To be a Spartan Mother

All the mothers should tell their children, “With your shield or on it.”

I am not yet a mother, but I hope that when I become one, I will be able to say this to my children. Not that I am attempting to understand what I have no experience on, but I suppose it will be difficult especially if you have taken care of your child from infancy and know all her weaknesses. There will be a desire to take care of her and shield her from harm forever, if only it were possible.

Some Filipino mothers understand this to mean actually shielding their children from all possible harm – preventing them from climbing trees because they might fall, not roaming around but staying put right beside their parents because they might get lost and even not patting the heads of friendly dogs because they might get bitten.

I was one of those children who was brought up that way, and my reaction was to simply hide from my parents what I do so as they would then not be able to say anything about it.

Yet what about some of those who react by becoming wimps? How poor they are to feel afraid about so many things! And so they never attempt to be better than who they currently are.

When I become a mother, I promise to do the following:

1. Allow my children to climb trees and swim in rivers, but teach them how to climb and swim first.

2. Allow them to improve on their talents and skills, but make them realize that such opportunities are privileges in our country where some children are not even allowed to go to school.

3. Allow them to fight injustice, but make them enroll first in self-defense.

My children will be allowed to do whatever it is they choose to do, but only after the appropriate training to do whatever they choose to do well. I hope then that before any trial in their life, big or small, they will be passionate but virtuous, driven but cautious, and successful but humble.

And I hope I get to say to them “With your shield or on it.”

Happy Mother’s day!


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