I ventured to the library this morning. I was clutching Natalie in one arm and dragging Jansen along with the other and got the usual---people opening doors for me and smiling with that "you certainly are brave, glad I'm not you" smile. As I went to pick up my book on reserve, one library employee was especially friendly and kind and proceeded to ask me about Natalie and how old Jansen was and such. Upon discovering they were only about 2 years apart she said the classic, "You've got your hands full don't you!" And followed it with the even more classic, "It goes by so fast. They will be grown up before you know it. Savor every minute." I smiled and told her that yeah, I knew they would grow so fast. And although people say ALL the time to enjoy your kids while they are little, this time I really got to thinking about that. Am I doing all I can to make the most of each moment with them at this age? How can I be more grateful for the monotonous days of motherhood?
So I went home and opened what I consider to be the Bible of Motherhood: "Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley." One part reads: "There is no such thing as the perfect mother who fits all the eulogies. We just do the best we can with the help of the Lord, and who knows, these children who are struggling to be free may someday rise up and call us blessed. The trick is to enjoy it. Don't wish away your days of caring for young children. This is your great day. Sometimes we get so caught up in the physical work and trivia that we forget the big picture. We forget whose children they really are. When the house is filled with children, noise and teasing and laughter, you get the feeling this is forever. Before you know it they will be gone." The last words of the chapter on motherhood say:
Have joy in your home.
Have joy in your husband.
Have joy in your children.
Be grateful for the journey.
And so I have recommitted myself to those things. To enjoy every day (or give it my best effort!) and realize that these are precious hours of caring for my children. If by chance you have not read Elder Holland's talk "Because She Is a Mother" you must. One quote from it:
Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.” You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And it will make your children whole as well.
Well, that was a little long but definitely heartfelt. I love being a mother...I find it very challenging as well...but I know how eternally important it is and that makes each day with Jansen and Natalie very, very special.