Updated: May 8, 2020
My son Michael tells me, “You are the best mom I ever had.” Every time he tells me that, I smile. I’ve thought a lot about that sentence. Michael means it to tell me he loves me. But, as I ponder the play-on-words, except for the obvious, I wonder what makes that true. The common applications of mothering might suggest that mothers could be interchangeable. It might seem as though anyone could be capable of running a home and keeping up with the day-to-day schedule. This might suggest that my children could have had other options, which were, occasionally, passionately requested. But, as I gave it some thought, I found the catch...
Motherhood is not a one-size-fits-all proposition...We use our individuality to navigate and magnify our abilities and modify our mothering according to the circumstances we are in. Our individuality stands as a testament to the words and a belief in the truth that “there is no one perfect way to be a good mother.” The truth of Elder Ballard’s statement is profound. Not only is there more than one way to be a good mother, it is essential we all mother in our own way. We don’t have to do it all or be it all. It is not in the how but in the doing that we nurture.[One Mom to Another]
This week, leading up to Mother’s Day, I wanted to highlight all the ways mothering can look different. Each day I will add another woman’s thoughts on mothering and nurturing in their own way, time and circumstance.
I grew up in a big family and I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I spent lots of time dreaming about what it would be like to have babies of my own. The first two times I came face to face with motherhood it ended in miscarriage and I quickly learned that motherhood would look nothing like the way I dreamed it to be as a little girl. Eventually we were blessed with 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. Although life looks much different from what I pictured in my 13-year-old mind, it has proved to be beautiful in ways that I couldn’t have comprehended as a young girl. Daily life is hard; we fill most days with homework, chores, chaos, and running a taxi service. But I believe joy in motherhood comes from being able to find joy in the ordinary. One of my favorite things is watching my kids care about each other and become friends. I love when I catch my kids, in what seems like a rare moment, and they are all laughing together and having a good time. Or when I watch my older children selflessly carry their younger brother (who is unable to walk) from room to room, helping him get anything and everything he needs, ensuring they always include him. They also have always been eager cheerleaders for him as he works on his therapies. I also love times when my girls climb in my bed at the end of the day and we laugh and chat. They beg their dad to sleep on the couch so we can have a girls sleepover. In these and other moments everything seems to be right in the world, and the chaos suddenly seems worth it.
For me, being a mom is the single most important calling I have ever held in my life. I take it seriously, especially because I am parenting on my own and doing my best to teach my children to be Christlike. Nothing brings me more joy than watching my kids choose the right and grow into amazing little humans. I am in awe of their goodness, and would do anything for these precious spirits that Heavenly Father trusted ME to raise.