Mum. Mak. Mother.
When I first thought of bringing a few bloggers together to celebrate mothers, the idea was to reminisce and share. An extra special memory. Or heirloom, shared between generations. And/or your basic everyday thoughts about that woman in your life. Which makes it ironic that as I sit here before my laptop, fingers to the ready, words are simply not pouring forth.
The relationship I have with my mother has been fraught with ups and downs. That isn’t to say she was unkind or abusive. Quite the contrary. My mother is the loveliest, living saint of a person I know. And therein lies the problem. She was/is amazing. I was/am difficult.
See, it’s hard growing up with zero resemblance to your mother particularly when people look at her and say, “So pretty!!” then turn to look at you saying, “What happened to you?”
I KID YOU NOT
I fully realised, even then, that it wasn’t her fault at all. In fact, whenever she heard any comment of that nature, hell hath no fury like my enraged mother. Not that it made things any easier. I was rude and, I’m profoundly ashamed to confess, downright mean to her most of the time. Hardly a day passed without me snapping at her. Being flippant. Patronising. Condescending. You’ve no idea how difficult it is for me to write all this down now, for the world to read and judge but that’s how things were between us for the longest time. I was so horrid.
And she didn’t deserve any of it.
Throughout it all, my mother remained my champion.
Even when I ran away. When I kept
whining demanding new clothes to keep up with the cool kids, despite the fact that my dad had been retrenched and hers was the sole family income. When I eschewed family birthdays and events to hang out with my then boyfriend. There are many more incidents I could recite but because Eve often mouses over here, I’ll refrain.
DEAR LORD, HOW I MUST HAVE BROKEN HER HEART. OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
It was only in the last year or so that the dynamics changed. When I changed. When I made the effort to listen. To bite my tongue and remember to shut up unless I was able to verbalise my thoughts (no matter positive or negative) in the respectful, loving manner she deserved. And yes, my story has a happy ending.
This is the woman who gave me life. This is the woman from whom I inherited my writing genes. The one who was supermum even before the phrase became cool. She’d get up really early in the morning to prepare our breakfast and lunches. Finish work (she was Managing Editor at the Borneo Literature Bureau until retiring several years back) and dash to aerobics. Then dash home to heat up dinner which she’d cooked the night before. Help us with homework. Do the laundry (manually, mind you, no washing machines in the house at the time). And then read us a story before tucking my brother and I into bed. That was my mum #kickass
Thank God for second chances because I really need all the time I can get to make up for being such a bitch in the past. I can’t imagine how I would be if Eve treated me the way I used to treat my own mother. Thank God too for Whatsapp because through it, she (and my Dad) and I talk every single morning, without fail. I don’t think I’ve ever been this present from 3 continents away than when I was living under the same roof with my parents.
So yes, I am thankful and grateful. And I love my mother. Very much.
As do these ladies. Love their mothers, I mean. Not mine. Although I’m certain they would if they met/knew her. But that really isn’t the point. I’ll shut up now.
Rachel (garay treasures)
Ann (kremb de la kremb)
Val (val around town)
I couldn’t be prouder to work with this absolutely amazing group of women for Mother’s Day. Not only are they strong and beautiful, they are, to me, the epitome of today’s supermum. Combining all the roles they undertake, not effortlessly (nothing worthwhile is ever effortless and if anyone tells you otherwise, beat down their Pinocchio noses), but with determination, commitment, grit and love.
DO VISIT THEIR BLOGS TOO
Special mention must also go out to other fabulous mothers I know who count blogging as one of their fave gigs on the side, including Debbie, Ada, Sam, Cara, Marlene, Vanessa, Sam, Jennie, and Anna. And all those whose names I may not have mentioned but who are superwomen in their own right.
And there’s me. A work-in-progress in every possible way.
I’ll end with this – if you can, please hug your mother now. If you can’t, tell her you love her using whatever means available on hand. Don’t be an idiot like me and waste over 40 years before seeing the treasure I had in my mother, only to realise it when we’re 30,000km apart.
You know I’m right.
p/s photos by Sofia Touassa
I link up here.
