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Mother’s love is all that matters

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When you love them unconditionally, you will find boundless love everywhere (Anton Luzhkovsky - Unsplash)

By: Wan Afiqah Anis Wan Ahmad

I got married at an age most in our society considers ‘late’. I was 37 years old, he was 51, and he has five adult children between the ages of 18 and 25. Unconventional, yes; but only in terms of the starting building blocks of a marriage and a family. The majority of family units might started out from scratch; but we started from page 10. Or 50; I don’t know.

Wan Afiqah Anis Wan Ahmad

But what matters is that we know that we have the building materials to build a family of our own: love. The kind that is sincere in nature, and indefinite in supply.

As a new mother—albeit an ‘instant’ one at that—I experienced firsthand that the capacity to love knows no bound. Whether it’s embracing new family members through marriage or welcoming adopted children, the journey is both challenging and rewarding. Transitioning into the role of a new mother to grown-up children can be both a daunting and fulfilling experience.

To be perfectly honest, it was made that much more daunting every time I reflected on my own journey as a teenager and young adult not that long ago. I remembered the rebellious nights, the never-ending “Why me?” rhetoric going around my head, and the feeling of futility and hopelessness every time I tried playing adult and start thinking about the future. And the scariest was when I (almost) made an enemy out of my own mother, at one point.

But now, I have started to use that same experience to help me get close to my adult children. Because I also realised that to successfully navigate this significant life change, it requires building strong relationships with each child individually while fostering a sense of unity. Communication always emerges as the vital instrument to orchestrate harmony, because it is the very foundation of patience and understanding. I embraced this new chapter with an open heart (forcefully in the beginning, I must admit) and willed myself to adapt to the needs of these children, praying it will pave the way for a fulfilling experience on this shared journey.

And it is exactly in these moments of transition, that the power of love becomes evident to me. Love can emerge unexpectedly, even in the midst of grief and loss, bringing healing, hope, and a renewed sense of purpose. It extends beyond romantic relationships to encompass self-discovery, personal growth, and unexpected connections with others. I learned that by embracing the idea that love can find us when we least expect it has pushed me to remain open to new connections and experiences.

Isn’t seeking happiness in different places, such as through a change in environment, relationships, or life circumstances, is a common human experience? Whether it’s a chance encounter, a shared vulnerability, or a deep mutual understanding, these moments highlight the many ways in which love can take shape and bring joy to our lives. Love serves as a transformative force that can enrich our lives in countless ways, reminding us of its resilience and multidimensionality.

In the story of Prophet Yaakub (Jacob) patiently awaits for his beloved son, Prophet Yusuff (Joseph) to come back home after all those years; isn’t that unconditional love? In the story of Maryam (Mary) being comforted by Allah in the face of unimaginable pain of giving birth; isn’t that boundless love?

Dear fellow mothers out there: amidst exhaustion and feeling unappreciated, remember that love is what truly matters. It can mend the bends and heal the hearts. Take a pause for quiet and cozy me-time when you are feeling down, and cherish the different forms of love surrounding us. Love exists in the people we hold closest to our hearts, as well as in the little things that make life worth the hustle. It’s a beautiful tool that surprises us by blossoming unexpectedly in various circumstances.

In appreciating the love that surrounds us each day, I hope you realize that it’s just a natural human attribute to both love and feel loved. When motivated by personal goals and the desire to spread love, we can overcome challenges and cultivate the energy to embrace the rewarding journey of motherhood; no matter the circumstances, no matter how late it may seem to start.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.

The author is the English Language Teacher at Universiti Malaya Education Centre (UMEC), Bachok, Kelantan. She may be reached at afiqahanis@um.edu.my

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