A Letter to My Mum and Sons, from the Imperfect Me

“Mother” is the first person we know when we are born, yet also the last to forget in our lifetime.

Everyone has a unique story about their mums and the homes they grew up in. Mine isn’t a beautiful piece of art to admire, but now, I understand what “things happen for a reason” means.

Here’s an open letter to my mother and my children, and how motherhood has shaped my perspectives for our future:

Growing up, due to the little communication of love in my family, I was often searching for my direction in life. That drove my growth towards self-independence.

Have you ever said “I hate you” to your mum?

Have you ever been beaten up for no reason, all the time?

How about when you are feeling so motivated to do or start something, only to hear discouraging words the next moment?

When you are feeling lost and stressed, only to return to a home full of negativity with no signs of care and concern… it always feels like a time bomb.

When I was a growing up as a child, my mum was learning to be a mother, wife and daughter too.

When you get compared with others for not providing allowance, and after explaining that you are paying for your university fees, the reply you get was, “This is your business because you wanted to take up a degree.”

When you are often compared with others, you are just never enough in her eyes.

Just because she doesn’t stand up for herself against others, she takes it all out on you when she’s home. Pouring out all her negativities and displeasures like a running tap.

It’s always your fault when things go wrong. Even when it was on your big day.

It was emotionally upsetting when there was only communication of negativity and discouragement, especially when you were at that age and stage when you needed guidance most.

All I felt was no sense of belonging nor direction in life. I could have gone down the rebellious path. But somehow deep down inside me, a voice told me that I only have one life and I was the only one who is responsible for my own destiny; to make it bad or make it best. That was how my Geisha tattoo came about and it has been one of my guiding light since.

If you asked me, I wouldn’t have my life story painted any other way.

Without her, without this phase of growth, I will not be who I am today.

As my parents turn grey, they have also started letting go a lot more. Things are much better now.

The old saying is true: wait till you become a mother and you will know.

I have come to understand their perspectives, given the circumstances back then – without the communication of love and guidance – she has already given her best to us. Nobody is ever perfect.

Every woman goes through different challenges which revolves around her gender, age, life and self-doubts.

We can’t change them, but we can always better ourselves. Thanks to our own experiences that shaped us and form our own perspectives on what we like, don’t like, want to improve on or keep and bring with us to our own family. Those listed above are what I do not wish to repeat.

It takes a mother to know how challenging it is for our own mums to raise us and tackle other commitments and expectations in life.

What is the kind of mum I want to be for my children?

I want to be a strong-minded, big-hearted woman to my sons.

I hope we will always be mindful of our thoughts, actions and words because these can make or break them.

I wish for them to have the foresight of these 3 perspectives about life: a worldly view, strong values, and a positive outlook on life – 世界观、价值观、人生观.

I can’t promise that I will be the best mum, but I will always give my best form of nurturing love and communication.

I can’t promise that I can provide the best for you, but I can promise you two gifts; roots and wings – and you’ll find the rest.

I can’t promise to fix all your problems, but I can promise you won’t have to face them alone.

I can’t promise that I will be the kind of mother that you need, but I will do my best to witness most of your milestones, watching you grow.

I can’t promise that I will not mess up, but I will never stop trying to be the mum you can always turn to no matter how old you are.

My children, I can promise you one thing: I’ll never stop loving you.

Looking back, I am very thankful and blessed on this life journey.

And I want to say to my mum, “I love you, mummy.” Deep down, I know you have done and given your best because no mum will ever give up on their children. We were just not good at expressing our love for each other. Thank you, mum.

And, thank you to YOU! Yes, you, the one reading this letter. You’re my inspiration to charge forward with what I enjoy doing to support fellow mums through this humble platform, contributing as much knowledge and sharing as I can.

Motherhood ain’t easy at all. Everyone has a story. I chose to open mine, as this is who I am, not only just a financial planner, but to be a real friend and a supporter in this journey with you together.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, mama. From the imperfect me.

With love and gratitude,
Jenelle

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