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