I never knew how it feels to be a mum; I guess I won’t ever find out till I myself give birth.
I heard from my friends, my cousins, and my friend’s mother, that being a mum is not as easy, not as simple as we all think.
I always thought the hardest part of being a mother is when you are giving birth to a child. ‘The pain of squeezing something that big out must be very painful’ I always think to myself. Especially when I have period cramps, I say to myself I will never want to be a mother, ever.
Then I realised, the toughest part of being a mum is when your children grow up.
I remember, when I was a kid, I was really close to my mother.
At that time, our family still lived in a small little shop-house in Sunway. I remember my mum picking me up from kindergarten and walking me home, together for around 15 minutes under the hot, blazing sun in the afternoon around 1pm.
My family was not wealthy, and still is not, but mum would do anything to make sure I got a good education. That’s why she sent me to a kindergarten where everyone there spoke English and English only.
I remember my first week there. I dare not speak a single word, but now, compared to most Chinese Ed students, I can speak English fluently although it is not prefect.
Mum loves piano. Maybe because she never got the chance to learn it when she was young, she wanted me to have that set of skills that she never had the chance to get. She would walk home with me all the way from my teacher’s apartment which is located behind Sunway Pyramid every weekend when I have classes.
I always loved Saturdays then, because then my mum would always buy me an ice cream from the Indian shop downstairs. I remember us both sharing an ice cream and how I always complained that mum took too big a bite from the ice cream.
Mum always took the time telling me stories, stories she heard from her mum, and her grandmother. My favourite story was about the guy whose fart smells like perfume. I could never get bored with that story. Mum would always tell me that story, and the both of us would laugh together. Those were our happy moments together.
Then, everything started to change.
The relationship between my mum and I became different.
We never spoke as much anymore and every time we did, it turns into an argument.
I don’t remember what happened. I don’t remember when it happened. Things just did. It must be because of time, because I grew up and mum started getting busy with my new born brother. We never had the time for each other anymore.
We just seemed to disagree with each other a lot.
Arguments after argument, it just happened.
Time passed and our relationship never got better, in fact it got worst. From arguing, we just didn’t talk to each other anymore and started ignoring each other.
The longest I went without talking to mum was 2 months for the stupidest reason. I refused to talk to her and for the smallest things, we would argue.
Then I went to national service, for 3 months I was not able to talk to or see my family. It really reminded me how much my family meant to me. When I needed something, they always posted it to me without fail. When I needed money, they would always bank it in for me.
On my 18th birthday, I had to spend it in camp, far away from all my friends and family. I was breaking down for not being able to celebrate my 18th birthday. Then an envelope was posted to the camp, with my name written on it. Opening the envelope, I couldn’t hold back my tears. Inside contained drawings from when I was a kid. Mum was keeping them for such a long time; even I forgot the existence of those pictures. I was really touched but never really showed how much I appreciated what she did. It is probably because of the ego, I guess.
Now, my busy college life takes my time and focus away from my family. I spend less and less time with them and even sometimes, I only have dinner with my family only once or twice a week.
I never cared, never bothered to think of how my family would feel. How worried they could have been; all I did was grumble when they called, complained that they didn’t understand what I was doing.
Tonight, I got a message from my mum, reminding me not to come home so late and a phone call asking me where I was.
When I opened the door, mum was sitting at the couch, waiting from me to come back. She asked me whether I was hungry and if I wanted to eat. I didn’t want to eat the food that she prepared earlier, so she cooked me something else.
At that moment, something struck me.
I’ve been taking everything in my life for granted.
I always thought it was her responsibility to cook for me, her responsibility to wash my clothes, her responsibility to wash the dishes, her responsibility to clean the house; but I never thought of my responsibility as a daughter.
To wash the dishes when her fingers were peeling due to the chemicals from the detergents, to clean the house when she was too busy, to cook when she is tired…
I forgot that it is not a responsibility, is it love that drives a mother to do all these for her child.
I always complained that my mother loved my brother more, and pampered him more than anything. The truth is, I forgot, it was my attitude that had pushed her away, disappointing her again and again; I forgot that it was me that created that big gap between us.
I forgot…to tell my mother how much I appreciate her.
Mum, I love you.
happy mothers day