In order for me to do what I do besides having a supportive husband, is my circle of role models. A bit like 'the circle of trust' from the movie 'Meet the Fockers'.
I live in a rather unique place. A community to be exact, not cult. Our street accommodates lovely families, delightful squeals of children playing outdoors and neighbour friends who are genuinely helpful. Yes, a bit like "Wisteria Lane from 'Desperate Housewives'", says a rather observant visitor.
These women are strong, dynamic, loving, supportive, kind and aboveall, genuine. They are the kind of mates whom you can have a cuppa with for support or for no reason at all, the kind of mates who will send their very well-behaved and highly-skilled nappy changing kids over to give me a hand with mine so that I may have a break or tidy the home and aboveall, to hang out with so that I am encouraged and remain sane!
Above all, my #1 role model is my mummy. I have never told her this.
She had me at 24 and couldn't find help to care for me so she called her mother who thankfully agreed, with conditions. Grandma cared for me during the day and mummy during the night! I wasn't the easiest of newborns as I cried incessantly and constantly needed to be rocked or held. My poor mummy. The sleep deprivation must have been horrendous, to state the least.
Daddy and her would stay at my grandparents during the week and bring me home to their place on the weekends. Whenever I was at mummy and daddy's, I would howl to go back to grandma's because I missed grandma. That must have been heart-breaking and stressful for my folks who were trying desperately to assimiliate into their role as parents and do "normal" family things on the weekends with me. This went on for 4 years.
When I started Primary 1 (year 1 in Aust), I was cared for by a local nanny in her own home. I loved this nanny - she was loving, generous and oh so funny. Mummy would drop me off at 7am and pick me up after work at 5:30pm. She would prepare dinner while I did my homework in the kitchen under her watchful eyes. By the way, we did not own a microwave or washing machine! Oh dear.
I know that mummy had contemplated on numerous occassions during those years to quit her job and be a stay at home mum so that she could concentrate on me and not have to deal with corporate work.
Those years must been have tough. The arduous educational expectations heaped upon a wee child and the juggling acts of work and family for a mother, etc. Wow!
Mummy was a very good saver and I never felt deprived one bit. I had 18 barbie dolls (16 of which were purchased by dad because I would go on a hunger strikes that lasted all of 15 minutes!) and mummy is of the view that sparing the rod will spoil the child hence for many years, I applied bandates to cover the 'cane marks' on my legs and arms.
I was the reason for all her choices those years.
Her desire was for me to see the world. That we did together.
Her desire was for me to be independent. That I am.
Her desire was for me to resilient. That I am.
Her desire is for me to enjoy being a mummy. That I am.
Her desire is for me to be true to myself. That I am.
Her desire is for me to be happy. That I am.
One of my fondest memories with mummy took place on a coach to Malaysia for the day. The song "Endless Love" came on and I asked mummy, quite innocently, while staring at the sights outside the window, who her endless love is (thinking she's going to say, Daddy) and she simplied replied, you. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
I am cherished. I am loved. I am special.
As a working mother myself, I shall endeavour to replicate those feelings into my children so that they may always feel and know that they are cherished, loved and oh so special to me.