Of course you’re right…appreciating the parents we have while they are still alive is nothing more than a miracle. We rebel in part to become individuals in our own right. It just takes some of us longer to realize this (so you’re a slow learner—at least you came around)
And as much as I know this too—there are times it is harder than hard. As much as I’m like her, I hope I’m not like her! Ugh…she’s wonderful and she drives me crazy (and I know she says the exact same thing about me).
But enough of the pontificating—that shirt you’re wearing—love them hemline asymmetry!! Of course I love the footwear too, but you’re probably sick of me gushing over your shoes!
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Wow, it’s always special to read your stories and this one definitely beats all the stories i have read. I am so glad for the turn around in the situation and for the opportunity to make up for lost time as best as you can. Everyone has some form of a story similar to this and some lucky ones like us get a second chance. Happy Mother’s Day Sheela and thanks for linking up with me at #linkpartywithosy
Mother daughter relationships can be so very hard. And I think often what others say can affect that relationship more than we know… I definitely wasn’t always a joy to be around when I was younger, and especially so with my mom.. I’m glad your story has a happy ending and you now talk to your mom every day!
On to your outfit – I absolutely love it! Fabulous pants, and the soft pink cardigan looks so great on you! And what a fun bag & amazing shoes!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Andrea’s Wellness Notes
Will you be surprised when I say this is one of my fav outfits of yours? Love the bag, such a romantic look with the florals and peachy pink sweater.. I know what you mean about our moms, glad to hear about your mom and relationships. I know we have gotten closer as I get older, and yes, have to hold my tongue at times, but this year has really made me realize even more how important family is, really thinking of what is most important in life. Lovely writing as always.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Beautiful story Sheela. Honestly my mom can be hard to get along with (she is stubborn, has to be right, strong willed, opionated) but over the years I have come to learn that she has a loving and kind heart and I know that she loves us.
You and Eve are lucky to have each other and are so beautiful. Your mom did well! Happy Mother’s Day and thanks for putting this collaboration together.
I am guilty of snapping at my mom many many times and I feel so sick that I did that but I am trying to be good now and doing a fair job at it!
Love the blush on u!
Mother/daughter relationships are fraught with difficulties. Our own experience colours what we try to amend with our daughters and often results in creating new and different problems. I’ve over compensated for what was lacking my my childhood and that in itself has led to very different outcomes that I didn’t expect. We all do our best, just as you have.
Love your pink and blue pastel colours today, particularly those awesome booties. You look wonderful, but there again my lovely, you always do!
Thank you for sharing such a personal and revealing story about yourself. You are lucky to have been able to re-establish your connection with your mother. My mother and I have always had a challenged relationship but in my case, she was the difficult one (passive/aggressive, anger issues, glass half empty, etc). This is a relationship that my children have witnessed and I try very hard not to use my mother as a role model on how to have a good relationship with them. At this stage in our relationship, I know that my mother will not change because she cannot. She has Alzheimer’s and most of her old self is gone but the past cannot be changed. I visit with her and guide her care and feel relieved that she still recognizes me.
P.S. – love the outfit and I want that purse!
I am thousands of miles apart from my mom too and I miss her all the time. We don’t have a close relationship where I talk to her about everything but I do love her and miss everything about her.
Have a wonderful Mother’s day!
A touching story, not least because I also had a rather difficult relationship with my mother, though in a different way. And all my life I’ve been hearing people tell me how beautiful my mother was (yep, feeling like the ugly duckling throughout my teenage years…) and trying t measure up.
But at least you are reconnecting with your mother now, that is invaluable.
Great post. You can’t change the past, only the present. The important thing is you made things right now, and perhaps your words/experience can now help someone else.
Look at you embracing more florals again! Such a pretty look for Mother’s Day. I enjoyed reading your tribute to your mom and seeing this collaborative post. Oh, how I cringe while thinking of the times I wasn’t very caring in my responses. It’s wonderful to hear how you connect with your parent’s every day. I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day, sweet friend.
