Recently I have discovered a whole world of Mormon Mommy Bloggers who are engaged in some amazing work online. My daughter told me about Shawni Pothiers Blog 71 Toes a few months ago. Shawni has several sisters and in laws who are dedicated Mom Bloggers and as I have explored the work they are doing, I felt it would be a great idea to share some of their links and thoughts on my own blog.
Shawni’s sister Saren has a web site called The Power of Moms A Gathering Place for Deliberate Mothers. Saren also writes a family blog called Five Kids in Five Years.
I don’t have much time for blog reading, as I spend quite a bit of my time doing my own internet work and reading about politics, but I have been so impressed with the intention these women put into their Mothering that I felt like a shout out was in order.
The other day Saren wrote a post that touched my heart. We have a Christmas Tradition of reading a Christmas Story every night starting on December 1st. We also include some singing, a scripture about the Savior, and read our regular chapter in the Book of Mormon with our children. We try to have this family time every night until Christmas.
This year during our first nights reading we had several fights and a few arguments. Each night some little tiff has marred the experience and last night I whipped out the camera and took a little video after we finished reading. Although dark, it captures a snapshot of the moment.
Saren wrote on her blog:
“You can’t force a moment. I know this but sometimes I still try.
Yesterday there were lots of not-so-good moments. The kids were cranky and needy and I worked hard all day but didn’t feel like I got much done. We were late to everything because of domino effects of dumb little things that kept happening – misplaced shoes and homework, spending way too long trying to find poster board at Target, the cashier at the shoe store giving me a hard time about exchanging shoes I bought for my son last week that had already fallen apart, one thing after another. I ended up snapping at the kids quite a bit and not feeling like the mom I want to be at all….
…I dropped the whole decorating idea and just plopped down on the couch, feeling defeated. Quickly, I was joined by my 6-year-old twins, books in hand, geam in their eyes. They snuggled up on either side of me and placed a book on my lap. The older kids came and sat down too. I’d told them we’d just read one book as it was getting a bit late but we read four books. We just couldn’t stop. The kids were creating the beautiful moments I’d craved with their snuggling and cute comments, memories and ideas as we read.
So last night, I learned (yet again) that the best moments are not planned by the mom. The best moments happen when the mom relaxes and let’s the kids bring the moments to her. So much of the joy of moments is stamped out when we get too attached to our own visions of particular joyful moments we’re trying to create.
Just be there. Just listen. Just sit there. Just smile.”
Jenny Hatch said…
This one resonated today. We started our stories, scriptures, and christmas singing last night amidst typical teenage boys fighting with little brother, as I type this comment Dad is refereeing what I hope is the final fight of the night.
This afternoon, about five thirty, before I served supper, I asked all three boys to come join us for the story. I only had one balk and he was pacified when we told him he could light the candles. We had two fights over who was sitting where on the couch during the story, but other than that our twenty minutes together was mostly nice.
Reality often clashes so resoundingly bad with the dreams we have for meaningful family time that we Moms are often tempted to give up, not try, and just give in to despair.
As my husband was attempting to reason with three very unreasonable boys determined not to give an inch just now, I yelled to him, “honey, let them fight it out, come in the bedroom with me, and we’ll lock ourselves in”. My husband being the more Christlike one in our marriage, said, “yeah that is really going to help”, and continued to teach the boys and settle the squabble.
I think the issue for me is that I have all these hopes and dreams for spending eternity with my children, but at times I just get so overwhelmed with them that I start dreaming of the time when they will be gone.
Right or wrong, that is the truth. I have determined that as a mother I love my babies until they are about four and a half, then slowly, year by year they start to get on my nerves.
Maybe the ancients had it right when boys were married at 18 and girls married at puberty.
Maybe we were never meant to live with our parents past a certain time. The biggest clashes at our house always involve the older children claiming the youngest is “spoiled”, and having major issues with perceived injustices in how they were raised as opposed to how the youngest is being nurtured.
Whew, didn’t mean to write a book, but I always appreciate your honesty.
A couple years ago we were very busy with multiple high schoolers, a very busy Christmas Concert Season (I sang with Colorado Repertory Singers as a soprano soloist), and just the normal crazy holiday schedule of a big family. I suggested to the children that we were too busy to continue our Christmas Story tradition that year and told them we would try again another year.
Andrew protested very loudly against this choice. Since this son of mine is rarely willing to voice his opinion on anything, willing to go along to get along on just about any issue that comes up in our family life, I felt like we owed it to him to continue with our tradition even if we missed a few nights.
So Andy saved the tradition and now it is so entrenched even the thought of missing this magical twenty minutes of Christmas Time together every night makes me feel sad.
That being said, it is still NOT easy to gather the boys to do anything. The seem to revel in annoying each other.