What job is challenging, demanding, on call twenty four hours a day, every day for a lifetime, not paid, and yet one still finds rewarding? Most would agree that it fits the description of a Mother, the true unsung hero in our lives.
While Mother’s Day is just a day in the entire year, it’s a day of celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood. If you are struggling to find the perfect gift for Mother's Day, know that you are not alone in this. After all, how can you ever say thank you enough to the woman who gave you the gift of life?
This Mother’s Day, we spoke to three women from Frasers Property Singapore, who are in different stages of motherhood to hear more about their motherhood journey and what they expect for Mother’s Day.
June Tan (JT), Assistant General Manager, Changi City Point has two teenage children – a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son.
Fara Hatta (FH), Senior Manager, Marketing has a two-year old daughter
Karen Siow (KS), General Manager, Frasers Tower has a 20-year old daughter.
Together, they share with us the ups and downs of motherhood, what it’s like raising children of different ages, as well as their advice to other mothers out there.
1. What is the most unexpected thing about being a mother?
JT: The emotional ups and downs that comes with children’s learning curve. My kids and I both stumbled along as we learn how to communicate better and build an understanding relationship with one another.
FH: Motherhood is exhausting but it is worth it. I never thought that feeling so tired can also feel so precious. No matter how challenging it is, this is a special journey for me and I enjoy every minute of it.
KS: You are never fully prepared for what’s to come. You can read about it, hear about it from your mother, friends and colleagues but it’s completely different when you are experiencing it yourself.
When my daughter was just born, she had jaundice, and was warded for 10 days after I had been discharged. I still remember the number of sleepless nights that followed.
When she was seven months old, she was diagnosed with duplex left kidney after several tests and consultations. Her left kidney has upper and lower moieties but inter-connected and only the lower moiety is connected by a ureter to drain urine from the kidney to the bladder. It was traumatising for me and my husband. She was prescribed with antibiotic for a year, and we used to have a hard time giving her the medication every night.
2. Does motherhood get easier?
JT: Everything we do in life has a learning curve. We never really stop learning and I think it is moot to say whether it gets any easier.
FH: I hope so! Hahahahaha! Motherhood has different stages filled with joys and challenges and I am having a great time. A solid support system from my husband and parents is a bonus.
KS: Personally, I think each phase of motherhood is different. It will never be easy. We have different issues and concerns at each phase. I learn, discover and embrace them along the way. From taking care of her health and wellbeing, shaping her character, providing a good education, developing her social skills and being there for her as she starts her career and finding the right life partner, motherhood never stops.
3. How has your working style or outlook towards work changed since becoming a mother?
JT: I am more aware about the kind of facilities we provide in our malls for parents and young families as I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. Besides that, I always strive to achieve that work-life balance that everyone talks about. While it’s a nice concept, it can be difficult to execute. The demands of working life are sometimes out of our control. However, I do make the conscious effort to spend time with my husband despite our busy schedule.
FH: As a mother, I take on a positive mindset in approaching my daily life. This means not sweating the trivial issues and to focus on the more meaningful aspects of life.
KS: Being a working mum, my outlook has changed. I look forward to a good work-life balance especially when my daughter was younger so that I could spend more time with her, especially during the weekends.
4. By working and mothering, what example are you hoping to set for your kids?
JT: To be honest, life is not a bed of roses. It shows them the importance of being committed and responsible for the work that has been tasked. I hope that my kids will take after me in this aspect.
FH: To have grit and a kind heart. While it is important to be well-educated, I want my children to be able to bounce back from setbacks, stay positive in the face of adversity, and to always be kind to others. These are just some of the things that I want to instill in my daughter.
KS: I want to lead by example and show my daughter that women are special. Ideally, we can multi-task, be successful at work and still manage our family and children well.
5. Share one habit that you live by as a working mother that you can share with other mothers out there
JT: Set aside time to do one thing that will involve everyone in the family. It could be simple things like going for a walk, dining together, grocery shopping, doing household chores, or even watching a movie.
FH: Balance is key. Motherhood teaches me to prioritise my day and focus on the current task on hand. Give your all at work but once you are home, have a good time and give your full attention to your loved ones. I enjoy bonding over Play-Doh, swimming sessions, and taking a short break outside of Singapore.
KS: As mothers, we need to stay positive and display a positive attitude towards life, because I believe that children look up to their parents as their role mode. Try to communicate with them as much as possible, and stay connected with them!
6. What is the most rewarding thing about being a mother?
JT: I love spending time with them! I particularly love going shopping and food tasting with my kids.
FH: Learning something new every day, in the most unexpected ways. I was observing my daughter when she was first trying to walk. She tried countless number of times until she succeeded and she made it look so fun. The rule is simple: to try, never give up and have a blast. That’s a learning I hold dear in my heart.
KS: Seeing my baby girl grow up to be a sensible and independent adult.
7. We’re always worrying about what to get for our mothers on Mother’s Day. What do you think mothers expect on this day?
JT: A day of total relaxation and no cooking! Just eat out! Think of it as a day to let our hair down and have fun.
FH: Spending the day with our loved ones! A good meal with lots of laughter is definitely a treat.
KS: Nothing can be enough to show your love and appreciation of your mother’s love. As a working mother, I believe the best gift would be spend quality time with your mother on regular basis instead of remembering her on Mother’s Day. Nonetheless, we always take this opportunity to gather everyone and have a family meal together.
What would your mother’s answers to the above questions be? Knowing more about your mother and what motivates her can be a great way to figure out what she really wants this Mother’s Day.
If you ask us, we’ll say the gift of time is precious, and nothing beats spending quality time with your mother on this special day to create memories that will last a lifetime. And remember to document it with plenty of photographs or videos to capture the moments in time!