Mum's the word.

Friday, 9 March 2012

It used to be that I was totally nonchalant about how people view me on the whole. Of course, there was a period of angst when I had to be the total non-conformist, and I challenged myself through everything that I did (much to the consternation of my parents).

There was that time when I was slowly creating my own persona, my own identity, and coming to terms with my own characteristics. I didn't bother much about how people viewed me, I was unaffected by gossip, malicious stares, and whispers. I dressed to my comfort level, I partied hard, played hard and worked hard. I wasn't content with every day run-of-the-mill mundane incidences, I went through dramas, highlights and low points in my life... and I survived through sheer wit, with the help of a select few of my friends, and the unrivalled support of my Mum.

Like most teens going through the period of self discovery, I went against her. I cut curfews. I did things my way. I forgot about her when I was smiling... but she was always there when everything else seems dark. I met a guy whom she didn't approve of, left home, didn't bother to contact her or let her know where I was. I was unmoved when I saw her come by to a place where we worked (she must have tried to find out where I am without my knowledge). I didn't care.

Until of course, her warnings and disapproval about him came true.

I meekly came home, upset and alone. Was watching tv when she came home from work... and all she asked me was: "Have you eaten?"

She never asked me what happened. She didn't question. She just accepted me back in the folds of home.

You would think that I would have learnt my lesson. Nope... it happened another time over a span of a few years, and again she took me back.

In retrospect, I don't know how she did it. My father left us with a mountain of debts and creditors knocking on our door when I was barely ten, and my brother 6. We have just come from Indonesia (supposedly because my father was transferred here), we were in a foreign country, she did not speak a word of English (neither did we), we had just started Primary School in brand new surroundings, and she has never worked a day in her life.

She brought us up. Through sheer grit and determination... and every step of the way was motivated by the fact that we needed to survive. She wielded the cane when she needed to, and she tried her hardest to be both a mother and a father to two growing kids who were in a lot of ways affected by the sudden change in family life.

I don't know if I can be the mother that she has always been to my brother and I. I don't know if I can handle the heartache from seeing my child going to a beaten path with total disregard to my advice or feelings. I hope that if that time ever comes, I will have half the resilience that she has displayed for her children. I'm not sure about a lot of things when it comes to motherhood, as every day is still a learning process.

But I know that motherhood changes you. Not in the sense that we become a better / worse person than what we were... but just different, I suppose. It's instinctive, perhaps stemming from the desire to want the best for our kid(s), to protect them, and trying to grapple with the complete lifestyle overhaul in the meantime.

I know that I will always be there for BabyMoo, along with the fervent hope that he will be a much smarter person in facing life's challenges - than his mother ever was.

... in celebration of International Women's Day, 8 March 2012.

Contributing to:



  1. She IS a wonderful woman. I'll drink to that :)


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Viv,

      You were there when it all happened! :)

  2. I love this post, your mom is an amazing woman indeed.

    Btw, I will like to invite u to join our Singapore Mom Bloggers community in facebook. We have an active blogging comunity 60++ blogging moms and still growing. Great place to network with fellow mom bloggers and share your posts there. U can find us here




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