Single Mom: The Tears, The Laughter
I made up my mind with eyes wide opened, fully aware that the journey that I was about to embark would not be an easy one.
I knew then as I know now, that it was going to be a full-time job as well as responsibility and a life-long commitment.
There’s so many uncertainties, fear of the unknown, not to mention the society’s judgmental perception. With the father disappeared on the horizon, I knew it’s going to be me and my baby alone.
Amidst all the uncertainties, I knew one thing. And I knew it without any shred of doubt, that this baby was/still is the biggest blessing in my life. And I promised myself to give him my best and my all.
And sadly, I have lost many of my so-called friends then.
But that phase also showed me who my true friends are. They remain by my side. Uncle Alam, Aunty Hajar, Papa Khalid, Ayah Hashim, Uncle Rudy, Aunty Sam, Uncle Shuib and Uncle Haizal.
My baby completes me. He is my saviour. My angel who saves me from (further) destroying my life (without me realising it).
From that moment on, my whole existence was just to protect my baby and prepared for the big day when I could kiss him and hug him in my arms.
My hope of giving normal birth was dashed and it took me a whole of eight hours under the knife and epidural anesthetic. I missed out the pain and the experience of normal birth due to some complications. Mainly my baby, weigh at 4kg, was too big for my small frame and he was overdue.
Woken up eight hours later, still groggy from the drugs, he wasn’t the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen. Lol. I have to admit that.
With me in excruciating pain and his face a bit distorted due to complicated birth, my love for him grew thousandfold and beyond…
And the journey was relatively smooth one with my parents’ and my brother’s endless and unflinching support. In all it has been a very fulfilling 17 years journey of motherhood.
All the credits should go to my parents. My dear Mom and my late Dad. Also to my brother Azim and his wife, for being there (for me) from Day One. Until now. Seventeen years on and four of their own children later…
One of the most painful and heartbreaking time was the day when I have to leave my two-month old baby behind.
It was so hard and painful. I was slowly dying inside as I made the journey back to the city. Remember crying myself to sleep every night with his little shirts spread across my pillow. I hate Monday mornings because that’s when I had to kiss him goodbye, wiped my tears dry and returned to the city. Only to count the days when I could return to see him on Friday evening after work and a three-hour journey. Always looking forward to weekends.
The weekly routine went on for years until he was 16.
Sixteen years of tears, heartache, painful weekly separation.
I never missed weekends. If I had to work on that weekends I made sure that I replaced it immediately to make it up for my baby.
If I had to go abroad for work, I made sure to return and spent several days with him first before I resumed work.
There were also fears. Fear of him loving my mom more then me. Fear of him blaming and hating me for leaving him behind.
I remember when he was four years old, that weekend I drove him to town to buy his milk and stuff. He was pleading me with tears in his cute child’s words…”Mom, please don’t go back to KL. I’ll stop drinking milk. And I promise not to buy toys anymore. So you don’t need to work for me anymore. Just don’t go. Adam sayang mak.” And we both cried so hard…
I remember that moment clearly, even writing about it now brought tears to my eyes.
And my baby loves me. Despite living apart, with me in KL and him down south in my village, being together only on weekends and public holidays, he waited for me to share all of his “firsts.”
For instance, he was 11 months old when I had to go to Tokyo, Japan, for a week for work. Missing him horribly, I took taxi ride from KLIA to my village. The pricey taxi fare and long journey home all worth it when he showed me he first step ever…
There were also times when I was overwhelmed with sadness. What kind of selfish mom I am, letting my boy growing up without a father. Will he be okay? Will this affect him psychologically and emotionally? Will he be growing up like any other normal boy his age? Will he blame me one day?
It is a constant fear too: fear that he was going to run out into the road or fall out of a window, fear that you’re not a good enough mother… Fear of other kids might be bullying him.
It is worry when he’s ill, sorrow when he’s unhappy, and protective fury when you perceived others are a threat of his overall well being and safety…
They were also times when I said, “I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know it was going so hard like this!” Because nobody talks about how difficult it is.
However, the blessing of my boy outweigh the tough painful stuff… Looking at him now, how he stood by me through thick and thin… Motivates me everytime I felt defeated with constant tests thrown my way, cried with me whenever I felt overwhelmed with pain (trust me plenty of that), he is indeed a child that any mother would be dreaming of having… Am blessed. A