Mama, Mommy, Mother, Mamita, Mumsy, Inay, Nanay. These are the different ways we Filipinos refer to our moms, and with Mother’s Day just around the corner, what better way to show them that we love then than to recognize all the different types of Filipino moms? You probably thought there was just one type, didn’t you? There’s no denying that our moms love us to pieces.
And though sometimes we don’t get them at all, in the end, we finally arrive at the conclusion that they only want the very best for us. Some of their mothering habits are often endearing, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes just plain baffling, but one thing’s for sure—we can’t help but love them more. Here are the types of moms that we’ve grown up with.
1. The One-Step-Ahead-of-You Mom
“Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako!” Which loosely translates to “I know what you’re up to. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt. Don’t even try it.” The One-Step-Ahead-of-You Mom seems to have ESP when it comes to her children. She will know when her darling daughter is scheming to get out of the house to meet the latest bad boy du jour of the hood. She has a sixth sense when it comes to junior, and seems to know when and how he’s going to get in trouble. Though her behavior can be a bit spooky, her foresight comes in handy, especially when one hopes to make it through a school year without being summoned to the principal’s office.
Best way to deal: when she launches into her familiar been-there-done-that speech, cup your chin with your hand, gaze at her attentively, and say, “I’d love some tips, if you don’t mind.” She’ll probably give you the stare and shake her head. Best gift to give her for Mother’s Day? Tickets to the latest romantic comedy that’s playing in a nice cinema. Just so she can stop worrying about you for about two hours.
2. The Power Mom
The Power Mom is always nicely put together whenever she leaves the house, but she takes care not to cross into Stepford wife territory with the grooming. Think of the way Jessica Alba looks on the way to the coffeehouse with her kids in tow, and you’ll get an idea what I’m talking about. After work, she’ll go straight to her Power Yoga class, and on the way she’ll instruct the cook not to overcook the steak for dinner. She’ll have her kids enrolled in the hottest afterschool activity, and she’ll pick them up herself, toting yummy cupcakes from the most sought after bakery in the city. She always has the coolest apps on her tablet, and she’s always aware of the latest trends, but is very selective when it comes to following them. Though she’s cool and hip, other moms don’t hate her for it. Power Mom is very generous when it comes to sharing precious parenting and style info, such as where to get the best donuts, which preschool to avoid, and which salon has the best colorist. She’s like a walking Wikipedia of all things about modern mothering (Momipedia?) Best gift for the Power Mom is a membership to try out the latest fitness craze. Better yet, join her. She’ll be thrilled.
3. The Stage Mother
Dramatic and prone to saying lines that will make Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor and Sharon Cuneta proud, the stage mother will always make sure to thrust their kid into the spotlight. If her kid is a girl, that child will enter about 10.5 beauty pageants or talent searches in her lifetime, she’ll often be cajoled into performing whenever visitors drop by, and she’ll be forced to take up an instrument, preferably the piano, or she’ll be asked to take voice lessons. If the child is not a performer but an intellectual, then the child will get the best tutor, the latest books, and Kumon classes on the weekends.
If the kid happens to be a jock, Stage Mother will be front and center at every game, cheering with gusto, to the embarrassment of her red-faced son or daughter. She’s the one equipped with the videocam or the iPad, jockeying for position on the aisle of your auditorium for the best angle to film her kid, just like the mom in Mean Girls. No matter how hard you shush her, there’s no containing her enthusiasm, especially when it comes to her precious child. How to deal: Savor this moment and cherish her while you can, because you’ll miss her once she’s gone. Best gift: A personalized calendar, filled with pictures of you from birth to the present day. It’s a guaranteed hit.
4. The Homemaker Mom
The Homemaker Mom prefers to raise her kids the old-fashioned way. She opts to stay at home and is one of the few women you know who can still sew, crochet, or knit. She’s old-school and is quick to remind you to behave when you commit a lapse in etiquette. She usually wears a duster and hair curlers and can be found in the kitchen, or in the yard sweeping leaves, or in the living room taking a breather on the sofa whenever she gets the chance to relax. Her kids prefer to eat at home than at any fast food joint because nothing compares to her cooking.
She is also quite sentimental, and will keep every token given to her by her kids, frame any medal that was won, keep every scrap of paper with the words I love you mom on them. When in a bind, she would rather recall what her grandma did in the event of a crisis than go on Google to find the solution to a problem. Her favorite remedy for a scraped knee is a healthy dose of rubbing alcohol poured on the affected area, followed by a plate of the kid’s favorite food to make up for the sting. She is the poster woman of the traditional Filipino family because she’s in charge of the entire house. Best gift: A gift certificate to a spa for a nice massage. If she refuses to leave the house, call in a masseuse to do a home massage. Your mom won’t say no to it. She definitely deserves a little pampering after all she’s done for you.
5. The Techie Mom aka Secret Agent Mom
The CIA has nothing on her when it comes to stealth. She will secretly check your phone inbox while you’re in the bathroom or during the rare moment that you leave it lying around. She will figure out your password, no matter how many times you change it. Don’t even think about not adding her on Facebook, or you’ll certainly be on the receiving end of her tirade. And once you add her, she makes sure to add all your friends on Facebook to see what you guys are up to when you claim to be just hanging out. She likes all your Instagram posts, and follows you on Twitter. She will defend you if anyone tries to bully you online, and will always be the first to comment on the latest photo that you upload. To punish you, she’ll change the wifi password, and she won’t tell you what it is unless you really, truly are sorry. She has a large collection of gadgets, and will call you on your mobile phone to remind you to get down right this minute because it’s dinnertime. How to deal: Chill, she’s just concerned about you. Oh, and maybe keep your online posts clean and wholesome at all times. Best gift: A stylish case for her latest gadget. Or treat her to a manicure at a posh nail salon, so she can get a hand massage to relieve her carpal tunnel.
To all the wacky, loving, hyper, nurturing, dramatic, cool, and beautiful moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!