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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lessons From Motherhood

Sunday was a rough day. That's not unusual for our house, but it was especially bad this week. I woke up with my usual chipper smile, singing "Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day." And it was. Dan had left early for a meeting, but I was feeling resilient enough to handle a Sunday morning solo and planned to have everything under control and every heart happy when he returned.

It all started off so well, the children playing together quietly, with no fighting (it was amazing) and I basked in the peace of a family day at home. It didn't last. Before I knew it, one child, and then another and another became uncooperative, belligerent, and just plain naughty. By the time we loaded them up to drive 20 minutes for Stake Conference, we were a little unnerved. That's when Regyn decided she wasn't going to wear her seat belt. Our incessant pleading and urging only made her whiny obstinance turn into an all-out fit. We were five minutes from home and she was screaming that she wanted to go back to get her blankie. Ten minutes of this, and we were all losing our patience. I had determined I was going to keep my cool and remain patient the entire day (lofty goal, I know), so I kept calmly explaining we wouldn't be going back for the blanket; then I climbed in the back seat to help her with her seat belt, which only made her tantrum escalate to the point I made a quick decision to try for my goal again tomorrow, and before I knew it, I told (no--demanded is more accurate) my husband to pull over and I had my hand raised to spank this naughty child. Thankfully, I came quickly to my senses when the picture of all my ward members driving my on the Interstate watching me spank my child raced through my mind. I took yet another deep breath and somehow resolved the issue.

Stake Conference was wonderful (or so I heard). I was too busy chasing runaway crayons as they rolled down the slanted aisles, reading storybooks, lifting children on and off my lap while trying to keep my skirt from sliding up, explaining why we don't bring snacks to Stake Conference even though many of the people around us do, and more, trying to make it possible for the people sitting near us to have a chance to enjoy the meeting. Then we were on our way home again, exhausted and a bit ruffled.

I won't go into great detail about the next few hours of the day, but suffice it to say by the time 7:00 came and my two littlest were in bed and my two oldest received a reprimand for the upteenth time, I was at the kitchen table with my head in my hands, sobbing, wondering what I was doing wrong as a mother to have such inappropriate behavior in my home. That's when it hit me. I wanted to sit and feel sorry for myself for a while, but instead I remembered once again that this is what motherhood is about--to teach me. Of all the experiences in my life, none has tutored me so harshly, so thoroughly, so consistently as motherhood. And thank heaven for that, because through my experiences as a mother, good and bad, I am developing attributes I must have to reach my eternal goals.

As I pondered this principal I came up with six attributes I think the role of mother surely teaches. This week I am writing about humility because by the end of Sunday I was feeling most humble. I realized once again that I cannot do this job alone, and every time I try, I fail. I went to the Lord and asked for His help, and as I have tried to listen for answers, they have come and things are already improving. Yes, motherhood definitely teaches humility.

What are you learning through your mothering experiences? I would love to know. I think we as mothers find comfort in knowing we all have days when we want to throw our hands in the air and quit, so feel free to share your thoughts. And if you have any great advice about how to make Sunday a wonderful day, I'm all ears.

5 comments:

Melanie said...

Seriously I would pull over and spank the child very hard. Brian did it and we now have 2 out of 3 children as seat belt patrol..They freak if everyone doesn't have their belt on before we leave the driveway. I actually asked a patrol man about it once and he said the safest thing to do was pull over if the shoulder was wide enough, spank the child and put them back in their belt. I didn't see you chasing the crayons but that was probably because I was chasing Remy and trying to get him to quit yelling. I was 3 kids no hubby and stake conference. I say anyone with small children that makes it to stake conference gets extra brownie points in heaven. As for your lessons of motherhood you are completely NORMAL! And are doing a fabulous job.
On a side note can you tell me why or post about why you love Christmas. I was raised by a Grinch and a perfectionist and it made for some good but mostly a lot of stressful Chrismas memories. I hear Christmas music and I feel instant stress. I am really trying to re-program I'm just not sure how.

Julia said...

For us...church is all about Cheerios. :) And perspective. I know this is a short time period in my life, and if I can endure those 1,2,3 hour meetings and teach my kids about God and the commandments and faith, obedience and charity, then it will all be worth it. But for now, I guess I am more the teacher role, not so much the learner at church. Good job Lori. I love your babies, so I'm glad you do too. Can't wait to see you in Nov.

Dixie said...

How I remember those days! I have empathy for the challenging job of being parents, because this could have been something I wrote 20 years ago. Carry on, carry on!

Heather B. Moore said...

My hardest kid in church right now is my 11 year old. She teases and bugs whoever she is sitting by . . .

Randall McNeely said...

Lori,

As I read your blog I thought you must have had a hidden camera at our house. I could have sworn I was reading about me, my wife, and our four children - specially the whole blankie thing! My five year old, whom I affectionately call "Linus" won't wouldn't go anywhere without her blankie until she was four and a half! Even now, if she doesn't have it at bedtime, all hell breaks loose until we've found it. Great post. I'll be pointing my wife to your site.

Hang in there. One way or another, as we pray for the Lord's help, he always hears and answers, in his own time and his own way.

Thanks again for sharing

Randy