Thursday, February 9, 2012

giggles and curls, sunshine and roses.

It seems like, these days, I'm often asked what it's like being a mom.  In response, I usually attempt to summarize this scene...

Hilarious, I know!  Hence my attempt to roughly summarize for the benefit of the questioner.  But, see, I worry that it actually ends up scaring the poor non-parent more then it helps, 'cause when it comes to parenting, you just don't get it until you really GET it.  So I end up worrying I'm dissuading them way more then necessary.  Let me explain...

One of my eternal quests is to expose the myth of motherhood...this idea that it's all giggles and curls, sunshine and roses.  That, as the article in our last post so aptly described, it's impossible to carpe diem when you're a mom because the majority of diems are not anything any sane person would want to carpe anyway.  Being a mom is harder work than any toned-tummy, myriad-of-alone-time, non-diaper-bag-toting, baby-free young co-ed can possibly imagine.

But here's the thing...sometimes it actually IS giggles and curls.  Sometimes things come together in a picture-perfect, crystal-clear moment.  What I worry about is that I, in the words of my movie clip, emphasize the awful, awful, awful without fully explaining the times that something incredible and magical happens.  It really IS magical and amazing and incredible.  Not only that, but those perfect moments really DO make it all worth it.  It is so absolutely, indescribably amazing to feel that downy newborn hair, get those gummy infant kisses, hold that little toddler hand, see that crooked pre-schooler signature, smell that little boy sweaty smell, and see that little baby all grown up that words can't even begin to describe it.  To say that it makes it all worth it is the understatement of the century.  It makes everything all worth it...pregnancy, parenthood, even slogging through this thing called mortality.  In those moments, you realize that those little people are the whole reason you are here on this earth.   When we are told, " are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi, 2:25) as a mother I know that I am so that those little people can be my joy. They are the point.

When I have those moments, it makes the awful, awful, awful seem not all that...well...awful.  In fact, it makes the awful moments feel a lot more like sunshine and roses.


  1. Motherhood has changed so much! Now that I have one in real school, they come home with ideas I didnt plant... Ungrateful ideas that just drive me nuts! But you know, last year I was complaining that "they never leave, they are always here, I can't even pee alone!" so apparently there is always something to look forward to, and always something to "deal with" but at the end of the day they are the cutest beings on the planet (no bias:) and they sleep long enough for you to enjoying listening to them breathe. Pure joy!:)

    1. Love, love, love this. I remember when I first saw that movie...I was like, "that is SO how it is!!". Awful, awful, awful...and then something happens to make it ALL worthwhile---and it happens over and over again. Thank you for pinpointing the crystal-clear moments that make it all worth it. Being a mother is the sweetest blessing a woman could ever hope for--and one of her single most challenging trials. Funny how that works. I think it's so challenging and wonderful because we care, we care so much. Anyway, I think I'm going to stop rambling and go give my strawberry-blonde blessing a kiss.

  2. Exactly. Motherhood really isn't awful, awful, awful. It's beautiful, even in the hard times. When you stop to think about it, it's a miracle that we can loose it completely with our kids and yet they still love us. There's a miracle in the child who has spent all day pushing your buttons, curls up next to you at the end of the day and says, " I'm sorry mommy, I love you." it's all about perspective. So, as someone who was rubbed the wrong way by the carpe dieum article, I say seize the shining moments, for the hard ones will fade from memory. We can not allow our minds to dwell on the unhealthy, the thoughts of giving up, nor the thoughts of perfection. This life is all about bettering ourselves and seeking the beautiful, lovely, and praise worthy. Even in our Mowgli a. Even when they are handing us poop.

  3. Hey Whitney! What a fun blog! I like how Melvin J. Ballard put it, "I grant you that there are many who approach the great responsibility of motherhood with fear and timidity, because of its dangers to the physical life of the mother, because of its pain, its sorrow and its distress; but in the very nature of things, if God should lighten the burdens, the sorrow, and the pain of child-bearing, he would endanger the enduring love of the mother for her children. There is nothing worthwhile we obtain unless we pay the prince for it.

    "That which is given to us freely, we consider of little value, and so because a mother goes into the valley of death, lays her life upon the altar to bring life into the world, and because through the rearing of the children who come to her, she spends many sleepless nights, denies herself the personal pleasures of life, devotes herself with patience and care and strength almost more than she has to the welfare of her children - this is what makes her love them. For where her treasure is, there her heart is, and the greatest treasure a woman has, she give in her service, her life itself."
    –Melvin J. Ballard

    It's one of those quotes I used to keep on my fridge when the kids were little. I should probably bring it out now for the teenage years, too! :)

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  5. Loved this. I'm afraid I often come off like that too and scaring all my childless friends from having kids, I need to remember to talk about all the GOOD things that happen too.