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Making Sense of the Bad Days

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.

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