For Mothers Who Can’t Even Recognize Themselves in Their Photos -

Top Menu

For Mothers Who Can’t Even Recognize Themselves in Their Photos

One thing I look forward every day is the feature of  Facebook recalling the memories that had transpired to you this very day a year, 2 years, 3 years, or even 5 years ago. I like how it brings me back to that memory or reminds me of a post or an event that I had already forgotten. 

I saw a picture posted 5 years ago. On that picture is a slimmer version of a girl, with long, straight jet-black hair, dressed in her favorite go-to checkered polo, eyes covered with her ever-dependable aviator shades and she's wearing her favorite high-cut faux-leather rubber shoes with a lot of studs at the back. She was oozing with confidence, acting nonchalantly while leaning lazily on a brick wall---as if the world was in the palm of her hands when that photo was taken. Actually, she was living her life in a fast lane during those years.

Facebook Memories: Before and After being a Mother 

And I asked myself, where’s that girl now? I look at that same girl in the mirror and I see a disheveled, pudgy girl, hair in a messy bun, breasts sagging, skin dry and not moisturized, her blackheads are out-of-control, celluloid everywhere, eye bags are becoming so prominent because she only has more or less 4 hours of sleep daily. When I look at that photo and simultaneously look at myself now, it is as if I am looking at two separate people. It was just 5 years ago but to me, it seems like an eternity. That girl went through a lot of changes when she became a mother.  

About Mothers 

Mothers are the keepers of the home. They are the core of the family since they handle the balance and harmony in the household. This is a lovely thought. Yet adhered to motherhood is a huge responsibility, too massive that you feel the weight of the responsibility on both your shoulders all the time. Mothers are expected to be perfect, at home and in the public eye. There’s no room to make mistakes and expectations are so high that adds to the weight.

As a mother, there are countless episodes that instead of being the navigator of the household, you feel lost in the center somehow, desperately spinning to meet everyone’s needs but your own. When "me time" seems like a distant illusion and even sleep is an expensive commodity.

Photo courtesy of

And you cry in isolation, silently sobbing deep into the night when things are becoming so overwhelming------especially when the non-escapable desperation yet sheer desire to care for the child collide. And you mask your emotions with smiles, pretending you are okay; taking in full control and trying to be strong when you are slowly melting deep inside.

And just this mere thought of spilling the beans, of voicing the exhaustion out loud, of honestly agreeing that motherhood is a tough responsibility, and hard is such an understatement,  you punish yourself more thinking that you are a bad mother, somewhat ungrateful of your kids and family when in fact you love them too much to the extent that you forgot to love yourself and your sacrifices are often taken for granted.

When sharing what you're going through to some people who you thought would understand ends seems like a confession of a heinous crime.  You would see the pure distaste in their eyes and would scold you with this line, "You should feel blessed and happy because you already have children. There are a lot of wives out there fervently praying to have kids" and you feel ashamed and hurt because they missed the whole point. And because of that you rather keep your mommy issues on your own than to share it with others for the fear of being misinterpreted.  I am so thankful that the Lord led me to a group, an emotional support with whom I can pray and share the struggles with.

On Guilt

Guilt is a different story. Oh, how I dreaded to see the pained look in my son’s eyes each time I have to scold him for doing something nasty. I hate the feeling of going to the boiling point, where I explode like a bomb, patience just flew out of the window and will just realize to slow down when it's already done. I keep forgetting that I am dealing with a child. and I am eaten by good conscience afterward. 

Guilt is so hard to bear. I wish he is big enough to understand why we need to instill discipline and that we don’t tolerate bad manners.  Not to mention the guilt over tiny details;  when you are busy enough to realize your kids have long, dirty nails and how you mentally scold yourself for not giving much attention to them. There were instances my toddler wants me to tell him some bedtime stories,  he was behind my back in our bed, as I was breastfeeding my newborn. I told him to wait as I am feeding his sister. And when I am done, he was already fast asleep. And those times he wants me to play with him but I have to decline because I really have a ton of work to do and I am on a deadline. I saw how hurt he was and I felt so bad. I felt terribly bad.

Mothers often blame themselves whenever their children get sick. We are always hard on ourselves.  I often find myself crying at night watching my kids sleep, feeling sorry for all the missed opportunities and those moments that I am not giving the full attention when they need me because I have to juggle a lot of responsibilities all at the same time. If only I have all the time in the world, I wouldn't bargain that for anything else for my kids, lest to myself.

