Are you a mother?
Do you have 1 child running around your feet or 20?
If you are a mother you'll know exactly where I'm coming from.
If you're not, then just imagine.
I love being a mom.
It is hands down the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
It is also hands down the hardest.
No one ever taught me how to be a mom.
If you know me well, you'll know my mom was, well, absent.
She was physically there, but at the same time she was gone, in another universe.
It's hard to explain and I could write a whole novel about that in itself.
Simply said, she did not teach me how to be a mom.
Not the kind of mom I wanted to be anyway.
So this 'being the mom' stuff is so new and at times scary for me.
I fear I am not doing enough.
I fear I'm not doing it right.
I fear I don't hold them enough and just love them enough.
I fear my house is not clean enough.
I worry about if I feed them the right foods and if they get enough to eat.
I worry about if they are getting enough sleep.
I worry about some sort of harm coming to them.
I worry they squabble too much.
There is no one at my side telling me, "You're doing a good job." or "That's it, keep going, you'll get the hang of it."
But somehow I know I'm doing OK.
At least so far.
I am loving this journey we call motherhood.
I love to laugh with my kids.
I love to play in the sunshine and the snow.
I love to sing primary songs.
I love to eat watermelon and let the sticky juice run down my arms all the way to my elbows.
I love to play at the park.
I love to read bedtime stories.
I love to dip my toes in the river water.
I love hiking in the mountains with a baby in the backpack.
I love road trips.
I love baby kisses
I love catching bugs and putting them in jars.
I love hearing their noisy chatter first thing in the morning.
I love to kiss their sweaty heads after they've fallen asleep.
I love their laughter and their songs.
I love their artwork.
I love just being a part of them and their daily lives.
Sometimes I wish so hard I could keep them little forever.
But I know that is in vain.
I know they will grow and be gone before I can even blink.
Last week I gave a lesson in Relief Society from a conference talk that President Monson gave in the October 2008 conference called Finding Joy in the Journey.
It really touched my heart in so many ways. Here is my favorite passage from that talk.
"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."
I am trying hard to capture every moment I can so I can keep all of these precious memories for the rest of my life.
I try to appreciate the journey every day.
Sure I have my moments when I'm stressed out and I'm not as patient as I'd like to be, but for the most part I am just loving my kids the best I can every moment.
I try to be patient and understanding to their sensitive feelings.
I try to teach them to work even though I know I could do the same task 10 times faster if I just did it myself.
I read scriptures with them and have family prayer daily, even when they are too wriggly for their own good.
I wake up with them in the night if they've puked or have had a bad dream.
I comfort them when they're sad.
I am trying to be a good mom so I can tell my kids things no one ever told me about being a mom, like nursing a baby for the first few months hurts like nothing you've ever felt and you'll wish you had an epidural for that pain instead of labor.
I will tell them to wipe their girls' bottoms front to back.
I will tell them that having a baby is like having someone take your heart out of your chest and wrap it up in a little pink or blue blanket.
I will tell them to read to their kids starting the day they are born.
I will tell them they may as well buy stock in the diaper companies for all the diapers they will be buying.
I will tell them breast is best!
I will tell them there will be sleepless nights and silent tears.
I will tell them they will learn a new meaning for the word prayer.
I will make sure they have a rocking chair.
I will share my recipe book with them.
I will tell them that some days as a parent are really lonely, even with 8 little hands all around you.
I will tell them they will feel inadequate for the job some days.
I am trying so hard to be a good mom so that when my kids become parents I can whisper in their ears, "You're doing a fantastic job!"
"That's it, keep going, you'll get the hang of it."