The following excerpt is from a post I wrote back in January when I was in Bangladesh. And though I live in the US, and these women in Bangladesh…at the end of the day, our mother’s hearts are the same whether we’re American or Bangladeshi….British or Japanese…Canadian or Russian…Brazilian or African…French or Iraqi. The thread of motherhood may not look the same, but in the end we all love and sacrifice and give more than we ever thought we could give for our kids. So to Mother’s everywhere…this is for you.
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I’ve been away from my family now for almost 6 days. I miss them. Not in a falling apart, totally pitiful sort of way so much as a my-son-got-sick-and-I-wanted-to-help-cuddle-him-myself sort of way. That’s just how moms are you know. I want the best for my kids, and I want to be there to see it myself.
Just like these Bangladeshi women we’ve met, I understand what it is to make sacrifices for my children. We want what’s best for them…we want even better for them that what even we’ve had. We often put aside our own dreams to help our children achieve theirs. Heaven knows that I understand how it’s easy to lose yourself amidst raising a family. When days go by doing washing…
and you get buried under what seem like endless loads of laundry…
but you still try to keep a smile on your face, even though you know there will be more of the same the next day.
I know what it’s like when you’re doing your best to train your children to be helpful and responsible and well-behaved…
but the baby still pitches a fit and might even pee all over your out-of-town guest no matter how hard you tried to get the sleep schedule right the night before.
I know what it is to remind your children to feed and take care of your pets. And sometimes that doesn’t quite look like it should.
We all have dinners to prep for and start…
and bath times to muster through.
We want our homes to be places of joy and welcome.
A place where our doors are open for friends to come and stop by for tea.
And then there’s the back-breaking work of carrying jugs on our heads…
Oh wait! I got carried away. I’m not much of a head jug carrying gal.
But the truth is that just like us, these women love their children and cuddle them when they need it.
We all want to see our children succeed, but still have dreams of maybe starting our own small business?
Or after raising them all and then paying for weddings and dowrys of 4 daughters, once in a while we just wish we could save enough to buy that ring we’ve been wanting for years.
And it’s the times we gather with friends, and learn how to challenge one another, to educate ourselves, to work towards a common goal and grow together…
We remember what it is to dream again, and suddenly we can see ways to turn a life of street sweeping into a life with glimmers of hope.
And there’s something very satisfying about knowing that you’ve accomplished something that without this group would have never been possible.
That joining together as women, you can build each other up and make an even greater difference in the lives of your children.
And then together, they can make a difference.
Together…WE can make a difference.
It’s then that we find joy and are better mothers for it.
Because we know the old saying is true…
“If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
Sponsoring a child isn’t just helping that one child. It’s an investment into families. And a beautiful thing we’ve found in Bangladesh is that families stay together. Despite the extreme poverty, they aren’t selling their children into sex trafficking or slavery. There aren’t even orphanages spilling over here or international adoptions available for young kids. These people value family, and as a mother who feels the same way, I understand that by empowering mothers and training them, they raise kids who with the opportunities provided through FH, will grow up to change the next generation.
I only wish I’d realized this all long before now. But it’s never too late. Join me and make a difference? Sponsor a child with Food for the Hungry.
If you were that mother, wouldn’t you hope that if someone could, they’d do the same for your family too?
And then one day when someone does, when we’re old and gray and see our children grown and know that we did all that we could to see them live well, think how happy we will be!
**This story would not have been possible without the phenomenal photography of my talented friend Esther Havens.