MOTHERHOOD embodies the nurturing and giving nature of human beings, and is one of the most demanding yet rewarding jobs any woman could have.
That is the belief of Filipino-Canadian artist Paulina Constancia, whose life was enriched by the birth of her son four years ago.
She said it completely changed her outlook.
“Since I’ve become a mother, my child’s needs have come before mine, and plans change from minute to minute. I had to learn to be patient and flexible,” the 43-year-old said in an interview.
She is in Penang for her six-nation ‘Moments of Motherhood’ travelling exhibition, held at the Jawi House Heritage Gallery and Cafe in Armenian Street, George Town, Penang.
Running until today, it features a dozen pieces depicting tender moments she has shared with her young son.
Drawing on lessons learnt from her own mother, who was very religious and hardworking, Constancia believes the most important principle in life is ‘to finish what you start’.
It means doting on her bundle of joy, and constantly nurturing and guiding him with unbridled dedication.
“There is true happiness derived from the simple, tender moments we first share with our mothers, and later on with our own children.
“Despite the advancement in technology and science, and consumerism culture today, motherhood is what affords one a healthy, happy and meaningful life,” Constancia opined.
Constancia, who was born in Cebu, the Philippines before emigrating to Canada in 2002, laments that not every woman is blessed to enjoy tender moments with her children.
“Many mothers in the Third World have to leave their children to supplement the family income.
“Some go overseas to take care of the children of other mothers, but do not have the opportunity to develop basic, loving bonds with their own kids,” she pointed out.
Constancia hopes governments around the world will provide greater support to mothers and do more to address inequality issues.
Longer maternity leave, infant care cost assistance for working, studying or sick mothers, or work-based daycare centres where mothers can breastfeed and nurture their babies, will, in her opinion, go a long way.
Besides art, Constancia, who has a degree in Mass Communication and is a certified English as a Second Language teacher, also dabbles in fashion, music and poetry.