In the last couple years, I’ve written a few posts that have revealed some of my personality points that seem a little . . . well, at odds …with how I perceive my role as a mother should be.
For example, I once wrote a post called “Other People’s Children,” in which I said:
When there’s a family in need, and they pass around a sign-up sheet at church, I’ll sign up to make them ten meals if I can, but please don’t make me watch their kids! . . . If funds were super tight, I think it’s more likely that I would take a job at a gas station cleaning toilets than run a day care out of my home.
I also wrote a post called “I Hate Playing With My Children,” where I admitted the following:
I hate tea parties.
I hate Stratego, and Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, and Hungry Hungry Hippos, Lucky Ducks, and especially Don’t Break the Ice.
I hate pretending I’m an animal.
I can’t stand holding little toys and making them have conversations with each other.
I really don’t enjoy activities where all the cushions and pillows from my couches are spread haphazardly on the floor throughout my house.
I would rather clean out my closets than use a silly, high voice and make Webkinz tell jokes to each other while they bonk each other on the head. . . .
And yet here I am.
A mother of three small children. They love to play.
And they want me to play with them, which I am as excited to do as I am to train for a marathon. Sometimes it feels that hard.
So. What I am about to say may just blow your mind.
1. Matt was out of town last weekend, so it was just me and the kids at home. We didn’t even go anywhere. We played games, and painted pictures, baked cookies, read stories, and made friendship bracelets. And I liked it. My children are now big enough that we can play normal games and not brainless toddler garbage. They can help me in the kitchen a little without making me develop a nervous tic.
2. Tomorrow I am hosting a little party at my house where there could be 30 children or more in my house watching a movie and eating stuff and making all kinds of child-related noise. And I’m looking forward to it. *pausing to let that sink in* I know. It is weird.
The point of this post is not to say that it’s time for me to have more children, so don’t get cheeky and put that in the comments, nor is it to point out that I might get translated at any given moment (though I probably should be, don’t you think?), but it’s mostly to point out and relish the fact that I am growing into my children more and more. I am becoming more comfortable with things I previously claimed to “hate,” and part of that is simply because they are growing up and have reached a stage that my personality feels more equipped to handle. (So really, when I say I’m evolving, what I really mean is my children are evolving. They are becoming much more human and much less alien. It’s a good thing.)
In speaking of mothers generally, I especially wish to praise and encourage young mothers. The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. . . . 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. . . . Remember, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” — Jeffrey R. Holland, “Because She Is a Mother”, Ensign, May 1997
24 thoughts on “I am evolving. No one is more shocked than I am.”
I can totally put an amen on that. The toddler years are hard — sometimes I feel like I have more tantrums than they do! My daughter is now three (going on 8) and she has turned into such a fun and delightful companion. I am enjoying every minute of this stage, just in case there is a more trying one just around the corner 🙂
I hear ya sister…I actually made my husband a sandwich and waited on my children hand and foot last week when they were sick…and I actually liked it. I felt needed and like I was playing an important part….I felt “like a woman”…it’s strange and funny that it takes time I guess to come to appreciate some of these tasks. I never did like babysitting…still don’t! But spending time with my kids…yes please!
My kids are getting older (12, 10 and 6) and as they do, I like to “play” with them more. We seem to actually develop a relationship and have things in common.
I tell people all the time that I don’t like babies. That is not to say I don’t “like” them, I just don’t do the baby thing…the toddler and older child thing…better. 🙂
And yes, now would be a good time to be translated… 🙂
I am so with you. I love my older kids. So far the teen years have been great. We can read the same books and discuss, have grown up conversations where they bring their own ideas into the discussion, they LIKE to cook, they can clean up after themselves, chose their own clothes, groom themselves, and BE LEFT ALONE or WITH THEIR SIBLINGS while I leave the house ALONE.
I have always enjoyed my kids becoming more independent.
Oh what a relief to hear so many women say the younger years are hard — and that it gets more fun 🙂
I must not be as smart as you guys. I think maybe my brain only developed to the age of 4 or something because I miss the terrible 2’s and playing toddler games everyday!!!! I love playing with babies and toddlers!!! They think you are hysterical not matter what you do. I still pray for more little ones so maybe that is why I am stuck in that phase. I looked at everything (first steps, potty training, 1st day of school, etc….)wondering if Jake was the only child I would share those moments with, so maybe that is why.
I love my son @ 9 1/2 but Lego’s and action figures get old to me after a while…BUT there are so many other things we can do together and it amazes me. Who knew laundry would turn into a game? I throw Jake the stuff from the washer and he puts it in the dryer-if I hit him with the clothes before he can catch it, I get a point. If he catches it, he gets the point. Not to mention he can actually do it all by himself if I need him to. It’s more fun together though. So, I think I LOVE all the phases of childhood. 🙂 Why do I always ramble!?!?
