Love makes all things light…
“While love takes on itself impossible tasks, yet it finds that love lightens all loads. It is the same burden that wings are to a bird, sails are to a ship. Nothing is hard if done for love’s sweet sake. The yoke of love is easy; the yoke of duty is hard. There is all the difference in the world between being drawn by love and being driven by duty. The task may be the same, but love makes everything light, and duty makes everything drudgery.” ~ Stanley Jones
When I don’t measure up…
I agreed to come on board this blog train with much self-doubt. Among my contemporaries, I feel unqualified to pen a piece on how I made Motherhood ‘work’. Truth to be told, I often feel inadequate as a Mom. I don’t measure up to other Moms around me. I can’t home-school, I can’t cook well, I can’t play the piano, I can’t sew for nuts. I am quick to anger (my husband can attest to that), my words can be hurtful. I am neither eloquent, nor virtuous nor slim and pretty. I fuss over the small stuff and make everyone at home tense. If I am ever a full time homemaker, I think my kids would wither under my charge.
When the mundane multiplies…
Yet broken and inferior as I am, God has handpicked me to be the Mom to our two precious children. Whether I like it or not, I have to make it work. Daily, I asked for God’s mercies, to empower me to pick up one more diaper, to soothe one more bout of fever, to wake for one more night feed, to brave one more public commute in the rain to send the baby into childcare…to allow my heart to be disappointed time and again by my soon-to-be tween…I am but a vessel and steward of God, given only a short lifetime to mould the hearts and lives of my children. How can I bear such a sacred responsibility on my own shoulders? Mothers have their tipping points too Lord.
When God sends a village…
My husband is the greatest source of encouragement to me. His partnership and devotion to the kids, to the family and to our marriage is the chief reason why this household is still intact. He stands in the gap willingly and never keeps score. He taught me how to love our kids unconditionally. I would never make it as a Mom (or a wife) without his faith in me.
I have a somewhat awkward relationship with my mum. Growing up, I begrudged her for not being able to provide my sister and me with a happy childhood. She worked two jobs as a single mum so I seldom get to see her, much less bond. We were never close. Despite that, after I became a Mom myself, she was the one who would come to my ‘rescue’. She was there when I delivered my still-borns; she was there when we had maid woes. Whenever there was a crisis, she came and showed support, in ways big and small. Her presence in the midst of the storms comforts me.
My Bosses and Colleagues.
I was blessed to have met two understanding bosses in the past decade where I was granted flexi part-time work arrangement. Being home in the afternoons did much good to my daughter’s early years. I also count it a bonus to have a small handful of caring, jovial colleagues to lunch and commiserate with.
As the Chinese saying goes, ‘Good neighbours are closer than far-away relatives’. We have been blessed to meet some good neighbours living in the same estate. The kids play together, and the adults meet for fellowship on special occasions. On days when we were occupied, they would offer to bring Dana out for play dates and even help to walk Dana to school. We are also beneficiaries of yummy home-cooked meals. When life hits us hard, simply being in the company of good people restores hope.
Friends of Faith.
When we were grieving for our child losses, our world crashed. Our cell members and Christian friends rallied around us. They prayed with us and cried with us. They gave us space to heal and gently supported us as we come to terms with the (cruel) will of God. Death wasn’t taboo to them; in fact, they reminded us of the blessed assurance that one day, we would meet our babies who had gone before us.
My Sister (and Brother-in-law).
My sister loves (and pampers) my kids like her own. During my 3 months’ bed rest in the hospital, she brought fresh flowers to cheer me up weekly. She acted as my proxy to buy a birthday gift for my husband when I was confined to the hospital. My sister and her husband’s generosity and love towards my family humble me. We’ve since appointed them legal guardians of our kids in our will.
Friends Through Blogging.
God has been kind to send very trustworthy friends along my way since I started the blog, parent blogger friends and PR agency friends, to be specific. Some were there rejoicing with us the night we welcomed Buddy home, others celebrated other milestones with us. In sharing our parenting struggles and victories, we grew closer and became family friends. I have grown to appreciate the support from this online community so very much. Our kids hit off well too. This brings me immense joy.
I don’t know what I did to deserve these two beautiful children from God. I feel ashamed that I haven’t been a good-enough Mom and I haven’t been as patient with them as I should. But kids have such immense propensity to forgive. No matter how many times their Mom has faltered, they will still snuggle up next to me and tell me, “Mommy I love you”.
Motherhood is tough, regardless whether I am a FTWM or a SAHM or a WAHM. But with this ecosystem of people rallying behind me and inspiring me daily, I aspire to take baby steps to be a better Mom, everyday, by God’s grace. To all the Mommies who labors day in and out, feeling unappreciated or unworthy, allow me to bless you with this poem this Mothers’ Day.
“I started my day early,
Before the room was light.
I lifted my son from his crib
And wished it was still night.
But as I held him close and said,
“Hi, baby, precious one,”
I knew that as I greeted him,
I greeted too God’s Son.
When my daughter woke up later,
Calling, “Mommy! Mommy! Down!”
I picked her up and hugged her
In her worn Elmo nightgown.
I know she felt the closeness
That a mother’s touch affords.
I welcomed not just my daughter,
But so, too, the Lord of Lords.
That day, I mixed some formula
And opened jars of peas.
I fixed some “pizza butter” bread
When she grinned and said, “Pleeeeease.”
I heated up some leftovers;
I had to nuke them twice.
And when I fed my children,
I was feeding Jesus Christ.
I made some funny faces,
And “played puzzles” on the floor.
I dressed kitties, ran around outside,
And played with them some more.
We laughed and jumped and tickled,
Making memories to be stored.
When I spent time with my children,
I spent time with my Lord.
I wiped up sticky cereal
And washed the dishes clean.
I straightened, picked up, put away,
And dusted in between.
I did six loads of laundry
And folded it like new.
When I cleaned for my children,
I cleaned for my Savior, too.
When my children were both crying,
I held them in my arms.
I cuddled them and whispered
That I’d keep them safe from harm.
I told them how their Father saved them
With His perfect Lamb.
When I comforted my children,
I comforted I AM.
Later on that evening,
I put them in the bath.
I washed their little bodies
As they kicked around and splashed.
I dried them in soft towels
And put their jammies on.
When I had washed my children’s feet,
I’d washed the Holy One.
I cooked and cleaned and rearranged,
Made beds and taught and played.
I made sure that we had food to eat
And that we often prayed.
I died to self. I made a home
From ordinary things.
But when I served my children,
I served the King of Kings.
To some, I have done nothing,
But to two, I’ve done the world.
I made eternal difference
To my precious boy and girl,
And to the One who watches over
Every pathway that I’ve trod.
For when I’ve loved my precious children,
I’ve loved Almighty God.”
Written by Megan Breedlove
At last week’s stop, Hai Fang from Malmal Our Inspiration shared with us six useful ways which helped her juggle this monster called ‘Motherhood’. Hai Fang is a stay-at-home mom to 2 boys aged 7 and 13. She believes in eating healthy but has a weakness for simple sugar. Cycling and running is her way of keeping sane and writing forces her to think coherently. Pop by her post to read it.
At next week’s stop, we will be visiting Debs G at Owls Well as she considers the challenges that her Aged P faced as a stay-at-home-parent. Debs is a Sunda Scops Owl who married a nice British Barn Owl and is raising a trio of hungry young owlets in a highrise tree in Singapore. Debs is a trained medical professional who is currently training to be A Parent.