If there's anything we've learned and proven over and over again in our years of existence, it's that every mother always puts their children first and will do whatever it takes to give them the best life possible. She's ready to drop just anything, really, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness. And what else could there possibly be that's harder to give up than the joy of being with her kids, right? In honor of Mother's Day, we thought it is the perfect time to offer our salute to the brave women who have gone across the globe all for their children's future.
But let's admit it: growing up away from your mom comes with a long list of pros and cons. On one hand, we understand that they have their reasons for leaving us, but we just can't help but desperately wish that things were different. Mothers shape us in a way that only they can so beyond a doubt, their absence affects us as much. We asked a few people to share what it's like to be raised by an OFW mom, and here's what we learned:
Closer ties with grandparents
"Parang 'di ko kase naramdaman na wala si Mommy kase 'diba lumaki ako kasama sina Lola, mga tita ko. Kaya parang kahit wala si Mommy, sila yung parang naging nanay ko ganun." - Yumi, 23
Since their biological ones are not around, kids tend to search for mother figures from those around them. The closest ones they got are their lolas, to whom they were left with when momma decided to go abroad.
"Lumaki ako na 'di open sa kanya regarding personal problems. Kapag nakikipag-usap ako sa kanya feeling ko ang tingin niya lagi sakin bata pa kahit college na. Kapag umuuwi siya tsaka niya lang narerealize na nagmature na ko." - Grace, 22
While kids build strong relationship with their grandmas, it doesn't work the same with their birth mother. Things you comfortably do and say to your lolas become something you feel shy and careful about with your mom. Simply put, you'll be needing to work on the gap.
"Nung una ko nakasama na si Mommy lang, narealize ko na mas kilala pala ako nila Lola kase yung mga simpleng bagay na kunwari, paborito kong pagkain ganun alam ni Mama. Si Mommy kasi kailangan ko pa sabihin sa kanya." - David, 23
You might be the spitting image of your mom but that doesn't guarantee that she'll know your favorite food, your style, your pet peeve, what makes happy, and what makes you cry, especially if the two of you haven't actually lived and bonded together for a long time.
"Yung mga nagluluto ng food sa umaga bago pumasok 'tas pag-uwi sa hapon, sana ganon rin kami ni Mama." - Kim, 24
You see other moms sending your classmates to school, bringing them lunch, getting report cards and putting on the medals on their kids themselves. There's that sting of jealousy of course, alongside a thought popping into your head, "Sana all."
"I remembered last 2017 when I applied for my USA internship, almost all of the applicants were with their parents. I was nervous because I was alone. It was a long process and I had to do everything by myself." - Kaye, 22
If you being left to deal with an absent mother isn't paving the way for you to develop as a strong, independent man or woman, we don't know what will. Doing things with your tita or whoever is around is still different, so with no other choice left, you take matters into your hands.
"In my 25 years of existence, twice or thrice palang yata namin nakasama magcelebrate ng Christmas Mom ko. I usually spend Christmas with my sister. Kami lang talaga... We don’t have any choice but to deal with it." - Pau, 25
This one hard truth is a given: an OFW mom is prone to being left out of her child's birthday, graduation, university acceptance celebration, first job application, and even huge family gatherings like Christmas. She'll send you gifts to make up for what they missed, but not enough to make up for how much you missed them.
Importance of social media
"Every phone call with my mom is significant. She is not around physically all the time but I know she’s always there. She is always one phone call away. I make sure I tell her everything." - Shiana, 22
Mommy may be thousand miles away from you, but that's not where your communication stops. Growing up in that kind of setup makes you learn the hard ways of keeping in touch and the importance of techonology and social media. What matters is that you never lose your connection with your mom even though you have to forge it through a screen.
There are many cons of having a mom who works abroad. But the most important thing that every child can relate to is how proud they are of their super moms who do everything just to be able to provide them with the life that they deserve. And this inspires them to be stronger and more hardworking to be able to give the love back to their mommies one day.
Here or not, our mothers made us what we are today. That's beyond a doubt. Go and show your gratitude to the fiercest woman in your life because they deserve to know how much their efforts mean to you. They deserve to know that being abroad doesn't make them any less of a mom.
ALSO READ: The Six Fix: Perks Of Having Your Mom As Your BFF