got from the wedding cake.
I’m not yet married nor a single mom. It maybe because of the many weddings I have attended this year (6 weddings in a year is a lot… expensive =P) and the same question I always get (When’s yours? Who’s the lucky man? – and they just assumed that i’m in a relationship, like everybody else) that motivated me to write something about weddings, marriage and motherhood.
I realized now that I love weddings – the excuse of dressing up, meeting with your old friends (and hoping to find new ones), eating good food and comparing it with the others you have tasted, enjoying the ambiance, and photo booth with friends (new fad in weddings). But even as much as I wanted to attend, I still don’t like participating in the singles game (“it’s not allowed in my religion” is what I always say) and answering those repeated questions on your status, who you are with and date of your own “wedding”.
On each wedding we attend to, there’s always two parts: the sacrament and the reception. Since weddings now are already commercialized, the wedding coordinators are more focused on how to make the wedding a stand-out – with all the frills, making each bride’s dream wedding come true. I don’t say it’s wrong, coz honestly, I also have my own idea of my perfect wedding. But my point is, people who get married nowadays forget the most important part of the celebration – the Sacrament of Matrimony. Where a man and a woman, binded by God through the Church, because of their love and they have chosen to spend their lives together until death.
Aside form the things I wrote above, what i love about weddings is the profession of love of the bride and groom to each other. The vow is your promise to that only person you chose to love in front of God and the people important to you. One of the nice vows that really touched my heart was of Michael and Alaina (maybe because it was in pure Tagalog and I found it real and sweet? hmmm….) and Wally and Chinky (simple and yet… you just know that it’s what their hearts say). Well, no matter what or how you say it, what matters is the Why you are saying it – it’s telling that one and only person in front of you that you’ve chosen to love that you will stay with him/her no matter what just because you love him/her. Well, if the day comes, I’d like to say my vows in Tagalog… or can be in Spanish too. =)
I’m in that age now where most of my friends and people I know are tying the knot. I admire them for saying YES to that one man/woman they chose to spend their life with. It’s not that i’m skeptic about long-term commitments, but because our society dictates now that marriage cuts your freedom. Actually it is! Cutting you from looking to other men/women and just sticking to that person you said yes to, from thick or thin, til death do us part. Cutting you from being self-centered individual who couldn’t care less where to spend his/her money to a responsible man/woman who works hard just to save for his/her new family. Cutting you from those immature habits and principles and makes you a more logical, principled individual who values life and family more. Yes, if this is the freedom you are cut off when you get married, I believe it’s a good things for all of us.
I know some friends whom, after a while of being married, they just break off, just like when they were still boyfriends and girlfriends. Reason? “I can’t stand his habits!” “He hasn’t change.” “We’re not in love anymore” “She’s not the same person I married”. They expect that the person they marry will eventually change after the wedding. I’m sorry to tell you but they don’t. Whoever they are before you got wed will be the same person, sometimes 10x worse than who he/she was after a couple of years or more. If you marry a woman who loves kids and is very organize with her finances even while she was single, it is more likely that she will be a good mother and manager of your family’s finances when you get married. But if you marry a drunkard, lazy man, don’t expect him to change coz of the ring you’re both wearing, because most likely than not, it just worsens as years go by. (you’re lucky if both of you entered a renewal community for it might change your circumstances).
My parents were married for 31 years, plus two years of serious relationship prior to that. What I’ve learned from their marriage throughout the years, is that, they have both learned to compromise and meet half-way. They communicate – talk and listen to each other, so they can decide what’s best for the family, most especially the kids. I can’t remember them fighting (it’s a good thing for me coz it makes me feel secure that things can be talked over in marriage without your kids seeing the ugly side of it) or if they do, they’re good in hiding it. They may have flaws on how they are as husband and wife and parents to us, but what I admired most about them is how they struggled to bring each other closer to the Lord and that they stayed strong together in facing all the difficult times our families had gone through until Mom’s death last June. Dad stick to his promise to Mom that he will be with her and love her till the end, and he is doing that now.
Lesson learned: Communicate – talk and listen to each other. Never fight in front of the kids. And pray together as one family, just as what my parents (especially Mom) taught us.
I appreciate motherhood more, now that Mom’s gone. When I was younger, Mom and I always fight coz she’s much stricter to me than my other siblings. She always accused me of being the “black sheep” when in fact, I had lesser rebellious acts from her kids. Maybe the only rebellion I made against her was, I always reasoned out – that was why, I got more spanks, and was hit a lot more times than my Ate and brother because I had the guts to answer back.
As I grew older, I realized and understood why she was like that to me – she got frustrated with my two siblings, and her only chance was me. She didn’t want me to experience the mistakes my siblings did. And I appreciate it. She forced me and my sister to attend a youth camp, and 8 years later I became a Missionary. I owe it to her that I said yes to God’s calling to this life.
Mom went through a lot in raising us. When Dad needed to work abroad when we were little kids, she has to balance her time with work and going home to feed us, help us in our study and attend to all our needs. She was a businesswoman in between. Maybe, I got that superwoman streak from her – doing a lot of things all at the same time. I sometimes hear her complain but never did I see her stop doing what she’s supposed to do. Even until the end, even in her death bed, all she was thinking was US, her family. She never thought of herself anymore, just us.
Motherhood is difficult. I must say that I am forced to be one (in some aspects) because of Mom. Sometimes, it is just hard to balance work with household chores. Personal time is sacrificed, and you don’t think of yourself anymore but more of your family. Budgeting your finances now included paying of bills and food supply. Sleepovers or night-outs are lesser because you have consider your Dad and brother waiting for you. And going to market is a must, coz if not, your family will not have anything to eat. But remembering how my Mom chose me to live, raised me and did everything just for us to have a better life, then doing her responsibility isn’t a burden at all. And besides, what’s difficult in doing something, if it’s done out of love, right?
My point is, weddings, marriages and motherhood are one of those wonderfully-packed gifts from God. Not everyone is entitled and only selected are given the entitlement to have these gifts. As being entrusted, we should take care of these gifts as a show of our gratitude for the privilege He has given us. Let us not waste the opportunity – protect the sanctity of your marriage and defend your family and life!