Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Mom Struggle

I was touched by a blog entry my friend wrote last week. Read it here. The lines that resonated with me were "Motherhood is the hardest kind of service...[it is] not glamorous service, but humble, often thankless service." I couldn't agree more. And like my friend, I often find myself trying to fill my life with lots of things that are wonderfully fulfilling distractions from my mothering job.

Of course, this is nothing new. I think some women are talented at embracing motherhood and finding great joy in that role (I admire them!). And while I do LOVE being a mom, motherhood is a constant tug for me between things I'd like to do with my time and life and things I should do.

But with my friend's words of encouragement swirling around in my mind, I woke up today committed to embracing my mothering responsibilities. I made homemade pancakes for breakfast which I haven't done for a couple weeks. Oh the elation and resounding "thank yous." Then instead of starting a painting project (which was my original goal), I sat down and played doll house with CJ. We acted out a birthday party for "Daddy."

For lunch we had an indoor picnic lunch. I spread a blanket on the floor and we dined on left-over pizza, apple sauce, and cantaloupe.

CJ loves cantaloupe, and I captured this moment of her enjoyment:

And you know what? Happiness came. It just spilled out like a tipped cup. As simple as that. I found myself laughing and enjoying the moment.

This morning with my daughter made me more happy than any novel-reading/writing could. It was equally satisfying as a long run :-). And had much more far-reaching importance than a painted room (which I'll still have to do).

I am blessed to be a mother. And I'm blessed to be able to spend these years of my life taking care of my children and enjoying them. This is what I need to remember.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

T-man's Day!

Remember my post about my unhappy boy? Well, this week he had a lot to be happy about. He entered an essay contest sponsored by the Washington Post and was one of six finalists. On Tuesday, he and I drove to Washington DC for a summit luncheon on childhood obesity where he read his essay aloud.

The luncheon was adorable. I loved these center pieces (the grass was real!)
He was sick that day with a fever - but both of us wanted to go. So we relied on liquid Tylenol and Ibuprofen (my purse was very heavy) and pressed forward.

He was pretty nervous right before going up on the stage...and he was the first one in line! But he did a stellar job. He read the words with emphasis just like we practiced at home. "I LOVE vegetables!" he said with a smile. And when he read his line, "When I was little..." and the audience laughed, he just kept going. He even put his paper down and looked out at the audience on his last line, "I usually eat two helpings of vegetables...and sometimes even thirds!"
Celebrity moment! Carla Hall, a Top Chef contestant, made the lunch. She made her famous chicken pot pie. (The funny part is - I've only watched two episodes of Top Chef, ever. And it just so happens that her "Pot Pie" episode with Jimmy Fallon was one of them!). So, I was thrilled to meet her and eat her homemade pot pie.
It was a wonderful day to spend with my boy. I loved riding in the car with him and getting the chance to just talk. I loved walking from Pennsylvania Ave. up 15th street holding his hand. I loved our sight-seeing side trip to take a picture of the White House. I loved watching him shake everyone's hands. I loved watching him read his essay. But mostly, I just loved seeing him smile...all day long.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Value of Work

I really like to play. I like to read a good book. I like to take long walks or go to the park. I relish movie nights with a tub of buttered popcorn. And I LOVE road trips when I can leave behind all cooking and housework. I've decided that I'm much better at playing than working. My husband, on the other hand, loves to work. Often, he works to relax (an oxymoron in my opinion - but not his).

Work is on my mind because for the next few months we'll be doing much more work than play. Painting. Cleaning. Organizing. Packing. Yard work. Work. Work. Work.

Last Monday night during our weekly Family Home Evening lesson, my husband talked to the kids about work. He explained that we were all going to be required to do more as we prepare for our move. There were the expected groans and grumblings. Really, who likes to be told that more work is ahead?

But last night I saw a glimmer of hope in my five small children. We needed to get the house ready for a Realtor who was coming to look at the house. My children did job after job after job. Wiping walls, sweeping, dusting, organizing, and vacuuming. They surpassed their tired point and kept working. All of us collapsed into bed exhausted. But we had done it!

And while I'd still much rather curl up on the couch with a lovely book, I have to admit that it really felt good to work hard. David O. McKay said "Let us realize that the power to work is a blessing and the love of work is success." I may not have found success quite yet, but I know I'll have ample opportunities in the next few months to "work" on it.