My Mom Didn’t Know… I Could Never Reject Her

Posted On: July 20, 2022

My Mom Didn't Know... I Could Never Reject HerOne of the biggest and most common complaints mom made when she was alive was that we didn’t bring her out to eat enough. Unlike her, food wasn’t and has never been a big deal for me.

However since this was obviously important to her, I made it a point to take her out for meals as often as I could and as often as she was willing. I recognised love is doing what you don’t care for but do out of love anyway.

Once I brought her to a fancy western restaurant and she got all awkward looking at all the cutlery laid out then said, “So many. Don’t know how to eat.”

I saw through her right away: it really wasn’t about which was the right or wrong cutlery for which dish. She was afraid of me being embarrassed of her, judging her, or worst rejecting her.

The strong, wilful and independent mom I knew my whole life was now scared of me. It broke my heart.

I replied, “How to eat? Put food in your mouth.”

She laughed.

I next said: “Don’t worry. It’s me. Can use this one. It doesn’t matter. Just enjoy.”

She relaxed considerably and enjoyed her meal with a gusto.

The moment I said it, a memory came to mind. When I was probably 3, mom brought me to a fancy sit-down western work dinner. I don’t remember much of the dinner other than how awkward I felt. It was mom who taught me which cutlery to use for which course. She might have forgotten which cutlery to use years on, but I haven’t forgotten she was the first person who prepared me for behaving appropriately in formal occasions, and for adulthood.

Years later, how could she fear that I would look down on her? I will never reject you, I thought to myself. Never.

As tears welled up there and then in that restaurant, there was so much I wanted to say. Instead I hid my tears, turned to her and asked, “Is it nice?”

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About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice since 2009, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Clinical Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.



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