Moms. We love them, but seriously – they can be annoying sometimes. Whether it’s overfeeding us, or the incessant questioning about our private lives (when are you going to get married?) or just calling us at the most inconvenient time – they just somehow know how to get on our nerves.
Still, we know the annoyance is superficial. Underneath the hard-to-swallow exterior is a woman who carried us for 9 months, and tolerates us (and our nonsense) for our whole lives.
Today, on Mother’s Day, we talk about how our mothers are annoying – and why we love them for it.
“You so fat already, need to lose weight! But here’s your favourite sinful dish which I cooked for you.”
Everyone knows this catch-22. We work long hours, and as our metabolisms crash, so do our waistlines. No one loves pointing that out more than our own beloved mothers.
That’s what Grace Tan, 24, and her older brother deal with when they go back home to Melaka. Their mom comments about how much the brother’s gained weight, and how he needs to lose it.
Obediently, they nod their heads, and promise to eat more vegetables when they’re back in the city.
Five minutes later, the mom cheerfully tells them “Eh, I’ve stocked the fridge with your favourite snacks. Ice cream also got! You guys eat ah!
Also, tonight I’m going to cook your favourite dish – curry and fried prawns.”
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if it was a one-meal affair, but we all know that’s not how mothers roll. On their last day their mother would often send them off – with containers full of curry.
Complain about her children getting fat, but still feeds them their favourite dishes – Malaysian mothers, am I right?
Still, although it sounds like we’re complaining, we’re not. Being adult means a lot of tapau food, Indomie, and McDonald’s. As we grow older, we start to get sick of these unhealthy, processed foods.
Nothing beats homemade food, and we realise just how much we love the foods made in our home kitchens! Thanks mom.
“Girl ah, that’s too sexy. Can you please wear something else?”
Cheryl Chen, 24, had this annoying mom-thing. When she was a teenager, her mom had to approve her clothes before leaving the house or hanging out with friends. She’d visually inspect her outfit head-to-toe before approving (or amending) her choice of wear.
If it was too sexy, Cheryl’s mom would make her change before going out.
“At first, I found it annoying because I don’t get to express myself freely through the clothes I wear. I mean, the millenium was such a great era to pull off trends like Beyonce’s bandanna top from her Destiny’s Child days! Plus, all of my friends get to wear them except me!
Looking back, I understand why my Mum had a conservative view on my choice of clothing.
She saw right through me. She knew I was more interested in getting all the boys’ attention and trying to fit in among my friends, by wearing clothes I assumed was cool.”
Today, Cheryl understands why her mom did what she did.
“Eventually, I learned that my clothes don’t define me. While style is also a form of expression, letting my personality shine was more authentic.
Furthermore, I owe it to my Mum for saving me from fashion mistakes like Avril’s neck-tie trend.”
“Eh, why you always out of the house? You think this one hotel is it?”
Lydia Wong, 30, is an extrovert. She has a bustling social life, and she’s always out. Whether it’s rock-climbing or out drinking with friends, she’s rarely ever home.
So much so in fact, that her mom always hounds her when she’s about to go out. Why are you always going out, this house is a not a hotel, etc.
“It used to annoy me, because I felt that my mom was being unreasonably strict. I mean, I’m an adult, why does my mom have an issue with me going out?”
That was when she was younger and spending more time with friends. Now, as an adult, Lydia is starting to see her mother’s point.
“I realise that my mom wasn’t intentionally being difficult. She simply wanted to spend time with me. It’s like having a friend who hasn’t seen you in a while – they just miss you.”
When she thought of it that way, she doesn’t mind her mother’s nagging. In fact, she’s made it a point to spend more time with family when she gets back. Friends are important, but family is forever.
“Do you have enough money? Do you have an umbrella with you? Do you have Panadol? Did you bring food?”
Xinxian Teoh, 30, has a mom who was always nagging her. Before Xinxian would do anything, her mom would ask things like whether she had enough money or whether she brought food with her and other mundane things like that.
Her mom was basically a talking to-do list.
It used to annoy Xinxian, because it felt like her mother was asking a lot of unnecessary questions. Why can’t she trust her daughter to handle things on her own? She’s an adult! Of course she’s thought of (most) of these things!
Now as an… adulter adult, Xinxian realises that all that nagging has actually made her a much better planner. Today, she prides herself as the logistics master.
It’s improved all aspects of her life, but it comes out best when Xinxian does what she loves most – travelling. Now when Xinxian travels, she plans her trips with greater detail than most of her peers. Nothing is left unaccounted for. She knows exactly where to go, what to do, and what to bring with her.
In fact, because she’s so anal about the details, her friends actually leave it up to her to plan their trips. It’s even improved her life as a professional copywriter, where detail is everything.
“No toys for him. Only books.”
This is my own personal experience. When I was younger, my mom had this obsession of making me read books.
Just to clarify, she wasn’t a reader herself – but she wanted her firstborn son to be one.
How do you get your son to read even if you’re not a reader? Why, with an iron fist of course!
She was so anal about it, that she refused to buy me toys. It got to a point where she’d even tell the mothers of my friends to get me books instead of toys for my birthdays.
For a while, I used to resent her for it. What kind of mother would deny her only son toys? It’s child abuse!
What’s worse is that, since my mother wasn’t a reader herself, she didn’t understand how books had different difficulties. She would buy me books way outside my reading age.
Little did I know that this little annoyance by my mom helped shaped me as a person.
Yes, I didn’t like reading at first. But when there are no toys, TV, or internet, you end up reading books because that’s all you can do. And in the end, I loved it.
Reading books beyond my reading age taught me the value of imagination. I learned of other fascinating worlds and understood complex moral struggles. I felt connected to other people who lived before me. I was informed of so much, even before I had a chance to experience the outside world for myself.
Today, I’m an avid reader who spends a lot of money on books. For me it’s the same as watching a movie or playing a new video game – it’s a form of entertainment.
Eventually it led me to writing, which is how I express myself and pay the bills. If I didn’t read, I can’t imagine what else I’d rather do for the rest of my life.
What mom-things which annoyed you at first, but appreciate today? Let us know in the comments below!