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So What If I'm A Mediocre Mom?

Sometimes I think I worry too much about my image as a mother.
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Sometimes I think I worry too much about my image as a mother.

Sometimes the pressure of being a supermom can be like a nagging headache. Hard to shrug off.

Everywhere I go, every post I read, people have many perceptions and expectations of what a mom should be. A woman who is expected to bear two or more kids, who is always there for them, sends them to the best school and enrichment classes, contributes to the economy by holding a 9-5 job, teaches her kids good manners and morals, reads voraciously to them, cooks deliciously healthy meals, keeps the house in order, pleases her husband, socializes with other mothers, the list goes on. In other words, the criteria go on.

Sigh, such a perfect role model irks me. Perhaps I am envious, but mostly it's because I feel this self- or society-imposed pressure conforming me into someone I am not. This strong and capable mother who seems to hold everything together in harmonious balance.

Maybe that's how I feel as a mother in Singapore. I don't represent every mom, just myself and maybe a few struggling others.

I'm only an ordinary mom with a toddling son who doesn't give a hoot about following social norms, but I think I get bothered sometimes.

What if I don't queue up to send him to the best childcare in town? I settled for a convenient one nearby. What if I only work part-time? What if I yell at my kid for sneezing with his mouth full? What if my husband and I occasionally use the f*** word in front of him when we fight? What if I put my kid in front of the TV so that I can finish heating up his frozen dinner? What if I don't bother cleaning the house daily? What if I need my mother-in-law's help to take care of him even though I don't work full-time?

What if we were less than what is expected by the society or the community of fellow mothers? Maybe in the eyes of the world I'm just another mediocre mom.

I still remember a scene from the movie Room, when Joy (the mother or Ma to 5-year-old Jack), who just recovered from a suicide attempt, apologizes to Jack for not being a good-enough Ma -- to which Jack replied, "But you're Ma."

So there you go. We don't need to be supermoms. We may not be that thumbs-up role-model mother, but I know we are mom-enough for our children. I am thankful I can mother a son when infertility and miscarriage are my biggest enemies. When I'm in a foul mood, only this living miracle can bring joy back to my heart. When I'm bothered about what others think about me, I remind myself -- in his eyes, I am his one and only Ma. I am his world. And that is more than enough.