Bringing some diaper humor back to Diapers and Divinity

I saw this picture floating around on Facebook today and it made me laugh… and remember. Toddlers sure like to keep their moms busy, don’t they? Here’s a sample of what it would look like if toddlers used Facebook.  Funny stuff.

FBtoddlerHang in there, toddler moms! You’re not alone.

I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. The young years are often those when either husband or wife—or both—may still be in school or in those earliest and leanest stages of developing the husband’s breadwinning capacities. Finances fluctuate daily between low and nonexistent. The apartment is usually decorated in one of two smart designs—Deseret Industries provincial or early Mother Hubbard. The car, if there is one, runs on smooth tires and an empty tank. But with night feedings and night teethings, often the greatest challenge of all for a young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life. It is not surprising when the shadows under their eyes sometimes vaguely resemble the state of Rhode Island. … Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones.”  –Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

 

The Mother Well

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In November 2009, I had three small children, ages 6, 5, and 3. I had spent about a year in an intense personal journey to gain a better testimony of my role as a mother. One early morning at the gym, my friend and I had a discussion about the pressures of womanhood and motherhood as we huffed and puffed on the treadmill. My mind sifted through scriptures and I began to put together some thoughts that would later become important ingredients in the book I would eventually write. Many experiences like this one polished my understanding of my divine role. Here is what I learned on the treadmill that day.

…. Read the rest over at Real Intent, where I’m guest posting today.

Invigorating?

PrayerDraw1[image credit: Jenny Stevning]

Nick Galieti, who interviewed me about my book a while back (you can listen to that here), wrote me this morning to let me know that he had written an article about it in the Deseret News.

That was a fun surprise.

There were also a couple other surprises.

The title of the article was “LDS author Stephanie Dibb Sorensen invigorates motherhood with practical doctrine”. I love that he used the words motherhood and doctrine together because that’s really what I hope makes the book different. I tried hard to steer away from fluff and to just show through scripture and personal experiences how our daily mothering is really the doctrine of Jesus Christ in action. The word “invigorates” made me laugh a little because, although it’s a great word and it felt like a compliment, the idea that I “invigorate motherhood” just humors me. I spent several hours this week doing yard work. This made me feel old and sore. Ever since I got home from church today, I’ve been fantasizing about taking a nap. I fantasize about naps on most days. So I don’t consider myself a very invigorating specimen of motherhood, but I’m so glad Nick thinks I am. :)

The other surprise from the article was the discovery that I apparently speak out loud in very long run-on sentences. I should really learn to punctuate a little bit when I speak. I am a fast talker, especially when I’m nervous, but now I know that I also craft paragraph-sized sentences effortlessly.

Warning: subject change….

I’ve been blogging for a long time, and one thing I’ve learned is how thoughtful and smart my readers are. There are many times that your comments have encouraged me or helped to me to gain insight into circumstances and principles. Some of you may have read a recent post I wrote called “An open letter to two real moms.” Among lots of other run-on sentences, I whined a little about book signings and I shared a few lessons I learned from general conference, including this one:

President Packer testified of the power of mothers’ prayers. Sure that means prayers for our children, but I also think it means prayers when we need help being a parent. God will honor those prayers.

Well, this morning I got a comment on that post that is still in my moderation queue, and I’ve been thinking about it most of the day. I have a variety of ideas, but I’m not sure I know how to answer her. I decided that I’m going to open it up to you to help answer her question.

Where is the help, I need it now! I have been poring out prayers to heaven. They say we have this power as a mother to get help from heaven. Well, where is it. I need it, and have been asking for it for years.

I will allow her to remain anonymous and I will email her and let her know that many wise mothers will be sharing some thoughts with her. Be kind to her and answer as if she were your own daughter, because I think she could use a little “invigorating.” Just share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks, friends.

Payoff.

Actually, I do have a post that’s not about my book.

And two posts in one day? Cue the apocalypse.

The last few weeks have been very, very busy, plus my husband has been out of town. In all this chaos, I have made a marvelous discovery. My children have actually learned some of the things I’ve taught them. I have spent years and years repeating the same things over and over to them.

