A thought

"When you choose mothering, you've chosen a form for your life. You have instantly imposed upon yourself a certain level of responsibility. You will have to choose more carefully where to put your resources, particularly your time and energy and probably your money as well. But as those elements settle into spots that seem right, your family comes to life and there is joy in it."
--Emily Watts

This is a quote from the book "Being the Mom: 10 Coping Strategies I learned by Accident Because I Had Children on Purpose" (what a title, eh? :)), which I picked up at Time Out for Women. It talks before this about how you can write a poem, but if you choose to write a sonnet, you have to follow the form. Motherhood really is the same way, I think.

I've been struggling lately, trying to figure out how to divide my (seemingly very very) limited energy lately. I know that I want to be a great mother, one that helps her children grow and learn every day, one whose children know she loves them, and one who can stay on top of things around the house as well. Some days go better than others-I find the energy to have art time with Breanne, and reading time with Janey, dinner makes it to the table, and the house stays in reasonable order. Other days we watch a lot more tv and play computer, while I nap a little, and for dinner we eat cereal, usually at the table. Sometimes I even yell, which I hate. It's hard to find a good balance sometimes, and the thought of bringing another daughter into the mix makes me more than a little nervous. I just hope that as my energy returns after having the baby (it does do that, right? Somebody remind me, reassure me, please?), I'll be able to find productive ways to use it to enrich all my girls. I want to focus on the form I've chosen for my life, and find a way to fill it well. I am so lucky to get to stay home with my children every day, to have a husband who willingly goes to work every day to provide well for us--I want to remember not to take advantage of that, and to enjoy these days that I have with my girls.

Just my ramblings too late at night. :)


Tannie Datwyler said...

I love this Jessie. We all need a reminder as to why being home is the best. :)

I always try to keep it in perspective when I'm pregnant (and post partem for about 3 months). Life is not going to be like I'd want it to be. But, it will get easier and energy will return.

Remind me - when are you due?

As for the peach pie - I will send it to you FOR SURE. I just haven't typed it up yet. :)

Mandi said...

Thank you for sharing that quote. I feel it's the perfect description of the balancing act that is my life. I think I may even bring it to my next voice lesson with my very-non-Mormon and non-family voice teacher. She's been having a hard time understanding where I am on the involvement continuum.

Good luck in your own situation; some days with Scott I wonder if we'll ever have another child because it's tough! Kudos to you to adding a third!

Erika said...

Very well said! I may have to pick up that book...I've been going through some of the same emotions and I only have one daughter. Thanks for sharing!

BECKY said...

You're doing wonderful; just keep trying. Think about how many other mothers before you thought the same thing... and grew healthy families.

Haws Family said...

Amen. And yes, some energy returns. And no, you will never be perfect, but if you are trying your hardest, that is enough. :)

gilian said...

Holy cow, let's see, did I want to be a great mother, did my children grow and learn everyday, do my children know I love them, did I stay on top of things around the house? Did we have art time or reading time, dinner on the table, a reasonably ordered home? Did we watch lots of tv and play computer while I napped and did we have cereal for dinner? Did I yell?

Hmm. I hope you remember the good things from your childhood and know that the average things you write about happened too and look at how great you turned out.

I remember having so many of those same doubts and I clearly remember laying on the couch during my third pregnancy because I was exhausted, hoping I would wake up if you guys got into too much trouble.

I also remember realizing that when doctors stress consistency for children, that what they mean can be as simple as a parent who is there with her children, who makes sure they have food and a warm place to sleep, and amazingly, children survive, and all of the rest you do is gravy. And we all know how great gravy can be, but it isn't required. Baked potatoes are pretty good without it.

Mostly, the most important thing you can do for your children, is to take care of and time out for yourself. I say that from personal experience. It does no one any good if you lose yourself while caring for everyone else.

I love you so much and I am so very glad that you are my daughter and the mother of some of my amazing granddaughters. You are super. Super Duper.

word verification: whird

Jonathan said...

Amen and amen to everything Jilian said. And you, too, Jessie! I printed out your post along with the comments and am thinking of using it with our ward "Young Mothers"group. Do I have your permission to share it? Thanks!

Jonathan said...

Um, that would be Gilian.

Nicole said...

So, when I was about Breanne's age, maybe a little younger, and my mom was home with me, we used to have picnics under the dining room table. We would get special deli stuff, take our tray tables, and eat under the table. It was magical to a little kid (even if it sounds kinda weird). Maybe your kids would enjoy something like that!

Anna said...

I'm not a mom so I have little advice (mostly I ask the rest of you for advice). I guess maybe having play dates with other mom's is a good idea--maybe where each of you takes turns planning what you are going to do, etc... maybe then your girls get to do some more involved enriching activity but the pressure isn't all on you and you get the rejuvenation of getting some adult conversation too.

Also use the crock pot, it's your friend in making dinner. Every time I use it I think "this thing is brilliant, I should us it more often!"

Jessie said...

Sharon--you are more than welcome to use this post and the comments if you think it would help others--I'm all about encouraging others along the way, even when (or especially when?) things are tough. Please feel free to share this with anyone who needs it.