firm and she's an even tougher cookie compared to me but after 34 years of my life, I suddenly realised that she had at least tried to be a good mom. No matter how difficult her children once thought life was under her roof, we all could now safely testify that after having kids of our own, and going through life one day at a time, we are truly grateful to be born in that family and to have her as our mother.

She is a remarkable mother and I deem her, a good mother.

It ain't easy being a good mother, but she has been one damn good mother.

There is no need to pretend in our family and there isn't any need to be manipulative to get what we want. Everything is done in a straight-forward manner and honesty becomes a very important factor for the family to remain strong albeit with the many weaknesses.

Now that I have kids of my own, I would like to take all the positive things that she's taught us. I vow to never lose sight of what's important for my kids that whatever I do or the decisions that I make for them (while they are under this same roof or not), will be for their benefit in the long run. I know I would need to be strong to face resistance from my kids if they find it hard to understand why I do the things I do because I know, 10-20 years down the road, they will be in my shoes now, looking back and realising that yes... it is difficult being a mom, but mommy was definitely a good mom.

i love you, mak... and i'm glad i got the chance to tell you that.

Happy Mothers' Day.


sitisabri said...

I bet you are one good mother to your kids. I am struggling with a toddler in tow and I can't imagine me in your situation where there is another teenager to take care of. Let's hope we are on the right track and we are doing the best we can as mothers. :) Happy mother's day to you Juan!

Fabulous Mummy said...

This is absolutly one of my favourite pieces of all your articles. I totally agree that being good mom is no small feat and kudos to those who bite the tougue for not compromsing any less for our children and for not giving in to challenges. And my dear, you are one of the best moms i have ever seen!

Mommyyus said...

yess..i setuju. happy Mother's Day to u..hehe tu gambar u dulu2 ke..shantekk

nadnye said...

I like your entry.. I agree how difficult for us mom, to be a good mum nowadays and the challenge that we have to face in bringing them up.. especially teenagers..

Must learn from u nanti..

We only doing our best and hope they realize it then,, Happy Mother's Day to u JUAN!

toughcookie said...

hi siti,
Happy Mothers' Day to you dear... ya, let's keep reminding each other that every once in awhile - to be on the right track and do our best as mothers :)

my dearest darling bestest buddy in the whole wide world, Nicole
thank you so much for your support because we learn so much from each other. the feeling's mutual *big hug & kisses*

toughcookie said...

ha-ah gambar masa i was 15 or 16 years old hehe... tenkiu :)

thanks for your comment... i am just happy to know that many mommies out there share the same view and let's learn from each other. you have a good day today, ya!

The Momster said...

A quote I once read, "There's no way one can be a perfect mum, but there are lots of ways to be a good one."

Happy Mother's Day toughcookie!

MamaSeni said...

Just to share my view about raising teenagers esp. boys, I've been reading a few good books on boys, manhood, raising boys specifically, and those books say that boys after 4 y.o look up for dad to download the software on how to be a man, and once they reach teen age, they need mentor, someone outside of the nucleus family be it grandpa, uncle, other good men to guide them..otherwise they will turn to friends their age yg god knows kepala pon tak berapa nak betul, nauzubillah..

so maybe what you can do is let your son participate in things he love, sports, camping etc and let the men do the good talk..

and at his age now he won't listen to you, because you are his MOM..tak macho la kan takut dgn mak, kena dgr ckp mak..your husband must play a bigger role now in guiding him..this age stage is very crucial to make him a good man later on in life..

raising boys are definitely harder, girls degil mcm mana pon ada jugak lembut hati tu..but boys, tak suka je, dia angkat kaki, cabut terus..but we got to do what we got to do right..

toughcookie said...

dear momster,
thanks for sharing this quote with me :)

i truly appreciate the advise. this is good. thanks!