Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Joys of Motherhood

At times the world calls, no wait, screams at me to come out and do something useful. It is times like these that I have to remember how important the work that I do in my home really is.

In our 2008 April General Conference, Elder M Russell Ballard reminded all the mothers in my church of the following: "First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction...I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood."

Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” (Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).

So, my goal this month is to slow down and try and enjoy each moment more. This means I really need to control my anger so that I don't mess up the moments and opportunities to make good moments out of problems.

For instance, last night Kiah was having a melt down. They are getting more common as she moves through these difficult pre-teen years. But this one had been going on for at least an hour (it was over loading the dishwasher). At one point she was in the kitchen just crying hysterically and screeching because some dirty water splashed on her feet as she was rinsing the dishes off. I walked in and really wanted to put an end to this. Luckily, I was calm enough not to yell at her. I just walked up and hugged her and asked her to calm down. I would love to say that she stopped crying and said, "I'm sorry Mom, thanks for the hug. I love you." Unfortunately, I don't live in a fairy tale. Instead, she yelled, "I GIVE UP!" and ran upstairs to her room. *sigh*

My point in all this is that I feel good about myself because I overcame my natural tendency to yell and react exactly the way Kiah had. Even though it did not turn out the way I would have wanted, I took the time to savor the moment instead of yelling. She's growing up and before I know it she will be leaving for college. Maybe if I can continue to make these small victories, Kiah will be able to do the same.


Ellenamo said...

What a great entry! A lot of the advice can also apply to those of us who aren't mothers yet. Sometimes I get so caught up worrying about what's coming next, I forget to enjoy what I'm doing at the moment.

Laura D said...

Maybe you could try taking Kiah on mother daughter dates. Do things that she likes. Maybe get her a mood journal that the two of you could swap back and forth... She could write to you then you can write back... Just dumb stuff, like when you were that age and passed notes back and forth in Middle School. Draw silly pictures in it and put encouraging stuff in it, silly stuff you and Cole do together and be sure to put mild things that drive you crazy and how you are working on it???? Just a thought... seems like there has to be a better way to get through these days.

Alison B said...

What a wonderful post. I feel like I really needed that this week. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles and I'm not the only one who has emotional girls. I'm not looking forward to those pre-teen girls, or teenagers for that matter, but I will try harder, too. THank you for sharing your thoughts with us all. I really appreciate it!!!

Charity said...

Laura, you always have such great ideas! I also loved your title suggestions for Tue and Thur on my food blog.

Jenny said...

That was a really nice post. I was glad to hear it. A lot of times when I read peoples blogs they talk about how wonderful everything is and I feel like such a bad mom beacause I feel the same way. When the girls went of to school for a week or two I was so sad because I felt like all I did while they were at home was clean and never really enjoyed them as much as I should have. Sure I had days that we did stuff all day and had fun but it was enough! I look at pictures of the computer screen saver and it makes me sad. So, thanks for the reminder to make me a better mom!
And way to go for keeping your cool. Sometimes that is really hard to do. I had Maddie doing the same thing the other morning over her socks. I gave her a hug too and she cried. I guess she was having a bad morning and I wasn't being very nice. She doesn't like to be rushed at all. Girls are VERY dramatic! Well, my girls are and they are only 5! I am scared to death for the teen years!

Ellenamo said...

Hey, I tagged you on my blog. Check it out!