Photos: Joel Lim/Calibre Studios, Veronica Tay & Darren Chang

This Mother’s Day, we visit three generations of a loving family – grandmother, mother and daughter – and discuss parenting lessons, motherhood and explore the bonds that tie them.

Diana Ser, 48, media personality, with her mother, Annie, and daughter, Christy

Diana wears Victoria diamond vine drop earrings in platinum from Tiffany & Co; and dress from Liu Jo. Annie wears Nyonya cap sleeve top from Ans.ein. Christy wears a sleeveless dress from BloomB.

No one really likes being described as turning into their mum, but Diana Ser takes the comparison in her stride. “I am resigned to the fact that I am more like her than I would like to admit. This awareness, however, makes me want to be better for my kids,” confesses the mother of three.

“Together with my husband James [Lye], we form a different family unit, so the children get the best of us and our families.”

She adds that she has picked up some great parenting lessons from her mum, the 48-year-old says she has inherited her mother’s strong work ethic, among other things.

The values that are passed on to me from my mum drive the way I nurture and guide my kids

Diana Ser on parenting lessons and motherhood

“The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though I have more resources, more access to technology, and more importantly, more education, the values that are passed on to me from my mum drive the way I nurture and guide my kids,” says Diana on the way she parents.

“I may be guilty of parenting them all the same, but it is starting to get more challenging with one teenager, and a blossoming 12-year-old, but I guess I just have to roll with the punches.

“Motherhood has definitely helped me gain more empathy. It is the great equaliser. Whether you are rich or poor, tall or thin, all mothers love their children. It has enabled me to connect better with other women, too.”

This Mother’s Day, I am most grateful that…
“My daughter knows her Ah Ma’s love that is well demonstrated through her homemade Kong Ba Pau and Kueh Pie Tee. I’m also proud that I’ve given my mum three very precious gifts – her grandchildren.”

Serena Adsit, 41, founder of Mint Singapore with her mother, Rosalind, and daughter, Avalon

Serena Adsit, her mother and her daughter
Serena wears Elsa Peretti high tide earrings in 18K gold and Elsa Peretti large bone cuff in 18K gold from Tiffany & Co; and Kristine silk crepe de chine halterneck gown from Diane Von Furstenberg. Rosalind wears an abstract-print pleated dress from Pleats Please by Issey Miyake. Avalon wears a flounce sleeve dress from Chateau De Sable.

A vivid memory Serena has, growing up, was watching her mum get all dressed up for events. “My mother was very stylish. In my eyes, she was the most beautiful thing. When I was younger, she was my world. She still is,” says the model-entrepreneur.

“She always treated me like a friend; although I probably needed to be raised with a bit more routine and discipline! So, in turn, I try to be kinder and more understanding when parenting my children.”

Grateful for how her mum has shaped how she is as a parent today, Serena says there’s nothing she loves more than being a mother.

She always treated me like a friend

Serena Adsit on her mum, Rosalind

“It has taught me what true love is. I can’t adequately describe that feeling of pure joy and connection when it comes to my children. From the time I was pregnant with them, delivering them at home, breastfeeding and raising them, I have felt love like no other in this world,” Serena admits.

“My children are born almost nine years apart, so there was lots of time for me to grow, assess my parenting style and change the mistakes I felt I made with my son, Evan. I know now to definitely garner as much help as possible and take comfort in understanding that it takes a village to raise a child!”

This Mother’s Day, I am most grateful that…
“I was able to get pregnant naturally at my age and have an easy pregnancy and a blissful home-birth, which my son was a part of fully. I never felt so much in my power as a female to be able to birth my daughter easily, and fairly painlessly in the comforts of my home with a support team I love.”

Tan Li Yi, 44, senior producer-presenter at 96.3 Hao FM with her mother, Madam How and daughter, Eun Jin

Radio deejay Tan Li Yi, her mother, and her daughter
Li Yi wears earrings from Lovisa; sleeveless top and fringe skirt, both from Sacai. Madam How wears sheer panel dress from Bora Aksu. Eun Jin wears printed sleeveless dress from Maison Q.

As a child, Li Yi was often sick, and she will never forget the sacrifice her mother made to nurture her back to health. “The greatest parenting lesson I’ve picked up from my mum is being selfless and sacrificing for the family,” says the SPH radio deejay.

“My mum quit her job after I was born. My dad worked overseas most of the time, so my mum basically took care of my sister and me by herself when we were younger. It wasn’t easy for her, especially due to me being sick.

“I remember my mum made me wear long sleeves and long pants every day, so I will not catch a cold. She also made sure I took my medication on time – I hated medicine, so I made it very hard for her.”

She also made sure I took my medication on time – I hated medicine, so I made it very hard for her

Tan Li Yi

She believes that as children, we model our parents, and she often catches herself thinking about what her parents have done for her during her childhood years.

“I think I’m very blessed to have loving and responsible parents and I hope I can be like them. I am learning new things about parenting every day as I grow with my own kids,” confesses Li Yi.

“Motherhood is a lifelong journey. There’s a lot less of ‘me-time’, and things, more or less, revolve around what is best for the children. I often have to remind myself not to feel guilty when I have to focus on my work instead of the kids. At the end of the day, spending quality time with them is most important. I let them know I love them through my words and actions.”

This Mother’s Day, I am most grateful that…
“My mother is healthy, and by my side. No words can describe my gratitude for her selflessness and sacrifice. Thank you, mummy!”

Photos: Joel Lim/Calibre Studios, Veronica Tay & Darren Chang
Art Direction: Ivy Choong / Styling: Jerome Awasthi, assisted by Jet Ong
Hair: Ash Loi/Sonder Salon, using Revlon Professional, Kenneth Ong and Dexter Ng (for Diana Ser)
Makeup: Audrey Wee, Jane Lau and Shaun Lee (for Diana Ser)