On Mother's Day, first-time mums reflect on their own parents' sacrifices


Avila with her son and husband.

KOTA KINABALU: Celebrating her first Mother's Day as a parent, news content writer Avila Geraldine Samuel says motherhood changed her priorities in life while making her more appreciative of her own mum.

Avila, who works for an assistant minister here, said motherhood has taught her to evaluate and rearrange what is important to her.

“It’s a joy being a mother. My family and my son must always come first in everything I do,” said the 36-year-old, who gave birth to son Cody Samuel Ryan Heng in August.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic had allowed her to spend more time with baby Cody while working from home, although there were difficulties in balancing the job and caring for her son.

“It can be stressful. So my mother and in-laws would step in to (help) if my husband was not around when I had to concentrate on work,” Avila said in expressing gratitude for the helping hands, in an interview in conjunction with Mother's Day on Sunday (May 8).

Having been a babysitter for her nephews and nieces before becoming a mother, she relied on the experience when it came to looking after her son.

Sales executive Sharifah Dora Perais, 38, said before motherhood everything she did was for herself but now her child, four-month-old Tasneem Aurora Tirmizi, comes first.

She said this even applied to the little things like making purchases, or when to eat and sleep, because Aurora’s needs come first.

“This has made me realise what my mother went through raising us and I appreciate her more now,” said the sixth of eight siblings.

Sharifah also recalled how scary and difficult it was giving birth to her child during the pandemic, as she could not have her husband Tirmizi Osman, 37, by her side in the labour room.

"In the end, it was all worth it when I held her for the first time,” she said.

Nurse Elicila Sman Gait used to think that it was easy being a mother, until her son Muhammad Qayyim Wafdan Mohd Nizam came along in August.

She said the mental and physical challenges made her reflect on how her mother managed to raise her family in their poor household.

“I now realise that the unconditional love a mother has for her children is what makes women so strong,” she said, recalling how her mum always put the children's needs above her own and never complained.

“Growing up, I used to argue with her a lot. Now, I feel guilty for all the times I wasn’t the best child I could be so now, I try to give the best I can to my mum,” she added.

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