Monday, May 16, 2011

Being a mom

Last week my brain was consumed with thoughts of how annoyed I was at the first three mother's day talks in church.  I despise hearing teenagers say how perfect their moms are, to me it seems so contrived. Not to mention someone read that terrible quote from Joseph F Smith about his mom being an angel.  Which is true, she nearly perfect, her husband was killed and she crossed the plains by herself with her children. But seriously, why do we have to imply something about motherhood in general, based on a prophet's mother?  Do I get up in church and measure all the priesthood holders against the prophet?  No, so why do we do it with mothers? I also am not to pleased when General Authorities mention their mother's never yelled. I'm not convinced their memories of childhood a half a century earlier are really that clear. I'm under the assumption we need less stories of perfection and more reality in church. Which is why I was very pleased with the last two talks. The fourth teenager started off telling us she was planning to write her talk with no help. Until midnight hit and she awoke her mom. She said her mom was quite helpful even if she spent the whole time resting her eyes.  NOW that is a mother's day talk. Then she talked about the sacrifices women in her family made to join the church.  There was no false praise and I appreciated it.

I also liked the older man who talked last.  He mentioned a story that's take home message was about how now matter how good or bad our own mothers were we can come to terms with it through the atonement, repentance, and forgiveness. And I think we could take it one step farther and say we can come to terms with our own parenting. Then I decided it was probably the best I didn't leave sacrament early because he talked about how when he was station in Italy as a pilot during the first gulf war, his children never saw him, and his wife only saw him late at night.  And how for two years she did family home evening and everything else by herself, even if they were living in the same house.  Now that was a story I could relate to and appreciate.
As I've continued to reflect on motherhood over the last eight days, I went through all the stages of grief.  Including being a terrible mom for not even being able to take two children to the store without injuries. I'm that mom with the barefoot child.  (I'm sorry its gross, but there is nothing I can do to change it, she was born with agency and she is acutely aware of it.)  I spent time wondering why I struggle so much with only two?! Everyone, I mean everyone tells me oh you have no idea two is not hard at all. Really if I could actually response the next time someone tells me that. I might actually chastise someone for calling me pathetic to my face. Then I finally came to acceptance, and appreciation.
Appreciation for my two beautiful, intelligent, sweet children, even if they cry a lot.
Here is my acceptance.  Thank goodness, I live in modern life with modern medicine.  I appreciate the sacrifices of the pioneers but I'm so grateful I have the benefit of modern medicine.  I know pioneers didn't have the luxury of depression, life just had to get done and carry on.  But that doesn't mean people didn't still suffer.  If I was born into a lot of life of being barefoot and pregnant I would definitely be 'the crazy wife'. Thank goodness life has blessed me to be able to choose when my children are born so I can deem myself healthy. I'm so grateful to be a mother who gave birth around people with knowledge of infant resuscitation.  I like many women in modern society are grateful constantly for my miracle baby.  And flabbergasting that my baby isn't even that much of miracle in terms of medical intervention and many would be grateful if were only infant resuscitation. Thank goodness I wasn't a pioneer or from a third world nation. I'm so bad at pregnancy, birthing babies, and recovering.  The only thing I'm good at is losing my baby weight, and that isn't even a good thing, it causes more problems.
So yeah, I'm not an angel, I'm not perfect, I yell, I feed my children too many hot dogs, I'm not afraid of handme down carseats, my children eat candy, and always have food on their faces.  I just can't seem to remember to check before we leave for the store.  But I'm grateful for my two children, and grateful, the Lord cares more about the quality of my life than the quantity of my offspring. As I reflect on my gratitude I become more awe-inspired by women of many children.  It is not uncommon in my ward to have 10 or more children. How my mom and mother in law ever did 7 and 8, I'm sure I will never know. I'm grateful for my two children, but I'm also grateful there is only two of them. Sometimes I wonder why the Lord wanted me to become a mother at such a young age as 21, but I think its because he knew I needed big spaces to recover.  My five year old has always, ever since I saw him on the ultrasound six years ago the reason I get out of bed in the morning, and my two year old for multiple reason is my miracle baby. She is the miracle of Nan.  
P.S. My 5 year old decided to grow a few freckles.  Even though both his father and I have freckles I found it quite unexpected!


  1. You are a good mom Le, not be so hard on yourself. My kids never have shoes and are always messy and life gets crazy, but they are turning out okay despite my inability to micromanage everything perfectly in their lives.
    I am so glad I am not a pioneer in the olden days too.
    I was thinking about when kids come and maybe it isn't about us but about where they need to in the near future at a certain place and time. I have always thought that about Ivn. We are all part of the bigger picture in a small way, whatever that might be.

  2. I love your writing
    You make me think
    Thanks for your blog comment