Many people define a mother as a woman who has given birth to a child. However, the term “mother” can also refer to anyone who has guided us toward a better future, such as a teacher, father, or church leader.
This Mother’s Month, we honor mothers in all of their forms, including single or first-time moms, as well as those who have acted as mother figures to their children and those who are not their own.
Being A Mother Figure
As time passes, a lot of people can be considered mothers. But how do these people get into the characteristics that a “mother” should possess?
Guillermo Albutra, a father of three, became a father and a mother of the family during his children’s early years after separating from his wife.
Playing two parent roles, Albutra shared that it was not an easy task to fulfill as he became the only financial source for their family at that time.
“Ang hirap maging isang tatay at nanay at the same time. Kailangan mo’ng magtrabaho at lumayo sa anak mo para masuportahan mo sila,” he said.
Despite this, Albutra endured the challenges, believed that every problem or obstacle in his life had a purpose, and continued to educate his children all alone.
From teaching his kids household chores to meeting their school needs while juggling it with his job, Albutra worked overtime just to provide for his family.
Faith Garcia, a school teacher, also shared her struggles as the second mother to her students, saying, “Minsan ang hirap talaga kasi hindi ako tumatayong ate [lang] sa students, madalas [as] nanay na talaga.”
Faith shared that one of her struggles in teaching is being attached to her students.
“I’m praying for my limitations [from students] kasi I’m just the teacher. I need to remind myself na when they enter my classroom that’s the time na akin sila pero iba na kapag lumabas sila ng school,” she shared.
This became challenging for Faith as she wanted to address some of the students’ behavior; hence, she always reminded herself to have boundaries with children and always consult their parents regarding these matters.
Sharing the same sentiments, Julianne Borje also disclosed her challenges as a youth church leader.
Just like Faith, Borje does not really think of herself as a “mother” figure to her church group at first considering her young age.
But as time passed, she became one because she already had a responsibility to her youth church group when it came to their life problems.
“Dumadating na sa point na buhat-buhat mo na yung problema nila. […] From that moment, naisip ko na hindi na lang pala ako ate sa kanila dahil I need to be there to correct them and give them support,” she said.
Noting her mother figure in her church group, Borje emphasized a mother’s characteristic of being “selfless” when she became a church leader.
“Kailangan ko maging selfless just like a mother. Yung tipong kahit may problema ako, kailangan ko muna i-address yung problema nila,” Borje said.
Despite these obstacles, Albutra, Faith, and Borje still continued to move forward and stand as mothers to their children or even to people to whom they were not related, noting their bigger purpose in their lives.
In A Mother’s Point Of View
Apart from those who act as “mother figures,” mothers themselves also face difficulties in raising their children.
Lariza Garcia, who is a mother separated from her spouse, knows this well. She has five children and being a single parent has been a tough journey for her, particularly when it comes to financial support.
Lariza was unemployed when she separated from her husband, and this motivated her to work harder to provide for her family. However, her dual jobs made her disconnected from her children, and she began to question whether she was being an effective mother to them.
But as time passed, she witnessed her children’s progress, and this made her proud of herself for raising them well considering that all of them studied at prestigious universities in the country.
“Kapag tinitignan ko sila ngayon, how independent and bright they are, naiisip ko na may tama rin pala akong nagawa para sa kanila,” she said.
Other than Lariza, first-time mother Sam Ramos also shared how she faced obstacles to being a mother at an early age.
To also provide financial support, Ramos struggled with balancing work and being a mother to her child.
“Parang ang hirap hatiin ng katawan ko minsan. Actually nahihirapan pa rin ako up to now kung paano siya i-mamanage pero lumalaban ako para sa anak ko,” Ramos said.
Being a first-time mom, Ramos even shared how learning from her mother became important to her when it came to molding her own son.
“Kasi kapag naging ina ka na pala, maiintindihan mo na sila lalo. Yung dati na nagagalit ka kasi pinagsabihan ka nila, ngayong nanay na ako narealize ko na, kaya pala ganun si mommy sakin para sa ikabubuti ko. […] Yung tinuturo nila sayo, eventually, ma-aapply mo rin sa sarili mong anak,” she said.
Taking into account the thoughts and feelings of mothers, as well as those who fulfill a maternal role, it is clear that being a mother is a challenging job.
Even when there is no reward, mothers work tirelessly to ensure their children grow up well.
With this, we should honor and celebrate mothers and motherly figures not only during Mother’s Month but also every day for their support and guidance in leading us toward a better future.