Parenting: My very ‘modern’ mother

In a few days time, it will be my Mom’s birthday. I have blogged a lot about my kids but this is the first time I am dedicating a blog post for my dearest Mummy.

I came from a humble family. My Dad is a taxi driver and my Mom started working as a hospital attendant when I was in K2 (they are still a taxi driver and a hospital attendant now). When we were young, my Dad works hard. There was a period of time, he was a container truck driver in the morning and a taxi driver by night, just to bring bread home. My Mom was not working then, so she stayed home and took care of us. But after a while, my Dad’s health suffered so my Mum decides to come out to work to help out the family.

Despite her work, which starts from 8am and ends at 5:30pm, my Mum still takes up all the housework by herself and even cook our lunch and dinner. It was only when we were much older did she get us to help sweep and mop the floor. We were very well taken care of. I didn’t have to iron any of my uniform in my entire life. Neither do I need to wash my own school shoes. Dad also doesn’t need to do much house work. My Mum works it out alone. She sleeps a mere 3 hours a day. She is that traditional probably learning that from her Mum.

Am I going to follow their footsteps, in becoming a Mother like her? Of course, she is my role model. However, not in that sense of doing all the housework. I think I’m very fortunate that I’m born in an era where we are a little more well to do. We can afford a domestic helper to help out on these. So apart from the housework, there are some things that I have learned from my Mum.

Breastfeeding
Before I became a mother, my Mum has been sharing with me about the benefits of breastfeeding. I have always assumed that is a common knowledge. Little did I know that breastfeeding is actually not common in her era. I was very impressed that my mum is actually so “knowledgable” in this area.

During my own breastfeeding journey, my Mum was one of those that kept me going. She was never discouraging and spur me on when I struggled in the initial phases. She reminded me breastfeeding is so much easier these days and we have electronic dual pumps while in the past, she has to use her own hand to “squeeze” the milk out.

Reading
You know how we are advocating to read to our kids when they are young so that they will have a love for reading. 30 over years ago, my Mum has been doing that with me. Before my Mum went out to work, we will have some time alone when my siblings are in school. I remember very clearly, she will read me nap time stories. My Mum is Chinese educated, and frugal but that didn’t stop her from buying some English books to read to me. I remember and cherish those moments I recalled having with her. After she started working, those magical moments no longer happens. But she still take a conscious effort to bring us to library whenever she can. I contributed my love for reading to all these little things she has done for me.

I’m doing the same with my kids now. I try to read to them whenever possible. There was a time where I slack, and allow screen time to take over. But now I’m trying to keep the momentum and read to them as much as possible, especially before bedtime (sometimes even getting ‘scolded’ by Chubby or my MIL for keeping the children up).

School Work
I was lamenting to my Mum how I’m kind of worried about my eldest going to P1 next year and whether he can adapt to structured school. I told her how my colleagues were sharing with me that their kids have spelling or 听写 every week or at least some will bring home worksheets every weekend as homework. But my boy school has none, though I’m not complaining.

You know what my very “modern” mum told me? She asked if my friend’s kids are from ‘PAP’ school. I told her, yes. She told me ‘PAP’ schools are like that. My siblings both have homework when they were in kindergarten. While me, who studied in a church during my Kindergarten has none. And that didn’t make me “lose out” (in fact my academic results were the best among my siblings). So she asked me not to worry.

Seriously, I’m impress with my Mum. And I do recall, she doesn’t pressurize us in our studies. If we do well she is happy for us. If we doesn’t, she will ask if we tried out best. If we do, she doesn’t scold us. She just ask us to try even harder next time.

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My mum and the littlest sometime last year. Mum is not one who likes taking photo, and for her privacy sake, I chose a photo that is not so ‘clear’. But this reminds me also to take more photo of her with me and my kids.

My Mum is amazing isn’t she? I was very surprise that she has some modern parenting back in the old days, when she is such a traditional person. I am inspired to be a good mother like her and hope that my kids will love me as much as I love her. LOL.

Happy Birthday, Mum! I LOVE you! Wishing you happiness and health!

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