A Tribute to My Mother

Mother's day is coming soon... and this post is a tribute to my mother and BF's mother... both of whom are 2 of the most wonderful mothers I have ever come across.
My mother did not have a privileged background. She grew up in a poor family along with 4 other siblings. I think the best thing that came out of the hardships she has experienced is that she is a survivor. She has a never give up attitude, and is my number one motivator in life.

My mother is also a peace maker. She doesn't like upsetting people or making them feel bad. As such, she is often bending over backwards and going that extra mile to help people.....even strangers (and those who do not deserve her kindness). She also has a big heart which cannot bear to see others suffering especially innocent children. This sometimes annoys me because I would prefer to see my mom have more time for herself instead of always prioritising others around her.
My mother is a dedicated mother and homemaker. My father, my siblings and I have never once come home to an untidy house nor to a cold dinner. My father has never had to iron a single shirt. You can eat off my living room floor.

When I was young, I wasn't a particularly bright student ( I am what they call- a late bloomer). My dad, the disciplinarian of the family, placed a lot of importance on good grades. Instead of stressing me out... my mother would sign my test papers (usually the grade was a big fat F) and not tell my dad about it.

My class position in primary school was usually - 32 out of 34 students. And my mom would cheer me up by saying, "Hey, at least you're not last."  :)  No beating, no scolding, just loving encouragement.

I suppose she was like that because she believed that the child she was raising was not a bad kid, not a lazy kid, just a kid who moved to the beat of a different drum.

In fact, if I passed, I would get one present. If I failed, I would get 2! One for cheering me up, and the other for trying. You think.. I would purposely fail then??? No, I was not a dumbass kid greedy for presents. My parents would always try to get me whatever I wanted... so I grew up not having 'wants'. My wants were always met. What it did teach me was to be appreciative, understanding and selfless. I would purposely pretend I didn't want the latest toy, or the latest school shoes that all the cool kids were wearing.... because I knew money didn't come easy for my parents. And I knew that if they knew I wanted it, they would get it for me, and forgo something that they might need/want for themselves.

One of my favourite memories of my childhood was waking up in the middle of the night to watch TV with my mom (probably 11pm but for a 6 year old.. that's like super late to me haha). We would watch ghost pictures... and eat chili keropok. Then she would get me to bed before my dad came back from work (night shift). Very often, for nights like these, I would get to skip school the next day. I would spend the day bothering my mom in the kitchen, or playing with my baby brother, or constructing some elaborate charade with my toys (very often the case).

Anyway, because of my mother, I grew up not fearing exams or school. I was given the time and space to be a child and to grow up at my own pace. In the end I made it to both NUS and NTU with loads of points to spare, grade wise. I must say, when I was a child, I never thought this would one day be so achievable... but I think my mom always believed that day would eventually come.

My mother is now the main care giver to my elder sister who after a serious car accident years ago, and is now fully dependent on her. I have never told any of my readers this, and I won't elaborate either because it's a personal family matter, not my story to tell.

My mother has never once complained, never once tried to pass the buck, and she is never defeated.

The burdens that my mother has shouldered from the time she was a young girl working hard to help support her poor family... right up to the current pillar of strength she is to my family... is beyond what most people (even myself) would be able to handle. I love my dad so much... as much as I love my mother, but I have to admit, it is my mom who holds this family together. I am not as tough as she is.

Yet, I am also not as soft as she is. People often wonder how I can sometimes appear so unfeeling... especially towards other people's hardships or even deaths. My reason is because my family has had its fair share of burdens and tragedy. Everyone has problems, deal with your own. You're not likely to get pity from me. However, I am pretty sure you will get it from my mom.

She's such a wonderful woman.

Over the last 10 years.. of dating, I've come to realise that yes.. mothers give life... but not every mother is a great one. I've had BFs in the past who had nasty witchy type mothers. I won't say who.. but there were a few (of course, not all).

I would refer to my present BF's mother as my mother in law... but I don't want to jinx it. You know my luck. Plus, because of very poor prioritising, there is no wedding date/venue set yet, we have also had to forgo the previous dream venue we chose (guest list is now longer than what that venue can accommodate)....  and so it is still a long (and frustrating) road that we have to journey.  Anything can happen. But when the time comes, I can say it is a great relief to already know what a wonderful mother she is.

I am thankful that his mother is a great mother. She is kind, patient and helpful... yet not the least bit over bearing nor meddlesome as some in laws can be. If she were to become my mother in law, I would consider myself very blessed. His folks have always made me feel loved and welcomed from day one.

When I stay over at my BF's place, he often asks me to rub his back whenever he has trouble falling asleep because it was what his mother used to do when he was a child. You know, mothers out there, every thing you do for your child (whether purposefully or subconsciously) has an effect on them even when they are well into adulthood.

The hand that rocks the cradle is truly the hand that rules the world. Happy Mother's Day (in advance).


  1. I love this post Holly. I really miss your writing. Note that you have a typo - "bare". It should be "bear". I hope all goes well for your wedding.

  2. thank u , I've edited it

  3. Your mum is beautiful! And I'm sure that you'll still have a wonderful wedding despite the little changes here and there.

    BTW, I nominated you for the versatile blogger awards on my blog :)

  4. Anonymous2:02 pm

    really enjoyed your post Holly!

  5. Anonymous11:01 pm

    this is a very sweet,touching & meaningful post :) I nearly teared cause ur mum's good qualities sounds almost like my mum's too. & i recalled all that she has done n is.
    It's amazing how kind n forgiving mothers can be.....sacrificing so much n well, being so strong taking all the sh!t that comes their way yet still smiling to be the glue for the family.

    I hope ur mum will always be happy, strong n healthy! n have lots of wonderful years to come. Enjoy the mothers day celebration with her! :)

  6. Love this post.

    Am surprised there are so few comments.

  7. Such a sweet and touching post Holly! Thank you for sharing it with us. Definitely miss my mum even more now especially when I'm on the other side of the world! :)

  8. Anonymous5:37 pm

    so happy to at least know that there are nice mothers around....

    wait till you meet mine..not sure if she is even human.

  9. Anonymous4:13 pm

    u r so lucky to have a sweet mum, my mum is so abusive, negative, likes to quarrel over small things, rude, not understanding, likes to compare, likes to curse, not caring, doesnt teach anything yet expect her children to be perfect like others, the list goes on...
    an extremely negative people that i cant choose to avoid


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