With the many hats a mother wears, whether she’s a stay at home or a working mother, what’s the exacted price for all that she does? It’s quite impossible to put a value for wanting to take care of her family. It’s a round-the-clock job, from waking up in the middle of the night to a hungry baby until the moment all the little ones are fed, bathed, and sound asleep in bed; she’s on call every second of the day.
She starts off with the basics as a laundry operator, housekeeper, transport minister, cook, janitor, logistics co-ordinator, interior designer, day-care teacher, grounds keeper, plumber, event planner, retail purchaser, nutritionist, nurse. And adding on to her ever increasing portfolio, the modern mother includes – a photographer, recreation therapist, accountant, coach, tailor, computer operator, educator, academic advisor, analyst and psychologist. She’s the ultimate CEO. Stacking up these jobs a mother does throughout the year, when it was asked how much a mother should be paid for the things they do around the house, some respondents said they should be paid from nothing to over $200,000.00 annually. According to a Time magazine survey, it’s neither. A mother’s work is priceless and makes it difficult to quantify.
A challenging question a mother is often asked – “What do you do?” It really means “What do you do besides looking after your family, cleaning your house, grocery shopping, and volunteering in your community?” The question touches on your identity and ambition, how others value you, and even how your children perceive you. The assumption that follows is, “What does someone pay you to do?”
There’s simply no way we can ever really thank our mothers for all they’ve done for us. She’s the one who’ll be awake all night when we’re sick, praying to God to make us well, being ever ready to bear the pain that we may be experiencing. She’s the one to wake up early in the morning to make the nicest tiffin, endure all our tantrums, who would constantly complain that we’re not eating enough or not eating right. She’d cook all sorts of things so that we’ll be strong and healthy. Mothers in fact, worry more for our examinations than we ever do.
I’ve spent several hours a week providing my children with emotional support, but I know I’m not trained in any capacity to evaluate their mental health. I’m their personal chef, and every other meal could be reheated leftovers or frozen dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, and do my culinary skills merit the salary of a personal chef?
I’ve nursed their wounds and given them their first haircut, dried their tears, removed the dirt stains out of their pants, packed their lunch, let them wear their superhero cape to school and taken pains to complete their school projects, leaving all other work aside while they play around with friends or catch up on their sleep. I probably worked hard, and did an amazing job. In fact, the jobs were countless — and all out of the goodness of my heart.
As a daughter, I remembered the afternoon teas, the afternoon trips shopping or pottering in the gardens with my mother’s collection of roses. And when I offered to help her in the kitchen, she’d wave me away, indicating I’ll be getting in her way. The fragrance of the Peranakan dishes never fails to create room in my then small full tummy. There’s always room for mum’s cooking. To this day, she tells me how I can improve on my recipes and cooking skills. These are the simple things I remember when growing up.
My mother was never the most patient person, but how God’s grace has tempered her. She displays the virtue of compassion and mercy, and watching her grow in faith and trusting God to meet her at every point has been amazing. She’s a beautiful daughter of God at 96 years old and the most precious day was when she received Jesus and was water baptised on 30 March 1986. A two-time cancer survivor in her seventies, and last year, God healed her, when she fell on two occasions, from bruises and a fine fracture on her backbone.
I want to honour my mother this Mother’s Day. The beauty of the name of Jesus and the joy of the Lord is her strength. God has kept her bones strong by His amazing grace. Encouraging herself in the Lord, for with God, nothing is impossible, and she constantly looks to the hope in Him.
“Motherhood is more than a stage – it’s a lifelong calling from God. With it, He gives us hearts that love deeply, hands that serve tirelessly, and vision to see His blossoming image in the precious ones entrusted to our care.” – Anonymous