When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt unsure how this motherhood thing would go. I was afraid that I would do the wrong thing and that I would mess up my kids. Then when my daughter was born and I held her in my arms and felt that connection that is so deep there are no words to describe, I realized that my world had completely changed and that no matter what happened next, I would be willing to do whatever it took to do my best for my children.
What I could not foresee in that moment of newborn bliss was that in the coming months and years, I would be stretched beyond my capacity in meekness, love and temperance. Now that several years have passed and I have three incredible daughters, I would like to reflect on my journey so far in being a mother.
I feel that there is so much pressure on women. Pressure to be perfect mothers, to have the perfect home, to look perfect in makeup and style, and to act perfectly but the reality is that we are not perfect! One of the biggest lies that keeps us stuck is that we are supposed to be perfect! This is simply not true. Our Creator made us imperfect, so we could learn, grow and become. It is in our imperfection that get stretched and become more of who we are meant to be. Children increase our capacity greater than anything else could. They have the ability to elicit such feelings of love that we can barely comprehend it. They also have the ability to push us to our edges and can bring feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and guilt to the surface. When we have children and are faced with lack of sleep, pushing boundaries, stress and worry over their wellbeing, our character gets stretched.
So given the reality that we are all stretched being parents, what determines if we will grow from the experience and become more of our potential or shrink? I believe that our ability to be empowered to become more of who our Creator wants us to be is determined by three things. The first is our faith in our Creator and His ability to use our experiences in this life to help us to become greater. The second is our ability to get back up when we make mistakes. We all make mistakes in this life. That is to be expected. When we are able to get back up and do the next right thing, that is what defines us. The third is our ability to forgive. Forgive ourselves, forgive others, and trust that our Creator forgives us. I know that having faith, getting back up from mistakes, and forgiveness unleashes our greatest capacity to love and care for our children in a way that empowers our best self.
To all mothers, I hope that you know these simple but life changing truths. I hope you know there really is a Creator who loves you and is grateful for all you do in this divine role you hold as a mother. If you don’t know this, I encourage you to pray about it so you can know for yourself it is true. I hope you know that you don’t have to be perfect and that as long as you are striving to get back up when you make mistakes and take the lesson, you are doing amazing! I hope you know that the role of motherhood truly impacts the world greater than anything else we can do in this life. Mothers have brought into being every person who has ever lived or will live. Mothers have the greatest influence on children and who they will become. We have the capacity to teach our kids how to love, how to live, how to forgive, how to know their Creator, and how to reach their full potential.
When life gets tough and you are in the trenches of dirty diapers, laundry mountains, fighting children, and messy houses, please know that you are enough. Although this work of raising children is divine, it is often messy, unpredictable and in the day to day can at times feel like the movie Ground Hog Day. However, each day builds upon one another and in the midst of imperfection, we teach our kids how to get back up when they mess up, how to love even when you don’t feel loving, and what it means to be a mother.
I think about my own mother and all she has given to me. I feel like when I was a child, I couldn’t see the millions of things she did everyday for me. Now I am filled with gratitude and love for her and all the many sacrifices she has made for me.
I know that motherhood is a divine role. I know it is supposed to be messy and that we are supposed to be imperfect. I know that as we get back up, have faith, and forgive, that the Creator can help us become who we are meant to be. Mothers, you are amazing and you are making a greater difference in this life than you can imagine.