A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Thoughts

Reading my blog, you probably harbour the strange idea that I don't enjoy my children that much. Well... you'd be... not right.
Although it's against the grain to gush over the girls, I do appreciate them from on the macro to the quantum level. They've changed my life in ways that I am only beginning to fully appreciate but mostly they've taught me about reality.
As the story goes, I was born an idealist... a dreamer... a lover of books... an escapist to far away places where I was the heroine of my stories, captain of my fate. My mind seldom stops which is probably why that as a grown up I'm paying for it with sporadic insomnia and broken sleep.
When I went to  university, I found my niche... I studied the history of ideas, I read great novels and learnt to write. More importantly I met a wonderful man that I liked and thought he was someone that I could spend my life with. But great as it all was, I lived in a bubble... a dream within a dream... and I didn't feel like needed to grow up.

When I turned 30, I had my first child... that's when my bubble burst. For the first time, I had to grow up... there was no fairy tale... there was just bloodsoaked breastfeeding, tears, and dirty nappies. Suddenly I had to smell the earthiness of the world around me and I didn't like it all that much. Such fragility... and so dependent... and so incomprehensible at times.
For a time I fought it... why couldn't I go back to how things were... but seeing a precious new life growing before my very eyes I now understood that I had entered a new season... although I was too much of a child still to see what that would mean. It wasn't just a paradigm shift, it was a global earthquake, with the plates below my feet re-adjusting themselves and the continents in my world were being remade.

I became more melancholic than I had been... but God was determined that I should learn to give unconditionally... so he gave me an extrovert. A child with a sunny disposition, with no fear of giving and demanding affection... She loved the people around her unabashedly and she taught me to love them too.

After years of ahhming and ahhing... I finally decided that two would be better than one. And 3 years on... I can say that, in spite of the daily morning sibling battles and the hyperactivity, I have been proven right.

Having children too has brought me into the world where many others live. I've made many new friends, and
I've had new opportunities to serve now that I've come to know many other like-minded mums. I thank God for MOPS and what that has meant for my own parenting and for extending my sphere of influence.

The year I turned 37, my mother left us for heaven. She had been a rock in my life. My mothering world had been more tolerable because of her. Her departure changed my life again forever. But this time it was the children that saved me from plunging in to the depths. For them, I gained courage... for their sake, I felt compelled to move on... to become half the mother that my own mother was. DD #1 would remember grandma fondly but No.2 would never really know her.

When my oldest turned 8, I realised how much I missed my mother's wisdom in bringing up a child. I thought too that when I had a school aged child, that things would be easier... but it hasn't been. With mounting pressure to try and solve a whole multitude of issues, I made the difficult choice of leaving a job that I loved to become a better mother to a child struggling with mathematics and classroom etiquette. This is reality... we have to make choices... life is made so much more complicated when there's so many more to think through.

In the past fifteen months, I have really come to understand the awesome responsibility of raising children into adults. I have come to realise that if I don't champion on behalf of my children, no one else will. Mothering is more than bringing children into the world or even providing the everyday necessities and occasional luxuries. Mothering is a stewardship... a divine calling... to train children into adults. Everyday I remind myself of this simple truth:

If I don't do it... no one else will.

And that truth, more than anything else, brings me crashing back down to earth with a thud.


  1. Oh Lilian, I see myself in you in this particular post. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I am a mother and that I have to grow up and be responsible. It's my greatest challenge and one that I fail miserably at sometimes. It's encouraging to know that I don't suffer alone and that others feel or have felt the way I do so often.
    I love your blogs. Keep up the great writing. xx

  2. I can identify with you in so many ways. I found the transition to Motherhood VERY difficult. You can read about it here:

    My mother died four years ago (at age 51) and it's so hard to mother without her. I was 27 at the time.

    You are so right, if I don't do it... no one else will


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