It's no wonder many songs, films, poems, stories and books have been written about mothers. From the moment they carry us in their womb, give birth to us and raise us, mothers take on an almost superhero quality. They do everything they have in their power to be the best mother and wife that they can be, in addition to the many other titles ascribed to them: sister, daughter, neighbour, committee member, employee, boss... they have to juggle all these roles and responsibilities throughout their lives that it's almost too easy to forget that they are also individuals with their own thoughts, feelings and aspirations. They are women who wish to exert their values into everything they do, and in the process, they inspire us. It's no secret that SweetEscape loves inspiring women, and in observation of International Women's Day, here are the 10 women who inspire us and teach us the meaning of strength, courage and wisdom all day, every day.
Although In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is still a somewhat controversial topic in Indonesia, Andra Alodita is an ardent supporter and frequently writes about her experience on having her children via the practice on her blog. When asked if she has any advice for women planning to do IVF, she says that all you have to is maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, getting enough sleep and working out. "Every mother has her own way of bringing up her children. If you see a mother struggling or looking fatigued when you see her at the mall, school or playground, give her a compliment! Keep in mind that every mother has her own struggles," she concludes.
Carline Darjanto was listed in Forbes' 30 under 30 Asia in 2016 due to the runaway success of her brand, cottonink, a one-stop fashion haven for women with affordable prices. Stemming from her passion for fashion, Carline established the business from scratch with a close friend, Ria Sarwono, over a decade ago. She gave birth to her daughter last year and has become one of the leading mompreneurs in Indonesia, with cottonink products now being exported to a number of countries in Asia and Europe. An inspiration to those not willing to settle down until she sets the bar high!
One of the most successful public figures in the Philippines since the late 90s, Celestine - or more affectionately known as Toni - Gonzaga is a popular singer, TV personality and actress, racking up gold and platinum albums and successful TV and cinema stints. Toni got married to long-time partner Paul Soriano in 2015 before giving birth to son Severiano a year later. Despite her personal and professional success, she decided to go back to school and is currently enrolled at the University of the Philippines' Open University, taking up her bachelor's degree in multimedia studies. A living proof that you can always do better for yourself even when you already have the best things going for you!
Dubbed as the Mother of Indonesian Mom Bloggers, Mira Sahid is a leading blogger on parenting and self-development. Initially inspired to blog to revive her love for writing after becoming a mom, she then initiated Kumpulan Emak Blogger (Mom Blogger Community) that brings Indonesian moms who blog together to motivate them in developing their potential in the blogosphere. "I learn a lot from the community members, whether via their writing or their personality whenever the community does a meet-up. I learn that women are so amazing, with so much potential ready to be developed. This is what influences me to strive to a better writer and woman, every single day," she says.
There is no love like the love of a mother, and Leong Poh Yin is a testament to this. In addition to taking care of her son, Clement, who has been bedridden for 15 years due to a near-death motorcycle accident and its ensuing severe brain damage, Leong also takes care of other children via her involvement in World Vision Singapore, putting aside $45 a month from her modest income for 3 children in Thailand so as to have access to education, healthcare, clean water, and food. She has also voluntereed for over 10 years at Lion Befrienders, looking after the welfare of poor and lonely elderly. The true blue embodiment of "inspiring" if there should be one.
Who says you can't be a working mom and have it all? Maya Septha would certainly disagree. The Indonesian actress and TV personality is a mother of two and often uses her voice to bring attention to the importance of a strong marriage in parenting. She sheds light on an often overlooked aspect of parenting: when a husband becomes a father and a wife becomes a mother, the focus tends to be on the children and the whole family, forgetting about the couple itself. And that's exactly why she inspires us!
It seems like she has it all: a famous and loving husband, two amazing children and a thriving career in the entertainment business. But like everyone else, Meira Anastasia has her own fears, frustrations and insecurities and she divulges all this in her book, Imperfect: A Journey To Self-Acceptance. The book discusses at great length the ups and downs that she experiences in navigating her life as a public figure and the wife of a public figure. For all the superhero-like qualities that moms possess, lest we forget that they are human beings with flaws who don't always get it right. And this is precisely why we find Meira inspiring!
Motherhood is a life-changing decision to make - just ask Patty Ang, who had her daughter at the age of 17. Having a child at any age is a challenge in and of itself, and even more so when you have one at a young age. The flipside to it is that you get to grow together with your child! Now twice her age when she had her daughter and a successful designer, Patty's relationship with her daughter is more akin to that of sisters, or "best friends", as Patty herself puts it. If that is not inspiring, we don't know what is!
In Patty Laurel's own words, the host and model turned lifestyle blogger is "your quintessential 21st century working girl" and if you scroll down her blog and read her posts, you will find out she's not lying. Ever since becoming a mom recently, she has been musing on her new life with her baby son and shared her thoughts and experiences on motherhood, in addition to offering parenting tips and tricks. Juggling between motherhood and career is a classic case for moms everywhere and no one lays it down quite like Patty does!
Being a new mom is fun and exciting yet chaotic and confusing at the same time. No matter how much or how strong the support system you have is, there is no denying that there is a lot of trepidation to being a mom for the first time. This is precisely the case of Zoe Raymond, our favourite mom blogger from Singapore, who recently had her baby and constantly documents the ins and outs of parenting life on her blog. And by the looks of it, Zoe's blog is definitely the go-to guide for new moms everywhere navigating the travails of motherhood!
And there you have it. 10 incredible moms who are both superheroes and humans, and constant sources of inspiration not only for their families but also for us here at SweetEscape. Our mother is the first woman we love, and looking at these women's achievements in and out of motherhood, it's no wonder we can't help but love them too! We wish you a very happy Mother's Day and remember, you are all amazing and inspiring in your own way. Here's to all mothers out there!
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