Motherhood can be a stark mirror. Lately, I have been watching my daughter move slowly from toddler to young child. In the midst of this transition, memories have been surfacing from my own childhood with a clarity that surprises me.
As a small girl, I would sing and dance with abandon. Changing outfits for every new adventure which took place in my mind. My bedroom was an imagination landscape bursting with theatre, mountains, and freedom.
Soft and strong. Clear and seeking. I grew to love creativity, expression, and opportunity. Colour was my calling card.
There was a time when I believed I could become anything that my mind imagined. A time when fear lived in the land beyond my letterbox and my little oasis of creativity was the centre of my universe.
Now, there are days that I sit in the midst of Motherhood, overwhelmed by its relentless pull. School teacher meetings, the discipline of behaviour management, and the mirror of my own weaknesses reminding me that my children learn from everything I do.
But, in the midst of the mess, a little memory surfaces. I am transported to the terrain of a small country in Asia, where my mother’s heart was torn apart… and then rebuilt again.
The work of Baptist World Aid has not left the recess of my heart.
I remember the hills we walked in Nepal. The faces of mothers, like me, off in the distance, peering out from their beautiful, ramshackle huts. Seeking the eyes of another who understands. Searching for hope in the midst of motherhood.
No matter where we are born, women and mothers across the world are mostly the same. We are all searching for information and inspiration to give our children the best opportunities.
So, each day when my load as a mum grows, I choose not to push those feelings of “not-enoughness” away. Instead, I try to remember the perspective gained sitting on a dusty floor in Nepal, learning about a child sponsorship program that teaches mums about topics like child marriage… and seeks to help them find another way.
I remember the eyes of a young woman, standing confidently in her mountaintop school, talking with courage that I’m sure will lead a generation of friends into a new day. She’s grateful for the opportunity to be part of that same child sponsorship program.
But this is the greatest lesson that I learnt surrounded by the colours and brilliance of Nepal: these women and children don’t need our pity or our sympathy. They are as strong as they are resilient. And their strength is drawn from knowing they are not alone.
It is this understanding that lies at the heart of the work of Baptist World Aid. What we have in common is more important than what separates us. And what we have in common is the power to transform and a desire to teach the next generation that there is another way.
There is another way.
Often, we get stuck in the trenches of motherhood, unsure of how to help others because our own needs seem to pile up as fast as the washing. However, I’ve come to believe that it begins with perspective.
We need to remember that mothers across the world – whether born into privilege or facing severe adversity – all have the same heart for their children. A heart that can be difficult to describe. But when we choose to partner with others in the same trenches that we walk, it is not charity or obligation, rather, it’s a collaboration of hope that begins with our sameness.
So, as a mum, I encourage you: embrace that sameness. Walk together with mothers and children across the world and help them to find a new way. Sponsor a child today.