In honour of Mother’s Day, Yak reached out to our own mums, and those in the community, to find out “what does motherhood mean to you?”
“In all those seasons, however, I am glad to say that I have not missed out. I didn’t miss out on the precious laughter and cuddles shared with my babies, or taking joy in their comical ways of discovering the world. I didn’t miss their times of illness and need, of sharing their disappointment and celebrating their achievements. I didn’t miss learning patience and kindness from them, or how to apologise when I lost my cool. I didn’t miss out on influencing who they are today. They could have flourished without me, but I didn’t miss out on on being one of the reasons why they flourished. For all that I am truly thankful.” -Yoke Mei Neoh mother of three. She raised her children while doing volunteer work in third-world nations across Southeast Asia. She admits that as a Mum, she was sometimes slow to adjust to each new season of her kids’ lives.
“Motherhood comes with many different rewards and challenges. There’s no such thing as a blended family, they’re curdled.” -Lisa Espe, mother, step-mother and grandmother.
“To me, being a pseudo-mum means showing her the unconditional love that all children deserve and all mums have to give. I call myself her pseudo because she’s my goddaughter and niece, and is in foster care with my parents.” -Vicki, foster mother to her niece.
“Balance. Teaching but not lecturing, loving but not mollycoddling.” -Kimberly, mother of two.
“Being a mother means that you never have a single thought again that doesn’t include another person, it means understanding what it is like to truly be selfless, it means being so passionate about someone you’ll protect them against everything, it means loving and ‘disliking’ at the same time, it means immense pride and immense disappointment, it means never having to be alone.” -Simone, mother of four and grandmother of one.
“Letting go. Letting go of motherhood, letting go of being in charge and always there when your children get older.” -Durn, mother and grandmother.
“For me being a mum means always being there for my kids, even at the worst times or when they might not even want me to be there. I’m their safe place, the place they can go to for hugs and understanding, their soft place to fall into and rest. Ultimately it is about accepting and loving unconditionally these two amazing, brilliant and beautiful creatures that I have brought into this world. And although I am fiercely protective, I also have to let them go, let them make their own choices and find out who they are and what they want to be. It’s my job to guide them, prepare them and then watch them flourish into adulthood. Being a mum is the most important role I will ever have, and it brings me so much joy. I’m so proud of my kids, I’m so proud that they are mine.” -Nicola, mother of two
“Care, love, safety, care is the main word that comes to mind.” -Mara, expecting her first child later this year.
“It means being able to share the precious moments, from when he was very little [to now], we watched Doctor Who together, he would put the washing basket on his head and run around yelling ‘Exterminate’. Now he brings me flowers and oysters on Mother’s Day. We still argue about politics and such, but he gives me advice these days.” -Nana Sue, mother and grandmother.
“It means sleepless nights and tantrums. Just kidding…” -Mel, mother of two.
All other images used with permission.