#NIESuperMum Feature - Reading Mum
Friday, 12 May 2017
I am Dr Myra, Assistant Professor from the Early Childhood and Special Needs Education Academic Group.
My family and I have been here in Singapore for nearly nine years now. My husband used to be an air traffic controller back in the Philippines, while my 15 year old daughter is a Year 3 Music student at the Singapore School of the Arts. We are a family who loves music with a passion, enjoys traveling together and simply hanging out with each other.
How did entering motherhood change your life?
To say that motherhood is a life-changing experience would be an understatement. It has made me look at the world differently, through my daughter’s eyes. It’s like re-experiencing everything all over again, this time with a twin soul, which is what I usually call her. I have been very fortunate because my daughter has this amazing old soul sensitivity about her that makes my awareness of everything around me become even more heightened, primarily because there is now another wide-eyed, impressionable person that sees beauty and poetry around her with such luminosity.
What do you usually do as a bonding session with your kids?
Recently, we have been going on long walks together, just chatting about stories from when I was growing up. She would also excitedly tell me about things that are going on with her friends, her school, and the many ‘emo’ stuff that most teenagers like her go through.
I also find that traveling together as a family creates a different kind of bond that you would not get anywhere else. Again, we are very fortunate because she is such an easy, absolutely-no-fuss, light-hearted traveler, and a delight to be around. We also make it a point to visit the library every week, after Sunday Mass, and we go on book hunting expeditions when we travel overseas.
I understand that reading plays a huge part in your life; could you share what are some ways that we can encourage our kids to read more?
Reading has always been an integral part of our lives, kind of like breathing almost. It is not something that we do because we have to, it is part of what defines our being. We are surrounded by books every day, and we always say that home is where the books are. I believe that it is not something that one can mandate or order a child to do, like a chore or an obligation. Reading, for us, is a beautiful communal experience that allows me to connect with my daughter through lines from a current novel that I am reading, we “ship” characters that we love together, and fight over scenes that we dislike, and imagine what the book would be like when turned into a film.
I also feel that as parents, we need to lead by example. If we want our kids to be readers, then as parents we have to be readers ourselves.
What advice would you give to new mums / mums-to-be?
Enjoy the ride. There is nothing quite like it.
If I could describe my family in one word, it would be…
Being a mum is …
tasting the sky with eyes wide open, every single day.
Chit-Chat with her daughter...
Give a short introduction about your mum.
My mother is my best friend. She is like my older sister, as people would commonly mistake us as siblings. My mother and I have a close relationship in which we are able to bond through long walks, music and most importantly books.
Describe something memorable that your mum did for your/the family.
A memorable memory I have with my family would have to be watching Wicked in San Francisco, which was one of the first musicals that I have watched and truly fell in love with, that we watched it twice. Another memory that I treasure would have to be traveling through Europe and the US with my parents. Through our adventures, we are able to go book hunting, visit a lot of tourist attractions, and get to know the history and the people of the places we travel to.
How has mum been an inspiration to you?
My mom is an inspiration to me because she is such a hardworking and compassionate mother who encourages me to follow my dreams and reach for the stars. She never gives up, even when things get rough.
If I could describe my mum in one word, it would be…
If there’s one thing you would like to thank your mum for, it would be…
I thank my mother for being able to show me the world, and letting me see the beauty in the smallest of things around me.