10 Ways That Mum Made NS Easier


Mother’s Day is coming up soon and ya’ll have about a¬†week left to buy your gifts and make your restaurant reservations!

In case you need some motivation, here are some ways that Mums supported their sons during their National Service (NS) days. Gleaned from real-life interviews with mothers and sons (who we are keeping anonymous to protect their manliness).



1) She fed you your favourite food

Food comforts the soul. And after raising you for 18 years, you can bet Mum knows what dishes you miss the most. Besides, there’s nothing like combat rations and cookhouse food during the first few weeks of NS to remind you of what you used to take for granted back home.


(Picture Source)


2) She took care of your laundry

Your Mum is probably the only woman in your life who’s not going to utter a word of complaint at the smell of your uniform and gear after a week in camp. Yes – we’re talking to all you lazy soldiers who accumulated your dirty laundry for book-out instead of washing them in camp during the week!



3) She even polished your boots

It’s strange how Mum could polish your boots so well when she herself had never used them. Mums are just amazing that way.



4) She lent a listening ear (and a shoulder to cry on)

As much as you macho men won’t admit it, NS was probably a pretty emotional time, especially at the beginning. Recruits were flung into a new world of physical and mental challenges that they never experienced as civilians. Add to that the loneliness of being away from everything that was once familiar and comforting.

But as long as you weren’t too proud to ask for some emotional support, Mum was ever-willing and always there to give you a pat on the back and some words of encouragement to see you through your days in training.


(Picture Source)


5) She drove you home from camp

Book-out timings were often unpredictable. For Mums (and Dads) who could drive, this meant that they’d sacrifice their own time to wait outside your camp – sometimes for over an hour and into the late night, and in ulu places like Changi Ferry Terminal¬†– just so that they could bring you home earlier to get more rest. =’)



6) She pampered you like a king at home

If you needed a cold drink and a snack whilst catching up on TV, Mum would make sure you got it without having to move an inch. And if members of the household were creating a ruckus in the morning whilst you were still in bed, they’d get sush-ed by Mum so that you could sleep in late.



7) She massaged your aching feet

An extension of the “king treatment” at home came in the form of free foot massages. These were a god-sent, especially for those who had flat feet and suffered more pain on route marches during NS.



8) She showed how proud she was of you by boasting to relatives and friends

Whilst Dad may have sniggered when you told him you were appointed Bunk IC, Mum thought the world of it and boasted about how much responsibility you were given¬†in camp. Bottom line: she borderline worshiped you so that you’d have an ego boost at a time when you were feeling most unsure about yourself.



9) She invited your girlfriend over

Okay, so maybe this was her way of getting you to stick around during the weekends, but it was definitely comforting to see her welcome your significant other into the family and spending time together.

Source: The Reunion Dinner (2011)


10) She made sure you had everything you needed for book-in

Most guys are scatterbrains when it comes to packing. And after a weekend of revelry from booking-out, it was not uncommon to be caught with not enough toothpaste, shampoo or other stuff for camp the next week. Enter mum to the rescue. Washing powder, black tape, your favourite bolster¬†you name it – nothing escaped her attention and she got you just what you needed so that you’d have one less thing to stress about during book-in.



So every chance you get (not just on Mother’s Day!), remember to take some time to show Mum that you appreciate her for all the sacrifices and love she’s given to you!


Cover photo from Ah Boys to Men (2012)