I promised myself that I wasn’t going to turn this into a full-on gush session about how important my mother has been in terms of influencing me to become the person I am today, but it’s too late for that now. This is the first time, and likely the last, I’ll ever have the editorial authority to lay down my thoughts on why my mom is the best mom. My apologies to the billions of other moms out there.
She is the figure in my life who has had the most significant impact on my development. Whether it was pushing me in school or giving me the freedom to deviate into more creative endeavors outside of academics in university, she always gave me her full support. My decisions would often not put me in the direction of finding a lucrative career, but they did, however, help me to be the happy and unique person that I am today.
She’s also tough. If there’s an alpha dog in my family, it’s definitely her. She’s a leader, and everyone in my house knew this. We usually did our best to live in accord with her rules or rued the consequences. She’ll hate that I’m talking about this side of her, but her temper was and still is quite fierce. This is something that she inherited from her own father, whose temper was also legendary. But, under the gritting teeth and the pointing of fingers, there was also something beautiful in these occasional outbursts. Those moments where raw emotions bubble to the surface and explode into sound and fury ultimately come from love, and would only be a blitzkrieg of rage followed by a quick return to her sweet little self like it never happened. She would then lightly say: “You’ll understand when you have a child of your own,” and that would be it.
While I feared these moments as a child, primarily if I was on the receiving end of one of these exercises in anger, now that I’m a parent I understand! She was right! I sometimes even find myself practicing the same angry faces, mimicking her fury just in case they need to be used to reprimand a serious offense in my own household. I hope it never comes to that, but they will be my secret weapon in maintaining order and respect much as she would. Somebody has to do it, right?
Mothers do a lot! They shape us into the delightfully imperfect people we are today. Like Pauline van Hasselt states in her feature “Goddess Moms of Beijing,” our mothers are also superheroes. This is what we tried to convey as we gave makeovers to some fierce entrepreneur moms and then took to the streets with our photographer.
In this issue, we also talk about building moms up with parity. We couldn’t imagine a better gift this Mother’s Day than dads learning to take on a bit of the “mental load.” Less emotional stress is key to a happy home!
In our Parenting feature, we interviewed one of the mothers of the feminist movement in China, striving to bridge the gap of gender inequality. She talks not only about her own history but also the learning and parenting environment that she grew up in, that subsequently allowed for her to become the superwoman she is today.
These are just a few of the topics we tackle in this issue. It is always our hope that our hard work in creating this magazine brings people together in this gigantic city, and what we learned in the process of putting this together is that nobody is better at doing just that than our Beijing mommas!
Photos: Lens Studio
This article appeared on p5 of beijingkids May 2018 issue.