Earlier this year, the people at The Straits Times came up with this brilliant idea. They have decided to put up 3 special sections every week, devoted to specific areas of interest like Digital Life, Mind & Body and Urban. These papers, half the size of their big brother, is choke full with information. I particularly look forward to Urban every Thursday. There are fashion and beauty tips, product reviews, celebrity vibes, arts & books, music, food, lots of pictures and just about anything that might interest an urban lass. I must say, they are doing a darn good job. Who needs a fashion and lifestyle magazine with these around. Besides, they come free with your Thursday paper.

This week’s issue features the beautiful Denise Keller, her head resting against the cheek of another women much older than her. It didn’t take me long to figure out that Mother’s Day is just round the corner. The editors have put together several pages of tributes to mothers, from celebrities to highschool girls. I did not read into what they have to say about their mom. I predict the usual fare. Praises and gratitude for the women who sacrificed time and energy for the sake of her children. Who has been a pillar of strength, comfort and even inspiration for their young ones. Who courageously overcame all odds to give the ones she nursed from young, a brighter future, a better hope. These words needs to be heard more than once a year. To the weary mother at the brink of throwing in the towel, it’s an encouragement no medals can give. Encouragement doesn’t come as persuasively as knowing another life is enriched because of you. Of this I have my own mother to thank. She is a women with flaws like everyone else but saying that she has enriched my life would be an understatement. When the day comes for her to head Home, I know a part of me will go with her.

I am a mother myself. I have a 10-year old boy and a girl who turns 4 come Mother’s Day. But I am not the sort of mother Urban would feature for their Mother’s Day tributes. Hallmark stores and Mother’s Day tributes reminds me I am in the wrong skin. 10 years and much struggle later, I woke up to the realization that God must have made a big mistake when he assigned me to mother these kids. I am not saying that I am a terrible mum. I just feel…….mismatched. You know what I mean?

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with my cousin over email when she said something which caused me to pause for a while. She said she admires my strength in holding everything together without much support and that I should give myself a pat and not be too hard on myself. Is she for real? To be sure, it’s not something I hear often. The only other person who commended me on a job well done was my maternal grandmother, whom I don’t know all that well. That was many years ago when my son was still a toddler. I don’t know if she really meant it, or was just being nice, but her words were like oil to my weary soul. It’s one of the very few things that I can still recall today. My dear cousin, I know she was sincere. She just had not seen me handling my kids. If granny were to see me now, she would eat up her words. There is a great deal of ourselves that are hidden from people looking from the outside. Sometimes it’s a matter of missed opportunity rather than willfull coverup. They just weren’t there to witness it when we screw up.

Perhaps it’s mid-life crisis. I am not enjoying my kids as much as I should. My times with them has led to more frustrations than reward. That’s a bad sign. It’s not that my kids are ultra difficult. It’s just me. I don’t think I am suited for the role of a mother or wife. Even my mom agrees I should not get married in the first place, let alone have kids. I was young, immature and unprepared. I didn’t know who I was and what I wanted in life. God wasn’t part of my life then. But what is done, is done. I have made some choices and I am not going to make excuses for them. I’m just telling it plainly the way I see it. I can’t turn back time. If I could I don’t think I’ll want to marry ever. But then, if I had not travelled this road, I might not come to know God nor my need for Him. So I know everything has it’s purpose.

You must be thinking I hate my kids and can’t wait to put them up for adoption. I don’t deny that is how I feel sometimes. But when I think about it, really really think about it, I know they are the most precious thing to me and you’ll have to kill me before you can take them away. Each time I lost it and hurt them with my words, I hated myself with intensity enough to kill.

I do not hope to have a spot in Mother’s Day tribute. All I want is for my kids to turn out well in spite of me.

rk

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