Thank you for linking up! Lovely story! 🙂
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Sheela, if I could add a standing ovation with very loud applause in these comments, I would do it! Amazing post! It must have been difficult to write this, but it must have also been very healing…for you, your mum, and other readers. My mom passed away ten years ago and it still takes a lot of strength for me to admit that she was not always the best mom (in fact, she pissed me off…a lot) but she was the best mom she knew how to be. And from that I take her best mother techniques and apply them in my own parenting. The methods she used that were awful, I throw those out the window. After all, aren’t we all just doing the best we can do at this moment in time?! Thank you so much for sharing this story!
Wow Sheela! You’ve told me your mom reads this, so I wonder so much what is going on in her mind. Motherhood though is absolute love. So I know how much she loves you despite your past histories. You know this too. Your mom sounds like a very special lady indeed.
Thanks for two things: getting us together AND celebrating motherhood!
I am so loving this post. And this is such an amazing read. Mothers are such amazing people that are put in our lives for so many reasons. And your mother sounds like an amazing person. I know that because my mother is an amazing mother. This was really such a beautiful post.
Kia / KTS
Beautiful post Sheela, the words are really beautiful. I love your bag and outfit and i will certainly be checking out these blogs too! Gemma x
Knowing how kind, genuine, thoughtful and creative you are I would have never guessed you have given your mom such hard times but you know all is well that ends well, like you said. I know for a fact you grew up to be a lovely woman and a desirable, proud, loving mom to your kids and someone that Eve can look up to when she grows up not just for fashion but for so much more. I am so glad you opened up and shared this because I don’t think it was easy to do. It takes a brave soul and you are one. I am certain your mom is so proud of the woman you are now and those treasured minutes or hours you spend each morning face-timing her. I know mine appreciates it for when I was 5000 miles or more away from her. Thank you so much for opening your heart and inviting three other bloggers to do so. I checked out Rachel’s post already and will check out the other two ladies.
Also, another gorgeous bag, pair of shoes and that fun bold oversized flower ring has my name written all over it, too.
Last but not least, thank you for mentioning me as one of the blogging moms you like. Ditto for you, my friend. I cannot wait of our collaboration come June! My new pieces arrived too and I have plenty to wear for that. =)
Happy Monday my friend! Hope you had a great Mother’s day – I emailed you too – and have the most fantastic week!
Such great use of floral!
It was great collaborating with you and all these ladies. I love your personal story and glad you and your mom are close now. It takes being a parent yourself to truly appreciate some of the things our mothers have done for us. Love how you styled the florals and that ring is so lovely! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.
When I want a conversation subject I sometimes throw in the question whether we can ever be held responsible for our deeds. As we have no control over our genes, our upbringing, our parents, our surroundings etc. By the time we are able to make decisions, our character is already formed/shaped. And with those building elements we go out into the world. Is somebody to blame who is born in the wrong part of the world, with bad genes, bad parents etc.? He or she may never be able to see the difference between right and wrong. He/she simply hasn’t got the “tools”.
So, forgive yourself as an upgrowing girl. You were shaped by surroundings too, even though your genes were good and your parents too. When you are young and vulnerable, a stupid, vicious remark as “what happened to you?” hurts enormously. Really deep. I know, I have had to cash in similar remarks, just never related to my mother. And from what developed in your younger years (the basis) you built the rest of your relationship with your mother..
I am so glad you were able to turn this around. Don’t waste time on guilt. It doesn’t change anything and you were not to blame. Sometimes life just sucks.
I love my mother and father dearly too. Apart from some teenage years, our relationship has always been vey good.
As for linking up… I want to, but I cannot really link back properly as most of my readers have already visited my post of Sunday (or Saturday) and then it feels like cheating.
Totally fogot: great outfit. Really it is. And the shoes… again the shoes… How perfect.
Thanks for stopping by and inviting me to your link up! xo
It’s so hard to recognize how difficult you were when you were younger. I’ve realized the same thing about myself. I have no idea how my poor mom put up with me! Wonderful that you two have rekindled your relationship!
such a beautiful post thank you for sharing!!
Mother’s really are the best! I was not the nicest daughter during my teenage years, but we are now best friends. I’m so glad that you have developed a great relationship with your mom!
That was a beautiful post! Mother/ daughter relationships are always difficult. And it is amazing how much we start to understand when we grow up and become parents ourselves. I guess it is the nature of kids to be selfish. No way to get around it. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day. And have a wonderful week! Thank you for your lovely comments!
