By Gretel Lee

Good things come in pairs, as it is with this mother-daughter duo. Meaghan and Aunty Maria (as we affectionately call her at the WeBarre studios) are unlike any other. Fashion adviser, life coach, travel companion and high-tea buddies are just some ways to describe their tight relationship, with Aunty Maria attending the Barre classes that Meaghan teaches. When asked if it’s stressful having her mum in her classes, Meaghan quips, “At first it’ll be pretty stressful because she’ll be the most ‘judgey’ client ever. But after awhile, I’ve learnt to keep calm and do what I do.”

It seems like sports runs in this Indonesian family’s blood. In her hay days, Aunty Maria was a competitive swimmer for Indonesia, while Meaghan was in the school bowling team for 6 years. Meaghan reckons her active lifestyle has been nurtured from young, with her mum’s discipline and focus on sports having rubbed off on her. Having lived and studied in California for her Masters of Law in University of California, Berkeley, helped multiply her passion for fitness. “A social activity would very commonly be a spin class, HIIT workout or a run or along the Bay. I used fitness as an outlet from my studies, to reset and get back in the zone again. I guess I took that back home with me and it’s stuck ever since.” Meaghan also recollects that the best 2 years of her life were spent in California, and it’s all thanks to her mum’s support. She fondly remembers setting up her apartment in San Francisco with her mum’s help. “My mum and I had to move and fix up my IKEA and Crate and Barrel furniture by ourselves. Both of us carrying and pushing huge boxes into the apartment, trying to figure out how to piece together furniture parts and manually fixing them up is probably the funniest memory I have. I slept on a bed both of us fixed up together, and for awhile I was just crossing my fingers that it won’t break apart in the middle of the night!”

Meaghan looks to her mum for advice on all things big and small. “When I need an opinion on a decision I’m about to make and she validates it, I’m almost assured it will be the right decision. When I hit a wall, I turn to her.” Meaghan adds on jokingly, “I can always count on her to be brutally honest with me on my fashion choices.” Both count on each other for support and affirmation, with Aunty Maria describing Meaghan as being her confidante and “wise-advisor”. With Meaghan being the youngest in the family of 3 siblings, and being the only girl amongst her 2 brothers, it’s no wonder that her mum describes her as being “the princess type”. Be fooled not by Meaghan’s soft, gentle and demure nature though – Aunty Maria also adds that she is most proud of Meaghan’s determined and disciplined nature. She relates that as a child, Meaghan tore a ligament while practising for her first ballet performance, but pressed on to continue rehearsals in the lead up to the performance.

Besides bonding over Barre and heart-to-hearts, the two hang out over tea sometimes and take an annual trip together. Aunty Maria’s favourite trip was that to London where the two watched plays together and dined in old classic English restaurants. As with any mother’s wish for her child, Aunty Maria hopes for Meaghan to land a respectable, caring and loving soulmate. And of course with all children, the inevitable gripe is having to deal with their mother’s nagging. “I love her to bits but at times, (and I’m sure that’s how she feels towards me too), wish I had a remote control to mute her nagging, although I know she nags with good intentions!” In spite of it all, the two are still clearly best friends.

Leave a Reply