A mixture of being sassy, fashionable, career-oriented, oh and she got to be called “mom” everytime she reaches back home. A Modern-Day Mom. That’s what the society called her. I am in no position to talk about being a mom, as I am not yet to be one (still a long way to go!). Which is why I am so honored to do a collaboration with four (4) amazing women I have ever came across to know for them to share their stories of being a mom in today’s era. Check out their journeys:-
1. Jeane RS: Fashionable Mom, Fashionable Baby
Being a mom is a gift from God, having the chance to see my baby grow, how she interacts with people around her as well as how she adapts to a different culture. The challenge was the first 5-months, when I had to get used to waking up in the middle of the night checking her nappy – although I also have to wake up pretty early in the morning to run some business errands that I’ve been managing for years. I sometimes am caught up with the feeling of fear to miss out seeing her grow when I am too focused with my work, which is why I’ve began to learn to embrace every little thing of her. Jennifer is a smart and active young baby. A fast learner who clearly knows how to strike a pose in front of the camera. Fun fact of my parenting style is, I love to dress her with stylish dresses and girly attributes and teach her to talk like a young lady. I am so looking forward to see her and her baby brother to grow together in my arms.
Jeane is a full-time mother and a businesswoman who married an Australian businessman. The family is currently living in Manado, Indonesia to open up their new start-up business despite having a great deal of good life back in Australia. Jeane is currently in pregnancy for her 2nd child.
2. Bethel Joy Rajendram – Embracing Technology as part of Parenting
Being a mom is so much an adventure for me – there’s always something new to be discovered and learned, not only from my son but more about myself too. It’s a whole lot of work but it’s the most rewarding thing I ever do in my life and I enjoy it to the bits of pieces. We train and raise our son to be unafraid, to be bold and to use to his advantage what is made available to him. In today’s world of iPads and Smart-Phones, information is readily available to everyone and in our household it is used mainly for one thing: Learning. Technology has become a critical part of our society and it’s important for me to always remember that it’s a tool that I can use for my advantage in raising my child. I’ve been aware that there are negative effects of using technology, because too much of anything is not good. Therefore, I’ve been learning myself to be a wise parent who knows when is an appropriate time to use technology and when is enough is enough. Relationships matter to us mostly, so we invest in them. It’s during those moments of personal touch that technology should take a back seat.
Bethel is a full-time mother. Together with her pastor husband, they work side by side for the church mission for the community in Malaysia. The amazing baby boy is named Joshua Zion Rajendram – with the hope he can also brings his own light to the world.
3. Patrice Sagay: Career Woman, Loving Mom
Being a mom raising a 6 year old boy full of curiosity of life while working on a startup that still on early stage is a total challenge that I’ve been embraced for quite awhile. I travel a lot to Jakarta since last year and everytime I do, I usually spend 3-weeks there and 1-week back in Manado (where I currently reside in with the family). It’s quite irritating sometimes when people got to judge me without knowing anything, but I do understand that my situation consideres to be rare in the society of where I come from. I have to deal with questions and perceptions about a mother who should be at home and nurtures kids and do housekeeping. People judge so quickly as if I fail to be a mother and sometimes, truthfully, it aches my heart. I remember one passage of a book by Sheryl Sandberg and let me quote, “It is not the problem, but the perception. The problem is our guilt getting bigger when the society assume you need to be the perfect woman.”
I am so blessed that I have a very supportive and helpful partner. My husband has been amazing in taking care of our son while I am away from home, and he values my dream and my career. Of course, there’s going to be a time when I have a fear of losing my son’s precious moments when I am too contended with my career, and how thankful I am to have him for helping me out not to miss anything. Thank God, I never missed any special moment my kid has, never missed birthdays, and Video Call is always our best way to communicate! The whole lots of fun, tears, stresses, and sleepless nights – I do cherish every moment of it with my little family especially with my son.
