Monday, May 23, 2011

The kindness of strangers

You know what I enjoy most about blogging? The friendships I've made. That's what I love best about this whole business of opening up my guts to the world.

With mommies I met online :Jen CC Tan, Michelle Lim of My Mom-Friday, Martine De Luna of Dainty Mom,
Paola Loot of Mommy Treats, Eli Ypon, Rone Valles and Neva Arboleda-Santos of Manila Mommy

When my mother died, I was deluged with love from all over the world. When I got pregnant, I had strangers from all corners of the earth sending me gifts and support and encouragement. And now that Vito's here, it's strangers who care more about him than my own family.

That's true. My entire pregnancy, my father saw me just twice. My siblings maybe less than five times. My friends threw me a lovely baby shower, and showered me with gifts. I got one gift from Papa and that's to congratulate me when I got pregnant because my father thinks women who aren't married and/or have no kids are useless. I got none from my siblings. Vito's 9 months old now and my father and siblings have seen him maybe five times. When they do ask about Vito, they do so in this manner: "Hi, how's the baby? Hey, we need money."

It's not that I'm asking for gifts; in fact, in my life, I've been so used to never getting anything from people who supposedly love me that when gifts from all over Manila, and then all over the Philippines and then from countries like Germany and France started arriving on my doorstep, my first impulse was to ask myself, "What do these people want from me?" It took me a while to understand that you just want to make me happy.

Thank you.

I'm glad I got pregnant. You see, I have a negative view of the world. Yes, despite my seemingly chirpy tone, I am quite the pessimist. I always expect the worst to happen, the worst from people, the worst everything everywhere.Well, with a family like that, can you blame me? But I'm not angry at them anymore. I'll tell you why.

I became a mother. And things are changing every day for me. My pregnancy and my mommy adventures have opened my eyes to the beauty of the human soul, to the fact that you don't need to share the same blood to truly care for someone, and that generosity and affection can spring from a stranger's heart.

I entered motherhood with trepidation, especially since I didn't have a mother to guide me through this. Well, you know what, all you fellow mommies have been a mommy to me. You chatted with me late into the night when I was brimming with questions about taking care of a newborn, held my hand virtually as I waded through post-partum depression, told me about what diapers to buy, how to breastfeed, what food to eat to aid my milk production, sent me food and malunggay leaves, sent me stretchmark oil and so many other preggy mommy and baby things, sent me books and links, told me how to get a baby to sleep, told me that it's okay to be awake with the baby and just tell him my dreams for him, assured me that motherhood may be hard but we're all the better for it. You have been a mother to the motherless. And my heart is comforted and grateful for your love.

Thank you. God bless you all.

*Thanks, Mom-Friday, for the pic! Mine was madilim kasi.

13 comments:

  1. i can relate on the family issues.. not mine though, it's the husband's. and since my hubby is in papua new guinea, i am in a roller coaster of emotions. sometimes i feel they like me, sometimes they don't. i have been feeling bad since yesterday, but i find refuge in reading blogs like yours. this helps me deal with how i feel about myself, especially on days when i'm truly down.

    thank you!
    p.s. i have a 6-month old baby girl too (3rd of the lot.. teehee) .. just saying :)

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  2. Awww....nakakaiyak naman ito! I feel sad, and at the same time happy for you 'coz having a child does change our perspectives in life. I'd say just count your blessings and know that there are more people outside your family that truly cares without asking for anything in return :)
    I'm just a buzz away! ;)

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  3. This entry made me cry. We are here for you. :)

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  4. I'm sorry to hear about your family, Frances. Now that you have your own family to think of, it is unfortunate that they would still expect the same of you.

    I was also a very negative and not very emotional person before kids. Amazing how a tiny baby can make you a much better person without even really doing anything.

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  5. Soulsearcher, diba it's so nice to find kindred souls, even it it's on the worldwide web? Congratulations on your little sweetheart! Ako rin, I want another one!

    Mom-Friday and Pearl, don't cry! =)

    Rone, ya. Oh well. Hindi naman lahat sila ganun. My younger brother is kind naman. So I'm grateful for small mercies!

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  6. I felt sad when I read this post.

    I think you just have to be thankful for people who are there for you and be thankful that you're showered with lots of blessings beyond your needs. Be happy Ms. Frances :)

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  7. I'm happy, Jackie! To be unhappy when I am oh so blessed is ingratitude =) I know life can't be perfect. I'd rather it's the outside that isn't perfect!

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  8. Awww... we have yet to schedule a play date before we get pregnant again :o haha!

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  9. Oo nga, Jane! We're both so busy kasi! When Vito walks na. So that Little J won't get bored with him =)

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  10. Hi Frances, love your blog! you are so honest and open, keep it up! :)

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  11. I love following your blog and feel knowing you somehow. You are so open and honest... Wow! Keep it up!

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  12. A very touching post, I lost my Mom a when my daughter was just a few months old and now I turn to other mommy bloggers too. It's amazing how much comfort we get knowing that we are not alone.

    Super like your photos, you have a lovely family!

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  13. Thanks, Mommyleaf! I'm trying not to be so honest actually, especially on the bad days =P

    Witchy Crazy, thanks for your sweet words about my hubby and baby! =D Yes, I'm so grateful for the mommies who mommy me =) I'm glad you have that, too.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!