“Raising a child is challenging. Raising a child alone is even more so.” —Slogan of AWARE Singapore for the launch of # asinglelove.
Motherhood is not an easy journey. Taking care after bundles of joy also brings pain and sorrow. The hardest part of motherhood for a woman is dealing with her own emotions, especially when she is dealing with it alone. Find out why these single mother-entrepreneurs still find the journey worthwhile.
Life is Precious
“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” – Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist
“Single mothers work tenfold harder to be better mums so that their children would not be shortchanged any way in being loved,” says Celestia Faith Chong, a multi-talented mother who wears many hats. She is a single parent after her divorce due to a misalignment of priorities between her and her ex-husband in early 2016.
Raising a child is challenging. Raising a child alone is even more so.
Celestia is the director of Ministry of Image Consultancy, lifestyle blogger at Msbabelovebebes.blogspot.sg, Mrs Singapore Finalist 2014 with two titles (Mrs Community Service Queen & Mrs Style Essence 2014 ), founder of a Facebook single mom group, as well as the face of Segway posters/banners in Sentosa and an STB video. She also appears on radio and TV.
Her biggest concern of single parenthood is time. As a single mum and entrepreneur, she has to carefully manage her work schedule to ensure she spends enough quality time with her children.
“I always try to at least have a Sunday and some evenings with them,” says Celestia, an expressive young mother of two daughters aged six and eight and a son aged 10.
“The kids are my main source of motivation in life. Their hugs and kisses recharge me.”
A Mother’s Greatness
Before Celestia was a mother, she could not imagine how a mother felt. After becoming a mother, she realised that a mother’s love for her child is selfless and unconditional; neither gender nor appearance matters.
Motherhood has also moulded her to be a stronger and better person—a woman filled with more patience, empathy and expressiveness.
“Motherhood brought me a whole load of new perspectives in life. It taught me that life is not to be taken for granted. Health, happiness, laughter, love and even tears are precious gifts by God to make us appreciate life better despite the trials in life,” she says.
She recalls the sleepless nights of taking care of her babies—breastfeeding, washing milk bottles, changing diapers, putting them to sleep, worrying and taking care of them when they fall ill, enduring the ordeal of immunisation, and endlessly ensuring that her children’s physical, emotional and mental well-being are being taken care of.
Despite it all, Celestia finds simple happiness as a mother. After all, what a mother wants most is to have her children healthy and filled with joy.
“The greatest joy as a mother is to witness their laughter, happiness, their many firsts and to see the kids having the ability to love and be able to love and respect people around them,” she shares.
What does she want to receive most from her children on Mother’s Day? “A medley of hugs, kisses and ‘I love you’,” she echoes with a smile.
Everything I Do Is for My Child
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren, Italian film actress.
Sharifah Fazzeleen, the founder and director of Flare Pte Ltd, an event company and organic beauty salon, has been a single mum for seven years.
At her organic beauty salon located on the fifth floor of Bugis Cube, Sharifah tells us her marriage failed because of mistakes on both sides.
“For me, I think as a wife, I wasn’t told how to be a caring wife. That was my mistake because I was a workaholic. I worked all the time and this crashed my marriage,” says Sharifah.
Single parenthood is not something one should look forward to, according to Sharifah. She asserts, “If you think that being married is a struggle, try being single because it is like you have two arms, but now, you are short of one arm, thus you have to do everything yourself. It is really not a nice journey; nonetheless, it is a fulfilling journey.”
The Joy of Being a Mother
On the day of the interview, Sharifah’s fair complexion was accentuated by the white head scarf she was wearing—all thanks to her 13-year-old daughter, whom she had sought fashion advice from that morning.
To Sharifah, having a daughter is akin to having a best friend beside you. Witnessing her daughter’s growth is like magic; she treasures every memorable moment with her, which is an adventure filled with serendipitous surprises.
“She is a dyslexic child, so her ability to process information is relatively slow, and that was very much a challenge. When she passed her PSLE, that was another magical moment. These magical moments mean a lot to me,” she says with a glint in her eyes.
In fact, motherhood has ‘tamed’ her. She used to be an aggressive and straightforward person, but after being a mother, Sharifah has become more patient and calm as she has another human being to teach.
“I cannot be the same way, because your child will copy exactly what you do. I always have that in mind,” she says.
Due to her work commitment and multiple roles, Sharifah has to sacrifice her prime 30s to pay attention to her daughter. She reveals, “I stop going out for fun; I stop hanging out for long, because I don’t have time.”
Her daughter is the greatest motivation for her business. The successful entrepreneur is developing her organic beauty business just for her daughter.
“The dynamic totally changed. I used to do things for myself, but now I don’t. Because at the end of the day, I am leaving a legacy for my child. I am building this business for my daughter, definitely not for me,” she affirms.
What does she want to receive most from her daughter on Mother’s Day? “Just a simple ‘Mummy, I love you’,” she quips.
“Because material things do not equate to the love that you have for your children.”
This is the slogan of AWARE Singapore for the launch of #asinglelove.