It’s Mother’s Day, and that means we get to celebrate some of the world’s most special people: moms. I know we should celebrate them everyday because seriously, moms have THE hardest jobs. They have to possess the skills of caretakers, nurses, babysitters, nutritionists, and storytellers (to name a few).
But at least we have a day to celebrate the incredible women who literally and figuratively bring life into the world. I am incredibly grateful for the women in my life who have been mothers and mentors to me. I have a unique experience because my mom is Filipino-Hawaiian, but she’s never been a huge fan of being that stereotypical Polynesian mom. However, I’ve had enough experience around my friends’ moms to know and understand what it’s like to live with a full-on Polynesian mother.
And, since it’s Mother’s day, I thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on and laugh at some of the most endearing things that Polynesian moms do.
Feed the army
They know how to cook, and they know how to cook in mass production. Are you having a friend over? Ok, expect your Polynesian mom to ask if they’re hungry–and even if they’re not, too bad, because she will feed both of you. One of the favorite things a mother always told me and my siblings, when we visited her in Laie, was, “No limit!” And she really meant it. If the food started to dwindle even just a little, she’d whip out and make more food. These women are SO giving.
Make extra food for leftovers
Because why not?
Open up their homes
If someone is down on their luck, or if your cousin or friend just needs a place to crash for the night, Polynesian mom always says, “Yeah, come! No worries!” Then they bring out blankets and pillows to prepare the couch as a temporary bed. Also, they bring out water and food for the visitor, even on short notice. Gotta love it.
Tell you the honest truth
If you look fat in a certain outfit, or if your Polynesian mom doesn’t like something about you (or your friends), she will tell you. There’s no holding back their tongues. And, once you get it started, it will go off for a loooooong time.
Take forever to hang up the phone
They just want to talk and talk and talk. Gotta love it though, especially if you’re homesick. The funniest part is just trying to say goodbye to your mom. It’s like a chain of “Love you” and “bye” until you finally hang up. 😛
How many times did you arrive to a party and she told you to say hello to everyone in the room before grabbing food? Oh, and she also wouldn’t let you get in the car until you said goodbye to everyone in the room too. Polynesian moms will make sure you know the rules so you won’t embarrass yourself down the road
Tell your aunties and uncles about your accomplishments (and your failures)
While many will gossip, your mom is probably gossiping about you. And she’s no shame, especially if you come walking around as she’s talking about you. She wants you to hear her talking about you, and to see your reaction and the reaction of your aunty and uncle as she boasts all about you (or maybe she’s not boasting, but she’s probably still laughing).
Take care of your kupuna
Polynesian moms are hyperaware of the kupuna, the older folks. They will ensure that the kapuna are happy and served before doing anything else. Isn’t that amazing?
I just love my Polynesian moms. They’re so funny and they’re honestly some of the most giving people I know. They give of their time, talents, and resources for the comfort and benefit (and self-esteem boost) of others. And while I’m currently on the mainland, I appreciate all of the women who have become close mother figures. Many of the things I’ve listed here are not even unique to Polynesian moms. So this is a shout out to all of the moms in the world, and to their hard work in raising a generation filled with the aloha spirit. Happy Mother’s Day!!!
What is a favorite thing that your Polynesian mom has done for you?
Isn’t the drawing used in this article a gorgeous title photo? Photo cred goes to artist Oksana Rus. Be sure to check out her beautiful work here!