This Mother’s Day, Maybe Baby talks to three ‘Super Mums’ (who have in all, 15 children!) to find out their experience of this annual occasion.
Maybe Baby: What makes mother's day, which happens every year, still special for you?
Tsui Ling: That I am reminded to be thankful that I am blessed with children. We do not really celebrate Mother's Day - we teach our children to honour and love their parents, and this is on a daily basis. I do not want special treatment once a year.
Eliza: Mother’s Day is the day when I usually take stock on my personal journey and reflect on the past year. It is also the day when I get to appreciate my mum, so she has no excuse to wriggle her way out of the mushy stuff. Considering her age and mine, every Mother's Day I spend with her could very well be one less Mother's Day I have with her, so it is special and poignant for me: to seize the day and do something for her.
Irene: Actually…it is just another day to me!
Irene and her family
Maybe Baby: And does it get different with more children?
Tsui Ling: No, it is still pretty much the same, regardless of the number of kids!
Irene: Maybe it was special when I was a first time mother. I felt I "qualified" to celebrate that day. It was six months after my girl was born and it was a rather trying journey. We almost lost her at birth if we had not made the decision to carry out a C-sect. After she was born, it was not easy as a first time mother, so that first Mother’s Day was filled with thankfulness, joy and emotion.
Maybe Baby: Coming from a family of five, I know there’s some coordination and joint effort that goes into a Mother’s Day! How do your children get together to celebrate for you - if they do?
Irene: They are too young to do that yet! But if they get older, I would prefer they celebrate for me from love - a simple card or meal is ideal as long as it is from their hearts and not because ‘the world said so’.
Tsui Ling: They usually make cards or buy snacks that I like. For example, they will find a way to buy some Tim Tam chocolate biscuits for me because they know I like that! The older kids will make cards and get the younger ones to write something on them too, or write a note on behalf of the younger ones. In this case, it will be for my 2 year-old!
Eliza: My kids are still all very young, so if they get their act together and celebrate for me, it must have been their father who choreographed their effort. Mostly it would have been the children doing art and craft pieces guided by their teachers.
Eliza and her family
Maybe Baby: If there is ONE wish your children could grant you on this special day, what would it be? (Kids, listen up!)
Eliza: That they would all grow up to be healthy, happy, morally upright and contributing adults, without me worrying about them.
Irene: Behave better daily (like being more disciplined!) instead of just making me happy for that one day. In a big family, it is typical to have fights daily and lots of loud voices between both mother and kids. So to me, if they can listen and obey my first call to bathe, eat, do homework, turn off the TV, pack their toys and go to sleep, everyday…. that would be quite out of this world!
Tsui Ling: I am still waiting for the day where my kids can cook a meal for me. My eldest can cook. Maybe I should request for that this year….
Maybe Baby: On a more personal note, how is mother's day significant for you - from you to yourself?
Eliza: It marks the end of one journey to the start of another - from me living just for myself to me living for many significant others. My heart and mind is now no longer about how I can impact the world by just being me, but how I can impact the world through my children. It is now about seeking to leave a legacy for my children in the world, and leaving a legacy of my children contributing to the world. Mother's Day is a symbol of that to me.
Tsui Ling and her family
Maybe Baby: What is the sweetest thing, or the oddest gift, you have received from your children?
Tsui Ling: My son gave me a model aeroplane that he made.
Irene: I especially remember once, my firstborn passed her handicraft pieces to me and loudly wished me "Happy Mother's Day!”. My mother-in-law asked her, “What about me?”. My daughter plainly told her that “It is Mother's Day and not Grandmother's Day!”. I found it so funny and sweet.
Eliza: I was waiting for my eldest son close to an hour outside the school gate. I was hot, bothered and worried sick. When I finally saw him lumbering towards me with his gigantic backpack, I snapped at him. From his bulging bag, he fished out a single red rose and said, "Mum, I was at the bookshop thinking of what to buy for you, but the thing I wanted to buy was all sold out, so I bought you this. I hope you like it." I almost cried!
My second son once bashfully walked up to me with his hands behind his back. And quickly passed me a bunch of fresh cut roses and said with his head hanging low, "This is for you, happy Mother's Day." I was elated and wanted to give him a hug, but he scrambled off before I could get him.
As for my little girl Catherine, she doesn't stop at giving me things just on Mother's Day. She paints and draws and writes letters and makes things out of cardboard and scrap paper. And of course… my youngest baby Dominic is so sweet, he is a gift in himself!
I Love Children (ILC) takes this opportunity to wish all mothers a ‘Happy Mothers’ Day’!
Eliza is a full time working mum to four children, ages ranging from two to 10.
Irene is a mother of five girls, between four to 11.
Tsui Ling is a mother of six children, between two to 14.