The Gen XY Lifestyle

Loretta Chen celebrates unsung heroes of parenting in M/OTHER

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Professor and entrepreneur Loretta Chen explores the concept of “mother” in this collection of 20 interviews with parents.

These are parents who have faced challenges or have themselves challenged the norms.

Through this book, the reader is taken along an accounting of how the role of a “mother” has been normalised and glamorised in heteronormative households.

It confronts readers to discover, and reflect about the ‘other’ mothers, such as rape survivors and terminally ill mothers, the recognition of teen, single, incarcerated, foster, surrogate, migrant and stepmothers and whether the ‘other’ mothers receive the support that “regular” mothers do.


Among the parents featured are:

  • Hillary, a thrice-divorced mother bringing up two children
  • Emily, who became a mother as a result of an act of sexual violence that led to conception
  • Maximillian and his partner, who engaged a surrogate mother in the US to conceive their twins

Readers come to understand their personal definition of what is a mother, how does one become a mother, and when do we think less of someone as a mother.

I choose to highlight these stories as I want to be able to foreground the challenges of the invisible m/others who raise children in extraordinary circumstances without the typical, societal frameworks of support. It is my hope that we can create open, diverse, inclusive and equitable platforms to allow for all of us to thrive as a connected community.

Dr. Loretta Chen, author of M/OTHER

M/OTHER is published by The Straits Times Press. The book is available at SGD30 / USD22 at all major bookshops, Kindle, Amazon and

Images credit to Dr. Loretta Chen and M/OTHER.