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Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Essential and Eternal Role of Motherhood ... Mother's Day 2014

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I can't help but reflect on what that means to me, at this point in my life. 17 months ago, today, my sweet Ava Noelle was born. While looking back now, it was the greatest day of my entire life, but the days leading up to it were full of many emotions and uncertainty. We waited almost 5 years to become parents - and there were reasons for that. We needed time to grow as a married couple and to learn about ourselves. We were never fully prepared for being parents, but is anyone, really?

I was super scared to have a baby. The process of labor, yes, but scared to bring another human into our life. I'd finally felt like we'd figured out  started to maybe get the hang of marriage. And I was scared to change that. I'd seen it happen to other couples over and over. You have a baby and your marriage changes. Your husband is no longer your #1 priority - it's your kids. Your husband no longer gets attention - it's your kids. Your husband no longer feels "close" to you - it's your kids. I was scared of putting a wedge between my husband and me - yep - a baby wedge. I was so happy to become a mom - I've always only ever wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Even in college and working - it all felt like it was just me getting through the time until I became a mom. But when it was suddenly happening - I was scared about change.

One best friend told me that doesn't have to happen - that your love only grows. It's impossible to understand that idea until you are going through it. I couldn't understand how adding more responsibility, stress and someone else to our life would only bring us closer and make us love each other more. Don't get me wrong - I was super happy to be pregnant - enjoyed every moment of it - had a super easy pregnancy and delivery {think 4 hours from hospital check in and 3 pushes later}. We were super excited and happy - I was just scared about the unknown and didn't want my marriage to change.

I was super right.
Our marriage DID change. But for the better. I will NEVER forget that first moment of hearing Ava cry and holding her against my chest - looking into my husband's eyes and feeling the presence of God. It's too special and sacred to discuss more, but I will never forget it. And everything changed. How could anything stay the same? And I'm so grateful it did. I loved more. I forgave more. I saw my husband in this whole new level and role as not only a husband, but a father. It's really hard for me to explain in words these emotions and this experience, but I'm forever grateful I get to be a wife to my Conrad and a mother to my Ava. These are blessings I hope to never take for granted. I never thought I would be blessed with such a life. The Lord has always looked out for me, as he does for each of you.

I grew up when President Gordon B. Hinckley was the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was my prophet through high school and college - the years I really began to cling to my faith and deepen my relationship with my Savior. As I write this, I can't fight back the tears thinking of President Hinckley. I loved him. He was always so gentle in the way he talked and always had something good to say. He just always made me feel like I was doing alright. Things will work out. To just try to be a little better and everything will be ok. I want to echo his words - that God has a plan for you. I know this post is about motherhood, but this quote was directed to all women - everywhere:
"You are second to none. You are daughters of God. There has come to you as your birthright something beautiful and sacred and divine. Never forget that. Your Eternal Father is the great Master of the universe. He rules over all, but He also will listen to your prayers as His daughter and hears you as you speak with Him. He will answer your prayers. He will not leave you alone." 
"Stay on the High Road," Liahona and Ensign, May 2004

I want to share one of my favorite talks on motherhood, by M. Russell Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), given during the April General Conference in 2008. I know we are all in different life situations - married, single, divorced, widowed, young, old - but there is always something you can relate to in any talk from an apostle. In this particular talk, Elder Ballard directs his talk towards young mothers, which I guess is why it's so special and helpful to me right now. This talk holds a quote I see all over Pinterest about motherhood: "There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood." 

The whole thing is amazing, so I encourage you to read it all, but I'll sum up the 2 of the 4 questions he ask and answers in his talk - directed to the mother and the father {the last 2 questions are for the children and the church, so still read the whole talk - it's awesome!}. Thanks for letting me share this with you!

1. What can you do, as a young mother, to reduce the pressure and enjoy your family more?


  • Recognize the joy of motherhood that comes in moments.
  • Don't overschedule yourselves or your children.
  • Find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests.
  • Pray, study and teach the gospel.
2. What more can a husband do to support his wife, the mother of their children?


