by Jackie Park
I’m going to be frank with you: I underestimated my mom until it was my turn to reach that milestone. I barely gave a second thought to those days she woke up before everyone at home, preparing breakfast and our packed lunches until we all finally woke up and got ready. (I’ve woken up to pillow attacks many times during my more stubborn, don’t-wanna-wake-up days.) And I can still remember quite vividly my mother’s rising fury at discovering how we (usually just me) were still not ready even after everything she had already finished doing. Then she would drive us to school, come back home, go to work and then see us at night. Then the scenario repeats again the next day.
Looking back… those were the fun days. The days I could still be a “rebel” and get away with it.
Now, I’m in my mom’s shoes, raising my own kids, and I realize how she probably wished she could sleep more. Instead, she did everything to get the kids to school on time, prepare the food and all the other things. I’m doing these things as a mom, too. Plus, ugh, budget. And more mommy stuff I didn’t even think about before.
And of course, I still run back to my mom when I have problems, or even just when I want to chat about whatever. Because if there’s someone who will always have my back, it’s Mommy.
So on this Mother’s Day, I want to celebrate her by sharing with you some stories about motherhood. These are not exclusively for the female mothers, but for all mothers who are working hard in raising their tiny humans and making sure they grow up to be kind, beautiful people. Enjoy!
1. Tito Dok #3: Aba! May Baby sa Loob ng Tiyan ni Mommy! (Wow, There’s A Baby in my Mommy’s Tummy!) by Luis P. Gatmaitan, M.D., illustrated by Pepper Roxas
I can still remember the curiosity in my older daughter at how another little one like her could be in my tummy. Every night she bid my tummy goodnight like clockwork, but she didn’t fully understand what she was doing until her sister had actually come out. If only I had known about this book all those years ago so that I could have explained it better!
May Baby sa Loob ng Tiyan ni Mommy is the story of a mom telling her child how her child came to be. According to Pumple Pie, the author is Tito Dok. Tito Dok’s books are popular for being able to explain medical topics and situations to young children. This is the third in his series, and it’s a great book to appreciate what it’s like to carry a baby in one’s tummy for all those months!
2. Ang Aking Anghel by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Kora Dandan Albano
Here’s another book about the start of motherhood. This story is part of the Kwentong Nanay series, which consists of children’s stories focusing more on moms. Ang Aking Anghel is the story of a mom who shares about her experience while pregnant with her unborn child and the unconditional love that comes with it.
3. Maghapon namin ni Nanay by Genaro Gojo Cruz, illustrated by Nicole Kim
I can still remember how, as a young girl, my mother and I would travel back to her hometown and tell me stories about them. I remember those better than my favorite TV shows as a child, and look back on those moments ever so fondly.
That is exactly what this book is about. It’s a story of a mom intentionally spending time with her child, which will become memories the child will remember for the rest of her life. What our children really want (and need) is us, their parents, and the best thing we can give our children is our time, even just a bit of it.
4. Mommy ni Kuya, Mommy Ko! (Kuya’s Mommy is My Mommy, Too!) by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Ghani Madueño
This story follows a young girl craving for her mother’s attention, but can’t always get it because her mother is too busy taking care of her older brother. Her mother explains to her that her older brother has Down Syndrome and needs more attention, and the younger child tries to understand and adapt.
I’m not sure if many people know this, but when moms are about five to six months pregnant, the babies inside their tummies are checked to see whether or not they have Down Syndrome. So when a child with Down Syndrome is born, it’s because the mother chose to give the baby life instead of choosing to abort. So kudos to the moms who chose life. Imagine the sacrifice she has chosen to embrace!
5. Sikat Ang Mommy Ko! (My Mommy is Famous!) by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Zeus Bascon
In this story, the narrator is sad that everyone’s mom seems to have an amazing job except his, until he discovers what his mom’s job used to be and why she chose to sacrifice it. A story reminding us, and not just kids, that stay-at-home moms are not literally just staying at home doing nothing. I know a few people who grew up very grateful that their parents chose to be more hands on with them than leaving them with their helpers. It’s something not every family can have and not all moms can do.
6. Sexy ang Mommy Ko! (My Mommy is Sexy!) by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Beth Parrocha-Doctolero
There’s a reason we admire moms who remain to be slim even after having a few kids: it’s because it’s not easy. It’s not easy to find time, especially if the kids are still very young and there’s no help. We also have to exercise a bit more than we did before having kids to lose a certain target weight, and of course, it’s just much more tiring.
And so contrary to the title, the mom in this story is not conventionally sexy. Her daughter laments how she is ‘chubby’ compared to the other moms. But this changes as she starts seeing her mom in ways that make her sexy in her eyes.
7. My Mother’s Treasure (Ang Kayamanan ni Inay) by Renato M. Custodio, Jr., illustrated by Louie Celerio
In this story, a young girl laments how her mother always holds back giving her an allowance whenever she goes to school, sometimes even hoping that she forgets to ask for it! Her daughter then later finds a way to earn money for herself through another boy who doesn’t go to school and even goes as far as skipping school to earn. When the boy tells her he can’t read and how fortunate she is that she can, she realizes how much her mother must suffer and has sacrificed just so she could give her that small allowance and help her go to school. This experience gives her a deeper appreciation of her mother’s efforts.
Available at National Book Store.
8. Superwoman si Inay! (Mommy is Superwoman!) by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Ghani Madueño
This is a very fitting book for the occasion. After becoming a mom, I honestly feel like I’ve gotten sick less (mostly because I can’t imagine what would happen to the house if I became sick) and have forced myself to become a better all-around human being in general for the sake of my children. This also means being more disciplined, more patient, more multitasking, more responsible. Many kids (and young adults) look at moms, thinking, “Wow, amazing” while to the moms, these are things that just need to be done! This is what this book is about: a kid amazed at everything his mom can do!
9. Yaya Niya, Nanay Ko by Ma. Corazon Remigio, illustrated by Nicole Lim
This book is about a girl who wishes her mother, who is a yaya (sitter), could take care of her the way she takes care of her alaga, or the daughter of her boss. She knows her mother loves her dearly and works hard for her sake, but all she wants is to see her mother often. This Mother’s Day, let us allow our yayas to celebrate with their own mothers and/or children, too.
10. Siya Ba ang Inay Ko? (Is She My Mother?) by Segundo D. Matias, Jr., illustrated by Jomike Tejido
Speaking of ‘faraway’ mothers, here is a book that tackles the challenges of being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) mom and an OFW’s child. Siya Ba ang Inay Ko? follows the story of a young girl whose mom seems to look different every time she comes home from her job abroad.
Many moms have left their home countries in order to earn higher salaries for the future of their families. I actually became friends with one a few months ago who took care of someone else’s children instead of her own. She called her kids every day, and I watched her beam with pride whenever they accomplished something and felt her longing to be with them in person as well. This is a book every OFW parent will appreciate and will have a deeper connection with.
And there you have it: 10 books celebrating the triumphs and sacrifices of mothers everywhere. I hope you enjoyed this list, and if you have favorites I wasn’t able to include here, please leave them in the comments below. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! ☁