Janice Tang

It’s no secret that the addition of a child to any family completely changes the family dynamics. But I didn’t realize that the changes brought by a child is even more far-reaching than that.

My husband and I had been married for 12 years before our long-anticipated child joined our family. I thought I was well prepared for this change. However, now, another six years later, I have to confess I am still amazed by how our daughter has transformed my world. I am sacrificing so much personal time and space for our child and giving up many of our hobbies and opportunities for her. Instead, from the time the doctor placed this little bundle of joy in my arms, her daily needs have turned my schedule upside down; her every action has caught my attention; and her innocent eyes have pierced through me as she waits for answers.

Not only has my daughter become central to my life, she has also greatly changed my sense of purpose and how I live.

Before I became a mom, I was responsible for myself and to God only. Now I am responsible for the life of another person. This person came into the world with her own temperament, interests and limitations, as well as her own potential and calling. As her mom, I have the crucial responsibility to build her up by accompanying her as she grows and learns through exploring, experiencing ups and downs and collecting life’s valuable experiences. This realization has deepened my respect for my role as a mother even more, as I learn that my words and actions have incomparable power and influence over my daughter’s life. How could I take this responsibility lightly?

My daughter has also changed my relationship with my own mom. I have been living in the States for almost 20 years. When I used to return home to Taiwan to visit my parents every year, I would request that my mom prepare my favorite dishes, and I enjoyed being pampered by them. After my dad passed away last summer, I brought my mother to the States to live with us. I was shocked to realize that my elderly mom needs me now more than I need her. My own motherly instincts caused a role reversal with my mom. I am now acting like her mom and taking care of everything. My mom, who used to be very independent, now gently lets me be in charge of everything. My mom is enjoying her well-deserved retirement after years of serving her children and spouse with sacrificial love. Now that I have been entrusted by God with the responsibility of taking care of her for the rest of her life, how could I not take this new role seriously?

These experiences have made me realize that, “Women, you are very important.” All women should treasure and treat themselves well. Home is the cradle that nurtures growth and new life, where our lives take root, and where we find shelter. Women are the soul of that experience. May God bless all the women in this world with a gentle embrace, skillful hands, sweet smiles and encouraging words, so that they can open up a window of heaven in every corner of the world and bring warmth to every precious life in the world.

Editor’s note: During the month of Mother’s Day, we encourage all mothers to share their own thoughts and feelings as the author does, acknowledging and treasuring their precious role as the soul of the family. May all children also know how to appreciate and honor the selfless sacrifice of their mothers. 

Original article published in Presence Family Magazine, September 2016, Issue 8

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