Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What Motherhood Taught Me

Eleven years ago I was a younger mom, I mean obviously I was younger
but sometimes when I think back on those days in my life or see photos of me,
I know I look visibly different, (and not because I am 11 years younger)
but because of the accident, and it's a weird feeling.
It took so much from me.
Sometimes I see old photos of me and 
think I'm looking at a sister who died young, or it could be
my younger sister Lucy, (and sometimes I think I'm Claire!).
Those days seem sooooo far away.
But that was me, and I DID have those experiences.
I have to remind myself of that from time to time.
And today I remembered.
Eleven years ago I had four children under five years old, I was teaching yoga, 
and managing a house with a busy husband
who worked long hours, and was learning to fly airplanes.
And I truly loved every single minute of my life because I was fulfilling
a childhood dream.  Motherhood was more to me than long sleepless nights
and monotonous days; and it wasn't just caring for children either.
In the process of my young motherhood days, I
was me discovering me, and what I liked to do.
I discovered that I could cook, and was pretty OK at it too.
I found out I could iron, and felt satisfaction
seeing Mr. Nielson wear neatly pressed shirts to work.
I learned to sew simple projects, and I liked it.
 I painted pictures and proudly hung my goofy paintings around the house in
thrift-store frames.  I  reupholstered several pieces of furniture,
 and turns out, I was good at turning ugly and ordinary things
into functional and sometimes beautiful things.
I was good at getting stains out of clothes,
I could make a mean birthday cake, create and keep traditions,
and throw amazing parties.
I learned to let go of certain expectations, but not settle,
and I learned the importance of being patient with myself and others.
I learned that everyone mothers differently, and noticed how
being critical was taking up too much of my energy and time,
and turning me into someone I didn't like.
I learned how to shake off the haters who seek to demean and undermine my
efforts and abilities.

I learned to listen and share the load with Christian.
I also learned how important it was to take care of myself emotionally,
and my body physically because I could see how directly
 affected my children were to
my moods and my physical health.
I relied heavily on Jesus Christ for answers to hard mothering questions.
I learned how to study from the scriptures and from
 Church leaders to bless my home and make
decisions with a devoted husband by my side.
It wasn't just homemaking, and the ins and outs of creating a home.
I found out things about myself because I dedicated my life
to serving and caring for my children and my husband.
I didn't let motherhood become a chore, but a opportunity to grow,
learn, find, discover, enjoy, and share.
Today after I picked Lottie up from her STEM camp 
we walked into the house where she dropped her bag,
and climbed up on the kitchen stool.
I made her a quesadilla with apples and peanut butter.
I reflected back on that summer of the accident, and I bet eleven years ago today
you'd find me in the kitchen of our little Mesa home cutting up apples for
little hands to dip in peanut butter...
(that is a really popular lunch around our house).
And for just a moment, I felt young again, and I loved it.
But more than that, I felt grateful for what I have learned being a mother.
Speaking of young,
 I still haven't discovered any gray hairs on my head,
not a single one!!!  (Yet).

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