on motherhood

Photo by Coco Portraits
Today my girl turns one!  I can hardly believe it.  With her birthday being so close to Mother's Day, I decided that I wanted to post my thoughts on her birthday, since after all, she is the one who made me a mother.  Mother's Day treated me well, although I woke up Sunday morning feeling unmotivated.  I've always been a person with incredibly vivid dreams, that I usually remember.  That night I had been dreaming of college graduation and walks to the pool and swinging at the playground with my family.  Waking up was bittersweet since my dreams were filled with zero stress and all the happiness I could imagine.  Part of me just wanted to stay in bed, to go back to dreamland and stay there for a while.  But, life doesn't offer me that luxury anymore and it's not bad.  I really think that Satan weasles his way into my mind each Sunday morning and tries to convince me that staying home from church would be much easier than wrestling a one-year-old for three hours.  Even with the strongest of temptations to stay home, we made it to church... 20 minutes late. 

Sadee was quiet for the first hour and I was able to listen intently to a wonderful lesson, given by a new friend.  She expressed her struggles as a mom, admitted that there are days she wants to give up.  Oh how I can relate!  Then she told a story about her sister... her tall, beautiful, blonde sister.  One morning her sister stood in front of the mirror, analyzing herself {as we all do}.  Satan creeps in our mind and points out all our faults and puts horrible, mean thoughts in our mind.  Her sister looked back in the mirror and said, "Shut up Satan!  You don't even have a body!"  This hit me hard because I am one to "talk back" to Satan... a lot.  He bugs me, so I tell him.  He eats at my self-esteem, and I tell him to stop.  But when it comes to being a mother, I don't stop him. 

As I was browsing through Pinterest I was bombarded by posts, articles, and pictures all saying the same things... 25 Ways to Become a Better Mom, 5 Ways to Spend More Time with Your Children, 10 Habits Mothers Should Break, and on and on.  I came across an article at Salon titled "Why I can't stop reading Mormon housewife blogs."  The caption said, "I'm a young, feminist atheist who can't bake a cupcake.  Why am I addicted to the shiny, happy lives of these women?"  She admits that she is a career driven woman who has no interest in motherhood, but also admits, that Mormon mommy blogs are uplifting.  In many ways, the writer criticized these mothers for portraying a so-called "fairytale" life... women who only focus on the good, who bake, cook, and clean all day and are happy to do it.  Women who shop, antique, craft, and decorate cakes, all day, every day.

"Enter the Mormon bloggers, with their picture-perfect catalog lives.  It is possible to be happy, they seem to whisper.  We love our homes.  We love our husbands."  I would argue that, as a Mormom mommy blogger myself, I'm not whispering that it's possible to be happy, I want to SHOUT it from the rooftops!!  I DO love my home!  I DO love my husband!  But, it is NOT picture-perfect.  Oh the skewed view of our world!  Natalie Holbrook from Nat the Fat Rat was interviewed in this article and she says, "It's important to acknowledge the hard parts - and I think we all do - but why not focus more on the lovely and the beautiful?  That positive attitude is a very common theme throughout all aspects of the Mormon faith."  I could not agree more.  I too, have been told that I "make my life seem better than it is."  In reality, I make a choice every day, to focus on the good.  Quite frankly, there is too much bad in this world to dwell on it.  As mothers, if we did not focus on the good, our lives would fall apart around us, we would become sad, depressed, and ultimately all hope would be lost.

I don't think that there is one, single answer that will solve the hardships that we mother's face.  Maybe not reading those articles, or putting a check-mark next to the things we do and don't do, would help.  And to be honest, I just don't have time to read, sing, play with, and cuddle my baby all day, every day.  And that's okay.  My daughter will still love me, with all of my faults.  I think what children need are mother's who truly, honestly, and whole-heartedly love their children and tell them every day!  I think that mother's, including myself, need to have more patience with themselves and recognize all the good they do each day, rather than cataloging all that went wrong.  My husband would be the first to tell you, I'm horrible at recognizing the good I do.  I can't even tell you how many times I expressed my concern for being a "horrible mom" yesterday.  Too many.
But, today, my baby is making the transition into toddler-hood.  We have a small party planned and it's going to be a long day putting it all together.  And I am 100% okay with going through the effort to make today special for HER!  She is everything to me.  When she was born, people would ask how I was feeling.  I would tell them that it felt like my heart had been ripped out and was now walking outside of me.  I still feel that way.  She is such a light and has the sweetest spirit.  I am lucky to be called her mom.  And on top of all that, I'm amazed at the women I have around me who have taught me that motherhood is good and worth everything in the world.  For my mother-in-law who raised a man who is thoughtful, kind, and good.  Who works hard, laughs hard, and plays even harder.  For my own mother who taught me that sacrifice is needed, but okay.  Who taught me how to love unconditionally, to be a better person, and to be aware of others.  I love the women in my life - mothers, grandmothers, sisters, sister-in-laws, aunts, cousins, and friends.  Each have taught me something along the way about this "motherhood" thing.  I love it.  Being a mom is the greatest calling and I wouldn't change it for anything!

Here's to mom's everywhere...
And Happy Birthday Sadee!

1 comment

  1. Kels! What an awesome post!! I live it through and through!!


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