January 12, 2010

Why I'm Better Than My Mom

I'm better than my mother. I have many things she didn't have. I have collections of books that guide me more on marriage and motherhood. She would just rely on instinct and what she saw from her own mother.

I have washing machine that does my laundry while I spend time bonding with my children. She didn't have one when I was growing up. Much of her mornings were wasted washing our dirty clothes by hand. And cleaning the house would take her forever! She needed to fetch water from the pump outside the house and then would get on her knees with rags on hand to clean the floor. My house has tap water so I don't have to waste time and energy, and oh, I don't use melted candles to wax my floor. I remember how much mom would sweat scrubbing the floor with a coconut husk. I would just go to the nearby gym to get all those exercise!

I serve variety of food on the table and I can serve guests with a short notice of visit. My mother would serve only one dish together with rice at every meal. She didn't have the double burner that I have now. It would take her time to serve more than one dish over firewood which smoke could sting her eyes from constant blowing. She also didn't need my microwave because she didn't have frozen food to thaw. All her ingredients are fresh from the market she bought early in the morning. She didn't have a refrigerator to store them.

I had only few clothes when I was little, mostly hand-me-down from my elder sisters. My mother could sew only few clothes by hand for all seven children; with my electric sewing machine, I can sew fancy dresses for my 2 girls as many as I can, that if I have to. She's busy with mending more than creating new ones. And she did all her crocheting and crafts without using designer's guidebook. It's all from scratch and plain imagination. I have a collection of craft books and have already many brilliant designs in mind. I'm just waiting for the right time to actually start making them.

When I was growing up, my mom had only few friends, mostly neighbors. I have lots and lots of friends from all over the world. I can easily connect with them using the internet, whereas my mom would have to wait for weeks to get news from a friend in another city. I can be reached anytime through my cellphone. I can also chat with my friends even very late at night.

My mom was limited only to what was going on around her and what she heard on the radio. I remembered how she would place the batteries on our window sill so they recharge their energy under the sun, making sure she gets informed and entertained throughout the day. I didn't have to do that! And I haven't listened to radios for a long time now. I'm satisfied with tv, dvd, and internet!

And of course I'm better because I'm a lot busier than her. She didn't have emails to read and reply to, no posts to publish, memes to keep up with, facebook status to update, and she didn't have appointments to a masseur to relieve her stress!

God bless our mothers who had harder lives than we do and yet found satisfaction in the simplicity of their ordinary days.

Photos are from photosharing, not mine.


Katia said...

Dear Ruth,

This is the most sweet post, we both are truly blessed beyond our imaginations. I too grew up with the same lifestyle, my daughter don't have a clue what life was like for me growing up in Brazil. I also think we take so much for granted, it's so sad.
My mom did sew me all of my clothes, I always had sweet dresses growing up, she too was very gifted, she didn't need a book, she just did it...the only thing she never did learn to do was crochet, this I did learn and love it.
May God bless you abundantly today.

Marie said...

Ruth, what a beautiful testimony to a mother who did the best with what she had. My mother had very few comforts as well. I can remember how excited she was to get her first washing machine, something with I take so much for granted. We are very lucky to have the things that we do and it doesn't hurt once in a while to remind ourselves of that! xxoo

Anonymous said...

I missed my mommy more than ever after reading it, she makes beautiful clothes for me too, I have the best costumes at school, I remember when we have that field demonstration to celebrate jubilee year for our school we have to wear this three tiered skirts (they call it three sisters..hehehe) for the dance, my mommy wouldn't want me to order from the school she would make it herself. On the field demo day i don't have three tiered skirt, I have five!!My only regret..I never acquired her talents for sewing..See you soon Mommy-Lynneth

LLJ said...

Thanks for sharing this very touching post about your mother. It makes me stop and think all that I am thankful for.

Mrs. Santos said...

This is a great post Ruth. We recently had no internet and ALL THE THINGS I DID...I sat and read my Bible instead of posts, I taught my children all sorts of things, I baked and rested and the house has been spotless...It was a good lesson for me. My mother raised us all by herself - she was hardly around because she was working so much. I know that she wished she could have been home with us like I am with my children...Thank you for this fresh perspective. I am going to call her right now.

Blessings to you and your family.

Anne said...

This made me miss my Mom MORE...

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Dear Ruth, It is so difficult to imagine how our mthers and grandmothers did it sometimes! They had large families and often restricted incomes but they took such pride in their housekeeping. My grandmother was such a person. Humble as a little sparrow but bought up a mass of children and kept the house spotless. I can't imagine cleaning the floor with a coconut! Heavens! Bless all those women for their domestic artistry! xx