Motherhood is glorious, but that's an overall assessment. Any given slice of any given day can be ... well, less than glorious. I've had a few days that I've declared hopeless about 15 minutes into them, and the fact that I don't crawl back into bed and quit is a small miracle. I'm not always proud of how I live those days, but, lo and behold, I survive them. On days like that, it's easy for a Mom Guilt Radar (admit it, you have one) to go off the charts, but we need to remember that this is all part of the package deal. This is exactly the kind of lone and dreary world that Eve got kicked into, and we're right there with her. Elder M. Russell Ballard said,
"We need to remember that the full commitment of motherhood and of putting children first can be difficult. ... There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment, but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration. . . . Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."
The bad days, the hard times-- they are normal. And they make more out of of us than we give them credit for. I came across this quote in an old Ensign article and I loved it:
"What we discover is that the good days and the bad days and the ordinary days all mount into a cumulative total to build the strength and durability you just can’t get any other way. The good days alone won’t make it. By stretching to overcome the bad days, and continuing to reach toward our best selves on the ordinary days, we enlarge our capacity for the charity [the apostle] Paul wrote about." --Beppie Harrison
It's such a cool concept and it rings true for me. I am a better person because I am a mother. I'm also a worse person because I'm a mother, but I'm learning how to work through those newly-exposed weaknesses and become who I was meant to be.
Elder Neil L. Andersen taught,
"Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties. As if we were climbing a tree-covered mountain, at times we don’t see our progress until we get closer to the top and look back from the high ridges."
I know the occasional bad days won't go away, and that's okay. Life "in the trenches" will undoubtedly be fraught with both challenges and victories. My motherhood moves me daily toward the Savior, and that's just as it should be.
Stephanie is a mom of three young and relentless children. Her interests include Latin music, naps, restaurants, writing, travel, teaching, housework denial and long showers. Stephanie seeks for the divinity in motherhood--- tries to share it when she finds it, and tries to laugh when she doesn't. She blogs for fun, posterity, and therapy. Her musings are chronicled at Diapers and Divinity.