Che Engku Puan Sri Rozeeta and 5 other women on the true joys of motherhood
This month, we celebrate maternal bonds and motherly love in all its glory through the tatler_tatler_stories of 6 extraordinary women, including Che Engku Puan Sri Rozeeta.
Che Engku Puan Sri Rozeeta
Married to the late Tunku Tan Sri Abdullah, who passed away seven years ago, Che Engku Puan Sri Rozeeta is a single mum to 16-year-old twins. Her daughter, Tunku Intan Kurshiah, is everything she ever wanted her to be—intelligent, gorgeous, humble and well-grounded. “She takes her education seriously and is very driven,” Che Engku Rozeeta tells us with pride. She also reveals that it is always a joy to speak to her daughter’s teachers, who are full of praises for her.
In contrast, “my son Tunku Muhammad Shah Tunku Abdullah is more relaxed,” Che Engku Rozeeta says. According to her, he is exactly like his father—a perfect gentleman, articulate, generous, thoughtful and very kind. Similar to his twin sister, he too is very smart and receives similar feedback as his sister does, from his teachers.
Intan Nur Rowena Baker
Unlike the awful stepmother and stepdaughter relationships portrayed in fairy tales such as Snow White and Cinderella, the bond shared between Intan Nur Rowena Baker and her stepdaughter Tengku Intan Nur Qamarina is warm and organic. According to Rowena, the relationship she has with Qamarina is exactly the same as the one she has with her biological daughter, Kelly Roza.
“She knows she can call me anytime for support and vice versa,” Rowena reveals. “All my children call me ‘mummy’,” says the mother of one who became stepmom to Tengku Intan Nur Qamarina and Tengku Shah-Rul Yahaya after her marriage to Tengku Dato’ Sri Kamarulzaman. Although the couple are divorced, Rowena remains close to Qamarina and Shah-Rul.
Rekha von Bueren
When full-time mum Rekha von Bueren is not busy managing her three young kids—Arri, Leo and Tara—she often helps her husband, Nicklas, with his flourishing jewellery and home decor business, Lotus Arts de Vivre. We discover her secrets to raising three little ones while constantly travelling from Bangkok (where she resides) to her hometown in Malaysia.
Rekha was initially overwhelmed when she became a fi rst-time mother, but she quickly and surely got the hang of it. “Arri is a thinker who loves order and structure. He’s conservative, responsible and slightly bossy, which comes with the territory of being the big brother,” she tells about her eldest son, who is six years old.
Connie Tan and Lim Ai San
Lim Ai San and her mother-in-law, Connie Tan, also share a special bond. “I don’t think we need to describe our relationship, you can see for yourself,” Connie says with a laugh. True to her statement, we noticed during the shoot that both ladies love to joke around with each other and are totally comfortable with one another.
“We’re very casual, but I also have a lot of respect for my mother-in-law,” says Ai San who is currently pregnant with her third child. According to Ai San, Connie loves her family and will do all that she can to make sure her family is fed and comfortable. “She will nag us to drink more barley or sugar cane water on a hot day. She’s a good blend of traditional and modern characteristics."
We can say all the things we want about motherhood and being a mother but you’ll never know what it is really like to be a mother until you experience it for yourself. As we speak to Liyana Taff about her experience when she became a mother for the first time, we discover that although it is not at all easy, it is definitely worth it.
After 12 hours of labour, Liyana’s son Jaziel Mohamed Hashim was born on August 9, 2014. “Honestly speaking, the first few months were pretty tough—the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, the crazy hormones! No books or blogs can ever prepare you for motherhood,” she says. “I am very fortunate to have a supportive husband and amazing family members who were always there to support me, helping me with my son and ensuring that I was comfortable and relaxed.”
Click here to see an exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the shoot that comes with a special interview from the ladies on the true joys of motherhood. To read the full feature, click here to purchase the digital copy of the magazine or pick up a copy of Malaysia Tatler May 2016 issue, out in newsstands now.
Art direction: Allan Casal; Photography: Tian Xing from SHooting Star Studios; Styling: Bryna Kaur; Makeup: Zamri Zainol and Elma Salwana Rohani using Lancôme; Hair: Kay Tuan from Centro Hair Salon; Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.