Hear Her Roar!
Prestige Singapore|May 2021
Call her a tiger mum or helicopter mum, but Shabnam Arashan stands tall in being the mother who tries her very best. From giving up her legal career to learning to let go, she tells Annabel Tan about the joys and struggles of motherhood.
Annabel Tan

Dressed in activewear and toting a gym bag almost half the size of her petite frame, Shabnam Arashan arrives at our interview a little flustered but chipper. “Sorry, it’s been crazy. I had an event this morning and was rushing out of the house after arranging for a parent-teacher meeting with my son’s school,” the mother of one explains, “and please excuse my attire. I have a BodyPump class right after this.” It is just another day in the life of the ex-lawyer, who gave up her legal career almost 10 years ago to focus on being a mother to her son, Raoul.

Leaving the workforce back then was a decision Shabnam felt she needed to make when Raoul was in Primary 2 and she realised she was not as present as she wanted to be in his life because of work. “I missed out on many events back then and was always silent in the parents’ group chats,” she recalls.

“I wanted to be involved, I wanted to be the mum that knows what is happening with her child and I wanted to be the person my son always reaches out to. I realised that in order to have that bond with my son, I have to put in the time, which the nature of my profession did not allow.” She adds: “There are working mothers who can’t afford to do this and I salute them. But because I am privileged enough to, I consider this a joy and not a sacrifice.”

MAKING THE GRADE

In the years after, Shabnam has been very hands-on with Raoul’s education, especially when he was younger. Now that he is 14, she has taken a step back but admits she was quite the tiger mum when Raoul was taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in 2019. “It was the toughest period and I think I wanted it more than him; I wanted him to do the best of the best and there was no room for negotiation.”

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