From our first babble to taking our first footsteps, these are some of the many things we learn from our mother. But mothers too can learn many things from their own children. Esther Lim, CEO and founder of LEAP SchoolHouse, takes a step back to reflect and share what she learned from her children.

Esther, with her family

Someone once told me that being a mother is the highest-paid job in the world. It is a job that is payable only by pure love. How true. Who would willingly pick up dirty diapers, stay up late to check on a searing fever, cry when a tiny arm is placed in a cast or simply smile when given a hug?

You’ve got it- A MUM.

I can go on and on about the greatness of a mum but personally I think the greatness of being a mother is really defined by the interaction that I have with my children. I learn to be a mum from being a mum.

I am grateful for being part of Liv, Liz and Lloyd’s lives. In an insane way, amidst all the fights, hugs and tears, we learnt to love and treasure each other as a family. Life as a mother is never the same each and every single day.

Ten things I have learnt from my children:

1) Patience

Loads of it…

2) Celebrate the little things in life that matter

Every video that captures each of my children’s first steps, first word, a concert experience etc. brings a wider smile on my face than a great shopping extravaganza does.

3) Being flexible with everything

I never thought the day will come that I would allow my 3 kids to come into my bed in the middle of the night, finally pushing my husband off the bed at 2 in the morning AND I AM ALRIGHT WITH IT FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER HOUR OF SLEEP.

4) Nobody’s perfect

It’s easy to say it but to admit that as a mummy, I am also not infallible takes loads of courage and reality checks. I have learnt to ask for help when I need it.

5) Be Creative

What do you do to entertain 3 littlies with an age range of 6 years in between and who has gender preferences? You learn to be creative and think out of the box.

6) Listen with your heart

I learnt that my maternal instincts can be much more accurate than anything else in the entire universe.

7) See eye to eye

It’s never easy to accept a child’s idea and logic as superior to yours but as a mum, I learnt that it is possible to be so.

8) Size does not matter

One’s heart to love is never contained in the physical size of the person. Especially when I receive a hug, kiss or a card that reads, “Mummy, I love you”.

9) Little you, little me

What do you see when you watch your child sleep? I see a reflection of myself far beyond the physical similarities but something that runs along values and beliefs. Suddenly you realize just how impactful you are to this tiny little person.

10) Nobody will place as much trust in you as your children

I learnt that a promise not fulfilled can break hearts.

Esther's three childrenEsther’s three children. Photos: Courtesy of Esther Lim

Born and educated in Singapore, she holds a Master Degree in Education (NTU/NIE), Bachelor Degree in Arts (NTU), Diploma in Marketing – Top student for the year 2000 (Chartered Institute of Marketing). Esther has more than 10 years of teaching experience and has taught widely in both Secondary and Primary schools. She was also involved in curriculum planning and development work for the primary unit at MOE for several years. Esther has also conducted workshops and talks for educators, locally and overseas. Esther is also a mother of three children.

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This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.

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