Magic can happen, when we the mums and dads refuse to become soft.

She went on to read law in Cambridge on a scholarship, and to this day, I still recall the days when I saw her every day training as a junior swimmer. I remember she was a gold medalist and well-loved by the coach. But the greatest impression was how she treated her maid.

I was sitting by the pool and she was drying her hair with a towel after a swim. She had left her goggles, board, and other swimming gears all over the pool. When the coach asked her to keep them, she glared at her maid with that killer-glare that is vivid in my mind to this day, the maid then quietly walked over to pick up everything.

She did this ‘glaring’ communication every single session when she was a teenager. Sometimes, she wanted her bag carried, sometimes, the maid walked too slowly. Interestingly, I have never met her parents, who were ‘busy high flying bankers’.

This very talented girl went on to become a gold medalist in swim competitions, had expensive horse riding classes, and was always accompanied by that killer-glared maid.

As a busy working mom, I too entrusted my children to maids when they were young, but when they started to command for things and couldn’t pick up after themselves, I started to question who I should be training to be better humans: the maids or my own children. It was an easy decision to make.

It was only without maids or help from any in-laws or parents that I realized the meaning of becoming an involved mother. Teaching them to do their own laundry, keep their things in an orderly fashion, cook for each other, clean up after each other and manage their own study schedules, became my job, and not the maid’s or the tutors’ or the teachers’.

This job is probably the toughest job on earth and it is no wonder many would rather outsource, but I refuse to become soft and hung on with all my might.

When we the mums and dads refuse to become soft, and learn to survive on our own, magic can happen. We become better parents and we become better role models for our own children, who will have to be on their own one day. If they turn out soft, they will suffer and not strive in the society.

The most lethal thing that kills most of our young making them impotent is not the venom of a snake or the saddest natural disaster, but a sheltered good life. If we raise soft children, foreigners from less fortunate countries will pour in with their mighty grit to take over the jobs: first those that we don’t want to do, then those that we crave.

Perhaps there is a lot to be proud of when a daughter brings home medal after medal, and an even prouder moment when she graduates with a law degree from Cambridge, but I am the happiest when my daughters become great people with empathy and ready to contribute to their own families and the society.

The fact that they too had no inferior educations and could choose what careers they want is only a bonus. If my daughters could touch lives one at a time, and reach out to those who are weak rather than glare at them, then my choice of doing things the harder way would have been paid off, and it did not matter if they brought me medals or degrees.

by Pamela




One comment on “Magic can happen, when we the mums and dads refuse to become soft.

  1. tara says:

    Great article:)

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