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From one tired stay-at-home mother to another: “God is with us”

This Mother's Day week, Salt&Light honours all mothers and their daily efforts big and small.

Mindy Wang // May 4, 2022, 4:39 pm

WhatsApp Image 2022-05-04 at 8.00.34 PM

"Becoming a full-time stay-home mum was the last thing I thought I would be doing," says this mother of three homeschooled children. Photos courtesy of Mindy Wang.

“Today I don’t feel like doing anything. I just wanna lay in my bed.”

Such an upbeat song, yet Bruno Mars’ lyrics hit differently in December 2019, when I was heavily pregnant and ill, and my husband and two toddlers (then three and four years old) were sick and vomiting every hour.

We had no help. We did not live near family and also did not want to get anybody else sick. So we pulled ourselves out of bed, wiped the floors and did laundry every hour. On Christmas Eve, I fainted from the sickness and exhaustion.

Mindy with her daughter, Lauren, after the fainting episode over Christmas.

My third and youngest child was born just a few days into the Covid-19 lockdown. I found the quiet and isolated hospital to be a relief. But it was punctuated by two- to three-hour feedings and the ever-present anxiety of “are the kids okay without us at home?” (Don’t worry, they weren’t alone.)

Best decision ever?

What seemed like an eternity ago, I made the decision to stop splitting my energy between work and parenting.

Becoming a full-time “stay home mum” was the last thing I thought I would be doing in my thirties.

Skating was one activity that Mindy had to put on the backburner after she became a mother. She isn’t able to skate every day like she once used to, but now she savours the short sessions that she manages to squeeze in between mom-duties.

In a recent coaching meeting, my advisor was surprised to hear that I was a stay-at-home parent. “You need to be in a high level of excellence environment to feel alive,” he said, upon evaluating my personality and strengths.

I felt like crying.

Because what he said made me realise that the constant foggy feeling I had was actually me feeling dead at home. But I made the choice to have children, and to stay home, didn’t I? Won’t it be worth it in the end?

An agnostic friend asked recently if I was homeschooling the children so that they would become Christians. Would I be okay if they ultimately decided to pursue a different religion? Bruh, I think about that all the time.

Just one example of the mess at home that she deals with on a regular basis. “Just looking at this photo gives me a headache,” Mindy says.

It’s the most demotivating thought ever – that all your efforts and sacrifice do not come with a 100% guarantee. (Besides, I often think that I am not doing a good enough job anyway.)

So I spent much of 2020 and 2021 in bed. In a mental and physical fog. 

An uncomfortable question

My children rise and they mess up the entire house first thing in the morning. They yell and fight and make me play referee when I am in the middle of something.

What’s the issue? I had no answer – and that’s uncomfortable for me.

My back hurts all the time. I am tired all the time. I can’t think straight because of the constant noise and interruptions. I get anxious thinking about all the things I have yet to accomplish. 

Sometimes I would come across social media posts or articles talking about how we mothers should enjoy these years because they will not last. Or how being a mother is difficult but such a blessing. It almost felt like the Internet was trying to guilt-trip me into feeling joyful and fulfilled, but it didn’t work. 

My brain would circle back to the time when I was a working parent. That was no walk in the park either. So what was the issue?

I had no answer – and that’s uncomfortable for me.

Mother’s Day incoming

With Mothers’ Day hanging in the air, I realised that my complex emotions needed acknowledgment.

Given my complicated childhood, I don’t have the same urge to celebrate it the way most people do. With the added stressors of parenthood, it seemed more of an approaching storm cloud than a summer breeze to me.

Through my delirious ranting, resentful complaints, self-pitying mess, He’s there. 

“Where are you, God?”

See, I ask this question, not because I don’t know He’s there (otherwise why would I bother talking to Him?), but because He didn’t give me any answers nor change my circumstances.

What I really want is a way out of the fog, out of the pain.

God doesn’t promise us that.

“In this world you have will have trouble”, it says in John 16:33. 

But He’s there. Through my delirious ranting, resentful complaints, self-pitying mess, He’s there. 

Joshua 1:9 says: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Some rare me-time for Mom.

The promise here isn’t salvation from earthly sufferings – it’s Immanuel. God with me; God with us. And I don’t have to hide who I am from Him. I can bring all my sorrows and issues to Him day after day and He will never go: “Ugh! Not again …” simply because “He will not grow tired or weary” (Isaiah 40:28), unlike us human parents.

There is comfort in knowing that He is there, listening, caring, loving.

God’s swift reply

This January, I had hit a new low. I felt stuck, physically broken and depressed.

My husband asked what he could do to help me, and I replied: “I don’t even want to say it, because I know it’s impossible. I need a full physical and mental break from everyone and everything. I need to go away for a month.”

The promise here isn’t salvation from earthly sufferings – it’s Immanuel.

I cried out in my heart that night to God: I am at my limit!

All of a sudden, things happened. Just two days later, due to extenuating circumstances, I had to fly to a different country and spent six weeks away from my children while friends and family gathered around to help.

Even though the circumstances surrounding those six weeks were challenging, I was still stunned at how swiftly God answered this desperate plea for help in my heart.

One courageous step at a time

For the past seven years, I had gotten so used to running the marathon that I didn’t expect to catch a break.

I wish I had something super wise to elegantly end this article with – but I don’t, partly because I’m not sure if I am quite out of the fog yet. Perhaps I still have some way to go before crossing over to the other side with green grass and rainbows.

Some lessons can only be learnt when we have finally come to the end of ourselves and stretch our hands out in earnest to God.

If hindsight is 20/20, then I’m still waiting for a new pair of glasses. 

But what I hope you can take away from here is this:

  • You can be honest with God about your struggles because He cares for you
  • There are people out there who are struggling too (like me)
  • Don’t give up, ask for help

I don’t have the most compelling reason for the last point, but I will share that I haven’t given up on my journey of motherhood not simply out of duty, but also out of pure curiosity. If motherhood is indeed a blessing, then those blessings can only be discovered in the future, taking one courageous step at a time.

I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to acknowledge my struggles and to ask for help. Perhaps some lessons can only be learnt when we have finally come to the end of ourselves and stretch our hands out in earnest to God, who is always with us.


MORE ON MOTHERHOOD:

“God, what are you doing?”: When a go-getter learnt to take her Kingdom assignment one step at a time

5 mums from the Bible who encourage all mothers

It takes a village to raise a mum: Focus Singapore provides community and practical help to mums

About the author

Mindy Wang

Mindy is a former financial consultant with a bachelor's degree in Economics. She grew up in Singapore and now lives in the USA homeschooling her children. In her free time, she reads, rollerblades and plays Dance Dance Revolution.

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