“Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come.”
~Joseph F. Smith-
As Mother's Day has come and gone, I just want to express some thoughts about being a mother and having a mother.
First and foremost, I have an amazing mom! She is currently a full-time caretaker for my sweet dad AND works full time as a violinist in the Utah Symphony! She never complains and she rarely misses work. Her love for my father is abundant and she graciously accepts her stewardship in taking great care of him.
Last Thursday, I received a phone call from my father saying that they were on their way up to Midway (where I live). Midway is a lovely small town with a Swiss flavor. Many tourists flock up here to enjoy the sheer beauty of this magnificent place. So it is only natural that my parents LOVE to come up her to escape the craziness of the city...plus, we're just a short 1 hour drive for them.
When they arrived, my mother looked tired. I asked her if she was OK to which she responded, "I'm fine, just a little tired. I had a rehearsal today and when I got home, dad needed to get out of the house."
I knew that she would have rather relaxed at home and not had to make the drive (after all, she is 80!!) but she graciously packed him up (no easy fete) and made the trek!
She has always been an example of selfless service. She is the HARDEST worker I have ever known and no matter what, she tries to put her family first. I am proud to be called her daughter and I love her very much!
As a mother myself, I have learned that bearing the children is the easy part! So this is what I have learned about being a Mother::
1. You have to let go of the things that really don't matter. Focus on the important moments in the lives of your children. Yes, this requires some sacrifice at times.
2. A messy house does not mean you're a bad mom, it may mean the opposite; I used to be so intense about my house cleaning. I am a neat freak to the max and when my kids were little I was worse than I am today! One day my neighbor came over and fussed at me saying, "Mary, a Family Room is exactly that...a FAMILY ROOM, now let your kids play!!" I got it and my kids were much happier...
3. As I said earlier, bearing the children is the easy part..true! Raising them is a 24/7/365 job that requires constant attention.
4. Take advantage of "Teaching Moments"; I have tried to look for opportunities to teach from actual in-the-moment experiences. My children learned best this way and it meant that I had the responsibility to be "in-tune" to the Spirit so that I could effectively share moments with each child that would leave a life-long lasting impression on them.
5. Be their greatest advocate! Nobody loves your child as much as you do...plain and simple! I remember my son, Tyler, suffered from some extreme asthma at times. I would have to rush him into the ER as he was gasping for each precious breath of life. One time, we were put in a room, they put O2 on him and left. We waited and waited. This sweet boy was still struggling and fighting for each breath. I had to go find a nurse, interrupt her personal conversation and get her to call the doctor. She was annoyed...I didn't care...the doc came in, he adjusted the flow and then apologized to me for making us wait. His levels were dangerously low...
6. Teach them that "Life isn't Fair!"...I teach the 10 year olds in church and sometimes I bring treats. I was told recently that I should make sure they finish the treat before they go home because some mothers hate that one child got a treat and the other didn't...I say, "get over it..life's not fair"...am I totally heartless? I remember those moments with my children where one came home from a birthday party with a goodie bag and the other wanted one too...usually the one with the bag shared, if not, the other one eventually got over it and moved on...
7. I haven't always loved the choices that my children have made, but I have ALWAYS loved the child!
8. Children are "on loan" so to speak, from a divine Heavenly Father above. They come to this earth perfect and it is my responsibility to teach, nurture and love them as much as I am possibly able. I am not superior to them, just a bit older and wiser with a great stewardship over them. And yes, they are constantly teaching me!
9. Motherhood is exhausting! It requires an inordinate amount of stamina even when you feel you have nothing left to give. You just keep giving and giving and then the reward keep coming and coming!
10. Motherhood is a calling...yes, it's a job with seemingly no pay and benefits at times, but in fact, motherhood pays better than any Fortune 500 company could possibly dream of paying. It is a divine calling that must be taken seriously. We will all have failures and we will all beat ourselves up for them, but the payoff is totally worth it.
I love being a mother. I have had many ups and downs on my journey of motherhood. Many tears of agony have been shed but many tears of joy have been spilt. My children are the crowning jewels in my life. I love all of them and embrace their uniqueness as a true celebration of who they really are. The joys they bring to me are unmeasurable and I know that they love me. Maybe I have failed more than I have succeeded, but I have tried and tried to be a good mother. Now I revel in watching the sweetness of my daughters mother their precious children. Yes, they make mistakes too, but their children ADORE them and when it comes right down to it, they want their mommy!
God bless all Mothers! We are all great because everyday we wake up and we try and try and try...