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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Children: Reason for Living and Not Reason For Leaving

Who says it's hard to raise children? Time flies so fast. Babies once, now grown up teens!

Raising kids is completely not a burden, it's automatic, and it’s a way of life, part of our system as parents. It's not an obligation too but rather a responsibility.

More and more parents of today left the country to chance for a "greener pasture" for their children. I have nothing against them; I can feel the anguish of a parent being away from their children. I have no right to question the process of rearing their children. I too am a mother sharing a common interest of providing the best for my children. I am not a perfect mom myself.

My attention was called one gloomy day in December when my 'lil baby (youngest, 7 year old that time), handed me a handmade card. I received lots of notes, cards and bulletin remarks from her but this one was exceptional. Looking from the outside, it's just like an ordinary handmade card she is giving me so often but the words written on it caused me to drop off my seat-- so powerful! On the card, she wrote " Ma, thank you so much for giving us QUALITY time. Ate and I love you so much!" The word quality was written in BOLD letters. I felt a sharp object pierced my heart--- so intense that I can't bear the pain. I was stunned... didn't know what to say. My guilt feeling was eating me up as I gave her a blank stare. She shook off my shoulders and said "Mom, don't you like my card?" I gave her a tight embrace leaving no answer to her question. As I slowly let go of my embrace, I held her face close to mine and asked "What made you think I gave you quality time when in fact, I was not around in times you need me in school and other activities because of my travels? She answered back "That's alright, because you take care of us and make us laugh out loud every time we're together. You put us to sleep with wonderful stories about your happy childhood and tell us stories that are really funny. You always hug and kiss us every single day you’re in the house. Besides, yours are temporary travels unlike my classmate; she doesn't have the chance to hug her mom for 5 years already because her mom in the US. She cried a lot in school, Ma (short for Mama) I pity her. Mom, please don't leave us too long, alright? I drew her close to my heart and said, I will baby, not outside the country, promise and thanks for sharing your thoughts with me." She gaily backed off flashing a very sweet smile saying "No prob! You're welcome, mom!"

I'm so proud to be a mother of two smart young ladies. Ainah is 9 now and Anya 13. I'm lucky and I realized the importance of seeing them grow under my care. It's not too late for me to catch up with whatever time left for us before I lost them to their friends and barkadas and ultimately to their future husband.

A short conversation with my girl left a remarkable mark and showed me the importance of spending even just little happy times out of my crazy schedules.

Survey says, children still choose to be with their parents rather than receiving material things from their parents abroad. Reality check, we are afraid of so many things for our children, but aren't we afraid of "TIME"? The most difficult fear we have to confront is losing time for our children to something we think are necessary. We need to leave the country for their future but what about their "today"? Late we realize we are slowly losing our children to someone else (boyfriend/girlfriend soon husband and wife). We can't stop the time and say " Hey wait, I haven't enjoyed my children yet "Too late my dear, they are children no more... time to go, move on and build a family of their own.

We can’t bring back lost times.

When we're old and back to our homeland, ready to retire, only we’ve realized we're alone. That very moment, we truly understand how painful and hard it is to live without our loved ones on our side, as our “babies” are then busy preparing too for the future of their own children. And so the story goes on and on…from generation to generation.


  1. oh wow, Els, thanks for sharing this very inspiring post. as I am reading, my heart is sinking remembering how many children indeed live without their parents with them who are working abroad, so much sacrifice, so much pain for both parents and child. i am glad you have the opportunity to raise them right at home, not far from them. you are so right, we can not bring back lost times, especially that kids grow and like what you said, soon, they will have boyfriends and later get married. Time is NOW, to spend it with them the best way we can.

  2. Sissy.. I am crying right now as I am reading your story. I am touched beyond words on how your kids expressed what they think and what they feel. I feel for the kids whose parents are working abroad. My siblings and I didn't have all the material things we wanted growing up, in fact we were barely making it. My parents had to get part-time jobs in order for us to go to school. Now that I am older, I appreciate it that they were there all throughout our growing years. We would come home and mom and dad were there to ask how was school. They were there on parents-teacher conferences. They were there watching us on field days and school plays. They were there crying as they hugged us on our graduation days.

    There is more than money and material wealth can give..

    Hey Sissy ... sooo nice to see you in our new home. What a starter you throw in here - you moved me big time !

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  4. if Kyla is still in the Philippines at this point in time, i would have cried a bucketful while reading this... you reminded me how blessed i am now that i have her with us, living in a whole new world surrounded by parental love.

  5. thanks for this one Sissy... got me teary :( you guys know that my children are in Phils. and it hurts living far away from them... but i told myself one day we will be all together again :) God be with us...

  6. I love this post Sissy...it made me more confident and happy with my decision to stay and be with my kids each waking morning and watch them grow...my mom left the country when i was around ten and i know how it feels to be physically motherless....i know mom's intention was to give us the best in life and i am so grateful to her for that ultimate sacrifice... her hard work paid off though because i was able to acquire the education i dreamt of but like you said looking back i really somehow wish she could have stayed.....aaahhh my tears are falling waaaaaaaaa because until now, i have remained to be that 10 year old girl she left twenty three years ago....and everything you said about losing the kids to someone else (boyfriend/girlfriend..husband/wife to be)..happened to me and my bro haaayyyy life... anyway, you have beautiful and smart daughters and they are so lucky to have you for a mother!

  7. hi girlash!like you, i, too had no right to question any parents on how to rear their kids.my heart goes out to those parents who has to leave their home and seek a better ways of life to offer their kids. the pain must have been undescribable...i can talk the talk but i don't know if i will be able to walk the walk...

    keep posting girl!

  8. I am not a parent (yet) but I can relate with having loved ones away. When I left for the US, my nieces were very young. Ages 2, 4 and 5. It sends me on my knees every time I hear their young voices asking me “Tita why did you leave us, kalian ka uuwi?” The words double me up and I cry bitter tears because it’s so hard to explain to them the ‘whys of life’. But God is good, in two months time; they will join us here in the US. Am not one to judge parents who are forced to be away from their loved ones, instead I offer them prayers that in God’s time, they will be brought together just as my nieces and I have been.




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