Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Manner of Mothers

"The true strength of any nation, society, or family lies in those qualities of character that have been acquired for the most part by children taught in the quiet, simple everyday manner of mothers."
-Gordon B. Hinckley


The above quote spurred a long conversation between Sam and I tonight.
I mentioned how intimidating that notion was, and how I always feel that I am falling short.
"Tell me more about those feelings," he probed with concern.

And so our discussion turned to my inadequacies and the questions I wrestle with constantly about finding the balance between actively teaching our children and providing an environment for them to learn freely and independently.
We talked about my hopes for our children and whether I need to change anything in my mothering in order to help those hopes to be realized.
We talked about the challenge of caring for a very demanding baby while still being actively involved with our other children.
We talked about the desire that exists within us to constantly improve whatever it is we're doing.
We talked about the importance of helping children become securely attached by simply being available when they have needs that arise.

At the end of our discussion, I had sorted through some of my concerns
and I felt bolstered by the strength, love, and encouragement of my companion in parenting.
I still feel inadequate,
but as one friend said,
motherhood needs to be overwhelming. God cares too much about the welfare of His children to let us take it casually. It is intentionally made difficult so that we will turn to Him.

Often the challenge seems to come not in the day-to-day responsibilities
but in the weight I feel of the importance of mothering
and in the agonizing over whether I am doing enough.
But in all of my questioning, this I know:
The most important gift I can give them is a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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