Without a doubt, Mother’s Day will be different this year.
The world is battling COVID-19 and there won’t be any get-togethers, potlucks and certainly no hugs to show our appreciation to our mothers for all that they have done for us.
Enforced measures such as social distancing, travel curbs and restricted movement orders have been implemented by most governments to contain the spread of the coronavirus with a single aim – to keep people apart, and more importantly safe.
Despite these challenging times, our Bank of Singapore colleagues reflect on what Mother’s Day means to them this year as mothers and as daughters.
We spoke to Carole Suen, who handles communications under the COO Office in Singapore, and Angie So, a Team Head at our Philippines Representative Office, who are both working from home.
Closer bonds forged
This Mother’s Day will be the first time that Carole will not have her mother by her side.
For as long as she can remember, they have celebrated the day together either in Singapore or in Hong Kong, where her parents are based.
They typically spend the day having long chats, where they update each other on what’s new in their lives and top it off by indulging in a good meal.
These are simple, yet precious moments which she holds close to her heart.
“I feel helpless especially since I can’t do anything for us to be together this year. It won’t be the same but at least we’ll see each other virtually through a video call,” says Carole of her 56-year-old mother.
To take her mind off the situation, she has been keeping busy with the loved ones around her instead.
With her six-year-old daughter doing home-based learning modules, Carole has her hands full coaching her while juggling office work, leaving little time for anything else.
This has come with some unforeseen benefits.
“I’ve learned little things about my daughter by spending so much more time with her. I’m here to catch her when she gets distracted. I’ve also been helping her daily with her reading skills and she has improved so much,” says Carole.
“This period has made me think about how I can make each day more impactful for her. I’m sure she is happier that I am home too.”
Lesson in responsibility
Every year on Mother’s Day, Angie’s house in Manila is bustling with over 20 family members gathered to honour the mothers in their lives over a potluck lunch.
They include Angie’s three younger sisters and mother who turns 74 this year.
With the Philippines now in its sixth week of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), her sisters and their families will not be able to visit this year, but the celebration is set to carry on, come May 10.
“We are planning a digital celebration instead where we will cook the same dishes which we usually cook for Mother’s Day and hold a video conference with one another over lunch,” says Angie.
She has one added advantage. Her parents live with her and her husband, and their three children aged between 10 and 17.
“This year I am the luckier one compared to my sisters as I will be celebrating Mother’s Day physically with my mum. I am blessed to have my parents staying with us,” she adds.
With her children staying home over this period as well, Angie has seen them take on more responsibilities around the household, particularly in the culinary arts.
Together as a family, they try their hand in baking and cooking and often experiment with new recipes to bring new dishes to the table.She says, “What was once a hobby for them is now a necessity. It has made me proud to see them step up and be able to provide for the family this way.”Disclaimer applicable to recommendation
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