The Asian Weekly featured me in their Mother’s Day special pull out. It’s always an honour to be able to share my experiences. A great big thank you to The Asian Weekly team for this.
Here are the interview questions:
I’m a full time mother first and foremost and for a living I work in media. I’m a radio presenter and a columnist.
– Single Motherhood duration
Hard to put a figure on this. The only time there was any sort of ‘parenting’, if I may call it that, was when they were conceived. I’ve brought up my kids on my own with no help from the father.
– Number of children and their age
I have 2 kids. A daughter who is fifteen and a son who is eleven.
– Daily schedule
They wake up before me! They’re up early, they get ready for school. I get up when I start hearing activity from their rooms and then it’s a quick breakfast on the go because of the mad traffic conditions, and they take packed lunch from home that is usually packed the night before. They’re in school and I’m at work until the end of my show. I prefer to go pick them myself and during the ride home I get to catch up on how their day has been. What they tell you as soon as they meet you is usually a great indicator of how their day might have been. We get home, I enjoy a nice cup of tea and then start on cooking dinner while they relax for a while and sit down with homework or reading. We have dinner and the kids retire to them rooms by 8pm – obviously not to sleep that early but to wind down before bedtime (no TV on weeknights!) and I get a few hours on my own to catch up with my own work.
– Given your busy schedule, how do you balance work and family?
I feel this is pretty easy. You know what is a priority and needs to be done so you just set out to do it and soon enough it becomes a routine. I wish I could say the same about the gym!
– What does it take to play both a father and a mother’s role?
There are days when my eyes well up with tears when I think of the wonderful times I have had with my father and feel bad that my children have missed out on that interaction and love from a father figure. On other days, I feel great that I don’t have to share them! It’s hard work being both parents but it isn’t impossible.
– What are some of the prejudices that you’ve dealt with being a single mother?
Gosh… people actually look down on you, especially other women; and they think you are just out to get their husband! I have never looked for a father for my children. I dealt with the fact a long time ago that if their biological father isn’t interested, why would anyone else want to take over? Also other kids are very mean. They tease kids mercilessly because they don’t have a father. This is especially so if your father left you. If he died, then there’s a lot of sadness and understanding. I know this from experience and the amount of times my son has been bullied for not having a father who never ever came to sports day or didn’t hang out with his son at the weekends and do cool things. Well, I’m far cooler than any daddy and my son endorses that.
– When you look back at the years gone by, is there anything you wish you had done differently?
In my circumstances, no. I feel I’ve done wonderfully with my children. They are well-mannered, respectful and I also haven’t had another parent in their life whom they could play me up against. If mummy has said no it means no. There’s no daddy who is going to undermine mummy’s words.
– What’s the one thing never to tell a single, working mother?
You should think of settling down and find a father for them.
I don’t know what goes through people’s minds when they utter stupid things like that.
– What’s your message to other single, working mothers?
I left the house with no job or money – just my kids. I’ve worked hard and if I can do it, anyone can. Don’t get hindered with other people’s opinions. This is your life, your child/ children, and if no one is helping you educate or feed them, don’t be bullied into listening to anyone. Only you know what is best for your children and no matter what circumstances put you in this position of single motherhood, don’t feel dejected. You may not have asked for this life but just know you are the chosen one for these beautiful souls.
Happy Mother’s Day!