This blog post is dedicated to the following admirable ladies:
- the mom who planned her family wisely—to her who was responsible enough to plan her pregnancy when she felt that she and her husband were financially, emotionally, mentally and physically ready (or at least capable). I’m sure your planning contributes a lot why you are able to balance everything now. You’re a great mom!
- the mom who patiently teaches and monitors her toddler’s yaya. We know it’s frustrating especially when yayas don’t seem to listen or when they suddenly leave, but still you hire and train and monitor. You’re a great mom and a patient teacher!
- the mom who makes an effort to look presentable in social gatherings. Even if you haven’t bathed for days, you took time to prettify for that gathering. The act respects the event you’re attending. And yes, we know, it feels good to look at yourself in the mirror and realize you still have “it”. You’re a great mom, a lovely wife, and a respectful guest!
So anong hanash ito? My mommy blogger friend Glaiza shared the article “How to Spot Fake Hands-on Mom of Toddlers” on her Facebook page. I got intrigued and so I read it. The following are the criteria in identifying the fakes, and I inspected myself based on them:
- Long, manicured, nail polished fingernails – nope! My fingernails are stubby and polish-less
- Cannot answer what the last poo looked like – yes I can!
- Goes out with a toddler in heels and with jewelry – hmmm…I don’t think wedges and pearl studs count
Even though I never thought of myself ever as a hands-on mom, I was relieved because based on this article’s litmus test, I am in the authentic hands-on mom category even if I’m a working mom.
But later I realized that this article may be guilty of mom-shaming. You know, it’s when a mom or a certain goup of moms herald that a certain type of mommyhood is superior over another style.
And this article is mom-shaming at its finest. It is making heroes out of the perceived “victims” (i.e., losyang hands-on-moms) by generalizing that the fresh-looking and still-pretty moms as fakes and great pretenders. This is really bad, because this makes the alleged “fake hands-on moms” feel guilty for being able to balance different facets in her life. It also makes the “real hands-on moms” feel that they have every excuse to play the “I’m a hands-on mom” card every time they put off doing anything else. And it also makes the “real hands-on mom” grip with panic while thinking, “Oh sh*t that means I’m really in this rabbit hole until my child turns 7!”
Before I proceed, I wanna know: What exactly is the definition of a hands-on mom? Is this literal, as in you do everything by hand? Or does it include moms who may not be washing their kids’ bum after pooping but are overseeing everything else about their kids’ lives? Me thinks the author is only talking about the former. And that’s really unfair because I believe that there are different ways of being a hands-on mom (and it’s obvious that based on the article, only the hands-on moms deserve all the applause).
I believe hands-on moms include those who stay up late researching the best schools for their kids, those who read up countless books to know the best way to discipline her child, those who learn to prepare and cook healthy foods, those who manage the nannies and the entire household well, those who homeschool their kids, and the list goes on. It’s a shame that the article’s author—in her quest to justify a mom looking losyang—had to make those who are not like her feel like fakes. And please, glamorous poses and posts lang sa social media, fake na agad?!?
The photos above were taken when our family went on a 4-day tour to Hong Kong last year. Just the three of us—no yaya, no travel agent, no chauffeur, nada! We rode buses and MTRs and walked a loooot! If you haven’t read our story, READ! Super haggard ‘yan. And yet I don’t think I look losyang in these pictures! At bakit kamo ako may nail polish? Well, ever heard of gel nail polish? You know—yung kahit kinutkot ko na ayaw pa ring matanggal.