Mothers. There’s hardly a standard definition to what being a mother means nor is there an exhaustive list of undertakings that completely encompasses a mother’s role. But one thing’s for sure, a mother — in their every diverse embodiment — is often the personification of love, nurture, and protect.
Mother’s Day might have just passed but there’s absolutely no reason why celebrating a mother’s unconditional love should be relegated to just one day in a year.
We enlisted the help of four individuals — Toh Xin Hui and Kenneth Toh of Naked Chicken, home-baker Yang Sue Ann, and social entrepreneur, sustainability consultant and social media influencer Rebecca Eu — to share their thoughts and feelings about their respective mothers, penning them down as love letters.
Toh Xin Hui, co-founder of Naked Chicken
Hello dear mother,
Thank you so much for raising me for the past 21 years, and I hope this reminds you of how much you mean to me. You gave me so much, Mom, and there are no words strong enough to tell you how much I love you, and how thankful and blessed I am to have you in my life.
Even when I needed help with Naked Chicken, you were always there to help me without even me asking. When times were tough, you never failed to be there for me — supporting me, loving me, and always doing your best to understand me.
There are times where we clash, but we never fail to find a middle-ground.
You taught me so many valuable lessons and how to use them in my life. Thank you for everything!
Kenneth Toh, co-founder of Naked Chicken
My mum taught me the idea of unconditional love. Ever since I was little, she taught me how to be giving. When I got older, she taught me forgiveness. She is someone that will stand by my side unconditionally, and will always have me on her mind at all times. And I am extremely thankful for that.
We are never really direct with our affection for each other, but that really isn’t needed, because we know that we will always be there for each other at the end of the day.
I love you, mummy!
Yang Sue Ann, home baker at Sieve by Sue
We can’t be more different.
You are academically driven and place emphasis on subjects like Maths, which is no surprise given that you were a Maths teacher in your pre-motherhood life. I on the other hand, pursue play and friendships during my study life and had to drag my feet during lessons.
You are nurturing and love kids and grandkids so much — I hardly see you lose your temper. You listen more than you speak and your empathy knows no bounds. Before I had my son, I never knew that I wanted to have kids; didn’t think I have the time and patience. I tend to speak what’s on my mind and at times, I think my son takes after me as he cannot seem to stop talking.
You are not afraid to wear your emotions on your sleeves especially during K-drama nights when you can empathise with the characters on the show. For me, I tend to bottle things up and put on a strong front, mostly.
You are a creature of habit, visiting the same neighbourhood stores and not an avid supporter of technology (during the Covid period, you favoured going to markets rather than use delivery apps). I love meeting new people and embracing new hobbies — ‘Spontaneous’ is my middle name as I explore the world immensely. I live, breathe, and eat social media apps, and probably couldn’t live without them.
And yet, we are alike in more ways than we know.
We gave up our careers for our kid(s) and would do so again in a heartbeat. I used to take all that for granted when we were growing up, but now I am the mummy-taxi and I can totally relate. We are the invisible driving forces of our families and we guard them fiercely with all our mights, only wanting them to be the best versions of themselves.
Our kitchens are our playground and we love to bake our hearts out, even at wee hours of the morning. You ignited my passion for baking from young when I would steal a taste of the butter-sugar mixture while you busied yourself with the dough. You are a fierce supporter of my @sievebysue home-baking venture and is proud to share my bakes with your friends.
We both love nature — our daily morning garden walks, fresh air and strides. Taking in all the flora and fauna is our therapy and our ‘me-time’. To top it off, you have the most capable green hands which has resulted in beautiful greens in your gardens.
To our gardener and our ever so faithful guardian, even though we don’t have similar views on all topics, we respect each other’s characters and boundaries, and I hope to grow up as self-sacrificing as you.
Loving you always and thankful to have you.
Rebecca Eu, social entrepreneur, sustainability consultant and social media influencer
Although you think baba and I share many things in common, I wanted you to know where my strength and dedication (you like to call it “being stubborn”) comes from.
During the 1950s, your family moved from Shanghai to Germany when you were a baby and you only joined them when you were nine years old. Even though your siblings already learned to speak German fluently, you spoke Mandarin and Shanghainese. You picked up the language very quickly and to this day, you’ve retained most of it. I am so proud of you.
When you were in college, you worked part time at a hotel so you could get free meals. I am impressed with your resourcefulness & I am so proud of you.
When you got married to baba, there were speculations about you, to which you paid no heed. You went on to have four children and this year, you and baba celebrated your 41st wedding anniversary. I am so proud of you.
I am proud of you every day and it is my privilege to call myself your daughter. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and thank you for everything you’ve done for yourself. I know how to be strong because of you.