I just finished mopping my floors, on my hands and knees. Yes, it was that bad; so bad the mop could no longer give the floor what it needs. And while I didn't have a mean cat named Lucifer stomping around inhibiting my work, I still found myself humming, "Oh Sing Sweet Nightingale."
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a mother, a mother and a Disney princess. In my eyes they were somewhat the same. My mom made the world pretty and happy and showed me what was right and what was wrong. She gave me love and apples and tucked me in at night. Princesses made the world pretty and happy and were always right and defeated wrong. They looked for love and ate apples and danced at night.
But then I became a mom. I was given the responsibility of motherhood and it was huge. Suddenly I felt as King David when he cried, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest.” Rest, I discovered, was not in the job description of motherhood.
“Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us…Every time we build the faith or reinforce the nobility of a young woman or man, every time we love or lead anyone even one small step along the path, we are true to our endowment and calling as mothers and in the process we build the kingdom of God. No woman who understands the gospel would ever think that any other work is more important or would ever say, ‘I am just a mother,’ for mothers heal the souls of men.” (Sheri L. Dew, “Are We Not All Mothers?,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 96)
President David O. McKay said, “[The] ability and willingness properly to rear children, the gift to love, and eagerness … to express it in soul development, make motherhood the noblest office or calling in the world. She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the admiration and the plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, … deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God” (“Chapter 16: The Noble Calling of Parents,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, 153)
The Proclamation states, "Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."
We are endeavoring in this sacred calling, we are rearing young souls, and yet sometimes I find it so hard just to get through the day. Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." I want to be an angel mother, but sometimes I feel so far from it. I worry that my children will more likely remember when I overreacted because they dropped my toothbrush in the toilet than they will remember when we danced around the room. I worry that I ask them to say please and not demand, then order them to go clean their room.
"We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit." (Julie B. Beck; "And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit’,” Ensign, May 2010)
Motherhood is not a destination or even a goal it is a journey. It is not unreasonable on a journey to get tired, to get discouraged, to wonder when we’ll get there. But we also have to recognize all the beauty along the way. We have to savor the moments when all is right in the world, when they play together without fighting or they pass the test you helped them study for. I love the moments when they look out for each other or are kind to someone who is different from them. Those are the times I remember why I want to be a mother.
For me I was reminded of just how much I wanted to be a mom when all that was taken away. Our third child, was born with Transposition of the Great Vessels, which means that her body was not receiving any oxygen. It would be nine days before I would be able to hold her and twenty-six days before I would hear her cry. After open-heart surgery she developed numerous complications. She went home on nine medications with injections twice a day. I had to learn tracheotomy care, how to insert a feeding tube, and program a ventilator. Our family was separated by a five hour drive and I desperately wanted to be a mother again. I wanted all my children under one roof. I wanted to hold them and kiss their boo boos. I wanted my children to know I would tuck them in at night and be the first person they saw in the morning. I wanted to sing to them and read to them and teach them our values. I wanted to go back to being their mom.
President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that “God planted within women something divine.” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 387)Being a mother has more fully helped me understand God’s love, the love of a parent for a child. Being a mother helps me understand the Savior’s love. The need we have to take upon ourselves the suffering of those we love. When we love someone we want to be there for them, to be a comfort to them. Being a mother makes a difference.
The other day my kids were watching a Disney princess sing-along, and it hit me I am a Disney princess. I’m Belle when I read them stories; I’m Cinderella every time someone tracks mud on my newly mopped floor, I’m Snow White when I tell them to wash up. I’m Ariel when I change an outcome with a song, and Sleeping Beauty when I happily dance with someone other than my Prince. I’m Mulan when I fight against others expectations and Pocahontas when I long for something beyond what is expected. I am Tiana when I work hard and fight for my dreams. I found my prince and he loves, honors, and cherishes me and our children. I’m a princess and a mom, what could be better?
Thank you, Somer!
Now here are the winners of this week's party favors.
(The first two prizes were chosen from the Photo Walk Link-up Entries and the rest of the prizes were chosen from all of the comments and blog posts for this week.)