|Happy Owen, home after a mini-meltdown at the library|
"I always wanted to be a mother" (me: paying attention, that's me too!)
"I was so happy to become a mother and welcome our precious little children to our family" (me: yes! me too! isn't it wonderful?)
"Sometime around the time that my fourth child was born, I started to find that I wasn't enjoying motherhood as much as I'd always hoped and dreamed (me: oh, that's sad! how could you not enjoy this special role? )
"I found myself feeling easily frustrated with little things that I knew I ought to be cheerfully handling. Tired of solving fights and quarrels, and just feeling a bit discouraged..." (me: too bad! how sad to miss out on such a sweet time of life! I'll never feel like that...)
"Until finally one day I ..."
And I think I must have gotten distracted right then somehow. But as my children have grown and I've gone through years of sleepless nights and welcomed a fourth child to our family as well... I've remembered so often that little talk and wondered what her answer was, until one you day you what? What was the magical cure that turned things around? What helped you take each day as it came and love it and cherish it and be grateful to love and serve no matter what kinds of messes or arguments you have to work through?
Though even if I could go back and hear the rest of her story, I suppose that I probably would have found not a miraculous "how to live each day rosily" answer. Probably, like the rest of her story that I now understand more personally, I would have found suggestions and thoughts and answers that I've also learned.
To love these little children. To take care of myself. To find a way to get the sleep that I need. To look to the Lord. To study the scriptures and fill my life with the best things. To let go of the little things. To forgive. To be kind. And patient. To speak kindly. To take time to notice all the wonderful parts of life. To not worry if some days are hard. To keep trying, praying, working, loving.
(And just to note, I'm not having a motherhood crisis -- just remembering again these thoughts and taking time to think about them. :)
Today at the library Owen had a little fall apart moment (which felt big to me) and I had Porter in one arm and a stack of books + Porter's shoes in the other and I was trying to get Owen to either stop yelling so we could go check out or to come outside with me till he was calmed down. And I was frustrated with myself for being embarrassed at the other story time mom's glancing in the direction of my yelling child "just leave me here!"
And I'm listening to Owen now, in quiet time downstairs, singing away while he plays. And wishing I could have remembered just to slow down and speak kindly. I know this little Owen so well and I know how to help him, and I wish I would have taken time to do it. Certainly I can next time though.
I've thought a lot lately about Elder Wirthlin's little phrase "Come what may, and love it." And even though I haven't always found the way to do that, I feel like as much as anything else that is the magic answer to happiness in motherhood. When it comes to those little things that I get frustrated about and then frustrated for feeling that way... those are almost always instances where if I'd applied that bit of counsel, I would have, well, loved it!
So I'm going to try it out. This time of motherhood is the life that I dreamed about and planned for and chose, and choose now. And I want to love it!
(So, since I'm committing -- next time Porter has a rough night and then wants to start the day at 5:00... I will groggily wake up and remind myself to be grateful for his exceptional early morning happiness and I will love our wake up time, even if it may be earlier than I would wish :)