Motherhood Moments through the Years | OneMega.com
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Motherhood Moments Through the Years

Motherhood Moments Through the Years

Parenting | June 1, 2021
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Take a trip down memory lane with Michelle Aventajado as she reminisces about her motherhood journey—one shaped by the mothers in her life.

Recently, I was cleaning my mom’s kitchen cabinets and helping her reorganize her kitchen to make it easier for her when she’d get her serving platters. I paused when I came across the very first Wedgewood piece I purchased for her. It was a remembrance of a trip with my girlfriends to London—a fond memory from back then.

The gravy boat was nothing extraordinary. It was from the Strawberry and Vine collection, but I immediately remembered buying this piece for her, thinking that it would be a nice addition to her dining table.

Mom’s visit to SUNY Cortland when I was inducted into Phi Sigma Sigma.
Mom’s visit to SUNY Cortland when I was inducted into Phi Sigma Sigma.

Once I got married, I was blessed with another mother to honor. That first Mother’s Day, as a married woman, I recall being with Nino’s family in New Jersey. I wanted to thank Nino’s mom for giving her son to me. And so, I searched our local Hallmark store in the Blue Mountain Card section for the perfect card that a daughter-in-law could give to her new husband’s mom.

I eventually found one. And I was so pleased with myself because it perfectly expressed my gratitude for the man she raised.

Nino and I were so excited to be parents.
Nino and I were so excited to be parents.

Starting A Family of Our Own

When Nino and I started our family, I remembered the excitement for this new chapter in our lives as a young married couple. It was always my dream to be a mom, and Nino and I wanted to start early. We both had ideas on how to parent our would-be children. But as they grew up, we learned that we would have to compromise on that eventually.

When they were this small, Mother’s Day was always on the go.
When they were this small, Mother’s Day was always on the go.
When they were this small, Mother’s Day was always on the go.

Since our three kids were still quite young back then, Mother’s Day was a day when we’d pack everyone in the car and head out. We’d then visit and celebrate with the mothers in our lives—sisters, aunties, godmothers, grandmothers, and more.

It was never easy to cart the kids, who were usually dressed up in matching outfits for maximum cuteness (while still in diapers). Almost always, one of them needed a nap. But it wasn’t about easy. It was about being able to come together and show some love and appreciation to the important women in our lives.

What a blessing for Gia to have been able to spend some time with her great grandmothers on both sides of our families.
What a blessing for Gia to have been able to spend some time with her great grandmothers on both sides of our families.
What a blessing for Gia to have been able to spend some time with her great grandmothers on both sides of our families.

A Celebration for Mothers

Moving to the Philippines allowed me to spend time with and get to know the mothers in Nino’s family. His grandmothers, after all, were women whom I longed to connect with. After leaving my own home, comfort zone, and family behind, I asked him if we could continue the tradition of Sunday lunches or dinners with his Lola. And he said yes.

There is so much wisdom in the generations of mothers that have come before us. My Lola was a runner for the U.S. troops when they were here fighting the Japanese. Nino’s Lola Mely was a self-made businesswoman who had a garment business in both the U.S. and here in Manila. Both women were examples of strength and grit. All of our Lolas did not let society define what was good for them and their families. Truly an inspiration!

Any time we could snap this photo we would take advantage. I’m so grateful I have these photos, now that my Lola has gone on.
Any time we could snap this photo we would take advantage. I’m so grateful I have these photos, now that my Lola has gone on.
Any time we could snap this photo we would take advantage. I’m so grateful I have these photos, now that my Lola has gone on.

And to have the opportunity for my own children to spend time with these women is such a gift! If there’s anything the past year has taught us, it’s that time is not on our side. It’s fleeting. That’s why we have to capture, document, and cherish these moments to look back on after all of this is over.

The days are long, but the years are short.
The days are long, but the years are short. 

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Home

During Mother’s Day, the kids would often find their way into the kitchen. And this meant breakfast in bed, led by Gia. What first started out as scrambled eggs, toast, coffee, and fresh strawberries (they know my favorite fruit) soon evolved into French toast bake, omelets, and cinnamon rolls. Those first few hours of the day would when I’d be spoiled and pampered before we left the house to celebrate with our extended families.

Who knew that we would be indoors for a second year in a row?
Who knew that we would be indoors for a second year in a row?

Celebrating Mother’s Day two years in a row at home? It was quiet. Just the six of us. Work-Free.

Gia made Croquembouche, while Nino made a copycat recipe of Junior’s Cheesecake. We had steak, gambas, spicy tuna, and a Japanese potato bake. And I didn’t have to make any of it! I napped for the first time in years. We even facetimed my mother. There, I found myself taking stock of the mothers who came before me—the mothers who shaped Nino and me, and all the mothers we met along the way. 

Sweet treats like these are a regular gift from a daughter who loves to bake.
Sweet treats like these are a regular gift from a daughter who loves to bake.

As I reflect on the mothers and women who helped shaped my motherhood journey, I acknowledge and honor their values of family, strength, grace, and perseverance. I am introspective and perhaps even in awe by the cycle of motherhood. Especially since it leads to the possibility of my future grandchildren being raised by my own daughters.

Beyond the sweets, the pampering sessions, and the stories, these are the true gifts of motherhood. And these make up the legacy that we are enabled to pass on to the next generation.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Beauty of Motherhood and Learning How to Love

Everything I Learned from My Mother: A Mother’s Day Dedication

Just What the Doctor Prescribed: A Mother’s Love

Michelle Aventajado shares lessons learned through triumphs and challenges in motherhood, relationships, and life, as she raises four children ranging in age from nine to twenty-one. She believes that every trial presents an opportunity to learn, that her daughter Gelli is her greatest teacher, and that as a parent, it is important to instill in her children that they are part of something bigger. 1 Cor 13:13
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