“Do your chores and homework first.”

“Finish what you started.”

“Clean up after yourself.” or the common, “Don’t leave Clark tracks.” :)

Etc., etc. You’re no stranger to these things, so you know what I’m talking about.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve arrived, but it dawned on me that they are starting to get it. Finally! They are doing their chores and homework and actually earning their privileges, with less and less complaint. Grant is suddenly taking a lot more personal responsibility for his homework. Natalie will sometimes come and report to me that she finished doing a task that I don’t even remember asking her to do. This morning, Clark stuck his face in my room while I was still in bed and told me, “I’m starting on my chores early so I don’t have to do them after school.”  Seriously? There must have been an alien abduction. Or an angelic visitation. Something.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer hope. If you find yourself saying the same things over and over and over again and wonder if they will ever get it…. well, they just might. And won’t you be surprised?

Yesterday, Clark walked into the office while I was on the computer and I could immediately tell he was hiding something in his hand. “What do you have?,” I asked, “Hands up! Drop it.” He did, and it was a napkin, folded up. I opened it and this is what I found:

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(written in yellow highlighter: “I love you.” and a little heart)

“Oh. Thank you,” I said.

I think I like these kids.

Weighed down by wimpy trials…

Do you ever feel that way? Like you live a semi-charmed life (no major tragedies or heavy trials to bear), but some days still just feel … hard?

I don’t know if it’s just my general aversion to January (see here for a refresher that may make you feel a little better about yourself if you suffer from the same winter-hating malady that I do), but this has been a rough week.  I admit that it’s totally a first-world-problems kind of rough, but it has still felt hard.

Anyway, when I was mulling over my own thoughts this morning, I remembered a quote from a novel I read recently, so I went and looked it up.  It renewed my hope a little bit and made me feel up to the task–however silly it might be–of just surviving a series of bad days. Thought I’d pass it along in case it feels helpful to anyone else.

quote

Goodbye, January, and good riddance!

In which I break my own cardinal rule of blogging

When I started blogging a few years ago, I vowed to never use my blog as a platform to gripe about my marriage or my husband, until today.

Matt has a man cold.

Man Cold

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If you are unfamiliar with the man-cold phenomenon, watch this (hilarious!) video, and I think you will find that it is familiar.

This condition arouses none of my natural sympathies. I am a very bad person.

(Okay, I admit that I do feel a tiny bit bad for him, but that’s only because he’s supposed to take 18 deacons winter camping tonight in the mountains. But I would feel bad about that regardless of his “condition.”)

Oh, p.s., today’s the last day to let me know if you want tickets to girls night out.

Nonsense.

This is just stuff I’m thinking about. Please excuse the ridiculous racoonish graphic.

  1. I’m fascinated by this storm. The power and danger of Mother Nature is so intriguing, but I’m so concerned for the human element and fearful of what if may bring out in human nature.
  2. Last night, I loaded up my family in the car to go to a family reunion/dinner. We drove for an hour, and when we got there, I realized it is actually next week. As you can imagine, my family was thrilled, and claimed to be dying of hunger the whole way home.
  3. Do you have a very favorite best-of-all-time crock pot recipe? I want to start dinner already, and I’m feeling uninspired.
  4. The self-control part of my brain keeps telling me to go exercise, like walk (or if I’m feeling super crazy, maybe even jog a little), but it keeps being overcome by an urge to go eat cookie dough out of my fridge.  We’ll see who wins.
  5. I got to teach gospel doctrine class yesterday about 3 Nephi 17-19. I’m so in love with those chapters now that I can’t stop thinking about them.
  6. I have a dream that someday, in the morning before school, my children will eat breakfast without emptying the entire contents of the pantry onto my kitchen table, will not surprise me on their way out the door with some homework assignment they forgot to tell me about, and will actually be ready on time. I used to be a morning person before I had children.
  7. Can someone tell me why I can never bring myself to put away my own clean laundry? Anyone?

That is all. I’m sure your Monday is now complete. Carry on.