Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Motherhood Mantra for those less-than-perfect days

It's ironic that after writing that last post about choosing to be a full-time mom, we've had just about the worst week yet around here. Or maybe it's not ironic at all — it's just a faithful representation of what this lifestyle entails: the best of times, the worst of times, and everything in between.

Nothing too dramatic has happened, which is perhaps what makes this week so infuriating. Evan's got some major allergies and may be teething, which makes him a giant cranky monster. But other than that, there's no "cause" for our foul moods and short fuses, nothing we can point to and say, "When we fix this or when this ends, everything will go back to normal." So, on top of being cranky, we are a left a bit helpless an stranded.

Unfortunately, that's just how it is. It's a very win-some, lose-some life. Some days are filled with laughter and new experiences and those loving, tender moments that remind you that to be a mother is to fulfill your highest purpose. Some days are filled with tears, anger and yearning for the time when no one depended on you for every little thing or clung to your leg with an iron grip, begging for more animal crackers on the verge of an explosive tantrum if those requests are not met. And, oh yes, for those days when you used to be able to pee alone without little hands pounding on the door or wandering in just to see what's going on.

Hence the ol' motherhood cliche: It's so hard, but it's so worth it.

I hate to say it, ladies, but this awful, worn-out cliche is true. It is SO HARD. It makes you want to cry and scream every bit as much as it makes you want to smile. It makes you wish for any life but your own, just like it makes you grateful that heaven smiled upon you the day you were blessed with a child.

But remember what it is you are doing as a mother: You are raising a human being. You are, in essence, creating a person from scratch. You are daring to make the world a better place by shaping a young mind to be curious, be smart, be kind, be loving, be adventurous, be generous, be an individual. You believe enough in yourself to impart your ideals and values onto another human being who will then go out into the world and leave his or her mark forever. And, you are forging a bond that is one of the most important things your child will ever have — the love of a mother.

And that's why it's SO WORTH IT.

When my little dude was about two months old I came up with a Motherhood Mantra to remind me that what I'm doing is so very, very important. I wrote it on a 3x5 card and put it on my nightstand so I would see it and repeat it every day. It reads:

"My child is a divine gift. Being a mother is the most important duty I have ever been given. I will care for my child with patience and joy and be grateful for the privilege of this honor."

Reading this daily helps shift my focus when I delve into despair or self-pity or just plain boredom. My child IS a gift from God. I am unbelievably blessed just to have him here, healthy and whole. Being a mother IS more important than any job I could ever hope to hold. I WILL care for my child with patience, and I WILL remind myself daily that this is a great honor bestowed upon me by my Heavenly Father.

And because I like you all so much — you stalwart mothers, future mothers, and mothers at heart — I made a little printable so you can put this by your bedside too:


  1. Love the printable! It is so perfect and what a great mantra to repeat everyday. Thanks for sharing Lindsay!

  2. Lindsay, I took a few quotes from this post and recorded them in my journal. I especially liked these parts: "You are daring to make the world a better place by shaping a young mind..." and "You believe enough in yourself to impart your ideals and values onto another human being..."

    I enjoyed these jewels of wisdom. Thank you!

  3. You're welcome, Michelle. And Heather, what a great compliment. I'm so glad you were inspired :)

  4. Lindsay, I was able to save it as a jpeg, but how can I make it a pdf? Thanks.

    1. I only uploaded a JPEG and I don't have the original file anymore, so I can't get a PDF from my end, sorry. But if you have a graphics editing program like Photoshop you can usually save it as a PDF that way.

    2. All right. No problem. I wonder if I can actually print it as a photo, then scan it and save as PDF.

    3. Yeah, I'm sure that would work. What are you using it for, just out of curiosity?

    4. I would like to look at it often. I also think it'd be a good handout (even if it's as a 4x6 photo) to have available to postpartum doula clients. I remembered about it when I was looking at quotes on my pinterest board.