“The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.”~Elder L. Tom Perry
I took this picture a few weeks ago. My boys were playing this game while I was making dinner, and being NICE to each other! It made me so happy. I thought-Wow! We’re making some progress here. A whole game without tears. But alas, the second game didn’t end so well. I was still GLAD though for the time they did enjoy playing without feeling sad they lost.
I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined how exhausting parenting would be. As I think now, I can recall many experiences that I can’t believe even happened. When I brought my fourth child home from the hospital, my then almost 3 year old SCREAMED, not cried, screamed for 2-3 hours EVERY DAY for the first week I brought the baby home. She would cry for her dad. Seriously, how do these kids have that much stamina? If it wasn’t for my mother’s calming influence on me, I think I would have literally gone insane. New baby crazy plus a feeling-left-out toddler was not a good mix. But now that 3 year old is 12, and she is my biggest helper with our littlest one now. She loves to cook with me, and she loves to mother-sometimes too much albeit- everyone else.
Teaching in the home sometimes feels like running around in circles. Like we’re getting nowhere fast. Trying to remember to keep at it when the melt downs happen is tricky. To remember that all our teaching hasn’t fallen through a sieve, but some has been retained by our children is key to helping in those moments. This is one of my biggest goals I am working on now. I really want to show my kids through my actions, that more often I am calm, than loose it. I want them to feel like they can come and tell me anything, and I can be calm.
This next thought is from Elder Devin G. Durrant’s talk in April 2018. He said, “Our most impactful parental teaching is our EXAMPLE. We are counseled to be ‘an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity(1 Timothy 4:12)’.”
I know that Mother’s day is hard for some. But for me, I have always loved Mother’s day. I love that my children can tell me the GOOD that they see in me and in our home. I draw strength from my children remembering the times I do hug them, listen to them, play with them, make them special treats. Those thoughts help me through the times when I feel like all they’ll remember are my imperfections-the times I loose my temper, the times I forget to show up at school for a performance, how I can’t manage to keep up on the laundry, the home, or the yard. I really feel like Heavenly Father wants us to try as hard as we can to focus on the good in life. Learn from our mistakes-yes- but focus on building yourself up, not tearing yourself down.
Kids can be blunt. They are good at telling us when we mess up. But I hope we can hang onto the times when they bluntly tell us that we are the BEST MOM IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
So the next time your child says you are the BEST, soak that in and let it fill your cup. And if you’re in the stage where you have a screaming toddler and they don’t tell you that you are the best, then get on your knees and ask the best source-your Heavenly Father. For he cannot lie. Trust Him. Let Him fill your cup. And if that feeling doesn’t come right away, keep it up, keep asking Him. Just like your child who asks 42 times if you can go to the dollar store. Sometimes it takes 42 times before an answer is given.
Life is Good. Share the Good.