I've been working on personal progress again. I decided it would be a great idea to complete the program and earn a medallion once again. Every time they come out with a new necklace I want to earn it :)
So I've been working on the value of faith and it's been a very sweet experience. One of the things I have to do is to discuss the roles of mothers with someone. It just so happened that last night while I was face timing Jenna and Clayton we talked about mothers, a lot. Normally I try to listen to my grown children and be supportive and a good example without telling them what to do too much. Jenna and Clayton have no children yet. They are also making lots of career decisions and school decisions. I am very impressed with their process. They are thoughtful and prayerful about their choices, and I have every confidence that they will choose well the path the Lord wants them to follow. They are good people :)
I have been so grateful for my experiences being a mother. When I was a new mom it was unexpected and unplanned and totally life changing. If I live to be a million years old I will never forget those first hours, holding baby Dani and nursing her and thinking "I am responsible for this person, to make sure she knows God's commandments and grows up to be a good person, more that a good person a person who follows the Lord, who is His disciple, who is obedient." Suddenly all that I was taught and all that I believed became so much more important and so much more the focus of my life. Suddenly my ability to love grew so much bigger than I imagined it could. I was so grateful that I could stay home and take care of her, and then Sierra and Jenna. Financially it wasn't easy. Mark and I were young and didn't have any college under our belts really. He worked hard and I babysat a lot of different kids to make a little extra money. We had two great grandmas that babysat for us while I went to school, which was also very important to me and it worked out great.
Obviously our marriage was difficult and not what it should be but despite those challenges I look back on those days of being a young mom as very fun and joyful and full of love. I loved those girls so much. We went to the park almost every day, we went to the library often, we went to McDonald's and Target a lot. We read lots of books and watched lots of Disney movies and played games and they played together and with other little kids. We baked and painted and chalked and splashed around our kiddie pool, We went fun places as often as we could, the zoo, the beach, the mountains, to festivals, to the beach (I know I said that twice) and a couple of times to Disneyland. I think of that as Being a mother: Chapter 1
Chapter 2 was being a single mom. Again my own parents came to the rescue and we lived with them for over a year. That was a happy time as well. The girls loved being with my sisters and it was safe and secure for us all as I finished school and started working full time as an adult . When we moved out the grandmas still played a huge role in the girls lives.
We were very blessed during those years and I felt the Lord's presence and help making up the lack while I had to work outside the home. We didn't go to the park every day anymore but we enjoyed library trips, reading lots of books, weekend park trips, Disney movies, cooking together, swimming in our apartment pool, hanging out in my classroom before and after school, going to primary, beach trips, playing sports and other fun things.
Chapter 3 Blended family. That was tougher than I imagined it would be. It came with lots of adventures, moving to TX and then to MD. Having 3 more wonderful blessings. Lots more travelling to Florida, Ohio, Utah, the Carolina's, NY, Canada. Lots more lessons and activities of all kinds, soccer, swim team, horseback riding, girl scouts, boy scouts, dance. Lots more going to the park and the library. Again I was soooo happy to be home. To plan parties and drive to dances and to help with homework, to make after school treats and yummy dinners, to chaperon field trips, watch games, play and read. Being married is not easy for me. It wasn't easy the first time, and it isn't easy the second time. The first 16 years of the second marriage were the hardest but it's getting much better, I guess I'm getting easier to live with finally :)Being a mom is easy. Easy in the I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. These kids are a delight, I love coloring, I love baking, I love the playground and the park and the zoo. I love watching them go off on adventures and being there when they return. I am never bored . Of cource there are hard parts, kids who make bad choices, or who are snarky, or who fight with their siblings. There are times when there isn't enough energy, $$, time, patience, clean sheets, room on the bed, or left over cookies for everyone to have thirds but that's part of the package. I will be eternally grateful to Rob for marrying me and becoming dad to my three girls and letting me be home and to mother the way I think is best.
I have never considered myself a working mom, except during the single years, although I have subbed and done other little odd part time things, it's always been on the kids scheduled, which has been so important to both of us.
Chapter 4: mini family:
We only have our three little chickens lefts at home. The big girls are grown and on their own. They are all doing really well and my job as mom is different. While I would want a Walton's extended family table each night, with the girls and husbands and kids and my kids and Rob and I all together that's just not reality or even what's best for them and being a mom is all about what's best for them. So I talk on the phone, I give advice when asked, I give a listening ear always, I share my life, I pray for them, I look forward to being with them and I hope I make their lives better, safer, more joyful. I hope that they see me and have a good role model. And I am happy happy happy that I still have the bonus part left. The Hannah , Ethan and Grace that still need homework help, and have games to watch and dances to be driven to, socks to wash, chores to do, places to travel, books to read, FHE lessons to prepare for, talents to develop, cookies to bake, Disneyland days, movies to watch, scripture reading/wrestling matches at night, and hectic get out the doors in the mornings.
Chapter 5: Being a Grandma. The best. It's a repeat of the love and excitement and fun and magic of childhood. It's the joy of family growing and the chance to make a difference, be an example, and to love love love.
A mother is especially designed by the hand of God to nurture and love. A father is made to preside, provide. A mother and father work together to make sure the family is safe and taken care of. Children are nurtured and grow up well when this happens. I know mom's who have to work, my two sisters work and are wonderful women and mothers. I am grateful that for now I haven't had to. Different seasons of life call for different things. The kids are getting much bigger now and while I'd like to always be here at home full time, will I? I don't know. I do know I think that's the best place for a mom to be and we should have the best as our ideal. Because there are so many mommy wars, and judging on both sides ( I think this is because parenting is a passionate pursuit) I want to state, for the record, that I think there are wonderful moms who work, and their kids turn out great, with the same success % as stay at home moms. And there are not so great ones. And stay at home moms can be great, or not. It's hard both ways, with sacrifices both ways. Women who love their children and want to do a good job will, despite any obstacles. That said I believe the best place for a mom is at home with her kids.
Being a mother is a joy, don't be afraid Jenna, look forward with anticipation and enthusiasm. And Sierra, Hannah and Grace.
and I can check faith off my list. :)