BEING A MOTHER
An interview with Varanya (Bia) Khorapad
“It’s very fulfilling to know that it is possible to achieve what I want to achieve, while experiencing the love, struggle, nurture, crying, exhaustion and joy of raising my children”.
As a mother of two kids, Bia has to juggle quite a lot. Life is very much a balancing act. Her children live in Thailand while she is managing a busy restaurant business in Brisbane. We are sharing a recent interview with Bia, an owner of Thai Naramit Resturant in Hendra.
Bia shares with us some of her thoughts on finding balance as a mother; and her own personal struggles when she departed Thailand to venture overseas and follow her own dreams. It was truly a sad choice, she said, that she had to leave Boom and Bam behind “But knowing that they will get the best care from my family in Thailand, I needed to be strong, I needed to realize my dream and when I can do that successfully, I can then go back to help them fulfill their own dreams”. Said Bia.
“I came to Brisbane with my heart broken. One event that I remember so vividly and can recite the detailed memories with anyone, is that on the day I left Thailand, both my children came to the airport to see me off. Boom was 5 years old and Bam was 3, both of them were crying as I was walking into the gate to the custom area. Their crying voice echoing in my head and I cried on the plane all the way until I reached customs here in Brisbane” Bia shared her memories with slight teary eyes.
Reading her story now one could wonder, “Why did she have to leave her young children behind?” to which Bia said “Everyone has their own journey and story, be it happy, sad or a traumatized experience. For me it was an unfortunate event that brought me to Australia. My first marriage did not work out and after I had the time to grieve I had to think how I was going to move on from there. I decided that I needed to pursue my future. I wanted to further my study in Business in Australia and improve my English. I needed to do this before I can start my own restaurant business, if it’s at all possible”, Bia recalled “I planned it from the start that when I realized my dream, I will then go back to Thailand and bring them to live with me in Australia.”.
“My children were still very young at the time, but I was lucky that I always have the best support from my family. I know that once I can support myself and my family, I will then have the resources to raise my children to be a strong and to work as hard as me”.
Bia said “Coming from a family where I didn’t have to do anything, to a life in Australia where I had to do everything myself and had to work very hard, was not easy. I wanted to learn as much as possible from the restaurant owner I was working with and when I had the opportunity, I would open my own restaurant”.
She travels back to Thailand to be with her children every school holidays. She makes sure that she takes every opportunity to go back to see her children as much as possible, especially every mother’s day (Thai Mother’s day is on 12 August).
Asking how hard it is to raise her children from a long distance, she said, “As much as I want to provide the best love and care for them, I want them to also learn that life is not all smooth and rosy. I want my children to appreciate what they have and receive from others, respect others and never take things for granted. I want my children to realize that they have to learn to be able to do things themselves, not relying on nanny or aunties for help all the time. So every time they come to visit me, I will encourage them to work on a little jobs or small chores for me, like tidying up around the house so they can earn a little bit of pocket money which they love.”.
Bia agrees that motherhood is always a balancing act. For her it’s the balancing of business, clients, schedules, staff, family time in Australia, her two kids and her parents in Thailand. “It’s also the balancing act of self; the art of recognizing my own existence and what I want to do while raising my children from a distance. With the help of modern technology and regular visits to see each other, we don’t feel at all so far apart”. She said.
“It’s very fulfilling to know that it is possible to achieve what I want to achieve, while experiencing the love, struggle, nurture, crying, exhaustion and joy of raising my children. I have all the support of my family here in Australia and in Thailand. My mom and dad are like a second mom and dad to my children. I know wholeheartedly that my parents love my children just as much as I do.”