While some would wallow in self-pity because they cannot afford to buy the latest smart phone, or the latest shoes, bag and apparel, or the latest car model, I do not grieve over these things that only those with intangibles could afford. I worry about the intangible matters that a mother cannot afford.
I Cannot Afford to be Sick. We are a family of four. We don’t have a help because we cannot afford, and it’s impractical, I guess, for now. My husband is physically challenged, and concurrently ill and have to be monitored. He is mobile but he cannot be doing the hard stuff in the house to help me like he used to. Therefore, almost everything is on my shoulder, from the dishes to the laundry to the cleaning. Both kids are busy. My daughter is an artist and her tool of the trade is her hand but even then I shouted SOS the other day. They have to help wash the dishes. My superpowers had diminished I told them. Good thing son is more helpful and sensitive. Therefore, I should not be sick most of the time. I am fighting my OC tendencies about things because that would make me sick, dwelling on details, though I have to admit it is sometimes my defense against anxieties.
I Cannot Afford to be Angry. My temper is my weakness. I am slow to anger but lately, I tend to get angry easily. I tend to get angry at things with extreme unimportance like the attitude of the ‘tambay’ outside the house or a nasty comment from somebody or my husband’s tantrums and egocentric thoughts, or my daughter’s inexplicable ideas in life. The other day I vowed not to succumb to the anger temptation. Besides, I thought to myself, stress caused by anger can also make me sick, and I cannot afford to be sick.
I Cannot Afford to Worry. I am the type of person who worry too much especially about my beloved ones. I discovered I cannot do this forever. I need to stop. I need to be happy, and not anxious, sad and angry all in one instance because I am worried. I need to verbalize what I feel instead of worrying. Again, I said to myself, stress from anxiety can also make me sick. I still wanted to live longer, to enjoy life more, and still do the things I want to do.
I Cannot Afford to be Weak. Mothers are wells or pillars of strength contrary to belief that it is the fathers that are described as such. A mother cannot afford to be weak because all the others, yes, all of them, are weak at one point or another. With the multiple challenges one family faces, a mother must serve as the light. She has to be an equalizer, and she has to be neutralizer at the same time. Her family members are diverse and she cannot afford not to be strong and give sound judgment when conflicts arise. I know this sounds like a generalization but aren’t most mothers pillars of strength?
This is my short list of things I cannot afford. You may have a different list but I know, some of the things in this list can be yours, too, because you are a mother.