I find being a mum the toughest career. I know of some who truly enjoys being one, but mine has been a mix of feelings – from exhaustion to frustration to moments of sweetness that melts every difficult pasts.
And I feel it is those precious moments out of the many frustrating and exhausting experiences that keeps me being a mum, that puts a smile on my face and makes me take a deep breath and give a sigh of relief (with satisfaction.) It is moments I know I have climbed another hill, reached another height of motherhood, and looking back at those challenging moments, I could only call it memories.
One such memory is when my 5-year old boy wrote a letter (see attached) to my husband, who was on a business trip at the time. I was busy at home and he asked for a piece of paper. I saw him sitting on the desk writing and changing colour pencils as he wrote. He asked to spell certain words and I answered him but little did I know he was writing a note to “papa”! It was only when I have put my 3 kids to bed after a tiring day (with hubby away on a trip) and finally went in to my room that I saw this note stucked on the wall of our bedroom. It read “I love my dad and he always plays my favourite games and he watches my favourite movies and he always plays with my big dog and he always plays with Buzzy. Love Heng Yung”. It was a moment of sweetness and joy for both me and my husband (and he still uses this picture as his FB profile picture)
You see, to really understand/appreciate the depth of my joy, you need to know a bit of the challenges we went through together. When Heng Yung was born, he had some pimples on his forehead and doc told me it was baby pimples and nothing to worry about. However, it developed more and more over time and by the time he was 4 months old, his entire face and scalp were full of pimples and turned excema. I consulted western doctors, naturopath, homeopaths, lactation consultants and all of whom gave me different views. It was a tough patch seeing my baby in such state. On top of that, he didn’t sleep much as a baby and awoke every 2 hours for feedings, not just during the day but night time as well. His naps during the day were at max 45mins before waking up for another feed. And he solely fed on breastmilk, directly! He would not take the bottle (trust me, I have tried every single bottle… and pacifier available in the market that time but he just refused) so I was literally home bound for at least 7 months as he feeds 2-hourly and I really dislike breastfeeding in public. My only leisure time out of home was that much-treasured 1-hour grocery shopping and be back within 2 hours. I have tried all methods weaning him off the breast, sleeping methods etc but it all failed.
So looking back, and looking at how my sweet little boy has grown into such loving and thoughtful boy, I could not contain my joy (with a big smile soon my face!)
What I’ve learnt is motherhood to me is not about using the best method or getting the best advice, it is listening to my own mothering instinct.
By the way, Heng Yung is free from excema with no food allergy and he has the most contagious smile with smooth skin 😉 now.
Karen Loke, mother of 3 lovely children