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post


And what’s cruel is the public and mom-shaming. They are out there, those people who have a lot to say about everything. These are the people who judge you upfront or behind your back on how you should raise your child.  They are like vultures with their prying eyes.  Mothers live in an endless list of what to do, what not to do, what to say, and what not to say and one wrong move is taken against you. When your toddler talks or acts in a certain way, they look you at you accusingly in the eye as if you fall short from your responsibility as a mother. It's hard...the hardest I may say.  Because not everyone can relate.

Motherhood's Lifetime Commitment and Responsibility

Because only...

  • mothers who are sleep deprived, 
  • mothers who are tired and overworked with no pay, 
  • only mommies who had to stay at home-who sacrificed their wonderful careers to take care of their children, 
  • only coffee-induced mothers who have to wake up early in the morning to prepare their kids' breakfast before going to face a hectic, demanding day at work, 
  • or mothers who need to brave out the dangers of the night to work in graveyard shifts, 
  • or mothers who need to stay awake all night because their kids are sick, or because their sons/daughters still aren't home, 
  • or a mother who has to push herself to get up even when she is sick just to do her "duties", 
  • mothers who have to go abroad just to give her family a better future, moms who take good care of other people's children but can't even be with their kids, 
  • or a mother who had been cheated for multiple times who took the courage to get out of the relationship and bravely play a mother and father at the same time, same goes with the solo mother whose partner left her alone the day he learned the pregnancy and she needs hustle alone for her child, 
  • or mothers who are currently absent because of their line of duties (military, nurses, policewomen, etc), or maybe mothers who haven't had any vacation for the longest time,
  • mothers who haven't bought or rewarded themselves new things for so many years just to give way to more important expenses at home, 
  • mothers who neglected themselves because they are too focused on the needs of their households, 
  • mothers who had been verbally abused by their teenage kids (because they are unaware of her sacrifices for them), 
  • mothers who are often taken for granted and unappreciated, 
  • or mothers going through depression, anxiety, or some serious medical condition  yet still fighting for her life and well-being just for her children’s sake, 
  • mothers who don't even have time for themselves, always looking disheveled and stressed who can't even recognize herself anymore
who surely understand how difficult it is, how struggling it is, how challenging it is, how tremendously overwhelming it love as a mother....and to be a mother. It takes one to know and understand one. And it takes a lot of breaking to fully grasp the wisdom out of the difficulties.

Motherhood is a life-long commitment, a responsibility for a lifetime.

Joys of Motherhood

Pregnancy and motherhood might have changed us drastically emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically (well, not the case for some as they maintained their figures) and looking at ourselves in our old photos can send a pang of guilt and sadness in a way because a lot of us had  lost our verve and youth, and yet gained a lot of pounds in the process, but take it positively because you have no idea how capable and strong you are as a woman until the day you became a mother. 

Motherhood has its not-so-glamorous side. But I don't have regrets. Yes, the challenges are endless but akin to it is a joy that is beyond comparison! Nothing can ever compensate the happiness of seeing your kids being unfolded right before your eyes according to the person they are purposely created is beyond comparison. 

Being carefully chosen by the Lord as a steward of another soul is a such a humbling obligation. I just love the sound of my son's peals of laughter. His hugs just because. I love how he calls and looks for me whenever he is excited, sad, scared or any reason he can think of. I love to see my kids loving each other. Surprisingly, the greatest pearls of wisdom I've picked over the years are my moments with my children. It is a priceless avenue of life's lessons. Motherhood is a beautiful journey despite the bumps and grinds. Making memories with my children is something that I look forward to.

The other day while I was telling some bedtime stories to my son, he was goofing for a bit until he became suddenly serious and he blurted, “Nanay, you are my best friend”. And I asked, "Are you happy that I am your mother?" He nodded, with all sincerity in his eyes. And that made me teary-eyed, I smiled,  said thank you and hugged him tightly.  Deep down the core, I was beaming with gratitude. It doesn't matter if that girl has a slimmer figure, I've grown wiser, more mature and with a deeper sense of purpose.  

The sense of contentment and happiness, along with the storms and life lessons I picked with my kids and the growing family we have is all that matters to me.

I may be a lot heavier now, but I sure am happier and a lot wiser now that I became a mother.

“ When life gets hard and you feel all alone, remember you mean the world to somebody and that somebody calls you MOM”.

 “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” Jessica Lange

Post a Comment

Copyright ©