Thursday, November 8, 2012

Am I enough?

Normally I start my posts with Dear Life....but today I am writing to parents all over the world.

Dear Parents,

Parenting is the hardest job in the world.  It's also the most fulfilling job in the world.  

 It's beautiful when your newborn is placed in your arms, wrapped up and content.  It's amazing when your toddler grasps your finger to walk for the first time.  It's hilarious to hear first words and sentences.  All of these and many many more milestones will make your heart leap for joy and your mind will remember those times with great fondness.

It's so hard when your kids hit the teen years.  One moment you'd like to strangle them (or lay them across your lap and spank them even when they are four inches taller than you!) ...another you're confused as to why they are choosing to completely ignore you and not speak to you....another sweet small moment they open up their hearts and ask questions about what they are going through.  Some days the teen years make me gray, and others are the most amazing, fulfilling times.  

It's devastating as a parent to hear your child will be born or was just born with a disability, or your child has had an accident and their life will be forever changed or they get some kind of illness that will completely take over their life and possibly shorten it.  This is the hardest part of being a parent in my opinion.  What do you do when you find out a diagnosis, or hear your child is injured?  I am going to admit there are times when I would like to go in my room, pull the covers over my head, and go fetal.  (There are times I have actually done that.)  But then I have to get up, put on my big girl pants, and get on with life.  I get on my knees, I beg and plead for the strength to get up and do what my kids need me to do, and then I move forward with the hand of God on my shoulder to strengthen me in my weaknesses.   

The gift of life is amazing.  I have been a Father in Heaven who trusts me enough to mother five wonderful children.  That is so humbling.  Occasionally I question my ability to parent these boys up to the standard that God would have.  I question myself, my patience, my understanding.  Am I enough?  Do I give enough?  Do I love them enough?  Do I teach them enough?  Are they growing up knowing the gospel?  Are they growing up knowing how to love others?  Are they growing up knowing how to love themselves?  And are they growing up knowing how to be GREAT men?  I hope so.  I pray so.  I believe so.   

How, as parents, can we hold all of these emotions?  Having five children, I sometimes feel like I have to have multiple personalities in the same day to help every child.  But I truly treasure each child for their individuality, their strengths, and even their weaknesses.  My children amaze me every day.  And when I'm weak, when I make mistakes, when I'm so tired I just don't do what I'm supposed to do, I gather my brood and I talk to them.  I tell them how I'm feeling, I tell them I love them, and I tell them I'm sorry when I could have done a better job.  I'm not perfect, they're not perfect.  None of us are perfect, and we are not expected to be perfect.  We are here to learn, grow, make mistakes, and grow from those mistakes.  We are here to receive hardships, and to learn to rely on a loving Heavenly Father to get us through them.  We are also here to learn to serve others, to not get so wrapped up in our own problems that we forget that the friend around the corner may need to talk, or get some help with a ride for their kids, or someone may need babysitting, etc.  As we serve, we strengthen....ourselves and others.  It's a beautiful thing.   

So, am I enough?  Yes.  Are you enough?  Yes.  Can we get through these crazy, amazing, wonderful years of parenting and survive?  Yes!!!!!  

I am so grateful for my husband who lifts me up when I am down and is always a source of strength in our family.  I am grateful for each and every one of my children.  They amaze me every single day.  Sometimes it's a great kind of amazement...and others...well....we all have those kind of days.  But I wouldn't change one of them....they all have different strengths, different weaknesses, but they all have amazing hearts.  I am grateful for my God, who I know has a plan for me, my family, and for this world.  I am grateful for the gospel that has taught me so many correct principles...that allow me to live my life knowing that I will be with my family for eternity.....that allow me to find a strength I never knew I had....that reminds me that when I am low, when I am down, God has got me...and He will always be there.  I am grateful for amazing, wonderful friends.  I am grateful for challenges, and for the ability we all have to get through them.  I am grateful for life....
I was featured HERE today talking about how we started our adoption journey.

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