They say that being a parent is all about experiencing the ups and downs of raising children, and the valuable lessons we pick up and discover along the way. Here, we have Angela Yap, a mum of one, who shares with us her sentiments on motherhood and the most valuable lesson she has learnt throughout the years.
Being a mother is an experience I cannot explain in words. As amazing and proud as it turns out to be, we mothers have our emotionally high strung or heartbreaking moments too.
My daughter is an only child. My husband and I have always wanted one kid, and one only. Whilst most people don’t find that to be a satisfying enough number, we feel that it is perfect for us and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.
There is a lot of juggling to be done when it comes to motherhood. Yes, even after going this for 15 years (our girl is 15 this year), I still don’t know for sure if I’m doing this “mum” thing right.
At times, I do still feel like I am lacking and failing in some ways.
In the beginning…
Looking back, our days were spent figuring out how we would make it through all the craze and madness.
From the struggles of our baby waking in the night, to our active toddler who never stayed still, to managing the cost of a good-quality childcare, to taking time off from work to pick up our sick child from school, to helping her with homework and hustling for major exams, to rushing her to practices and ball games just so that she could play the game she loves. The worst experience would have to be dealing with her sports injuries! But no matter how exhausting or incredibly frustrating these situations turned out to be, we (like all parents out there) persevere and never give up.
Pulling through as a mum of one
I think one of our biggest challenges of raising our child is to strike a balance between being protective and OVERprotective, especially when she is “the only one”.
Is the Only-Child Syndrome real?
I can only speak for ourselves when I say “No”, and it is an overstatement.
An only child is not necessary more spoiled, selfish or aggressive. When our girl was little, we made sure that she socialised and spent plenty of time with other kids around her age through play dates, childcare and enrichment classes. As she grew up, we balanced between our teen’s desire for independence or autonomy and our own expectations.
We believe a lot in her natural abilities. She doesn’t have to be the best at everything but she must be responsible and accountable for all she does. We emphasise on open communication at home. Our child should feel like she can talk to us about anything, and that we value her feelings, thoughts and dreams. We are not shy to share our feelings with her too.
Parenting lessons learnt
One key lesson I learnt from my 15 years of parenthood is that as we were all raised differently, and so we have different beliefs when it comes to how we parent our children as well.
Whilst everyone wants to share about or give advice on parenthood, it may get confusing and conflicting. Instead, we should listen to our own instincts, learn to trust our inner intuition and be confident about it.
Parenting is a challenging journey but it is also a blissful one. I truly enjoy this journey with my husband and child. She grows and we grow together as a family.
My hope is for her to be bold, beautiful (from inside out) and benevolent. And I hope that she will learn to live life to the fullest and always do good to others.
Article contributed by Angela Yap, a confident “modern mum” who feels blessed to have her 15-year-old daughter in her life. They relate to each other very much like friends do, as they share everything under the sun.