13 May 2010

Motherhood... A Seemingly Thankless Job.

A few weeks ago I spent an entire day griping to myself about how thankless my job as a Mother was. There I was, sitting there folding laundry, feeding children who never seemed to say thank you and instead spent the entire day fighting over who was touching whom, trying to make sure I had a hot dinner on the table for a hungry husband at the end of his work day, folding MORE laundry, putting it all away only to have someone TAKE SOMETHING OFF - leaving me with yet MORE laundry...

I complained in my head about the status of my house and how it seemed that I was the only one who EVER picked ANYTHING up. I continued to complain about the fact that I was awake half the night changing poop and doing dishes and folding still MORE laundry...

And the list went ON and ON and ON.

Just in the middle of my extreme complaining to myself, it suddenly hit me. NO ONE CARED. First - no one cared, because no one else was listening! (Talking in your head helps a little with that...) Even if they HAD been listening, no one would have cared because they weren't INVITED to my little PITY PARTY. (People don't bring gifts to those anyway - so why invite them?!) And then it happened.

I started to think to myself about all the things I would miss out on if I DIDN'T have children.

If I didn't have children, I wouldn't have those sticky hugs that only little people can give. I wouldn't realize the joys of teaching children how to clean up after themselves - and the thrill that occurs when they FINALLY figure out how to clean up ON THEIR OWN! I wouldn't have the sleepy "I Love You, Mommy" that comes in the middle of the night when I'm tucking them in for the 39th time. I began to realize the blessing that it is to ME to be a mother.

Now. Let it be said right here and right now that I have some VERY dear Friends (and some Siblings) who haven't YET experienced that joy. For them, it's a struggle. One that I will NEVER understand fully. My heart hurts when I think of the joys that they have yet to experience. Perhaps, it was for THEM that my selfish eyes were opened to the joys that I have. I think it may have been for THEM that my pity party was brought to an abrupt halt.

That being said, I have a story to share.

Almost a year ago, as A and I were contemplating TIMING for our next child, I found out that said CHILD wasn't WAITING for our timing. I was unsure of how to react, and probably reacted badly for one who loves children and doesn't mind being pregnant. Take PROBABLY out of it. I DID react badly. As I was going about my cleaning duties that the Portland Temple one night, griping about being pregnant when, "Gosh Darn it! I WAS ON THE PILL!" I had an epiphany. (That's code for "GOD YELLED AT ME") I heard - in my minds inner eye; the UNselfish part of me - "Don't You DARE be ungrateful for this child. She is coming to you for a reason - and YOU NEED HER." I went on to hear, "You have siblings who are unable to have children at this point and for reasons that you don't know. STOP being ungrateful for the GIFT you have been given."

You know, when you're YELLED at, you generally listen. It was humbling for me to have that experience. And it taught me a lesson in being grateful for ALL my children. I'm not perfect. I still spend more time that I should griping and complaining about what they're NOT doing, and not enough time being grateful for what they ARE doing. That being said, I am truly grateful for my children. I'm grateful when they don't argue and fight with each other. I love seeing them put their arms around each other and tell each other how much they mean to the other. I love watching L give baby C a kiss (it's absolutely the sweetest thing you've ever seen). Mostly, I love learning from them.

I guess Motherhood has its rewards after all.

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