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7 Things Only Singaporean Mothers Say/Do To Lowkey Say ILY

A Singaporean mother’s love

I love you” – These are three words you rarely hear in most Singaporean households. For the conservative Singaporean Mother, an outward display of affection in the form of hugs, kisses, and comforting words doesn’t come naturally. In fact, if you’re of Asian descent, you can probably count the number of times your mother has uttered the words “I love you” in your lifetime.

But this doesn’t mean they’re unloving or incapable of showing affection, we’re just oblivious to the ways that they do show their love most of the time.

This Mother’s Day, to decode their cryptic love language, we’ve come up with a list of seven common Singaporean mum things that show you that your mother really does – ahem – love – cough – you.

1. “Why so late haven’t _____ yet?!”

things singapore mothers say and do

This exclamation varies: when it’s 12 am and you haven’t showered, when it’s 3 pm on a Sunday and you don’t want to wake up, or when it’s 4 am and you’re not home yet. Just add a random verb and it should match up.

What she means: I care about your hygiene, your tiredness, your safety and that you really are okay when you stumble home drunk at 4 in the morning.

2. “Are you coming back for dinner?”

things singapore mothers say and do

Some of us can almost always expect a text from Mother Empress to roll in at around 5pm asking whether or not she can expect you home for dinner. Some of us are guilty of not even responding.

Don’t write her off as being nosy or a nag, it’s just that as your social circle expands, she misses hearing you whine about your day at the dining table.

What she means: It’s been quite some time since we’ve eaten together.

3. “… see la, SEE la, SEE LA!” (in crescendo)

things singapore mothers say and do

Ma warned you about placing that liang teh too close to the edge. Ma even said, “Be careful, push it in some more”.

But you were a little too confident to heed her advice, so you eventually ended up pushing the cup off the table, spilling everything, and having an angry mother on your back and no liang teh to drink.

What she means: Learn from this, and don’t EVER do it again.

4. She follows you on Instagram

things singapore mothers say and do

Our greatest horror – *insert Ma’s corny handle* has requested to follow you on Instagram. And there is no escape from this, she knows that you’re on your phone at least 20 hours a day.

Thankfully, she doesn’t know about your spam account.

What she means: I want to know what you like doing so I can feel involved with your life.

5. She pushes the paiseh piece to you because she “isn’t hungry”

things singapore mothers say and do

You might have that awkward moment pushing the final piece of food aka the paiseh piece with friends, but that’s never the case with Mum. She’ll bring out all sorts of excuses along the lines of: “The bones taste better” or “I want to lose weight, you can have it”.

She simply chooses to be self-sacrificial so that you can have nothing less than her best.

And ma, you are not a cat and you’re defo not fat. If anyone calls you fat, he’ll get a high-five from me — with a bench.

What she means: I know you like this so you can have more of it.

6. She secretly hides an umbrella in your bag

things singapore mothers say and do

She knows our reluctance to hold a gaudy umbrella, even when subjected to 32-degree weather for fear of looking like a overly-cautious tart. But she also knows that her predictions are always right.

*Cue heartwarming K-drama moment when you find that coveted brolly in your bag with rain falling around you*

What she means: I don’t want you to fall sick because of the weather.

7. She packs up the organised mess in your room when you’re out

things singapore mothers say and do

We are never sure whether to be thankful or mad whenever our “chairdrobe” gets cleared.

Even as amazed as we are by our mothers’ impeccable organisational skills, we hate still having to scream for help when we desperately need that perfect top to wear out on a date!

What she means: I want a better environment for you to work and sleep in.

Thank you, Mum

It’s easy to box her up in the “naggy mum” stereotype; but the truth is that a mother’s love isn’t always easy to comprehend. They love without saying it, and they will still love us even when we’re least deserving of it.

So take some time out of your daily grind and show her a little appreciation. A simple “Thank you and I love you” can work wonders to fill her heart.

Take care of mum with AXA this Mother’s Day

things singapore mothers say and do

With our own daily hustles, we get so busy growing up that sometimes, we forget that our mothers are growing old too. The same arms that once cradled you no longer have the strength they once did, and housework starts to become an actual chore to her.

For all the times that she’s given you her best, take this Mother’s Day to do the same for her with AXA. With AXA Insurance’s comprehensive health and life solutions, whatever curveball life can throw, mum can and will be fully protected.

For the month of May, AXA Insurance shows a whole lot of love for all mothers out there – whether mums-to-be or mums with mature children. AXA Insurance is offering 2 complimentary policies for our mothers to choose from this May: AXA SmartCare Shield (Personal Accident) or SmartHome Essential (Home).

By signing our mums up for selected Life or Health policies with AXA, she will be entitled to a year’s worth of coverage either under the SmartCare Shield or the SmartHome Essential.

After all the sweat, blood, and tears our mums poured out for us over the past decades, ensuring that they are well looked after is the least we can do for them.

Get your mum insured with AXA Insurance here!

This post was brought to you by AXA Insurance.
Originally published on 6th May 2017. Last updated on 27th April 2021.
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