Teach your children well.
Motherhood is the highest calling.
Being a mom is the best and the hardest job you will ever do.
These are all words I’ve heard over the past 10 years of being a mother. Sometimes these words make me cringe. Sometimes I nod my head along in agreement. I was solely a stay-at-home parent the first 6 years of my motherhood career (career! ha!) When my daughter turned 2, I began working full-time for the charter public school I founded. And OH THE GUILT! I worked through mom-guilt for about the first two years. When I would express the feelings of guilt to people they would say “but didn’t you START this school for your kids?” and I would reply “well….yes…..” and they’d reply “then you shouldn’t feel guilty for anything! Look what you’ve done for them!” (for some reason, those guilt feelings didn’t go away)
The thing I didn’t mention is that the school I had started “for them” had me spending less time with them and more time working. Even when I was home, I was working (especially when I was home?) My thoughts were constantly on the school, the staff, the parents, the children. It wasn’t until the third year I allowed myself to let go of the mom guilt a bit. And in the fourth year? Oh man, I learned how to say “no,” I learned how to delegate, I learned how to say buh-bye to mom guilt all together. It was a pretty amazing year.
And now going into the 5th year of this little school I founded, I have decided to re-focus on my children. To re-focus on putting them first and work second. This means I have cut back my work duties significantly, while still having a large role in my school. I’m really excited about it!
I’ve committed to listening intently when my children speak. To asking them questions and getting into discussions with them. To watching them play with play-dough and Legos and be amazed at the things they build. To taking them on bike rides and walks. To teaching them how to cook. To making amazing summer memories with them. I’m really excited about this. Like, really.
And this morning I saw a quote by my homegirl Rachel Hollis:
I have heard a quote similar to this in the past, by Harold B. Lee, an old guy in the church I belong to (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). Ok, wait. It’s not very respectful to call him an old guy. Let me try that again: Harold B. Lee, an amazing man who was the 11th President of the church I belong to. There, that’s better right?
Ok, moving on….And then I went on a search for another quote that was profound to me in the past, something I wanted to hold on to in this time of recommitment to my children and to my role as mother. I found it in an article by Gordon B. Hinckley (the 15th President of the church I belong to) titled “These, Our Little Ones.” It’s a SUPER GREAT read for anyone, not just Mormons. I highly recommend it.
In the article, he quotes E. T. Sullivan (who best as I can tell, was a poet in the early 1900s):
“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”
Amazing right? What I LOVE about this quote the most (it’s rather hard to pick) is this:
I LOVE THAT.
Being a mother means we get to raise the greatest forces in the world. What a huge job. Yet what an incredible job. I truly believe there is a time and season for everything in life, and now is my season to recommit to motherhood. So I’m gonna do that. Who needs January 1st to make new goals? Not me!