Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I had been asked to take a few minutes in Relief Society today about a time when I botched motherhood. Now mind you I had an extremely tough time thinking of such a time but Yvonne said to dig deep. Kidding, it was hard to actually narrow it down! It would have easier to pick the one or two times I DIDN'T botch motherhood.

Anyway, this is what I wrote to share but as usual it wasn't the same as I planned.

Motherhood is the best of times; it is the worst of times. Sometimes I have been confused about what constitutes good mothering. I use to feel that a perfect family or at least perfect family appearances would demonstrate my success as a mother and now that has all been shot to heck, I am getting clearer about the greatest lessons that being a mom have taught me.

I remember a time when I was struggling alone with my children in the Sacrament meeting mosh pit while their dad was calmly sitting in the bishopric suite. One of our children was being very irreverent and I very discreetly pinched him to get him to perform properly. So that I could look like the perfect mother, my controlling and mean spirited infraction was performed below the bench line so as not to be in view of any other ward members that I wanted to impress. Not understanding the below the bench line rule in order to keep up appearances (dang, that should have been a FHE lesson), my son pinched me back in full view of all those in back of us making it obvious what I had just done to him. So much for appearances.

Now I have a greater test of having children who are not always living my ideal expectations in the mosh pit of life (but hey, I'm not either), but now I get to learn some valuable lessons. One of the most important lessons is that being a mother isn’t always about having the perfect outcome and it is certainly not about keeping up appearances; it is what Adam and Eve were told in the Garden of Eden that they would learn by their experience.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my experience is to not feel like a complete failure as a mother if my children are not behaving the way I think they should but to just love them and have faith that they too will learn by their experience. I might actual discover that they are, in fact, behaving the way they should for my benefit because I am learning so much more from their disobedience than from perfect obedience.

I have been impressed to understand that my Heavenly Father also has children who not on the right path but He loves them just the same. In trying to be like Him, I too have the great test and privilege to love my own wayward children in that same way. I realize that it would be easy to love my children if they were all doing what I think they should be doing but it wouldn’t give me the opportunity to develop that kind of unconditional love that Heavenly Father has when they aren’t. It also reminds me that God loves me unconditionally, even when I am not on the right path.

I have to admit that I have learned the most from my mistakes. It has been my failures that have brought me to my knees to learn the greatest lesson of life, and that is to repent and rely on my Savior and know that He will make up for my mistakes and sins (even the sacrament meeting brutality!).


yvonne said...

tanya your comments today in Relief Society and in your blog were priceless. the message rang so true and was delivered in such a funny yet loving way. mothering is hard and when we signed up for the job i think we all secretly thought we'd produce perfect kids and perfect homes. but your thoughts helped me be more grateful for our imperfectness and for the loving way our Heavenly Father helps us learn the lessons we need to. thanks for sharing your life and your heart so openly. i learn so much from you.

{amy k.} said...

i am sad i missed church today- heard it was great.

thanks for sharing these thoughts, i admire your example as a mother. knowing that you are tool in the hands of our heavenly father and you are always doing the best you can. you have an amazing family and your children are so lucky to have you!