This week, Agnes shares with us the challenges she has faced as a mother and what she has learned from this irreplaceable and precious experience. We hope that this post will inspire and help any new or expecting mothers who may be having anxious jitters!
When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother, “What will I be?
Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?”
Here’s what she said to me
“Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be” – Doris Day, ‘Whatever Will be, Will be (Que Sera, Sera)’
The truth of the matter is … Motherhood does not come with a Basic Instruction Manual 101 and as mothers, we do not have answers to every questions posed. My 8 fulfilling years as a mother have had challenges thrown at me (even till today), and I am very happy to share my few tips on overcoming challenges in my motherhood journey.
“Never be afraid to ask for help”
I am for the traditional African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. Where resources and time are scarce, never be ashamed to ask for help. I vividly recall the first day I returned to work after my 3-months of maternity leave. We had to drop our son and new helper at my in-laws’ and as I bade farewell to my son, I was overwhelmed with emotions and tears started welling in my eyes. Thankfully my mother-in-law was there as a strong pillar of support and who lovingly reassured that everything would be just fine. It meant a lot for that first day back at work and the subsequent years which followed, particularly when my husband had to travel overseas for work. Now that both my parents and in-laws are happily retired, we cannot be happier knowing that our son has ready access to both set of grandparents whenever, wherever.
Trust your motherly instincts
Trust your own intuition as a mother. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Information overload is now commonplace in the global world which we live in. With too many parenting “gurus” and too much information which leads to “over-parenting”. I walk away from overbearing mothers who go: “You should do this … You should engage that …” Amidst all the chaotic noise posed at each roadblock, try to keep calm and listen to that quiet innate voice. I have come to realize that instinctive and rational motherhood, coupled with the practical commonsense of fathers, make for quite a potent combination at overcoming challenges in parenthood.
“Let Go And Let ME!”
One of the most stressful times any new parents have to face is probably your child’s first day in school. When our son entered nursery, his school prepared us with a one-pager sheet with these words in bold “HELP ME TO HELP MYSELF”. It is very tempting for mothers (especially me) to worry about how my child is going to cope – is he going to make friends easily, can he handle the school bus bullies (if any), is he capable of buying food from the canteen, etc etc? When the pressures and the worrying get too much, I try to remind myself of this very wise sentence and I know that everything will be alright.
Motherhood, as in life, will inevitably bring about its own sets of challenges, but through it all, it is such an immensely beautiful and rewarding journey. I would very much love to savour every sweet and bitter moment.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Contributing Writer (Agnes Siau)
A proud mother of one. A dreamer till this age.
I started to cook only at the age of 35, simply because my curiosity in cooking was not piqued till my later stage in life.
My accompanying life motto has been Sun Tzu’s “Minimum Effort, Maximum Result”.