This morning my number one daughter (N1D) told me that she hates me. That I’m the worst mother in the world. I am never her friend. And, I never listen to her. Automatically, waves of guilt surrounded me. I tried to remain strong and talk her through it, but I ended up crying – in front of her – and this only made her sob harder. I was tired. I was sore. She asked me, between sobs, why I was crying. I replied that she had hurt my feelings. And, of course, I feel immense guilt. I work five days a week, study on Thursday nights at HKU, and once a month work on the weekends. My work is essential to who I am, what I believe in, and what I want my daughters to also grow up and stand steadfast to the world and humanity.
Later in the day, I sent a text to one of my helpers asking if N1D was in better spirits for school. J, my helper, replied that N1D was great – all had been forgotten. I responded to J, ‘Meanwhile she has broken my heart’. My other helper, M, had sent me a text telling me not to take N1D’s comments seriously because it is not true. She told me that her daughter, who lives in the Philippines, told her that she hates her mother forever because she always leaves her to go to Hong Kong to work and that M loves money more than her. And again, my world came to another crashing sob – at work.
The reality – once again – struck me. So many foreign domestic helpers in HK leave their dear loved ones at home. The heart ache those mothers must feel when they have to say goodbye. The hollow heart they must carry every day as they serve the families in HK who are whole – complete – together. And how lucky I am to have these two special women (J and M) in my life. And, in reality, how lucky my daughters are to have a present mother – in the same country.
What are the waves of guilt that come over you as a parent?
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