Raising a daughter without my mother

Grieving the loss of a mother is a lot tougher when you have a daughter.

Everyday I’m reminded of life with my mom the way things used to be, the way we used to be. My daughter reminds me of how I was around my mother–happy, confident, loved.

Everytime I get the urge to plant a kiss on my daughter’s forehead I am reminded of how my mother used to do this often. So this is how she felt like, this is why she liked kissing my hand before going to bed at night. Spending days with my daughter has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of my late mother.

I caress my daughter’s long curly hair and remember how my mom used to do this to mine. She would smile and call me her doll.

The moment I wake up and my daughter plants a kiss on my cheeks to greet me good morning, I am reminded of my mornings with mom. Our early morning chat, breakfast together,the way she would greet me “good morning my little girl!”

Even the little fights and my daughter’s tantrums are starting to sound more and feel a lot like the ones I had with mom although now I’m the one giving out a big sigh of disappointment, and reprimanding the little stubborn girl who wants to conquer the world and fight for what she feels is right too soon.

At night my little girl wraps her arms and legs around me the way I used to do it with my mom. Being so close to my mother made me feel happy and safe, she was my comfort zone, my little piece of heaven on Earth.

As my daughter snuggle up beside me burying her face on my neck I know she feels this way towards me too.

I often blurt out things my mom used to say. “Lab mo si mommy? [do you love mommy?]” or “Masaya ka ne? [Are you happy little girl? Did you have fun today?]” “Kiss mo si Mommy bayad [you have to pay mommy with a kiss]”.

Oh how I miss her, I miss her as I slowly become a lot like her. My daughter reminds me of how I was when I was little , how I felt, and acted around my mother. Each and everyday as I become the mother I am meant to become I am reminded of how my mother was. The things I say, the stuff I do now around my children remind me of her.

They say we all become our mothers, and I am happy I’m starting to become a lot like mine. If I could be half the mother she was I know I’ll be an awesome mom.

Author: Loraine Balita-Centeno

I'm a Manila based journalist who's been working in the industry for 12 years. I've written pieces for newspapers and magazines based in Manila and some abroad. I'm a work-at-home-mom of two so I spend my days writing or editing with a toddler clamped around one leg and a pre-schooler asking me questions every 10 minutes.

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