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Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Special Tribute to the Mother of my Children

Commemorative days have always been stressful for me. Birthdays, anniversaries, other special days to celebrate the role of various individuals; and this of course includes Mothers' Day. In the week or two just before Mothers' Day, an unsaid pressure builds up in the mind of the father. This is mostly due to the unmentioned expectation that fathers are supposed to orchestrate how their children celebrate their mother on this special day. Mothers always seem to be the most prepared on Fathers' Day with cards, presents and other surprises, and a similar expectation is placed on the father. 

Another reason why Mothers' Day is so stressful for me is that giving is not one of my preferred love languages. Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages list gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and physical touch as the primary ways in which people show love. I am more comfortable with affirming others and spending quality time with them. So when it comes to thinking about what present to get for my sons' mother, or about making a card for her, it totally stresses me out. (Have I mentioned that you can count from the number of fingers in two hands how often I have given flowers to my wife during our almost seven years of marriage?)

This blog entry was therefore written to pay tribute to the mother of my children in a way that does not cause too much stress for me.
"I love you Mummy!"
To Sue, the faithful mother of Z and E:

A mother's day begins early with the crying of the younger child. He had just awakened after hearing his father leave the house for work, and is now crying inconsolably in his cot. Exhausted from the proceedings of the previous day, the mother struggles to her feet and saunters to the child's room to comfort him. The older child, who was awakened by his brother, promptly arises and makes his way to the living room, calling for his mother to provide him with cereal and other breakfast items.

The tired mother, still smiling in response to the cheerful demeanour of her older child, carries the younger to her room, where she prepares the milk that the crying infant needs. With hardly any time to spare, she makes her way to the living room, and tends to the feeding needs of the older child. By now, the younger child has finished his milk, and joins his brother in the living room. The mother plays a half-hour DVD on animals, a Bible story, or any other educational material, and then proceeds to wash up and prepare for school.

After the ending of the DVD, the children proceed to the dining table, where the mother introduces the topic of the day and engages both boys in learning activities. This could take the form of drawing or painting or even song and dance. By this time the younger child is tired out from all the hard work. The mother bathes both children, and puts the infant to sleep in the comfort of his room. She then allows the older child to play on his own, before proceeding to prepare lunch for the family.

By lunchtime, the younger boy is rested and all ready to get active again. The mother feeds both children, and engages them in post-lunch activities such as reading and playing. Both children are then ready to take their afternoon nap and are sent to their room with yummy delicious milk in their tummies.
Sue and the boys at an indoor playground where she
tirelessly plays with them.
It is about this time that the father returns from work and spends a short time talking to the mother, who is by now exhausted from a whole morning with the boys. She takes a short nap, but is awakened only too soon by the children. The family then goes for a walk in the park and then for dinner; with the mother almost completely exhausted by now - a result of both parents having to chase their energetic children while at the park. Once the family returns home, the father puts the younger child to bed as the mother tends to the older boy. They engage in a lovely time of reading, Bible stories and prayer, before the lights go out. 

But the day is not done yet. The parents enjoy a brief moment of rest over a DVD drama serial episode before the mother gets back to the housework of laundry and ironing. There is also much time spent on searching for educational resources over the Internet and preparing for a new day of school. Only then can the mother drag her tired body to bed; but not before she prepares the morning bottle of milk for the younger child and checks in on the children in their room to make sure that they are ok...

The above account is only an optimistic overview of the work that my children's mother does. There are so many aspects in any given day that could turn each moment into a situation of crisis and chaos. Take for instance the breakfast meal. There have been more than one instance when the younger child has chosen to empty the cereal all over the floor, followed by the action of also overturning the water all over the living room sofa. Then there has also been the crisis of the DVD player, during which the younger boy merrily decides to press the "off" button on the player, sending the older child into hysterics as his morning show had been interrupted. And, there is the incessant pummelling of the toilet door, as either or both children decide that they want their Mummy so badly that nothing else would do.
The younger one during one of his "cooking" sessions.
Schooling. What happens when the older child is happily painting and the younger boy decides to run the colours all over the table or over his face, hand and onesie, with a few juicy fingers thrust into his mouth? Or imagine the older boy being instructed to trace the alphabet letters with his pencil but he instead chooses to only draw large circles on the paper for that day. 

Then there are the times when the children refuse to go to sleep, resulting in the poor Mummy having no rest at all. For instance the older child would give all sorts of excuses and ask for all sorts of things to eat (beginning with chocolate cookies, almonds, seaweed and possibly even chicken rice) as well as all kinds of stories to be read to him before he would sleep. As for the younger child, he would sometimes refuse to sleep in the morning, insisting instead to "cook" together with his Mummy and trying to eat the raw food from the chopping board. There are of course those moments when the two boys are left alone in their room and you hear them jabbering away non-stop, both refusing to sleep as they seem to be enjoying each other's company too much.

I get tired just thinking of the numerous things that my children's mother has to deal with each day. But what's precious is that she does them anyway, rain or shine; whether I'm at work or at home; whether she's well or sick. I know she does them because she loves our children so much; and I know that's also one of the reasons why I love her so much.


So blessed that my boys have such a wonderful mother!
Wishing you a Blessed Mothers' Day; and may God give you the strength to love the children tirelessly each and every day. 

I love you.

Mummy shares what she has learnt from Parenting in the Mundane here.

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