Words by Kelly Punzalan
Independent. A smart, savvy career woman. A modern 21st-century woman. These are what I aspired to be ever since I was a girl, and they are everything my mother is not. And for that, I secretly resented her.
“What do your parents do?” I’ve always hated that question. Well, my dad’s a diplomat and our family has lived in multiple countries because of his job, so that’s pretty neat. My mom? Oh, she occasionally does part-time work but she’s just a housewife. Just. It became a habit of mine to attach those two words together. I only became aware of this habit when someone shook their head at my answer and corrected me. “No, not just a housewife. She’s a homemaker.”
Mom, to tell you the truth, I was embarrassed. I always envied my friends whose mothers had cool careers – doctor, trial court judge, business owner, published author. Hell, the mom of one of my closest friends is a successful CPA lawyer and professor, and she started her own scholarship program for teachers in the Philippines. It’s impossible to not feel a tiny bit insecure when you’re surrounded by people with such stellar and accomplished families. Still, that does not, in any way, justify how much I failed to appreciate you all these years. And for that, I’m so, so sorry.
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I’m sorry for all the hurtful things I’ve said to you in the past, and for all the hurtful things I never said out loud. You didn’t deserve that.
I’m sorry I subconsciously looked down on you for being a stay-at-home mom. I’m sorry I downplayed all your hard work and the sacrifices you made for our family. I believe you could have done great things if you decided to pursue a career instead, but I’m also glad you put us first. Most of all, I’m sorry it took 21 years for me to appreciate you.
With that being said, I also want to thank you. Thank you for waking up extra early every morning since kindergarten up to high school to make me breakfast. Thank you for defending me from judgmental relatives on family reunions. Thank you for texting me every night to make sure I got home okay. Thank you for your patience for all the times I disappointed you. Thank you supporting my dreams. Thank you for raising me to be a strong woman.
Happy Mother’s Day.
How will you show your love for your mom this year? Tell us in the comments!