Are you close to your mother? What was it like growing up for you?
Yes I am. I grew up in a family of 4. My mum worked as a hawker since my primary school days. I would help her out at her stall on weekends and during school holidays too. At home, I would help out with the household chores as well. My parents taught us well so I was quite independent from a very young age.
Can you share a memory about your mother and you which you hold close to your heart?
When I was admitted to hospital for the first time at 15 years old for acute appendicitis. It may have been more than 20 years ago now, but it’s still a memory that I hold close in my heart because I still remember the look on her face and how I had never seen her so worried before - in a strange way, it was a warm feeling and all I wanted was to quickly be well too so she wouldn’t be so worried. I guess that’s what happens when you’re close to someone - you don’t want them to worry or be uncomfortable and you would do anything you could to make that go away. So while it comforted me knowing that she was there, it also helped me realise how important my mother was to me because she could make me feel this way.
What's it like to see your daughter growing up, and also seeing your mother ageing?
It scares me sometimes but it also serves as a good reminder that time waits for no one. My daughter has a long way to go but I do not know how many more years my mum will have but that’s just life. It’s one of those things that you tell yourself even more with the current situation; we just have to cherish every moment spent with her.
Now that you're a mother yourself, what do you realise about what your own mother means to you?
I appreciate her even more. And the things that she did for me. Being a hawker is a tough job and it’s worst when you don’t have someone to help run the stall. The hours are long and the work isn’t easy and yet, she did it for 20 years - she showed me that if there is anything you want, you work for it because no matter how hard life is, you still have to keep going and fighting. That spurred me on when I decided to start my own business and it is exactly these values that I will pass on to my kids as well. My mother was so strong for me so that I could grow up well. Now I will do the same for my kids too.
Can you share the kind of bond that your daughter has with your mother?
We make it a point to go back to my mum’s place every weekend. So that’s the time my daughter spends time with her grandma. If it’s one thing that’s obvious it’s that she likes her grandmother’s cooking but what heartens me the most is to see them spend time together. There isn’t a specific activity or thing that they have but sometimes watching them interact reminded me that I used to be that little girl that played with mum. Now I have a daughter of my own and she’s spending time with her grandma. It’s like going into a full circle of life and it’s such a warm feeling of completion.
Define your relationship with your mother in 3 words.
Sincere, unspoken love.
Tell us something about the way your mother raised you that you secretly love.
She gave me responsibilities since I was young which helped me to become an independent person. She trusted that I would never let her down and she never really interfered with my studies in terms of being harsh on my results or telling me what to do. She was simple like that; always just telling me to do my best and that she believes in me. These are the ways I raise my children as well and it’s all because of her!
Tell us what's one thing that "Now you know" about your mother in view of this circuit breaker.
Now I know that I should have learnt to cook from my mum! She cooks very well haha. But okay asides from that, now I know why she and my dad would always quarrel over money. I can understand how tough it was for them to put food on the table. Now I know why my friends got to go for overseas vacation and I didn’t get to travel until I experienced my first time on the plane to Hong Kong at 12 years old. That was my parents' hard earned savings. You want to give a good life to your children and sometimes they won’t understand the big picture at the time - but someday they will, just as I have.
What have you learnt about being a mother?
To always be very patient with my daughter and shower them with unconditional love and care. That act of love is something that's willingly given from the good of the heart so never ask for anything in return. To me, as long as my children are safe, healthy and happy I’m more than content as a mother. You learn these things slowly but surely!
Lastly, what would you like to say to your mother this mother's day?
Mummy, thank you everything you have done for the family. I love you! ❤️