Thursday, November 6, 2008

Joy in the Journey

Motherhood is a fun and exciting adventure. There are moments of frustration, but there are also moments of joy.

Today was one of those days where I was tempted to call Scott and say, "Don't worry about studying for your finals anymore. You can drop out of school and stay home with the little beasts..I mean kids, while I go figure out a career. "

But, I know this is not an option, because
a) I know that the mother's place is in the home and they are the best nurturers. I wasn't feeling very nurturing today, though. Unless the definition of the word {nurture} is to pack them in a crate and put them on a Freightliner to South America, or at least put them on a plane to their Aunt Jaime and Uncle David's house.
b) I can't think of any top-paying jobs for people with an Associate's in Music...or a bachelor's in Music for that matter.
c) I would hate to admit that I sucked at mothering so much that I actually quit. And anyway, just because you are working as the breadwinner while Dad plays 'Mr. Mom' doesn't mean you've quit mothering. Once you have those kids in your possession you can't resign. There's no sending them back from whence they came.

Now, I know you're all going to come back with the classic, "You're not a bad mom." response. Okay. Just because I am not addicted to meth and let them fend for themselves, or leave them in a dumpster, or a myriad of other terrible things does not, by elimation, make me a {good} mother. Yes, I feed them. Yes, I occasionally dress them and take them on outings. Yes, they have a (usually) clean bed to sleep in. And, yes, I do love them. But, I get so trodden down with the day-to-day, and get so frustrated with everything that, on days like today, I want to run screaming from the house.

In the Sunday morning seesion of General Conference this October, President Monson talked about finding joy in the journey. He said,
"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."
He also said,
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.
OK. I'm just going to have to trust him on this one, 'cause I do not see how that is possible. I don't know about you, but I would feel just fine if the piles of laundry were gone and the crayon marks on the walls were to magically disappear. *Note: The Magic Eraser doesn't 'magically erase' crayon off of my walls, unless you want to 'magically erase' the paint along with the crayon. N.G. Not Good.

So, in lies the question....Moms, how do you find 'joy in the journey'? How do you get through those days when you are shocked to look in the mirror and find you have any hair left to pull out on a later date? I've heard one solution is to think about the times the kids made you smile, but when I'm seething mad because so-and-so has done such-and-such or they won't lay down and go to sleep for the second hour in a row that evening, it is difficult to sit down and reflect on the happy times.

So, give me some input.

How do you follow the prophet's counsel and find 'Joy in the Journey'?


  1. I just sit in awe of you! Seriously you deal day in and day out with 3, I would have gone nutty by now, nuttier than I already am! I have a cheater's life, I go to work half the day and blog away venting about it all. I also enjoy friends like you that make me feel *normal*. I try to remember that it is indeed a phase and all of a sudden they are going to be better (any day now, still waiting!). I also know far too many kiddos fighting life threatening diseases and many who have lost that battle. That always sobers me enough to be grateful the kids are healthy and strong enough to drive me crazy. But yes I struggle with bedtime, the trashed house, the endless screaming . . .I think there must be some plan in this, just not sure what He was thinking!

  2. So we don't know each other really, but I know you're not a bad mom because I know (knew) Scott and he wouldn't have married you if you were (or were going to be). That said, we all have our days (or weeks in my case). This particular talk was the basis for our Relief Society lesson in my ward this week. I think the thing that helps me the most is laughter. Take a picture, blog about it later when you've calmed down a little, but just try to laugh. Laughter will dispel anything. Hope you feel better!

  3. I know this is a waaay old post, but I just checked out your blog and was looking through it a little. I wanted to leave you a little comment about this particular post.
    I totally know how you feel- about being a bad mom at times. Lately I've been trying to just laugh when things get bad. I have a tendency to scowl at my 3 year old when she does something bad, but now I try to just laugh and then talk to her about it. It really helps me to ease the tension and enjoy her and love her more to just laugh and learn. I try to imagine what I look like when I'm disciplining and then change my face so I don't look like such a mean old witch! ( : I'm sure you are doing fine with your bunch. What a joy and a challenge!


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