May began with Mother's Day.
I thank Heavenly Father each day that I get to be their Mother. I am grateful for their forgiveness, on a daily basis. They know I am far from perfect. We are learning and growing together, and there have and will be many blunders along the way. Motherhood is not picture perfect. It is a challenge, it is not easy. But that was the plan. Since becoming a mother over eight years ago, I have pondered on the purpose of Motherhood, I have come to the realization that the principle of Motherhood is a gift to us from our Heavenly Father. He meant for it to be a sacrifice, for us to struggle, for us to feel pain and sadness, for us to make mistakes and learn from them. He meant for our bodies to permanently change because of pregnancy, for childbirth to be painful and to have an uncomfortable recovery, for breastfeeding to hold us back, or to be exhausted after being up all night with a sick child. He meant for toddlers to consume our time and our energy, or to experience the mental anguish when disciplining a disobedient child. He meant for us to watch our children go through their own trials, and to hurt for them. He didn't mean for it to be easy. He meant for it all, few gifts will teach us how to be patient, compassionate, or selfless. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that our children were lent to us so that we could teach them and help them to become good people, that it is our responsibility to make sure they develop character. But really, they are teaching us, developing our character. This was all for a greater purpose. He isn't punishing us, he is molding us into a more perfected being. It is a gift.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about who I want to be as a Mother, and what I would love for my children to remember when they are grown. Of course I have a list of common qualities that are on most of our lists. Qualities like patience, kindness, strength, independence, wisdom, and so on. But I have also come up with a character trait that may come as a surprise and somewhat confusing. I have decided that I don't ever want my children to believe that I am the perfect Mother. Maybe the perfect Mother for them, but not a perfect Mother. When I hear people say their Mother was perfect, I think to myself, "Then you probably didn't really know her well enough. Maybe she had a hard time behind closed doors. Maybe she kept it all inside." I have struggled with how to explain this concept, so hopefully I won't be misunderstood. Think of the disappointment our adult children would experience as parents if they never witnessed their mother's feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, or hurt. Or if they never witnessed their Mother be overwhelmed. How about if they never witness their parents argue and disagree? I am not saying that we fight in front of our children (fighting changes who they are. Save that for when the children are in bed. haha), but I am saying that it is healthy to witness a disagreement along with the sweet resolution. To me, it is important to model the bad with the good. If we shelter our children from life's challenges, then we are doing them a disservice. They won't be able to live up to perfection in Motherhood and parenting, and they may end up with unmet expectations (which creates discontent, anger, enmity, and depression). It may be hard for them to deal with challenges, change, and negative emotions. How will they know how to solve a problem or conflict? Because conflicts and problems will arise. How will they know how to deal with their own sadness and disappointments? They may not know how to deal with stress. We need to teach our children how to talk through a problem, even if their problem involves being hurt by someone else. We need to be there to listen, give healthy advice, be objective while at the same time their advocate, and not accuse them of being negative or gossipy. We want to protect our children, and we most definitely should. But let's not hide everything. Let's teach our children to express their feelings in a healthy way, that it's OK to be angry, sad, and lose our temper sometimes. Let's be sure to model how to apologize and forgive. Let's teach our children that having a different opinion is the spice of life, but being kind is equally important. Let's teach them that it's perfectly fine to be human.
I never had a false expectation of Motherhood because of my own Mother's example. She is the perfect mother for me. She didn't shelter me from all that life brings, the easy and the hard. If my mother had made Motherhood seem flowery through rose-colored glasses, I know I would feel inferior and wouldn't be able to quickly recover from hardships. But she (without realizing) helped me to know that Motherhood is full of a variety of emotions, none of which are wrong. All of which strengthens us and helps us improve. I have thought a lot about this since becoming a mother, and have realized how healthy it has been for me to know of my Mother's trials, emotions, and feelings. And when I experience these same emotions as a Mother, I understand that I am normal. But more important than normal, I understand that I am a good Mother.
And this is what we actually looked like moments before the above Mother's Day picture:
And now let's lighten things up a bit and get back to May.
The Grand LeFleur (Hospital Charity Ball). I love getting dressed up!
My two friends, Genee and Nicole.
This month, we discovered that if we suck air into our nose and hold it there, we can make these ugly faces.
Kempton won the prize (for ugliest).
I found this after Brenna was in bed;
We enjoyed the end-of-the-school-year celebrations.
(Brenna's Field Day)
Brenna and Pearl Girl
Her teacher, Ms. Wrhel
and Mrs. McKinney
Averie and Kempton's Field day was a blast and all. day. long.
Averie and Paysen
My cute kindergartner.
We had a lovely month of May, now bring on summer break!