Celebrating the 20th Century Moms & what I call myself as the 3rd Millennium Mom
As we prepare to celebrate moms and motherhood this Sunday, I realize that many of us occupy a space in-between—honoring our own mothers, but as mothers ourselves, striving to raise the next generation of extraordinary individuals, while tackling personal challenges and goals.
My inspiration while growing up was my strong, hard-working mother Alice Tsang, and my dad Wilson, who immigrated to Hawaii together almost 48 years ago.
Starting a new life in the United States was very hard for them. They didn’t have money, so as typical Chinese immigrants all they could do was focus on work, which did not leave enough time for family. As the eldest daughter, I realized how important it was for them to provide for us. I definitely get my hard work ethic from my dad, whose creative thoughts flow endlessly. My mom, who is a strong businesswoman. She could sell anything.
Although my mom was not raised to be physically or verbally affectionate, she shows her love through her cooking. She makes me breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s her way of keeping our relationship healthy and strong as we chat one-on-one, or with the family sitting around the dinner table, catching up with what’s going on in each of our lives.
Whenever I have a problem, my mom is the first person I think of. She’s the person that I go to when I need advice, or want to share any sadness, joy, or celebrate anything good that happens in my day. I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost my mom.
Being a single mom with two kids “3rd Millennium Mom” —Adonis who is now 25, living in Las Vegas and very successful in his own right, and Achilles who is 12—I put in the long hours that my mom and dad had always done, but I am raising them in a more hands-on way.
I work 12 to 14 hours a day Monday through Saturdays, but I’m always juggling my family life. At around 2:30 p.m. I pick up Achilles from school and take him to sports practice, or I will train with him—football or basketball—whatever his interest is at that time. Then we have dinner together, which is very important.
Then I drop him off with his dad, and boom, I’m back at work again. I love work, I’m passionate about it, but always strive for balance in taking care of my mom and trying to be the best mom myself. It’s important for me to be mentally, physically and emotionally there for Achilles, and to be home when my mom wants me there for dinner.
All the sacrifices are worth it at the end of the day when I’m in bed, feeling thankful and blessed that I am able to share time with my mom, my kids, and of course, with Mr. Fox, my lover.
Sunday is a mandatory family fun day, everyone knows that we do everything as a family unit from the time we wake up. We’ll cook up creative loaded breakfasts, then go out to try something new or some kind of activity, whether it’s football, ping-pong or just spending time in the yard gardening, ending our day with supper. Eating as a family is a Tsang tradition.
As you celebrate this Sunday, every mom should know how much she deserves and has earned this day of respect and gratitude. But keep in mind that for all these strong women, the challenge of balancing work, family and personal lives goes on every day.
If you’re not sure how well you’re doing as a parent, just ask your child. They’re likely to have a list of do’s and don’ts. I asked Achilles to share what he expects from me, and here are his thoughts about what a good mom should do:
“Be there for your children. Don’t ignore your family members; ask them how their day went.
Push your children in school because it only make them better when they’re older..
Support your children in sports, like go to the games and stuff, even if you don’t like the sport.
Push them to get good grades in school. To motivate them, give them V bucks or a small gift or something to say good job.
Lastly, be mindful of your child’s feelings.”
— Achilles McCartney