Mother kissing baby's foot
Adoption,  Infertility,  Soul

I get it from my Mamma

My mom is the best mother in the world.

I know most children think this about their mom, but mine really is super-Mom.

My mom taught me how to love. She showed me how spending time with someone can be the greatest gift. She sacrificed more hours teaching us and praying for us than we can ever comprehend.

Mom lighting candles on princess cake

My mom is one of the most talented women I know. She can throw spectacular parties – from children’s parties to sophisticated affairs. Her food is more delicious than that of any chef and she has tried her best to pass her skills down to us. It is so much more efficient to phone her to find out how to cook a leg of lamb than it is to Google it and sort through a gazillion recipes that might fail. I still ask her how to get a stubborn stain out of my most loved shirt, and my favourite dishes from my childhood are now my own signature dishes. She could bake any cake we asked for and became a pro at a princess/Barbie cake with three girls to raise.

Three girls in matching pink and blue dresses

My mom is, and always has been, a master seamstress. She made most of my twirly dresses growing up and showed me how important it was to feel beautiful. My mom is a stunning woman and carries her age with graceful dignity. She works out every day and eats a healthy, balanced diet while still being able to relish a delish kilogram of baklava when it is available. I am incredibly grateful for her young genes that I have hopefully inherited.

Mom with three daughters in matching blue dresses

My parents always loved adventure and they did an excellent job of passing this passion down to us as well. We were privileged to go on all sorts of holidays from camping in the backyard to our annual trek to Winkelspruit. My mom was a champion at packing a little suitcase for each of us to entertain us during the various long road trips and her padkos is legendary.

Family camping in yard

But we didn’t always need to go somewhere to have fun. My mom taught us how to have a good time by playing with us in the most creative ways in our pretty rooms or outside in the garden. Tea parties were a big deal and baking was our idea of fun before a pandemic made it trendy. My mom jumped on the trampoline with us and hiked up mountains with us. To this day we still run the odd 10k together when we can all align our schedules.

Looking back at my childhood I can only marvel at everything my mom managed to do on a normal day. She would wake us up with breakfast in bed and in winter she would hang our school uniform over the heater so we could get changed into warm clothes. We always had nutritious snacks in our school bag and delicious lunch waiting for us when we got home. We enjoyed gymnastics lessons, music lessons, extra classes to get our grades up, and our homework and projects were always masterpieces we were very proud of. I remember my mom even writing to the Waterboard one year to get first-hand material for my project on water preservation. I was so impressed with all her effort (remember this was the days before Google and email). My mom has always been active in our church with the choir, orchestra, Sunday School, and various care groups, yet we never felt neglected. In fact, my mom inspired me to beg my dad to allow me to join the choir at a mere 12 years old because it looked like so much fun. We had played many beautiful duets on the cello together.

Parents with children and baby with baptism dress

My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader. She saw my raw talents as superpowers and did her best to inspire me to develop my talents to the honour and glory of God. My mom still protects me like a fierce lioness against criticism and pain of any sort. My mom still believes I am the best at everything I do with blind love and loyalty. She still worries about me when I have a sniffle or a muscle spasm and has miraculously arranged doctor’s appointments or medication on my behalf on a few occasions.

My mom has qualified as a dental hygienist, a systems analyst, and an accountant. She got her B.COM. degree from UNISA shortly after her fiftieth birthday, concluding years of blood, sweat, and tears. My mom never gives up. When she has set her mind on something you better believe that it will get done. My mom very rarely relaxes, subscribing to the theory that idle hands are the devil’s playground. This has been a source of exasperation for me growing up, but now I see that trait deeply ingrained in my role as a wife. My husband is still trying to balance that “wat klaar is, is klaar” attitude.

My mom has taught me about loving selflessly with all your time and energy. She has shown us how to respect and honour our husbands and families. Most importantly, my mom instilled in us the love of God and the importance of continuous conversations with him. She has demonstrated to us what true trust and devotion to our Heavenly Father looks like through her example. She read our simple children’s Bible to us year after year and led us in prayer every single night. Even in very tough times, she worked herself to the bone to ensure that we were happy and protected. Of all the wonderful gifts we have received growing up, this one is the most valuable and keeps growing in my heart every day.

Mom and three daughters on wedding day

For these reasons, and many more, I love celebrating my Mamma on Mother’s Day.

My mom inspired me to want to be a mother.

I have always wanted children of my own. I remember playing with my dolls and imagining what it would be like to hold my own babies in my arms one day. When I was a tween no baby or toddler could escape my grasp as I had to hold and coddle any tiny being until I irritated both the child and their mother.

It has been several years now since we have tried to grow our family. This longing does not subside but the hope that it will come true threatens to fade with every year.

That is why Mother’s Day has also become a tough day for me.

Every year when the second Sunday in May rolls around, I am reminded that I do not yet hold my babies in my arms. Every year I feel like I have failed once again, and that God is not hearing the deepest calling of my heart.

Carl and Lynette on Mothers Day 2019

Last year Mother’s Day fell on the day before our two embryos were transferred back into the womb. I knew I was a mother to two embryos (and one in the beyond) and believed with all my heart and soul that I would hold at least one baby in my arms this year. Instead, I now pray for three babies I cannot see. I can only pray that they believe that we love them very much and that they will know the love of Jesus, so we can be reunited one day in Heaven.

In the days leading up to Mother’s Day this year, the Lord has been sending me special verses to remind me of his goodness and presence in my life. He has reminded me to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). He has encouraged me not to fear because He is with me (Isaiah 41:10). He has also reminded me that even though our situation is impossible for man, “for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

I want to believe with all my heart that I will one day be woken up on Mother’s Day with tiny hands bringing me burnt toast and home-made cards. I will unwrap my brand-new fluffy dressing gown and slippers while my heart overflows with gratitude and joy for all the gifts the Lord has given me.

I’m sure I’m not the only woman who finds this day hard. There are other women who wish they were mothers, women who also lost their children, children who no longer have mothers to celebrate and many others who never had a mom who loved them as Hallmark tells us they are supposed to. Maybe those of us who feel this way can focus on the gift of motherhood and all the godmothers, teachers and aunties who have “mothered” us throughout our lives. We can also be these surrogate mothers to others in our lives. And when our hearts are hurting for whatever reason that might be, we can find comfort in the words of our Father: “I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15)

Mother and daughter on wedding day

So, I pray for a beautiful Mother’s Day this year where I can celebrate my mom (virtually) and pray continuously for my Heavenly Father to remind me of his presence and the fact that he hears my prayers and that God is always good.

UPDATE 2021: Between last Mother’s Day and this upcoming weekend I came closer than ever to being a mother. I held the dream physically in my hands but lost it a few days later due to a failed adoption. For a few weeks, I thought I will finally be a mother on Mother’s day, but alas, it was not to be. Be kind to those around you, you don’t know what battle they are fighting. With every passing Mother’s day, the hope starts dwindling and I have to face the fact that I might never be a mother this side of the Kingdom of Heaven. For now, I carry my five babies in my heart and will love all my nieces and nephews as only an aunty can.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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