On the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I sent my mother a bouquet of flowers with a note “Please show me the way to be a good mother.” It’s sweet, I know. But if you know about the relationship I had with my mother, you’ll know that it’s weird.
My mother and I weren’t exactly the best of friends, and despite the love we have between us, we didn’t get along too well. I always felt that she favored my brothers who might be more obedient that I was. I was highly opinionated and stubborn and I usually didn’t agree with her or her expectations. Despite the good we share on our good days, our relationship was filled with conflicts, fights, and dramatic arguments. When I found out I was growing a little girl inside of me, my fear materialized. Call it hormonal or whatever you want, but I was scared to the core that my daughter was going to be just as miserable as I was.
To me, the note I sent to my Mom was a clear message, a loud cry for help, and a blinking sign in the middle of my dark road, telling me I was scared because I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was going to do. I was so scared that I’d run to just about anyone for cover. But no matter how scared I was, there was no turning back. There was no pause or rewind button on this life-changing process. Of course, the relationship with my mother didn’t repair itself suddenly and I was still left clueless and scared. I turned to God and asked Him to show me how to be a good mother for my child.
As mysterious as God works, the answer to my prayer came in a form of my old childhood diary I haven’t seen in a long time. Most people would find their old diaries and laugh at how silly they used to be. I read mine and wept. One particular entry caught my attention. It was entitled “the confessions of an unwanted child”. Apparently, I had just been in a fight with my mom who may have called me something in anger that hurt me. As I read the angry and messy handwriting in red with smudges where the tears used to be, I remembered the feeling I had clearly. I didn’t even remember this happened and suddenly at that very moment, I felt a deep pang in my heart. I could not hold back the tears as I read the last few words on the page: “and when everything else fails, God will lead me back. So all I have to do is keep my faith and let Him show me the way.” God was there. When I was pained, when I was scared, He was there. He was there when I feared for myself and He was still there when I feared for my child. It was a tiny miracle that reminded me who was still on my side.
After my daughter was born, I had many moments of extreme cluelessness, panic and fear; even more after my sons were born. No matter what grade I got in college or how many books I read on parenting, nothing could have prepared me enough for the thrill that is motherhood. Still, I kept in mind that God was on my side, guiding me and strengthening me.
I’m happy to say that I am now able to make life-changing decisions fearlessly, to love and to grow my children with love. I’ve learned to take responsibility over the little precious gifts that God so knowingly bestowed upon me. I’ve also learned to forgive my mom and consciously began the process of repairing our relationship. I’ve got to say that I’m pretty happy with where we are now.
I don’t know when I’ve transformed from that scared little girl into the brave and confident mother I am today. But I do know that God’s divine intervention has been present every step of the way. And I know that it is He who is teaching me to be a good mother for my children, everyday.
It is a relief to know that I won’t be alone to face the challenges that come as my children grow. It is a relief because I am now free to weave big dreams for them as they sleep, comfort them during thunderstorms and dance with them in the sunlight. It is a relief to be nothing else but grateful for their presence in my life. And it is a bigger relief to know that the God in my life will be the same God that lives in the lives of my children.
As I write this on my bed with the Wonderbabies softly snoring in the background, I am reminded of He who is faithful. And for His faithfulness alone, I am grateful beyond words.
PS: Thank you, Herna, for sharing your space with me today.