Awesome in a Different Way

Domestic work, it’s not something I’d call lame. Housewives and househusbands? If you ask me, they can still be awesome even when in such an occupation. It may not be a job that pays money, but if you think that there’s no good that can come out of it, then you are clearly underestimating that job.

All this deeper thinking about domestic work, I ended up deciding to put it into writing after some radio show mentioned housewives and stuff, which then reminded me of my mother thinking of resigning from her job at a certain plant of a certain multinational company, and was followed by recalling all the things that my mother did for our family. I felt proud of my mother as I thought about her work for the family, and then I recalled my grandmothers’ accomplishments for their respective families as well. I ended up appreciating housework more after all that.

Now, I want to talk about my awesome mother and my awesome grandmothers.

First off, my maternal grandmother. She wasn’t a financially rich person, and even when she had married and started a family with my maternal grandfather, her life wasn’t a luxurious one. While Lolody was out working and providing for the family as a truck driver in Saudi Arabia, Mama Ning worked hard as a housewife, caring for three children. There were challenges, like my aunt’s allergies, my mother’s active participation in extracurricular activities, and the usual everyday chores, but I think I can say that she managed to survive those challenges, considering her family’s condition today. Her children have completed their education, are now working in proper jobs, and already have families of their own.

And from what I remember, Mama Ning never really finished getting formal education, tends to get pretty impulsive, is kind of short-tempered (I think I’m seeing similarities in her and in my mother now…), and works too hard for us at times, but she was and still is an awesome person. Why?

I’ll say this: Never underestimate domestic work, people. Just because she worked as a housewife doesn’t mean that she can’t do anything good for her family or even for society. In her family’s growth, she is also an essential part of it. I think her occupation doesn’t make her existence unequal to the existences of other people. She just did being awesome in a different way. Without her, her awesome work, and her amazing dedication to it and her family, her family would have grown up differently. She didn’t need a gun, she didn’t need a combat knife, and she didn’t need a bomb.

And if there’s someone who looks unlikely to live happily today, well, there’s my late paternal grandmother, Lola Auring. She gave birth to nine kids.

Nine kids.

These days, many people would consider such families unfortunate, so I wouldn’t be surprised if their jaws dropped to the floor when they find out that all her children finished their education, have proper jobs, and, except for the eldest child, have families of their own as well.

I am not kidding. At all. Ask my chill dad. Ask his siblings who have families in the middle class range in terms of financial status.

Lola Auring gave birth to nine kids. All her children completed their formal education, got proper jobs, and, except for the eldest child, already have families of their own now. And they’re all surviving nicely. Even the eldest child is pretty much doing well in life.

Most of the work that Lola Auring did during her life were domestic work, with some of it done for a bunch of years in the USA. Her presence and absence were times when her children learned greatly about how to live properly. For example, according to my father, when she had gone abroad, he and his siblings learned more about the importance of self-reliance.

Lola Auring had reached college, but, from what I remember, didn’t finish it after she had a breakdown. Her husband was a tough guy who didn’t believe in God, while she was a gentle and devout Roman Catholic. I’m not as close to her as Dad and his siblings were, but from the interactions I’ve had with her while she was alive, I can say, with confidence, that she was awesome. She and I share a dislike towards crowds and the noise they bring, and we share an interest in doing stuff like reading in a quiet room, but she had developed her potential for awesome very well.

Like Mama Ning, she wasn’t some housewife or some domestic worker. She is an awesome person who did being awesome in a different way. She didn’t need a gun, she didn’t need a combat knife, and she didn’t need a bomb.

Praise and thanks be to God. And I hope that Lola Auring is in Heaven now. Perhaps she is, now that I think about it.

Oh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my family members and extended family members are crying at this point. Lola Auring is freaking awesome, indeed…

And now, I’ll be talking about my mother. I once gave her the nickname “Fireball” because of her fiery personality. Impulsive, kind of short-tempered, tough, assertive, yup, I think those traits are prominent in my mother. But hey, it’s not like she can’t be calm and gentle. There was this one time when I pissed her off with a blog post that my whiny and cowardly self once made, and after some time away from the house and a nice talk with a priest godfather, I went home. When we interacted again, she was more calm, while I was washing the dishes. Some time after–the next day, I think, we talked about the issue a lot more calmly, and yeah, we made up. Oh, and she can be funny too! Like with her laugh, which reminds me of the laughs of rich women from all those soap operas mixed with the laughs of crazy people in comedy shows.

Hey, my mother’s not a bad person, I swear. And if she were to go worse, I wouldn’t lose faith in her. I highly prefer trying to help her be better if that situation happens too.

Ah, and oh yeah, from what I remember, Mom has been considering resigning from her current job. Maybe she’ll push through with it, considering the need for someone to take care of the youngest kid in the family more. Whether she resigns or not, though, I still think that she can be awesome.

Seriously, what’s not awesome about being able to calmly deal with a child who throws tantrums on a daily basis? Sure, she loses her temper when dealing with that youngest brother of mine at times, but her calmness there is way better than mine. I’m not sure about her speed in understanding a lot of the stuff that I’m interested in, but I’m pretty sure about how much she cares for her family. Her tone and pose may seem very intimidating–and even I thought that it looked abusive–at times (I’m also starting to get why Mom and Dad remind me a lot about my body language and tone of voice), but she has shown proof of her genuine care for Dad, me, and my siblings several times.

Without her, I guess Dad, my sister, and I wouldn’t be more assertive.

Without her, Bob and I would have gone off doing really stupid stuff while not going to school.

Without her, my youngest sibling would have become worse.

So yeah, I’m sure that my mother can still be awesome even if she became a housewife or a woman working a proper and paying job while spending a lot of time in our house. And I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t like underestimating the importance of domestic work too. Perhaps she would be very supportive of the Choredom Breakdown idea as well. I don’t think that she would need a gun, a combat knife, or even a bomb. Get what I’m saying? She doesn’t need to be like Rambo to prove that she can be an awesome person.

Wait, did I just call Rambo awesome? I’m pretty sure that I didn’t intend to do that…

Oh, and once, my mother told me that most women aren’t as physically great as most men. Maybe she’s right, but I’m pretty sure that, unlike what I thought back then, she doesn’t mean that the existence of women has less value than the existence of men. It’s just that women have a different set of capabilities, but not a higher or lower value overall. Maybe most women can’t do a bunch of things that most men can do, but I don’t think that gives people a license to look down on women.

And now, I’d like to say thank you to my mother and my grandmothers for helping me appreciate their work a lot more and for helping me appreciate domestic work a lot more as well.

Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if you’ve understood this already, but domestic work, like any other work, isn’t easy. But hey, it can be done well. 🙂