Support from Family and Community are Necessary to Help Mums Thrive

The joy of being a mother is in recognising the small victories daily

By Judith Alagirisamy | 10 May, 2019

An edited version of this letter, “Celebrate Small Victories to Find Joy in Motherhood”, was published in TODAY Voices on 10 May, 2019.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, let’s reflect on what mums really need to thrive in their journey of motherhood. In a recent survey that was conducted among 829 mothers by Focus on the Family Singapore, majority of respondents shared that they experience some form of ‘mum guilt’. Often, this happens because they feel stressed by the perceived societal expectations of others, as well as comparing themselves to other mums either in real-life or on social media.

Constant feelings of guilt can lead to unhealthy stress, anxiety and even anger –adversely affecting our emotional well-being as well as our relationships within the family. Survey results show that 6 in 10 mothers experience anxiety and worry while 7 out of 10 experience anger and frustration weekly.

While ‘Mum guilt’ may be pervasive in our society, we don’t have to accept it as status quo. This Mother’s Day, let’s consider how we can support mothers such that they truly experience the joy of motherhood. In the survey, many mothers expressed that in challenging situations, husbands and friends were their sources of encouragement and help. Mothers need the ongoing support of a community as well as have their spouse share the parenting load.

As a mother myself, I find that motherhood is not a perfect journey, and there are many challenges along the way. However, the real joy of motherhood is found in recognising the small victories we experience on a daily basis. These could be as simple as a child giving us a hug on a tough day or finishing their homework unsupervised, or a quick chat with one’s husband in the midst of a hectic day. These small moments add up over time, to help our families and relationships flourish and bloom.

As a community, let’s remind the mums in our midst of the small victories we’ve seen in their lives and families – let’s look beyond flowers and presents, and give the gift of true encouragement this Mother’s day!

Judith Alagirisamy (Ms)
Acting Head, Research and Development
Focus on the Family Singapore



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