It has nothing to do with being smart. It sounds to me like you have an extra dose of the nurturing gene. I think it’s a gift you have. Truly.
This makes me like you even more! I think this is why I like working with teenagers. I like being able to have a somewhat normal conversation with them, rather than have to keep them constantly entertained with games.
Hey, if I can make a pipe out of an apple, I am their best friend! 🙂
I am still in the toddler garbage game stage. I am one of those odd creatures who enjoys my preteen more than my little ones. But it gives me hope that one day I’ll enjoy ALL of them. I figure as long as they’re sure I LOVE all of them at every age, we’re golden.
This gives me hope. From the get-go it has been my goal to teach my kids to entertain THEMSELVES because I just can’t do all those baby/toddler things for more than 10 minutes at a time without going crazy. I’m definitely looking forward to older kid things and I hope I like it as much as you!
I remember BOTH of those posts! And I remember how relieved I was that there were other people in the world like me!
Wish I could join you in saying we are getting over that, but not so much on this end. Although I have found myself playing more with my daughter for the look of shock and pure joy she gives me whenever I make one of her pet shop toys or Barbies talk to eachother.
It is good to know that there is a light in the future! Looking forward to getting out of the toddler garbage… in another 10 years or so!
As a newly married 20 year old I remember saying; “My only domestic quality is that I live in a house”. I even brought books on how to cook, as I had failed to listen to my mother for years. We were often asked if we would have children. Although I would say that it was up to our Heavenly Father, I silently loved being child free. As the children came into our lives I would often look at other moms and fear that I didn’t measure up. I tried to volunteer for things at the children’s school, but I hated it. I felt I had failed. After four children I divorced (the children remained with me). I have married again, completed a University degree, and had three more children. Finally, I feel more secure in my self and I am able to start enjoying life. I actually enjoy my older chilrens company. My twenty year old can talk about his life, my teenage girls can discuss almost anything with me and love to go shopping. The youngest is just 7 months but I find I am even able to take better care of her; now that I have matured and just enjoy being me.
Wow! I’m going to be thinking about one thing you said all day: “now that I enjoy just being me.” I wonder how many of my problems stem from not being comfortable in my own skin. You give me hope!
I just loved this!! Thanks so much for sharing. We’re all growing into this motherhood thing, aren’t we?!
I’m happy for you.
I loved this post. I too am feeling the same now that my youngest is 3, there is finally some wiggle room, and we are going more places and even the friends are older and more tolerable. GOOD for us.
By the way, I’ve never commented on your BLOG before, but it is one of my favorites and I really love that you are REAL. 🙂
Amen. I was not good at the fatigue of the baby years, and I did not enjoy playing with toddlers all day long. (Toddler triplets especially wore me out!) But really from the time my youngest were 5, I have loved it.
I totally get this. Although, sometimes I find sparks in the tinys I really miss…
I do love a good board game though. A mean one, not like candy land. 🙂
I think it comes down to talents and interests a little. Some stages of life we have to try harder to see the good in than others. I love the book by Emily Watts, Being the Mom: 10 Coping Strategies I Learned by Accident Because I Had Children on Purpose. She talks about the different stages of motherhood and what she is glad is over and the things she hopes never to forget about each stage. It was given to me as a gift when I had my fourth baby and I appreciated it’s insights and humor.
I am grateful right now that my oldest is old enough to be able to play those games I can’t stand with my toddlers and not so old that she doesn’t want to! Although, since I don’t like them, we don’t own hardly any. There is a DVD version of Candy Land that is actually fun. It has three games on it. The kids play the board pieces and have to walk around the mats. One games is similar to the board game, but the DVD also has a version of Simon Says and musical chairs on it. Much more entertaining.
It’s easier watching other people’s kids when my kids are there to distract them or I’ve made cookies and can just feed them sugar for a while.
But you know what’s kinda sad? My kids would much rather be the cheering squad while my husband or I play video games.
I totally understand. I was not good at the baby/toddler years. I am actually really enjoying the teenage years right now. (gasp)
I am only “mom” half the time around here. Most of the time I’m James (Thomas the Train’s friend) or – heaven help me – a talking race-car that *has* to introduce himself several times and prove himself on the race track even more often.
I try to make him play my games, but he loses interest in mine just as quickly as I lose interest in his.
I am SO gratified to know that a common middle is found somewhere down the line! 😀
I want to say – thank you for this