Thursday, May 19, 2011

Becoming the Mother God Wants Me to Be

Lanfant Mother and children
Mother and three children, By François Louis Lanfant, dit Lanfant de Metz (1814–1892) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I have had some challenging times in the past few weeks since I found out I am pregnant. I have been lucky to not have morning sickness, which I know is a huge blessing. At the time I found out, I was nursing a 13 month old, basically still on demand (have been working on cutting him back a little), and I think nursing has really contributed to the first trimester fatigue, which has, at times, been overwhelming. I feel like if I'm having this hard of a time taking care of two kids while pregnant, how am I ever going to take care of thee kids? I've also been moodier this pregnancy than in my previous ones. I feel like I'm not even the same person anymore, like my body gets taken over by a really mean person, and I am not being the mother I want to be.

I am constantly reminded that I can't do this alone. I have thought a lot about this verse:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
I feel that God wants me to have this baby, so He will also provide a way to make me stronger so that I can handle the challenges of this pregnancy and adjusting to a new baby. In the April 2011 General Conference (which I found out I was pregnant the day before), I was very affected by the words by the talk What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be? by Lynn G. Robbins. He discusses how parenting provides opportunities for parents to teach their children Christlike attributes and for parents to develop their own Christlike qualities. I want to read this talk over and over again because this is the kind of parent I want to be. So much of it applies to me, but I want to share this quote:
A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?
Although my current situation is not about struggles with one of my children's personalities, it helps me to remember that my goal is to become a more Christlike parent. I believe that the Lord has lessons to teach me, and this pregnancy is an opportunity for him to help me learn to have more patience, self-control, and love as a parent, not only when it is easy to do so, but also when it is very, very hard. If I am paying attention to His lessons, I hope that all my experiences in parenting, especially the challenging ones, will help me become the kind of woman and mother He wants me to be.

1 comment:

  1. Good reminder of how parenting is meant to help US learn and grow. :)