By Mari-An Santos


I attended a children’s party the other day. It was the birthday of a friend’s son. After greeting friends and acquaintances, I settled at a corner table and observed the revelry.

Children playing. Adults chatting. When it was time to eat, I was amazed at how the moms coaxed their still playing children to sit and eat while carrying on conversations with their friends, who were also moms trying to get their kids to sit and eat. The boys could not be bothered to look up from their PSPs and iPods to get a bite of fried chicken or spaghetti. But somehow, in the course of engaging us in conversation and pushing the plates of food towards the kids, when I looked again, the dishes were clean and the kids were running off to the play area.

Motherhood is indeed amazing. I pride myself in being able to multi-task. I think I have my hands full, juggling different projects, but having other lives in my hands, I don’t have to take on that challenge! Just to get through a children’s party like that, for example, a mother would have had to rouse her child from sleep. She would have had to convince her child to take a bath rather than stay in bed playing video games all day.

Assuming that the child got out of bed and took a bath, his mother would still need to get him dressed in proper, presentable clothes. Which, as I have witnessed, is a feat in itself! Even with bribes of games, prizes, food, and company of other children to play with, this does not guarantee that the family will get to the party in time. When they arrive, there is the added pressure to be sociable while still taking care of the child. From being wife and mother, she becomes wife, mother, and friend.

I visualize a cartoon where a mother tries to feed her child with one hand while cleaning the house or working with the other. If only her feet could do the same things as her hands!

And so I ask: Why do we celebrate Mother’s Day for just one day? Why not make it Mother’s Week? Or Mother’s Month? A day is not enough to let our mothers rest their weary heads and muscles to rejuvenate them for the rest of the 364 days of the year. Nevertheless, I send a tight and lingering embrace to generations of mothers. It may not be much, but I know that mothers have such huge hearts that they will value every thoughtful gesture that comes their way.