My mom is a simple woman. She didn’t receive much education, she was in school only till secondary two. After stopping school. she helped out in my grandfather’s barber shop at Tengah airbase, where many of his customers were the British air force soldiers. At the age of 16, she knew my dad. They dated for around 3 years or so and she married him. Nine and half months later, she had my elder brother.

I was lonely and I felt rejected.

She was a stay home mom ever since and I grew up being able to come home to her after school everyday. But that didn’t make me feel any less empty. I would go to her asking her for help with my schoolwork and be hastily turned away. My mom was more obsessed with chores. Till today, I still think she has OCD—getting the house cleaned is more important to her than anything else. Her next most important activity would be mahjong. I became a latch-key kid when I was only 13 because my parents would be busy on the weekends with mahjong and they decided that giving me a key is easier for them so I can just let myself into the house after I’m done with church. I was lonely and I felt rejected. I wished my mom would spend more time with me.

I resented how she was physically present but never an emotional pillar of support for me. I started having gastritis at the age of 11 and I believe the first onset of depression happened around the same time. I stepped into my teens and started dating slightly before I entered poly. I was dying to find a partner, thinking that having someone will rid me of the years of loneliness that I just couldn’t shake off. During this period, my mom and I strangely became closer. I would tell her about my male friends, perhaps hoping to get an official approval from her so I could openly date them. I had many boyfriends and none of them worked out. I gave my parents a lot of grief over my complicated relationships with men.

I’m myself still trying to grow into the role of a mother and I’m fumbling, what more my mom.

Fast forward to today, I’m now a mother of three gals. It’s true that only after becoming a mom, can you understand the struggles of your own mom. My resentment gradually went away and a huge wave of empathy took over. I think about how I have access to a wealth of information and resources to enable me in parenthood then I ask myself, what did my mom have? I’m myself still trying to grow into the role of a mother and I’m fumbling, what more my mom. I’m really glad to have arrived at this self realisation and even more to have released myself from the resentment I had for her all these years. Achieving this has allowed me to love her wholeheartedly without withholding anything back.

I just want to say that my mom has blossomed into a mother for me and to a grandmother for my gals and she’s doing the best she can within what she knows. I think it is more than enough.

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