Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Do I Want to be a Mom? (Dell, Erem)

When a woman considers having a boyfriend or getting married, the foremost question in her mind is: Do I want to be a mom? The answer to this question is the answer she usually gives the man. Even in these hi-tech times, many women would still get married with the view of becoming a mother.

When my husband asked me to marry him, I asked myself the same question: Do I want to be a mom? My own mother would bear down on me to get married so that she would have more grandchildren. My youngest brother already had two by then.

And so when Manny and I prepared for our wedding and our wedded life together, we also discussed the number of children we would have, the names for possible sons and daughters, possible ninongs and ninangs, the way we will raise them, the school they will attend, the courses they will take, and many others.

I was blessed to experience uneventful pregnancies, but giving birth were something else. The threatened termination, the long bed rest, the painful but exhilarating birthgiving nothwithstanding, I only remember the joy I experienced twice over when I gave birth to my two sons. Through their growing days and now that they are themselves adults (Ronjie, 26, is a civil engineer at Vibrametrics, Inc., and is enrolled at UP for his Masters in Structural Engineering and Adrian, 24, is a training officer at Citibank and is pursuing his MBA at DLSU), I still derive much joy in being their mother.

For this Mother’s Day, Adrian and his girlfriend brought me to Anilao, Batangas for a relaxing weekend. Ronjie treated us to a sumptuous lunch to also mark his promotion to another level in his professional growth. Looking at them I couldn’t help but be proud to be their mother.

When Ronjie placed second in the 2001 Licensure Examination for Civil Engineers, friends and relatives naturally congratulated me profusely. I would tell them that Ronjie took after his father because if he got my genes he should have been number one.

Adrian is the one who is following my footsteps career-wise and I hope he will eventually took over reins of our HR consulting business. People say that Adrian and I look alike while Ronjie is the spitting image of his dad.

Through the years of being a mother, I only had my natural mother’s instinct, limited literature on the subject and lots and lots of advise from my mother, other family elders and friends on how to raise my children.

I am very glad there is this book entitled Do I Want to Be A Mom? : A Woman's Guide to the Decision of a Lifetime written by Diana L. Dell and Suzan Erem. Would be mothers and those-who-are-afraid-to-be-mothers can learn much from this book about deciding to be a mother and being a mother. A number of mothers and non-mothers shared their insights on the topic of finding the right partner, deciding to be a mom, responsibilities of a mom, being pregnant, health issues, raising children, co-parenting, getting help from friends and neighbors, combining career and having kids, the cost of raising a child, changing one’s mind in the middle of a pregnancy and the usual anxieties of becoming a good mom.

When people praise my sons for good behavior and achievements at school and at work, my mother-in-law, when she was alive, proudly gave me the honors of being the best mom. She adores Adrian and Ronjie and credits me for raising them well.

Looking back, being a mother is a most rewarding thing that happened to me. The next step for me is to let go and simply wait for the time when I will have my own grandchildren.

My only regret is that we should have had ten children, five girls and five boys.