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Mothers, when was the last time someone told you how incredible you are?
I see it every day, posts about how we are failing. My baby isn’t nursing, I had to supplement. My baby hasn’t learned to walk yet. How many words does your baby say? My four-year old can’t read! My eight year old won’t listen to me. My 10-year-old is refusing to do housework. I lost my temper today and I feel awful.
Help, what do I do, I feel like a failure.
You Are Not Failing!
Dear sweet mom, you are not failing. You are doing your best, and that is all your child expects from you. Just as every adult has their strengths and weaknesses, so does every child. My son, who turns 7 in a few weeks, struggles to read, but he can do multiplication problems in his head.
My 8-year-old daughter is halfway through the Harry Potter series and an amazing artist. She struggles to do addition. They don’t struggle because I am a failure. They struggle because their brains work differently. It isn’t a competition, and I don’t need to be comparing them to each other or anyone else.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; very few people are actually judging you, and those who are don’t matter.
As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said:
The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work…Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones…Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever.
One young mother wrote to me recently that…she worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be equal to the task…But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him.”
Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be…You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging.
Mom’s please don’t be so hard on yourselves. The perfect mother doesn’t exist. No one can do it all, all the time, without any mistakes. Some of us may hide it better than others, but the truth of the matter is we’re all just making it up as we go!
I am having baby number eight in a few weeks, and I still struggle with how to teach and discipline number seven. They’re all different, and each time I add another the rules change. My mom had six. She often doesn’t know what advice to give me when I call her in tears because I don’t’ know what to do with one of my children. “I never did figure that out.” She says.
Mom’s please love, respect, and forgive yourselves. You are amazing in every way. You stumble, you fall, you fail, but you get up and you keep going because what you are doing is the most important job in the world. It is an eternal partnership with God. He gave you his children and he will hold your hand and lead you as you attempt to do the best you can at raising them.
A few years ago I asked children “What is a Mother?” and created a video with their responses. I decided it was time to create a new version. I hope you enjoy the beautiful, and funny, responses from the mouths of babes.
I just love this post! I love Elder Holland and he always knows how to say the right things.
This was a very touching read! Thank you!