Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day is not easy

Mother's Day is hard for many women. Some who desire to be a mother, some who have lost a mother, some who have lost a child, some who feel they are not what they should be and many other reasons. Mother's Day is not my favorite day of the year... not even close. I think it's great that moms are honored. They should be. We work really hard. However, often mothers are made to look unrealistic as people talk about them. They discuss how "perfect" their mothers were, making those of us struggling through being a mother feel very, very small.
For me, the hardest Mother's Day was 2004. It was the first Mother's Day after my son died.
I remember at Church they announced for all the mothers to stand so they could pass flowers around to them. I didn't stand because I felt awkward. I knew I was a mother but I had failed in that job. I didn't want others to think I was unworthy of that title because my child had died. I had failed in nurturing and protecting him. He was born to early because my womb failed. I was sitting there and suddenly those around me urged me stand up so I could accept that flower. That was uncomfortable for me too. I loved that I was being recognized as a mother but did I really deserve that title?

Today is a day when women are praised and put on a pedestal. It's horrible. It's uncomfortable. Everyone had the perfect mom... everyone makes all their children's clothing, never yells, reads books to their children every night, lets them participate in all the extra curricular activities they want, sing them songs, teach them to play instruments, are beautiful, do crafts and activities all the time...etc. Meanwhile, I'm thinking of all the things I have failed at. I was exhausted so I didn't read to my children, I keep trying to teach my children to play the piano but then we forget to do the lessons and I fail at making them practice. I yell --- yet another fail. It just goes on and on.

Last year I gave a talk on Motherhood. It's a lot of my thoughts. We work hard. We accomplish a lot. We don't accomplish everything and we make plenty of mistakes along the way but we grow. The important thing is that we love our children. In that talk I said this, "Ezra Taft Benson made this profound statement that puts great amounts of pressure on me. 'Mothers in Zion, your God-given roles are so vital to our own exaltation and to the salvation and exaltation of your family. A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy. Spending time with your children is the greatest gift of all.'" 

The full talk can be found HERE.

I loved this talk because even if I don't get all the crafts done with my kids over the summer that I want, or have a perfectly spotless home or occasionally yell at my kids, I know that I have spent time with them and that they know I love that. I live the gospel and set an example for them and for that, I will be pleased with myself. I hope that through my children's eyes I have earned that sacred title of "mother" and will be with them for the eternities. I love being a mom and I love spending my days with them and watching them grow and learn. Happy Mother's Day.
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