  • Show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day.
  • Have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child's needs and what you can do to help.
  • Give your wife a "day away" now and then. 
  • Come home from work and take an active role with your family.


My favorite quote from this talk:


I am so grateful for my role as a mother, and I appreciate it every day. Yes - my life forever changed the day I became a mom - but I really can't remember what my life was before I had my Ava. I'm grateful for my faith and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who are always there to say something uplifting and remind me that, despite mistakes, trials and challenges - I'm never alone. There is always a way. I'm still doing OK.

Thanks for letting me share some thoughts on motherhood with you. I hope you will take time to show a mother you love her - whether it's your own, someone else's, a friend, a grandma, someone that has passed on - or just reflect on the beautiful life we each have been given. It's such a blessing.

I'll leave you with the link to a sweet video the LDS church released on motherhood. #ItWasMom





Happy Mother's Day.

xo

12 comments:

  1. Being a mom is.. indescribable and so full of emotion, laughter, tears.. it's awesome. I'm glad that God knew better than I did when it came to having children. I never thought i wanted to be a mom, and now I'm glad that I was/am not in total control of my life. Congrats on having the best blessing and gift ever: a baby! Thank you for sharing at WOW It's Wednesday, Daniela!! Hope to see you next Wednesday. :)

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  2. I agree - so many emotions - but it is SO WORTH IT. My baby girl makes everything OK when I'm having a bad day. Thanks for your sweet words! xo

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  3. Great post. That moment of holding your baby for the first time with your husband is such a surreal moment. I will always treasure that first moment with my husband and our first daughter. Unfortunately, the birth of our second daughter was a little scarier so I don't remember the moment being as surreal. Found you on the four season hop. Looking forward to reading more.
    Angela @ Time with A & N

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  4. It is such a special moment. I'm sorry the second birth was scarier - I hope everything went ok! I know nothing will ever replace the "firsts" we had with our baby girl. Thank you for stopping by! :) xo

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  5. Kim Daniels LewisMay 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Love this! Pinned! Thanks again, for sharing at our party. Lou Lou Girls

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  6. Thanks for pinning! Love your party. xo

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  7. I love that quote! So true that we can never ever be fully prepared to be parents or mothers. Life will always surprise us. I labored for 24 freakin hours and it was the most painful physical pain I've ever experienced but all worth it in the end when I heard my son cry for the first time. It changed my life too just like how it changed yours. :)

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  8. Brittnei WashingtonMay 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Heyy! You are the second blogger that I just realized is apart of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You seem like such a wonderful wife and mom. Your baby is so adorable. You are very right about things changing when you have a baby yet i we are diligent to keep a healthy balance (not a perfect one either), I think it is for the better. :) Thanks so much for sharing this touching post with us at Countdown in Style!

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  9. Motherhood is a beautiful thing! I wish we could celebrate the special moments more often then once a year. Everyday is Mother's Day in my eyes. I wanted to be a mom so bad! Thanks for linking on #pintasticpinterestingparty

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  10. Oh my - you are a rock star, momma! Way to go! I love hearing stories of birth and how it changes your life. I never truly understood until I had my own little one. Thanks for sharing your story with me! xo :)

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  11. Yes! I am LDS - there is a really strong "Mormon Mom" blogger community, ha ha. Thanks for the nice compliments! I don't always feel like a wonderful wife and mom...but I try really hard. My family is the most important thing to me, and I get to be with them forever! That's a key doctrine of our church is that "Families Are Forever." I just love it. :) Love your link party and thanks for commenting! Take care, Brittnei. :) :)

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  12. I agree - moms (and ALL women!) should be celebrated every day! So much is required of women in SO many different aspects. I'm grateful for little moments that bring me joy - and that includes my baby girl. Thanks for the link party! :) xo

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Thanks for the chat!

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