Another Lesson in Motherhood today from another fabulous Mother I know and love named Kristin Smith.
Why hello there!
My name is Kristin Smith. I’m 30 (and thriving! Ha.), I have 4 kids ages 8.5- almost 1 (boy, girl, boy, girl). I’m a small town girl with a love of learning, music, laughter, and dancing. (not profesh dancing, just dancing in your kitchen kind of dancing.)
I’m nervous to write this. Rhonda is a friend of mine and asked me to do it. Pretty much my first response was like a wild dog with rabies – wide eyed and foaming at the mouth – then I peed my pants a little, brushed myself off, and decided that it would be good for me.
It would be an opportunity to write the thoughts that are near and dear to my heart. To write about a topic that I’ve struggled with through the years, but that’s forming me (slowly) into the type of person I want to be.
So, with a “bring it on” mentality, a bit of nerves, here I am. My thoughts completely at your disposal, so be gentle 🙂
Motherhood has never come naturally to me.
People think I’m lying when I say that, but it’s true. I understand why they see it that way though. In public I’m vibrant, enthusiastic, fun, and lots of other positive characteristics. In my home though, let’s just say I’m a work in progress. The positive qualities I do possess have a tendency to go missing sometimes. 🙂
I have a short temper. I yell too much. I wish that patience was a virtue I’d already established. I should be more affectionate. I could go on and on.
Yet, I love being a mother. I find motherhood to be the best post secondary education I’ve received. It’s hands on learning (literally!) and it challenges you everyday. It challenges you to find joy in the small things, to have an attitude of gratitude, and to serve unselfishly. I’d like to talk about a couple of the danger zones that I try to stay away from regarding motherhood.
First danger zone: comparison.
Comparison is the gateway to an unhappy life. (says I.)
Their best + your worst = sucky self esteem.
Which brings me to mention my love of snowflakes. (RANDOM.) I love snowflakes. Don’t think I’m crazy – just hear me out first.
Did you know that every snowflake is different? Not one is the same?
I was thinking about that the last time it was snowing. As I slowly turned around watching snowflakes fall all around me, I marvelled that there was no any 2 snowflakes alike.
It’s just amazing I tell you.
Snowflakes are just like all of us as women and mothers.
We are each beautiful, ornate, and intricate with our own specific details. We were not meant to be cookie cutter molds of each other.
Heavenly Father amazes me in his wisdom to remind us of our divine worth. He’s given us earthly reminders – like snowflakes – to let us know how special each one of us are. Think about that the next time it snows and you’re first inkling is a depressed state J
President Uchtdorf said in this fabulous talk:
Let me introduce you to my mother: Janet Drew. My wonderful mother gave birth to 7 children in 11 years.
- That’s flipping (excuse my language!) amazing
- My mother is organized, serves without recognition, keeps an immaculately clean house, faithful to the core, and supported all 7 of us children in our pursuits.
Did I mention that she worked as a nurse and served faithfully in church callings? Enter me, Kristin Smith, as I was presented my baby boy almost 9 years ago. Like motherhood always does, I was tossed in head first with too many unrealistic ideals of what would make me a good mother. I determined my worth as a mother by comparing it with the mother I had.
My little snowflake was trying so hard to be something it wasn’t. It was discouraging. Worse than discouraging – I felt that I just would never measure up. All I could see were amazing mothers in this world and I was the mom who despite the desire to not, struggled with yelling at her kids and a dozen other vices. It took me a few years (and I’m constantly reminding myself) that the truth is, I am good enough. I am a good mother. I make mistakes daily, but I know that my heart is in the right place.
A quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard:
YES and can I get an amen?! I remind myself that I am the best mother for my children and continue trying to leave comparisons in the dust.
Second danger zone: discouragement/guilt. (I guess that is 2 things, but….too bad.)
Monotony and motherhood can go hand in hand. Some days I think “what did I even accomplish today?” (Ok, I do know that I was on Instagram a good hour…) The diapers, laundry, food, – I know you all know the list – is unending for tasks that need to be done without recognition.
I find it easy to get discouraged. A little too easy.
Our prophet President Thomas S. Monson has said:
I know this is true and it will happen because I hear women with older children reiterate that same message.
YOU WILL MISS THIS. Try to think about that when your child has just thrown up for the 6th time in their bed, or your house is a disaster, or you want to just run away from all the chaos and crying! Those little babies will become teenagers and adults with families of their own.
Don’t wish their small years away. Before you blink, these long, tedious, draining days will just be a missed memory.
Third danger zone: Negativity
I always wanted to be a cheerleader when I was younger. That boat never sailed so excuse me for asking, but may I please be yours?
I want to be an advocate for motherhood – in the sense there’s no right way to do it. You’re a mom, so as President (I voted myself in) I’m officially welcoming you to the club. This club exists in support of other mothers. We don’t judge. We encourage and strengthen. We recognize that there are going to be really good days and really bad days. We take each in stride. Surround yourself with other cheerleaders. Be that cheerleader for someone else. Positivity and gratitude will bring joy. (It won’t fix your problems, but it will help you to find joyful moments in the midst of those problems!)
If there’s anything that you take away from reading this LONG post – remember this. You are loved. So, so much. I know that Heavenly Father loves all his children. No one is left out of his “club”. Motherhood has given me a greater appreciation for the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. His gift provides me the chance to repent daily – to acknowledge my weaknesses and with his help, to continue working to make them strengths. I don’t expect to have perfection as a mother. It’s not possible. I would be pushing the atonement aside saying I have no need for it. Motherhood is trying. Trying over and over again. Setting the example for your children that you never give up. Change is possible.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said :
I echo those same words. Don’t ever forget your worth as a woman and mother. Keep your chin up. You’ve got this.
Awesomeness right?!! LOVE you Kristin! And love this!
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