Marina from http://www.marinasummers.com
Ahhh…my beautiful friend. You and I are so much alike in so many ways. You are truly one of my most favorite friends I have been blessed to meet through blogging. I actually read this post the other day, but wanted to come back and comment when I had the time to do it justice. My first thought was, “Crap…the post I have planned for Monday is so similar Sheela is going to think I’m a copycat stalker!” Lol…actually I figured you would just know that we’re on the same wavelength yet again.
It’s easy to say not to feel guilty about our transgressions when we were kids. But it’s not so easy not to feel guilty. Especially when we were snappish little bitches. I am so glad that over time you have been able to work out your past angst with your mom; and I’m not going to bullshit you, I can’t help but be just a little jealous. Although jealous isn’t the right word I suppose…is envious better? Nah, same meaning different word…lol. Maybe wistful is it. As my friend I’m pleased for you, but wish I’d had the time to do the same. Does that make sense?
I do hope that your mom reads your blog every day. She really needs to read this. Sometimes the written word is so much more powerful. I like to believe (have to believe) that even though she’s not here, my mom knows how very sorry I am and how much I always have loved her.
Your mother is so very lucky to have you as a daughter and I have no doubt that she knows that.
Now onto more shallow matters…love, love, love this outfit! The colors, the prints, it’s all perfectly gorgeous. I absolutely need that sweater in my closet like right now.
Hi Sheela… I really needed to read this post today. The important thing is that you’ve realized the way you treated your mom was wrong and it sounds like you’re ready to make amends. Life is so short and precious. And to move forward and really prosper in our lives then we need to release the negativity of our pasts and focus on our futures the way you’ve done. I’ve also held onto some grudges I was holding against my mom. But I have come to realize that my days left with her are fewer than I realize and it’s either now or never that I choose to make peace so we can both move on. Thanks again for this touching story.
Sheela, thanks for sharing this! Love it! You mom must be proud of you!
Mother/daughter relationships are hard. As a teenager, I think I was the same way and I cringe thinking back on how I acted sometimes. Now I have a great relationship with my mom. I guess once you grow up you realize how precious family is. Hope you had a wonderful mothers day!
Doused In Pink
Mother daughter relationships can be hard! I know at times I have not been that kind to my mother because there are times when I don’t understand her. And then sometimes she does not understand me. But we do love each other and have learned to communicate better. Even though we may not still agree about things I know she has my back and I have hers.
Can’t help but relate. My mother and I get along, but our relationship is such a hectic rollercoaster. Growing up, I feel like we both dealt with trauma, abuse, severe depression and then some. We have so many things that tie us together, and ultimately keep us apart. Despite me getting irritated in a lot of our conversations, I still think she’s one of the kindest and most loving women I know. She has no bad bone in her body, and she’s my rock.
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I think I was nodding my head the whole time while reading this post. My mother and I have a great relationship now but it wasn’t always that way. I still often wonder how she and I are related as we are so different. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to write this but it was so well said. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you have such a good relationship with both your parents now.
What a wonderful outfit! I have a pair of floral leggings too & I love wearing them in early spring! The way you styled yours with the coordinating cardigan is perfection.
You all look fabulous, love the looks
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I cherish the relationship with my mom, but you’re right, it changes over the years! Love the post, absolutely fabulous.
I did comment previously but will reiterate how much i love this on you! Yes, a girly girl look with edge!
Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
Love the color palette of this look!
– Ana Luiza
That purse is gorgeous, Sheelah! Thanks for adding your style flair to the My Refined Style Linkup.
I think this is my favorite post of yours that I’ve read. You were honest and confessed a lot of things many would keep to themselves at the possible judgement from others. You weren’t the only one who got a second chance with your mom. I got a second chance too, so while I was reading this it was like you were writing about me. As for your outfit, I love love love it! Also, quick note to the beginning of this post, something that kind of ticked me off for lack of a better word. Who would just blatantly come out to a child and say “what happened to you??!!” That’s just horrible. You are a beautiful woman so whoever said that is just an idiot haha. Thanks for linking up with me!