Growing Up With A Single Mother

While I consider Singapore a great country to live in, starting a family is very challenging and costly. This challenge becomes even greater if you happen to be a single parent. From the lack of government support to the difficulty in securing a house, many individuals in such situations go through hardships to provide the best for their children.

Below, Lemon8 user @Mochgj shares what it is like growing up with a single mother in Singapore, and describes the current dynamics between them.

Relationship with her mother

Growing Up With A Single MotherSource

@Mochgj mentions while growing up, her mother went through rough times in order to “provide [her] with a good education and future.” Instead of having a house that they could call theirs, they rented a small storage room to sleep in. 

As a result of her mother working late at night, @Mochgj also highlights that she had to become independent at a young age. The arduous period of time felt as if it was “truly [them] against the world.”

Since @Mochgj grew up without a father figure, she could only take on every bit of life lessons from her mother. Because of this, she considers the journey similar to an “emotional rollercoaster ride” ‒ the reason being the changing dynamic between her and her mother as she grows older. 

Lessons learned as a child of a single mother 

Despite that being said, @Mochgj had many learning experiencess, and through them, she also shares advice with those in similar situations. 

1. Don’t be afraid to live for yourself

Growing Up With A Single Mother@Mochgj and her mother

“Work hard for your mum” and “Make sure you take care of her” are common phrases that are heard by @Mochgj when people learn about her family situation. However, these repeated remarks caused her to be swallowed by the expectations to perform well, resulting in her inability to accept failure. 

“I felt like I owed my mum so much that I had to really do my most in order to be a good daughter,” @Mochgj explained. 

Knowing that her mother wanted her to lead a “stable” life, @Mochgj felt guilty, especially when she pursued “unconventional” routes. Fortunately, it later hit her that her mother actually loves her no matter what decision she makes, as long as she sees her happy and able to provide for herself.

2. Learn from our parent but understand yourself first

@Mochgj and her mother when they were younger

In every family, arguments are inevitable, especially when it comes to differences in views ‒ it is also the case for @Mochgj and her mother. 

@Mochgj realises that instead of getting overwhelmed by her mother’s ways of living and seemingly “stubborn” views, she advises not to be afraid to “take the liberty of exploring other world views and learn how others are living.” 

It is understandable that all mothers want the best for their children. So, rather than brushing their values away immediately, @Mochgj also says to respect them, but “don’t let them hold you back from doing things that you know you can handle.”

“Take them in, calibrate, and do things the way best suited for yourself,” @Mochgj shares. 

3. Our parent is learning too


Get this ‒ there is no rulebook on how to be a “perfect” parent. Every parent begins parenting with no experience, and they are also striving to be the best mother or father for their child. As such, it is common for them to make mistakes and decisions that may not come eye to eye with you.   

To that, @Mochgj advises taking a step back and understanding that it is a work in progress, and they are also learning to be better parents. For instance, she mentions that despite having a close relationship with her mother, they still argue frequently. But, she tries to give in more to understand where her mother is coming from.

At the end of the day, there is no reason to be stubborn because you’d want to work things out with your parent. 

These Advice Show It Is Through Understanding & Respect That Strengthen A Parent-Child Relationship 

No one is born into a perfect family, and @Mochgj’s story and advice show that understanding and respect strengthen a parent-child relationship. Rather than having regrets, we should try our best to understand each other and work things out, especially during tough times. 

For more single-parent-related stories, check out this one about the greatest love lesson that daughters learned from their mums. 

Cover: Source

Also read: 

Coming Out As LGBTQ+ — What It’s Like Facing Family Disapproval As Shared By A Singaporean