The article kind of got me down. The article ends by giving 10 tips to avoid the pitfalls of hating parenting. The tips are good and include:
- Give yourself a break—you don't need to be so hard on yourself.
- Slow down and savor living in the moment.
- Is more always better? Simplify everything.
- Be a little selfish—you deserve it, and it will make you a better mother.
Last weekend the Mormons had a conference. We do it twice a year. All of the leaders of our church speak. Conference could sort of be the equivalent if the Pope and all of the Cardinals each gave a 10 min speech that was broadcast on the internet and cable stations twice a year. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir plays a big role too. It's not a bad way to spend a weekend.
One of the speakers this weekend said just what I needed to hear. Elder Richard G. Scott talked about his family. He lost his wife in 1995 after a battle with cancer (after 42 years of marriage). He also lost two of his children while they were very young (within 6 weeks of one another). Elder Scott (Elder is a title like Cardinal) knows a little bit about families. Here's part of his talk.
"Once I learned an important lesson from my wife. I traveled extensively in my profession. I had been gone almost two weeks and returned home one Saturday morning. I had four hours before I needed to attend another meeting. I noticed that our little washing machine had broken down and my wife was washing the clothes by hand. I began to fix the machine.
Jeanene came by and said, “Rich, what are you doing?”
I said, “I’m repairing the washing machine so you don’t have to do this by hand.”
She said, “No. Go play with the children.”
I said, “I can play with the children anytime. I want to help you.”
Then she said, “Richard, please go play with the children.”
When she spoke to me that authoritatively, I obeyed.
I had a marvelous time with our children. We chased each other around and rolled in the fall leaves. Later I went to my meeting. I probably would have forgotten that experience were it not for the lesson that she wanted me to learn.
The next morning about 4:00 a.m., I was awakened as I felt two little arms around my neck, a kiss on the cheek, and these words whispered in my ear, which I will never forget: “Dad, I love you. You are my best friend.”
If you are having that kind of experience in your family, you are having one of the supernal joys of life."
Sorry for the long quote. But, his talk was a nice reminder that the yahoo article is only part of the story. I love being a mom. I love Claire. I know that I can't count on her to define my life (we learned that lesson from Lilly Casey Smith). I know that she can't make happy. My happiness has to come from me but my interactions with her are teaching me about the supernal joys of life.
Thank you Claire, for teaching me to be less selfish and for providing amazing moments in my life (like this morning when we played in the waves and you squeeled when the big ones hit you. And you were covered with goose bumps but you just kept laughing and I looked down and like magic, there was a sand dollar waiting for us.)
Thank you Elder Scott for the reminder. (You can read his whole talk here)
And you can read more posts about people's thoughts from Conference in these places. The names are blog authors and the words in quotes are the names of talks they're responding to.
Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jennifer McFadden: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”