Growing up in a Filipino household, my role as a daughter was clearly defined. From a very early age, I was expected to do the "girl" things around the house: dust, laundry, dishes, and more. Here I am at age 5ish doing the dishes. I was often told "girls don't talk like that" or "girls don't do those kind of things" when it came to the way I carried myself. I had a strict curfew and the idea of a "boyfriend" was out of the question.
As I grew up, I noticed my younger brother didn't have the same responsibilities as I did. He didn't have to help around the house as much as I was expected to. As long as he called my parents, he was allowed to stay out past the curfew I was given. He's allowed to have his girlfriend sleepover and vice-versa. Even today, as he's in his 20's and I'm in my 30's, there are still expectations my parents have of me that they don't necessarily hold my brother to.
Throughout the years, I'd ask my mom "How come Jun-Jun gets away with that?" or "You'd never let me get away with that!". My mom would always simply say "it's because you're a girl, you'll understand one day". In my younger years, that answer upset me. Why would I have different standards just because I was a girl? I was trustworthy, I should've been given the same expectations and level of responsibility as my brother.
Not until I became a wife and a mother did I realize what my mom meant, "it's because you are a girl". I believe my upbringing was training to me to be the best "girl" a.k.a. wife and mommy to my own family. Because of how I was brought up, I have a sense of discipline, know my way around the home, and understand how limits and expectations shape one's character.
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Thank you Mom for shaping me into the best wife and mommy I have become!
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