Grateful thoughts on my 18th Mother’s Day

For years, I haven’t been able to properly celebrate Mother’s Day. Even after I’ve had so many children with my husband. Deep down, it will always seem incomplete because the reason for the first time I became a mother is never here with me on this supposedly very special day. 

I remember how I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day – so many, many, many years ago – confined to bed because of a pregnancy complication. Three weeks later, I was rushed to the hospital with excessive bleeding due to placenta previa. I was only in my 28th week. 

As I was lying there in the maternity ward (they didn’t think I would be delivering any time soon), the entire hospital cot soaked in red, I was more concerned for the life of the baby than anything else. That, and the fact that I had promised this bundle of joy to a sweet couple who had been waiting to have a child for ten years. 

By some miracle, the baby and I survived. A C-section was carried out – following only a nod of my head as consent before they pushed me into the OT – to save both our lives.

Not a day has gone by when I do not think of this baby, now almost a young adult, whom I had to give up because I was too young to provide all his needs. 
I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t nurse him to make up for the ten more weeks he was supposed to stay in my womb for his growth. They told me I shouldn’t form a bond with him. 

I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t hold him so he could be comforted by the familiar sound of my heartbeat, which he had been listening to for the past 28 weeks. But instead, he was left to cry alone in the strange and frightening incubator for a month, again, because of that bond they were afraid I would have with him before he was given to his adoptive parents. 

I am deeply grieved that I was not able to watch him take his first step, say his first word, and make his first friends. 
But I am thankful that I was able to bless that couple with the very thing that they had yearned to have for such a long time, to complete their family. When I first met them, I knew they would be able to give him the life that I couldn’t even give to myself. 

This Mother’s Day, I am especially grateful for the man with whom I’ve been blessed with eight beautiful children (and four who will always be in our memories even though they never made it). I couldn’t ask for a more loving and caring husband who is just as loving and caring to our children. This Mother’s Day is dedicate to him for his acceptance of my past, for being my pillar of strength every day, and for being my best friend and partner in this parenting business. Without him, I would never have found the joy of motherhood after all that had happened to me years before I met him. 

And to all my children, including P, it is a privilege, a blessing, and an honour to have you in my life. I thank God for choosing me for that role of being your mother.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 14 May 2017.

Asian parenting after-school interrogation

Questions Asian parents like to ask their kids when they get home from school:

  1. What did you get for your test?
  2. What did your friends get for the test?
  3. Did you do better than your classmates?
  4. Why are there so many mistakes?
  5. Were you being careless again?
  6. Did you get all the answers right when the teachers asked in class?
  7. How could you get that wrong?
  8. ARE THERE ANY SPELLING TESTS COMING UP?

Questions you should ask your kids when they get home from school:

  1. How was your day?
  2. What did you do in school today?
  3. Anything interesting happened?
  4. How are your friends/teachers/the other people at school/etc?
  5. What did you have for recess?

Just ask the five simple, heartfelt, caring questions, and let the kids report the rest on their own. 
This shows that you are concerned primarily about their wellbeing, their experiences, and the people around them. Not their grades, how much better they are compared to their friends, or whether or not they are living up to your expectations.