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Posted by
spots (Singapore, Singapore) on 13 September 2007 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

One things I've realised over the course of the past few weeks: children can seem fussier when you are tired and sick and when they are tired and sick. Especially young children, who are unable to explain themselves or suggest alternatives.

I am speaking of course about Daniel and his recent long bout of runny nose and fevers. His appetite dipped a bit starting about 2 weeks ago, and at first, as we were unawares of his prolonged illness, we thought he was just being fussy about food. But when I subsequently caught his bug, I experienced first hand what he must have been going through -- a terribly tighness in the throat, an inability to swallow without pain in the ears & throat and a swelling big headache all the time. Poor kid. He wasn't being fussy about food. He simply lost his appetite.

It is sometimes hard to know when to be strict with a kid and when to let him have some slack. And when you are the one that is tired and sick, everything a kid does can seem annoying, rude, inconsiderate and bad. Don't touch that. Stop putting that in your mouth. Stop hugging your brother lest you pass him your disease. Put that down. Stop jumping. Stop standing. Stop singing. SIT DOWN. That is when I have to be the one to STOP. Breathe. And think. Am I the one that is being a bit too difficult here?

Well, anyway. I just wanted to share that it's not easy being a sick mother. It's not easy being a mother. Period.

But I do thank God for Daniel. Actually, despite all my ranting above, I do know that he is a good kid. Eager to please. Listening to instructions. Responding to discipline. Very bright & happy. It's strange how the diseased human heart, combined with a diseased body, can make even a good-natured child seem like the worst most horrid child in the world. I think there is something in me that is never quite content with the current state of affairs. And after some reflection, I have come to realise that that something in me is called, simply, sin. It is the inability to be quiet and restful and content before God, before what God has blessed me wth, before what I have been given. It is the inability to enjoy feeling joy in my heart and to simply rest in it. It is the inability to love unconditionally, in spite of a splitting headache, achey bones and a painful cough.

And yet, God through His Son Jesus gives us the ability ... to rest in Him.

So I'm praying every day for it... Amen.

NIKON D50 1/50 second F/2.8 75 mm (35mm equiv.)

tyan from Singapore, Singapore

this is a lovely family portrait,Ruth:) your reflections made me think about my own mothering and whatever you said about us being impatient with our kids sometimes is so true!Caleb has become rather assertive nowadays and though he is normally a nice boy,recently he just seems to want to sing a dfferent tune,and basically quite a rebel.And certain things he does could be tolerated when i am in a good mood,which is very rare nowadays,and sometimes i find myself just wanting to actually find opportunity to 'lash' out at him just to vent the frustrations of doing everything--mothering them,teaching them,cooking,washing,cleaning,ironing,waking up in the middle of the night,being sick and still have to take care of them,bathing them,cleaning their mess,changing their diapers blah blah---all by myself. And if i am tired and needed a break,i cant put down everything,because there is just me,myself and i.YOur sharing is most edifying,i will pray that God will help us to rest and be content in him,to be joyful and for love towards our family.

thank you for sharing!You look great!

13 Sep 2007 8:14am

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece


13 Sep 2007 9:50am

Evi from Athens, Greece

What a lovely family portrait!

13 Sep 2007 12:46pm

Dad from Singapore

I am heartened by your revelations about mothering Dan. I know its not easy when both of you are sick. What is important is you need to understand Dan's feelings and state of mind, in whatever he does or say, in your daily caring of him. Exercise more tolerance and patience. In doing so, I believe you will find "mothering" less stressful and even more enjoyable when Dan responds positively to your calling. I hope you will do likewise in mothering Ben. I like the happy family portrait taken at my place. :-)

13 Sep 2007 2:11pm

Chistina from Singapore

Thank you for sharing.

I've been feeling the way you have and then feeling awful for feeling it. I mean, I should be intensely grateful to God for blessing me with my kid. But yet, sometimes I just want to have a break from the constant mothering. Ahhh...

Been contemplating playgroups/childcare for a teeny weeny break but after seeing how Daniel has been suffering, I'm really thinking twice.

13 Sep 2007 7:33pm

spots from Singapore, Singapore

Hi Tyan & Christina, it makes me feel better that there are other moms out there who understand me. Thanks for encouraging me by leaving comments! "childrean are a joy from the Lord"... indeed they are. but we with sinful selfish hearts can turn even the Lord's blessing into our own curse. I think having breaks from mothering is useful if it makes you a better mother overall... Christina, maybe ur mom/in laws can babysit once in a while? Tyan too? I'm glad to have a helper that can babysit here and there so that I can take a nap when I am sick. Do you guys have help too?

14 Sep 2007 6:48am

tyan from Singapore, Singapore

hi spots,thanks for sharing,i 've been encouraged by it!you are right,we should try to rest so we can go a further distance,so says a chinese proverb. both sets of our parents are working and if my mom is free,she would be having her hands full with my bro's kids,or she goes to their place because they dont come over to hers regularly.If i am sick,i'll just pray that GOd will help the kids to sleep so i can sleep too,thats abt it..haha,some 'dubious' friends have suggested putting johnnywalker into their milk,they were joking of course.But it did flash past my mind a few occasions,esp when i feel so sick i dont know whether i was dead or alive..hahahaha.:)

14 Sep 2007 9:03am

Christina from Singapore

Yeah. I do attempt to let the grandparents babysit the kid for that rare 1 hour or so. But they are rather busy so it's difficult. Still, I do agree it's a much appreciated break. Though I'd love to have it on a daily basis. Haha. Wow! having one kid already takes out so much from me. Can't imagine dealing with more like Tyan and you *faint*. Think for those times I'm feeling super duper stressed, I should relax and take the time to ask God for a double (triple? quadruple?) portion of strength, patience and love. There's nothing like divine help and a little change of mindset, no?

16 Sep 2007 7:05pm

1/50 second
75 mm (35mm equiv.)