Motherhood is both difficult and rewarding, but it won't always be this way, even though it may feel like forever, author Emily Watts told the women gathered at a recent Time Out For Women event in Richfield. She suggested that mothers should “love the good stuff while you can.”
Watts offered advice to mothers of all circumstances:
• Learn to take things one day at a time
“Don't try to borrow the pain and the weight of every day into today,” said Watts. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, enjoy the little moments of today rather than worrying about the next 18 years of a child's life.
• Remember why you do what you do
Grumbling about daily tasks can be avoided by adjusting perspective. Watts explains, “Clean because you love a clean house. Change diapers because you love your kids. Make your bed because you love a made bed.” Remembering the why can help realign attitudes.
• Work toward making “yes” your default response
Since children can't be followed around forever, Watts said that by setting reasonable parameters, mothers can allow children to make their own choices. Give children trust until there is a reason not to. She says, “It's better to allow a 12-year-old to make a mistake rather than an 18-year-old life-changing mistake.”
• Let kids discover by finding their own answers to questions
A great teaching tool is to allow children to seek answers. It can strengthen their faith and testimony as a result. “I'll bet you'll find the answer during general conference,” Watts shared as an example. This helps children become curious and engaged in learning.
• The light at the end of the tunnel is the only light you carry with you
Speaking of the plagues in Egypt during the three days of darkness, Exodus 10:23 says, “But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Watts explains that the world is going dark, but “you are promised light; it is inevitable.” Mothers can teach children to obtain and keep their own light.
By focusing on what is important and taking life one day at a time, Watts said that mothers can find peace and enjoy the daily ups and downs of motherhood while helping children navigate life.
For information about Time Out for Women, including events, locations and presenters, see tofw.com.
Wendy Jessen is a Southern Utah University graduate and a stay-at-home mother of six. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and she blogs at mormonmomofsix.blogspot.com.