Five-year-old Jay Siva loves his amma to bits because she “always takes care of me, gives me hugs and cuddles and cooks yummy food for me”.
“Mother is ‘ibu’ or ‘amma’. She takes care of us and she likes to cook and clean,” Jay declares confidently, as his mother laughs and vehemently denies the latter.
Unperturbed, Jay continues. “And, she lets me eat chocolate!” he says cheekily.
His older sister, Maya, nine, adds: “A mother loves her children unconditionally. She looks after them. She cooks, cleans, teaches them and does lots of activities and has lots of fun with them.”
“I love my amma because she always loves me, takes care of me. My amma gives the best hugs, kisses and cuddles,” she says.
Their mother, Ashvini Kandasamy, a speech-therapist based in Kuala Lumpur, feels that being a mother can be a complicated thing: while it is joyful and rewarding, it can also be frustrating and tumultuous at times.
“As a mother, we’re not just responsible for our children’s physical well-being, but also their socio-emotional development. It’s tumultuous, exciting, fun, frustrating and rewarding all at the same time,” she says.
“But we can only try our best to be the best mother we can to our kids and hope that they understand that all that we do is to ensure they grow up to be kind, considerate and compassionate people,” she adds.
For the family of four, including father Siva Manalan Nadeson, an engineer, their most memorable Mothers Day celebration was last year.
“The kids helped to make my favourite food, which is Mexican – tortillas, chicken tacos, guacamole and salsa – for lunch. They set the table and decorated it with hearts and the cards they made. Maya and Jay were very excited to build their own tacos from scratch and eat together as a family,” says Ashvini.
For the couple, both 43, their festivities aren’t really impacted much by the pandemic because they usually have very “low-key celebrations”.
“The only difference is we can’t go out to eat as we don’t feel it’s safe enough to do so with the children, but it’s easy enough to order in,” says Siva. The third MCO has also just been announced so dining out isn’t allowed this Mothers Day too, he adds.
“It’s more of spending the time together as a family, and creating lasting memories with the children,” adds Ashvini.
Usually, every year, Ashvini and her family will have just a simple celebration on Mothers Day.
“We usually have a simple breakfast or lunch meal together,” she says.
But once the children got a bit older and were able to understand what Mothers Day was about, they took the initiative to “plan” with their father and requested to buy food and gifts for their mother.
Although Ashvini isn’t a fan of flowers, she loves chocolate and that’s what she usually receives from her children on Mothers Day.
“The kids are also great at producing home-made gifts and cards,” she says.
This year’s Mothers Day celebrations will be very much the same as last year’s.
“We’ll celebrate with our immediate family, then with my mum and mother-in-law individually with a meal, and flowers for the grandmothers,” says Ashvini.
“We planned a super awesome breakfast surprise for amma with the help of papa,” chips in Maya excitedly.