There were 2 tear-jerking videos that I watched just recently, which reminded me of my mum, and how it was like when I was younger.
One was about how a mother, a street vendor, taught her daughter how to sell frozen pineapples in the market. And the other, was about how another mother, also a street vendor, encourages her young daughter to always try and never give up in anything that she sets her mind to. Both mothers, despite their shortcomings, gave the best gift any child could ask for. Their time and attention. Both daughters learnt perseverance through their mothers’ encouragement. To never give up. Something that the most expensive schools can never teach.
I didn’t come from a well to do family, heck, I came from a broken family. I used to be ashamed about it. Angry. Bitter. But no longer. I look back at my past, and I think it’s safe to say I did pretty well for a kid from a broken home. I’m sure my late mom would be uber proud too, she is probably beaming with joy from the heavens above that both her children turned out to be well adjusted individuals.
I have to be honest here. There are days when I’m filled with self doubt, whether I made the right decision to quit my banking career and forego my paycheck. Many said it was a foolish move, that I was being silly. We were so comfortable back then, not having to worry about money. Now, I have to go back to being frugal, something not alien to me of course as I’ve been there before, trust me. Balance transfer from one credit card to another, just to get the zero interest installment plans, as I slowly, but surely, settle my credit card debts arising from my late mom’s medical bills (she had cancer, and no insurance cover). Despite my financial difficulties back then, I made it a point to continue my children sponsoring program under World Vision. Instead of tithing to the church, I gave my 10 percent to them, as I believed that there are children out there who are more in dire need of financial support than I was. I just had to cut back on everything else, that’s all. Nothing much to it, really.
But you see, although I’ve been there, doesn’t mean I want to go back there, if you know what I mean. But as I write this post, it occurred to me that sometimes life throws you a curve ball just to make you stay grounded. To not forget my roots. Not to say that I have forgotten my roots, but I guess it’s just a way to go back to basics. Live the simple life, once in a while. Bake your own cake, for example. Make your own noodles! Grow your own chilies 🙂
Whenever I’m in my lows, I worry about my child’s education fund. A little too soon, you say? Well, I have friends who sends their toddlers to playschools which cost several grand a semester! Not saying that I envy them, ’cause I’m not. I’m glad that I have a chance to spend almost every waking (and sleeping!) hour with my daughter, as I get to home-school her and teach her the values that I want her to grow up with (just yesterday, I taught her how to throw her own dirty diaper into the bin!). Like how my mom did for me and my brother. I was privileged to have my mom with me 24/7 till I was 17, before the big s*** happened. We weren’t well to do before that, but we made do with whatever that we could afford. I was a little entrepreneur back in school, from selling trinkets, sandwiches, and books, to giving out taekwondo lessons and maths tutorial when I was in high school. We didn’t get expensive toys or eat-outs. We ate at home, and we cherished meal times when we would tell our mom stories about school, not forgetting complaining to her about each other. Simple meals, but best bonding times ever. She never put us down, nor doubt our efforts. She always encourages us to try new things, to venture out to the unknown. To be independent. To keep on fighting. Probably that’s one of the reasons why my brother and I have this enterprising spirit in us. And due to our family circumstances, we have the fighting spirit too. A raging one. And I will share stories of my mum with my little girl, that she will come to know her too 🙂
So, whenever I feel bad, I remind myself that, hey, if I was able to build myself from nothing (no inheritance, no monetary support from parents, no overseas education) then, why can’t I do it all over again now? If I was able to be the top performer in the bank despite the economic slowdown, why can’t I pull off another similar stunt now? Different scene, but same spirit. Same roots. Besides, I have my husband by my side to make it work together. Side by side. Not forgetting my fellow strong women, Fiona and Sue, we will make it happen, yes? 🙂
Which was why I made it a point to make a clear statement on our website that we want to give back to the society. To stay grounded. To remember our roots. And because children hold a special place in our hearts, we picked Shelter Home and Dignity for Children. And not forgetting fellow mothers too. We are working with an elderly mother (she’s an ex-nurse, half paralyzed, relying on her pensions) who will be sewing baby blankets for us, and profits will be shared equally. This is one way of helping her sustain her livelihood and to allow her to live out her passion, which is sewing. In the near future, when our company cash flow improves, we will want to work with single mothers group (or even stay-at-home mothers) to engage them in sewing hand-made products as well. My dream and vision is to be able to empower all mothers to make a decent living for themselves, and provide for their children. It’s not shameful to be a single mother, nor it is a shame to come from a broken home. It’s a privilege. It’s a privilege to be able to know what it is like, and to be able to come out of it, and help others come out of it too. This is humanity 🙂
p/s. Was chatting with Angie, the strong lady behind Moms4Project (check her FB page for more info) about what my blog is about, that I should consider, perhaps, write about more current issues affecting moms and families in general. What do you guys think? What do you want me to write about, apart from my on-and-off musings about my baby and the business. I love to travel though (traveled so much before, till we went cold turkey after we had M!), so perhaps I should write about that? Any suggestions? 🙂