While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. ~ Angela Schwindt (Chicken Soup for the Soul – From Lemons to Lemonade)
It was a perfect wedding with the sunset in Bali casting a romantic palette of radiant gold and violet blue over the spectacular resort we were at as we witnessed a girlfriend’s happy union with the love of her life.
As requested by the host to keep the wedding small and intimate, my friend Jay and I left our kids and hubs in Singapore and KL respectively for 3 days to attend this wedding at Bali. It turned out to be a really rare, superfun me-time to indulge in a good spa, sip a few glasses of champagne, wine and Mojito and together with the other three girlfriends, share some bikini-dipping in our private villas at night as we tried to count the stars and recalled some girly jokes about the time when we all worked in the same fashions company some years ago.
As the gorgeous Balinese singer and her guitarist serenade us with jazzy love songs, Jay who has recently moved the family to Singapore due to her husband’s job posting and I took the time to catch up with each other on our motherhood tale. It’s a mother’s thing, every conversation we have naturally leads to our children – we never seem to get tired talking anything and everything about our pride and joy.
Because I have always fancied being a stay-at-home mom if we had the means one day, I asked Jay if she had missed anything in the last 3 years of walking out from work to wok, to become a stay-at-home mom. Jay pondered seriously and told me that there were three things she missed most. The first was being able to get dressed with a purpose every morning, secondly, the financial freedom of indulging in and buying things that you fancy with your own money (much as her loving husband provides her a comfortable life and shopping allowance) and most importantly, a sense of self-importance.
When I asked her to explain the self-importance part, Jay said softly that recently her husband was invited to speak in their Church as a guest to encourage youths. As he went up on stage and started sharing about his career, her oldest boy John who is almost-five, just watched his dad in complete adoration, and gushed the whole time that dad was so cool and so awesome to be giving a speech in front of such a big audience. As she sat there next to John and taking care of her second son, George who was 16 months old, she couldn’t help but felt her tears welled up as she realised that her two young boys have not seen her daily attentive care and love for them as anything as worthy as what their dad did.
“In a way, I am just a milk-maker for them,” she said with a sense of loss. “Day in, day out, I am just the “Mom, I need my milk bottle” mom, all I am to them is just the person who cooks, make their milk for them, give them their showers and worst, a house cleaner! They didn’t think I was as awesome as their dad,” she said.
“Oh no, dearie, don’t you ever think like that, Jay, gosh, you are the most amazing mom I have ever known!” I reached out to Jay’s hand with mine with a gentle, encouraging squeeze. “They are still young, that’s all. And come on, back then you were a Marketing Manager for a big international brand and you did so well! We really have done some kick-ass fashion shows and campaigns back then, don’t you forget that” I said.
“And God places us just right where He needs us to build a strong generation of God-loving people who are faithfully grounded on His rock, so to be able to partake in that is AWESOME! This is AWESOME!” I said.
“Thanks dear, I know, I know, I mean, I love them to bits but if only I could preserve that self-importance I once held when I had a job!” Jay said longingly. “What about you, thought you wanted to take the same path?” she asked.
“I do, in fact the dream never died, much as I have said this repeatedly in the last 10 years!!” I said with a chuckle. “I love to just give them the hugs as they come home from school and cook dinner together as a family and I would probably just feel really happy to even have the time to stitch the lose buttons on their school uniforms. But God hasn’t placed that path in front of me right now. Hubby’s business is going through some tough time now and I am just grateful that I still have a job to share the financial burden. Anyway, I am making myself a little more useful since I can’t iron as fast as you do, dearie,” I said with a smile.
“I think you are a wonderful mom and wife, you always have this positive attitude for life and you show great love and support you have for Daddy Joe and the kids,” Jay gave me a warm hug as we both accepted that life as we know it, just don’t pan out the way we want sometimes. We always think that the other side is just better, greener, more fulfilling and even happier.
But I know that a mother’s love endures through, whether work or stay home. We gain strength as mothers as we tend to our garden with our seed of love and watch our young plants grow into the strong, beautiful trees that they will be one day. So be encouraged, fellow mommies, for your love and care for the family do make you the most awesome being in the whole world.
Happy Mother’s Day – wishing you a lifetime of being happily surrounded by the love of your life! And to my own mom, who is the rock of my life, I love you, mama, 母亲节快乐！
（Carnation）photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbgrigby/3558580487/”>mbgrigby</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
(Mom & Child） photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesgoodmanphotography/7428401714/”>jamesgoodmanphotography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses