No tiger mom, no helicopter mom, how Ophie Dee raised this daughter to be the best she can be
Unconditional love is not a myth where my mother is concerned. She was the type of mom who just loved and accepted me for all that I was and I am, imperfections and all. So, if there’s one thing that’s empowered me to overcome the most difficult challenges to be the best I can be, it’s the fact that I know my mother would be there for me no matter what.
She was not the tiger mom who would make sure my grades were nothing less than As. In fact, there were times she wouldn’t even check my report cards. Nor was she a helicopter mom who was always looking over my shoulder and ordering me to do one task after another. She never demanded much from me yet she was always quick to offer praise for what little good I did.
Perhaps the kind of love she showed me sowed a deep-seated confidence that made me believe I could do whatever I wanted to do and be whoever I wanted to be. She always had a kind word to say and never made me feel I was not smart enough, pretty enough, or capable of whatever it was I wanted to do. Heck, she even sat through a singing recital where I dressed like Madonna and belted out “Material Girl” to my heart’s content. And you know what, she said I did a good job. Now that’s unconditional love.
Knowing that my mother is a safe harbor waiting for me if things don’t go well gives me the courage to go out there and try what I feel is important to me, my fears and limitations aside.
I remember moving to Singapore to start a new job in the corporate world at the age of 40. It was a tumultuous time when I doubted myself and my ability to start over. Her confidence in me never wavered and she firmly believed I would excel in my new role. And as much as she stood by me through crying sessions when I would miss home and my children, she was also there to celebrate wins, big and small. I assembled my first piece of furniture when I was setting up my apartment and we were both bursting with pride and laughter over this. Achievement unlocked, indeed.
Seriously though, knowing that my mother is a safe harbor waiting for me if things don’t go well gives me the courage to go out there and try what I feel is important to me, my fears and limitations aside. She has been a witness to the many times I have fallen and failed yet this has never diminished her love or her belief that I am a good person with a good heart.
Maybe all we really need to be the best we can be is that kind of steadfast love and acceptance. To know that someone believes in us so much we can do whatever it takes to prove that person right.
Now If only I can be half the mother my mom is to me and give my children and those around me the same sense of security and confidence she has given me, then I’ll know I’ve done my part.