Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reflections on Mother's Day

What can I say about Mother's Day? It started out with us being late to church, as usual. Got to sit in the back back, in the clangy, metal chairs. But, overall we had a pleasant time at church. After we got home, it happened...I started feeling bummed out. Why?! This is *my* day! I should be happy! But, for many years now Mother's Day & I have not had the best relationship.

First, it was because every Mother's Day was a reminder of the children I was NOT having. The smiling, singing Primary children and the gifts and the talks & lessons on the joys of motherhood felt like knives being twisted in my heart. Why was I not receiving these blessings?! I'm doing everything I can to live the gospel, and yet people who dump their babies in dumpsters are able to conceive when I cannot. Did I do something wrong? Would I really be that bad of a mother that I can't be trusted with just one little bundle of joy?

Then, after we were blessed to have children enter our home (in triplicate, no less), my feelings on Mother's Day changed. Only now, rather than feeling sadness over my childlessness, I foolishly tend to use the holiday to reflect on my inadequacies as a mother. When my children are the youth speakers, will they be able to truthfully say they had a wonderful mother? Or will they find themselves wishing things had been different? There are so many ways in which I want to be a better mother. The list is long & depressing. How do you focus on *one* thing on the list to work on, when they are all so important? These children are young and impressionable. We are only given a short time to do the best we can, teach them the things they need to know to survive in this crazy world and train them up in the ways of the Lord. What if I lose my window? What if they are ruined for life? Please tell me you have felt this way before. Or, am I just insane?

Needless to say, with these thoughts swimming around in my head I was not in the peachiest mood. But, the kids found a way to help cheer me up. They wrapped themselves in blankets as "presents" and told Daddy to hand them to me to open. (They did this around Christmas time, too. See the post here.) Seeing their excitement and the happy smiles on their faces helped me to feel better. Then Scott and I had a long talk about how I was feeling, and that helped cheer me up, too.

Later that evening, Scott made a special Mother's Day dinner, complete with steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, broccoli and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The steak was *so* tender, you barely had to chew it. It just melted in your mouth. Mmmmmm.....

Then it was time to open gifts. This is the best picture I could get with the kids. Ha!

I got a little massager thingy. I was getting the kids with it, and they were cracking up. Oh, and disregard the fact that I look like a total gomer in this picture. You heard right... a GOMER! (this one's for you, Jodi)

I also got a couple of books. One is about crafts with ribbon, and the other is about home organizing. Now, before you start having "Father of the Bride" flashbacks, let me just say that everytime I go to a bookstore or surf Amazon.com I tell Scott all about some organizing book I just have to have. Organizing is *so* hard for me. So, it really was a thoughtful gift. It was funny, though, because before I opened it, Scott kept saying, "This isn't a Mother's Day gift. It's just a gift, and I wanted you to have it, and today happens to be Mother's Day when you get it." He was afraid I would be offended if I was given a book like that for Mother's Day. What a funny boy.

I hope you all had a smashing Mother's Day. Being a mommy is hard work, but I know that all you moms out there who read my blog are great at it. Don't beat yourself up or let Satan make you feel inadequate or unworthy. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"--that includes Mr. Doom-and-Gloom!!


  1. I really liked this post Jillian! You're too hard on yourself. You do so an awesome job as a mother. I'd want you as my mother! Your kids love you! And if you do want to make changes and become a better women, wife and mother (we all want to be better. every. single. one. of. us!)just take it minute by minute, day by day. Rely on the Lord and He'll help you become the person you want to be. Sorry this is long, but always remember you are loved by so many peoople...that included me!!!

  2. I always play that game on Mother's Day too - plus the martyr game because generally my kids are kind of small and my husband kind of busy to make much of it. This year I started out with the usual blech and then had a chat with DPY, fasted and prayed for peace, and of course that worked. AND David came home and cleaned the kitchen, made lunch, I napped, Hannah made me a cake, and the smaller girls made French toast for dinner. It was probably the best MD ever.

    I kind of chuckled when you talked about your kids giving the Mother's Day talk - I bet they'll get asked often since they're triplets and that pretty much automatically qualifies you for sainthood in my book.

  3. I totally feel that way on Mother's Day (as well as many other days). Hopefully we'll get through it without too many casualties.

  4. Sara Robertson HerbertMay 13, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    My mom always felt the exact same way on mother's day... miserable. I remember one year I got sick (like puked in the middle of the kids songs) and my mom wanted to take me home. My dad said 'no' because she needed to stay and enjoy her special day. My mom said that getting to leave church and escape having to hear how perfect every other mother was (and thus how short she was falling) would be the best mother's day gift ever. Personally, I always wondered if dad just wanted her to stay so she could collect her free petunia at the end of the meeting. Either way, you aren't alone. What you need to remember is that what you see at church is everyone at their best. But 20 minutes before church they weren't so calm, well-groomed, or perfect.

  5. Now I feel doubly guilty because I wasn't thinking about my inadequacies, I was still riding my massage and See's high. But yes hardly a day passes that I don't wonder if my kids' behavior has everything to do with their mother and why Heavenly Father would trust me of all people with their darling little spirits. But regardless I know that they love me, and I know your kids love you too. Could there be any greater blessing than their sweet unconditional love? (until they become teenagers and then I'll just have to rely on my dogs :)).

  6. I'm so glad you were able to get your 3 kids! I'm sure you are doing your best- and that's what counts. There is no perfect mother out there. If you think there is one- you just don't know her well enough yet! ( :
    I love the kids wrapping themselves up for you.

  7. Last year I had to speak on Mother's day and probably offended everyone in the congregation. I've known women with sensitive mother's day situations like infertility, rotten kids, and being single, But I decided that there's really nothing that would be okay to say on the topic of motherhood that wouldn't offend someone who is feeling extra sensitive.

    That's when I decided Mother's day is about my mom and my mother-in-law. It's easier to just feel gratitude for them than to reflect on what kind of a mom I am. (Especially on a Sunday which tends to bring out the worst parenting moments.)

    So, this year, that didn't work either because things got hectic and we completely forgot gifts for the moms. Guilt. Hahaha there's no way to win. Mother's day is a bad holiday and should be replaced with more explosives (I mean fireworks).


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