Motherhood is a role rife with all kinds of responsibilities. As the light of a household, they take on several tasks—looking out for their children, keeping their homes harmonious, engaging in different occupations for a livelihood, and ensuring members follow strong principles to navigate life.
Indeed, being a mother is challenging—and it’s not always beautiful. Mothers experience an immense mental load, but maintain a calm, composed demeanor to inspire awe and protect their family members.
Simply, a mother is a selfless person, who protects, nurtures and disciplines her children to become well-equipped adults in the future.
Every second Sunday of May, the world celebrates Mother’s Day to pay tribute to mothers across the globe who fulfill their duties without fail, no matter how tough it may be. During their special day, mothers receive the appreciation and recognition they deserve for everything they’ve done for their families.
Mothers also come in different shapes, sizes, and family units. Today’s society recognizes that motherhood doesn’t merely come from giving birth. Instead, it’s a person’s actions for the welfare of their family that earn them the title of “mother.”
So it should come as no surprise that single fathers, who also play the role of the mother for their kids, deserve the recognition during Mother’s Day as well.
JM Edejer is familiar with the roles a mother plays, especially since he assumed the role of both parents to better care for his young son early in 2020. His first sacrifice was difficult because he had to admit that his relationship with his son’s mother turned sour. Instead of exposing his son to an unhealthy connection that could affect his future interactions, JM cut ties with his former partner to raise his son alone.
From then, he worked various jobs to meet his son’s needs and prepare for his future. He made several sacrifices, like taking up jobs he never liked in the first place.
“Sometimes the job I take is not my forte, but I need to work so my son could eat. I even became a freelance delivery rider. I only use a bike and would travel long distances, sometimes reaching 90 kilometers a day, just to earn money for my son,” JM said in the vernacular.
Even though JM already feels tired from his laborious work, often battling city pollution, unpredictable weather and traffic, he still finds the time and energy to look after his son upon reaching home. He believes the attention he gives his son early in his life helps form his personality.
However, the most recent and painful sacrifice JM made for his son was to live far from him to keep a job that will sustain his needs.
Presently, JM’s son lives with his family and is being cared for by JM’s mother, while he’s away to make a living.
“I’m living in Alabang now, and during my day off, I go home to Quezon City to see and be with my son. Of course, I ride my bike to close the distance between us. I’ll sacrifice everything for my son. It doesn’t matter if I run out, as long as my son gets everything he needs,” he said.
The single father of one shared that he struggles with his time at work because he doesn’t have the freedom to spend more time with his son. He would often settle for 10-minute video calls to catch up with his son. Aside from not having enough time with each other, JM also limits his expenses for personal needs because he knows that his son’s needs come first.
Yet all his sacrifices have become worthwhile whenever he sees his son’s smile or hears him laugh.
“My dream for him is simple. All I want is for him to surpass me in life. No matter what his profession is, even if it’s the same as mine, as long as he’s happy, comfortable, and not living immorally, I’ll support him no matter what,” he said.
As a single father, who also assumes the role of his son’s mother, JM goes against gender biases. He doesn’t believe that as a man, he has to remain strong all the time and impart that attitude to his son. Instead, he embraces his emotions because he’s human, much like everybody else.
He also hopes that his son will learn the values of vulnerability, perseverance, and kindness to get far in life.
Despite all the hardships JM faced in being a single father, he shared that he feels lucky to have his son around. All his hard work also paid off because he’s currently employed as a chef, allowing him to earn and save more for his son’s needs. He serves as an example that many single fathers out there are capable of filling in a mother’s shoes to show how much their children mean to them.
This Mother’s Day, single fathers, single mothers, and those who took on a nurturing role toward children also deserve the appreciation and recognition for all their efforts and sacrifices. If given a chance, do something nice for them to show how much they’re appreciated.
Most people during Mother’s Day do something special, like go out to eat, prepare special celebrations, and purchase expensive gifts. While these activities are acceptable, reciprocating the love mothers give is always the best way to celebrate the second Sunday of May.
Often, it’s the simplest gestures that convey one’s deepest affections. Take the time to learn their favorite dishes, spend some time with them by engaging in their favorite activities, or even take over some household chores that they usually do. And don’t forget to express how you truly feel by saying “I love you,” writing a card or penning a heartfelt message on social media.
Without mothers or people, who stand in the roles of mothers, navigating life would be difficult. Thanks to them, humans get to learn about values that make them better individuals and learn the true meaning of sacrifice and unconditional love.