If you asked me who’s the strongest woman I know, I’d point to my mother.
By 36, she was a mother to 5 girls — and having 5 children doesn’t come cheap. My mother sacrificed her figure to have my sisters and I. She threw away her social life in order to care for us.
When we were younger, most of her time was spent working and helping out my sisters in their schoolwork. She had little time for her own friends and relaxation. This is someone who would wake up at 4am every morning to make breakfast: Soft-boiled eggs and ham sandwiches.
And yet we’d whined about how we were sick of the same meals every day.
We weren’t a well-to-do family, barely making ends meet each month. So my parents took on a lot of stress for us — constantly thinking about money and how to pay off all the bills.
But I realised that the things she’d been doing for us weren’t necessary. By that, I mean she didn’t have to make breakfast for us as we were more than capable to do it ourselves. It was the same with housework and schoolwork … And yet she did it anyway.
She didn’t complain about the amount of time and effort she spent on the family. She wore her many hats and played her many roles in the family with joyful sacrifice.
When I reflect on the extent of love my earthly mother has for us, it makes me wonder how much more our heavenly Father loves us.
I remember when my mum was pregnant with my fifth sister. What should have been a joyous occasion was actually one of anger for my older sister and I. We were upset that our parents wanted another child.
We complained that there wasn’t enough space in the house. We even played the financial card — that we didn’t have the capacity to raise another life. As if we were slogging our guts out like Mum.
I remember how my sister and I couldn’t stop crying when the announcement was made. We even vowed to make it a point to remind my parents how big a mistake they were making.
Yet my parents spent a long time comforting the both of us, promising to work hard to ensure everyone was well taken care of. They reassured us that it was going to be okay, that God would provide for our needs.
To my shame, we persisted in making Mum’s life a lot tougher than it should have been. Throughout her 3 trimesters of pregnancy, we constantly reminded her that the baby was going to be a burden rather than a joy.
I even threw cloves of garlic at my mother’s belly to “ward off the evil spirit.” My mum was heartbroken — and I will always wish that I could take it all back.
I bore a huge grudge towards my youngest sister until the day she arrived into this world. But I remember all the anger and annoyance vanishing right as I held her at the hospital. Suddenly all the worries and doubts I had about our future didn’t matter in the moment.
I thought I had a glimpse of what a mother’s love looked like — even though I wasn’t the one who had gone through the pain of pregnancy and the difficult 9 months. In fact I was just a bystander, someone who jeered at my mother from the sidelines.
After my sister was born, my mum kept the promise she made to us when she first announced her pregnancy.
She worked doubly hard to keep up with the increasing expenditure and needs of the family. Taking on a new job, more of her time and energy was taken up. But despite all of this, she continued to ensure her roles in the family weren’t neglected.
My mum is the closest thing I know of sacrificial love. When I reflect on the extent of love my earthly mother has for us, it makes me wonder how much more our heavenly Father loves us.
While growing up in a big family wasn’t easy for me, I can’t imagine what it takes to raise one.
Thank you, Mum. I’m glad God placed me in our family. I see His love, provision and protection through you.❤