Lately, I've been feeling discouraged. My kids are pulling everything from me and I'm having a hard time with it. All I do, is for them, and very little is for me. I'm not reading, blogging or sewing. I'm not painting or decorating. I barely even have time to unpack. They need my constant attention and it is draining.
Three days after moving to South Carolina, I decided to leave the unpacking to another day and get my kids out of the house for a few hours. I took them to a primary activity that our new ward was putting together. The activity was at the primary president's house and consisted of decorating cookies and gluing cotton balls to santa's paper face. It sounded like a great first activity to get people acquainted with us, and us with them.
Before stepping in the door, I reminded C and C to be kind, to share, and not to fight or we would leave. Within five minutes they were both crying, taking toys from other children, and trying to hit me. They didn't want to share, or play with the other kids. They didn't want to decorate cookies or place cotton balls on santa. They didn't want to stop crying and they didn't want be nice. Without going into more agonizing detail, let me just sum it up as one of the most horrible experiences I've had as a mom. I left feeling angry, embarrassed, discouraged, and tired. I'm sure the other moms understood, but that didn't change how frustrated I felt.
The rest of that day, I let satan creep into my heart and fill my mind with thoughts of inadequacy and discouragement. Why am I doing this? Why did I decide to have children so quickly and so close together? Why do I stay home with them? Why is being a mom so so hard?
My birthday was last week and with my gift, my mom sent me a story. It's a story to help mom's keep the right perspective. I want to share some of it with you...
"As you near the end of your mortal life, there is nothing that will bring you more joy - celestial joy - than your children. No creation, no book, no song, no success can begin to touch the joy of children properly raised. The things that concern you are mortal and will come to an end. Your children are eternal."
She goes on to say, "You must be patient. There will be a time for doing the things you want to do when your children aren't so dependent on you. Work slowly and steadily on your projects and the Lord will bless you but make sure your home is running properly first. Most importantly, the Lord loves you and cares about you."
The words shared in Bonnie's story, touched me deeply. Nothing else matters but my husband and my children. The number of books I read, the projects I get done, the pictures I hang, the posts I share, the cleaning I do, is all of little value compared to the children I raise. Sometimes that's so hard to remember, but it is true. My children are of infinite worth and they are what matter most.
"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.
It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.
It is what God gave you time for."
-Neil L. Anderson
Out of all the goals I have in mind for next year, I want giving my time to my children more freely and selflessly, to lead the way.