The perfect, imperfect mother
Sometimes it still seems surreal that, in the span of eight and a half years, I have given birth to six boys.
It is truly amazing what my body has brought forth, and I can only thank God for the children that He has given us.
Motherhood is such a gift.
Such a privilege.
Whether I am grieving for Cameron or making Lewis his porridge or laughing at Jamie's antics or persuading Pete to put on a jacket or marvelling at the books Angus is reading or helping Edward as he jumps down from the back of our four wheel drive, it is all sacred. And beautiful. And worth documenting and remembering.
When I was younger, I pictured myself building hotels. I had read a book called Lucky in my first year of high school, and I had modelled my life's ambitions after the heroine's achievements and career. I would be confident, determined, powerful, rich, famous, and successful—just like her. I would walk into my flagship hotel and be greeted by all the staff. "Ms Chan," they would say, heads bowed as I walked past.
I chuckle now when I recall these youthful ambitions and fantasies of mine. Yet they were so real at the time and the driving force behind my constant involvement in extra-curricular activities. From high school to university, I participated in every possible club or association that I could think of, eager as I was to adorn my resume with attractive details that showcased my industry and versatility.
Being a mother was never a “dream” as such. I merely assumed I would become one because that's what I thought happened to everybody. You get married, and you have children. I knew nothing of the brokenness of this world. Infertility, miscarriages, stillbirth, death, heartbreak, grief—those were all foreign concepts to me. I may have heard of them, but the reality was hidden far from me.
Some days, I yearn for that naivety. That innocence.
I am not a perfect mother. Not even close. So many days I wake up dreading the task ahead. I long for more sleep, and more rest. I hunger for alone time. I use my stern voice in situations when a gentler approach would be more appropriate. I distract myself with the iPhone when I should be giving the boys attention. I flinch when I hear them fight. I tell them to wait and don't answer their questions. I get grumpy. I get impatient. I get frustrated. I get angry. I get tired. And sometimes I just get tired of it all.
Truly, I am imperfect in every way.
Yet I am the perfect mother for my boys, because I am their mother.
I am their mother, and they are my boys.
I love them with all my heart, and I would happily die for them.
For any one of them.
For all of them.