Patrice is a career-oriented woman who aims to run her business internationally. Fun fact: the picture of her is taken when she just done with a business meeting at the office, and her little son named Raja was there to accompany her.
4. Pashmina Ali – a Single Mom and a Son to Love Unconditionally!
Being a mom is challenging; let’s face it. Irrespective of day and age. It’s even more challenging when you’re a single parent. The choices have to be made on how well you want to manage the challenge, so that you don’t compromise on your child’s well-being and are also able to cope with social and economic pressures. Just like any mom, I have my good days and I have my bad days. Things were tougher for me initially my former husband and I had parted ways and I returned to work prematurely. I had limited chance to spend quality time with my son who was 8 months at that time. The guilt got worse as I got more and more engaged with work; after all, I had to pay the bills there was no choice. Irrespective of what life threw at me; I was determined to make the best of it. I learnt the hard way, that happiness does not have to depend on others; it depends on you. So I decided to cherish the little moments I had with my son and engaged with him more and more. I would make the best of whatever time we were able to spend together; for example the time I picked him up from school and dropped him back. It would be 40 minute drive both ways and we would talk all the way, sing songs and tell stories. I treated him like an adult and communicated in the same way. That helped me realize how smart a children can be; I never had to scream or shout at him as it was easier to negotiate with him when he was naughty or stubborn.
Leaving my child behind, while I worked, I also had to educate him about the risks at home with child minders, neighbors and adults, without having to compromise on his innocence. I laughed my head off once when he refused to change in front of my sister and said; “no showing pee pee in front of big people” and went to the bathroom to change. He was only seven but clearly understood the code. When I traveled, we communicated on Skype and my son learnt to be tech savvy at a very early age. It was great to watch his face beam and smile at me when at times, I was thousands of miles away and watch him be absolutely OK with my absence and tell me his amazing stories of discoveries, which I would listen with interest and always commended him on his accomplishments. Challenging as it was, but rewarding too as the circumstances also shaped my child to be more independent, while I provided an enabling and risk-free environment for him to thrive as a child. I was only a click away and various tools and apps he used on iPad. My family supported me all the way; my dad was always there keeping a watchful eye on home front while I was busy with work or travelling.
One area that I found hugely challenging was his homework time. I found myself lacking patience when it came to supporting him with his homework. The pressure at work was immense and I would be exhausted by the time I got home; I needed to manage issues in the best possible manner. So I decided to back off completely. I was able to seek support from outside of the family who helped him with his school homework before I arrived back from work; while I concentrated on extracurricular activities, which also helped bring us both closer as mother and son. We would go out for swimming, tennis, go-karting and watch movies together.
Lately, we have both started to ride motorcycles together. He is my best buddy and it fills my heart with joy when he tells me that I am his best friend more fun than his dad, although that has never been my attempt. He is 12 now and plans to have his own YouTube channel and I have promised him he can have it when he is 14; I think he is too young now to deal with cyberspace, although I will have to supervise him even at the age of 14. I don’t know if what I planned or do is right or wrong as a parent; I am only trying my best to cope with work and life pressures. We can never be always right but we can try to be our best. After all, no one walks in our shoes and you are given only one shot at life. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I wouldn’t change anything in my life. My motto in life and message to my son would always be ‘Go LIVE!!’
Pashmina works for an international humanitarian and development organisation; she is currently based in Kuala Lumpur. She owns a Ducati Monster where she rides for the fun of it, and her son is an aspiring motocross rider – talking about like mother, like son! 😉
There you have it, guys! These amazing moms shared how they struggle of being a mom in today’s modern world. It’s not always butterflies and clear skies, but it is truly a wonderful privilege for a woman to have. I personally think that being a mother is a way to bring the true inner-self of a woman, being compassionate but at the same time bold enough to live the life that is being given to her. The life of being a mother is indeed exhausting, but oh what a wonderful blessing she is to be called “mom”.