Tribute to the driving mom

By Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason Philippine Daily Inquirer May 15,2019

How often do we find ourselves during our morning school drop offs wishing for a lot more time to spare so we can squeeze in meetings, a grocery run, bill payments, and doctor’s appointment before it is time to pick up our kids again?

How often do you bear witness to your internal voices fighting whether you will just give in and let your kids have the iPhone or iPad so you can have a moment of peace?

How often do you debate with yourself on the importance of strapping in your kids into the car seat because you are in a hurry? Or whether you should just drive through to McDonald’s to buy dinner because you are too tired to cook?

That’s what I go through every day.

There are a lot of memes and jokes about women drivers. We are undecided on the road, we are slow, can’t park properly even if our dear life depends on it. I’m the butt of driving jokes in our family, and our business is teaching people how to drive properly. Sometimes it is hurtful, sometimes we can only join in the laughter because hey, what can we do?

Being a mother is such a wonderful experience, but it’s a lifelong job. It’s not easy especially with all the pressures this modern world are putting on us. I have five kids, a husband, and a business. I have to manage all our schedules, the household, come up with great ideas for work, and I’m expected to look good while juggling all these roles. I feel tired just writing about it.
So maybe because us mothers, working or not, have a million things on our mind that is more important than giving a hoot about whether people think we are good drivers or not.

We worry about how our kids will grow up to be a credit to society. We worry about whether we are feeding them good food or chemical-laden fast alternatives. We worry about the people around them, whether they will have a positive impact on them or become dangerous bad influences.
Then there’s that never-ending guilt tripping. Our one-hour “mani-pedi” break is not without incidence of yo-yoing if we deserve it or not, or if that time is better spent catering to the needs of our family.

And of course this traffic situation is not helping—instead of us being able to finish our million item to-do list we need to do, we are down to maybe 900,000 instead.

Yes, maybe we are not the best of drivers. But we are the drivers of the most important unit in society. Without us mothers, no one will make sure that the other drivers don’t grow up to be road monsters. Without us, no one will teach basic courtesy in and out of the car.

Fellow mothers, I know we are all super, but we are human. We all make mistakes, and from there we get better. Forgive yourself.

Let us also be kind to our fellow mothers, it’s not a contest. We all are struggling, let’s help each other by giving a helping hand or a boost on those gloomy days.

We also need to love ourselves. I always say, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” That is one of the core advocacy of Chicdriven. By taking care of ourselves, we can be in our best form to take care of them.

Strive to be a better version of yourself, not those you see in the magazine or curated Instagram post. We don’t need to emulate those perfections magnified in social media, they are fake. Life is not pastel and flowery, it is messy and chaotic.

Motherhood is the most rewarding profession, we all need to appreciate it more.

So, for everyone reading this, maybe next time you see a woman whose driving is not at par with your standards, give her the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps she’s still trying to finish the 900,000 things she needs to do. Maybe she’s rushing because she’s late to pick up her kids, or trying to get home to cook dinner.

Maybe she’s just trying to be a good mom.

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