Mother of 5 Datin Sri Mary Lourdes has seen and endured it all: the flurry of little hands to hold, the empty nest and lately, the joy of seeing her children grow from an energetic troupe of tots into well-rounded and impeccably brought up young people.
In this the first of 3 heartwarming stories shared by 3 devoted mothers, Datin’ Sri Mary gives us a glimpse into the ups and downs of being a ‘boarding school mum’, and where this far-thinking decision has brought her family today.
A bastion of strength to husband Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran and her family, Datin Sri Mary’s quiet and humble exterior masks an incredible inner strength and maternal wisdom that's seen her through the most challenging of times.
It was Datin Sri Mary and Dato’ Sri Bernard’s innate understanding of their children’s unique skills and interests that convinced them to opt for boarding school once their youngest ones had reached their teens.
“Bernard and I have always agreed that, just because we are in the fashion industry, it doesn’t mean our children have to be,” Datin Sri Mary says.
“If they’re not interested in fashion or modelling, it doesn’t matter. If that's not their chosen path, they should follow their own passion.”
With 3 sons having completed their secondary schooling in Malaysia and currently pursuing tertiary studies abroad, Datin Sri Mary had her mind made up about her 2 youngest children's education.
“My fourth boy is very creative, he dabbled in making short films, sculptures and other artwork when he was just 9 years old.
“When he was in Form 2 here in Malaysia, I told Bernard, ‘If this boy stays in a local school, it will kill off all his creativity because he'll be too focused on exams, exams, exams!”