Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mothering Part 2

Another visit, this time we went to Sharon's home. This is how Sharon's back yard looked like when they moved in. If you've visited her blog you know how pretty her yard is now. This is Cameron, Grayson and my son Harrison. The cousins have fond memories of playing together.
In some ways my life was harder than other mothers because I chose to home school my children. This meant that I never got a break from them. I rarely had time to myself, and I always seem to have a messy house. In spite of these things I loved homeschooling my children when they were small. When they got older it became much more difficult for me and I will talk about that another time. I realize that in many ways my life as a wife and mother was much easier than so many single moms out there and working mothers. I have no idea of the difficult task these brave women had to keep it all together under these conditions.
There are many times in which a mother feels inadequate. I know I did. Lots of times I felt like everyone else had it together except me. I actually felt like I was just pretending to be a mother, and didn't really know what I was doing.
It took several years before I felt confident. I would say that my three children were ages 9, 7 and 5 and a half when I could smile and say, "I'm really enjoying this; then I found out I was expecting again. I then lost my zip and my pep, and my ability to feel the new ground I had gained in confidence. Garrett our adorable little fourth child was a joyful surprise. I juggled the difference in the ages of the children and did my best to keep our home orderly and happy.
Even though I had many fears and failures with homeschooling, I had many successes and joys too. We continued to homeschool for another five years.
We moved to our farm and enjoyed the work and fun of farm life together.
We felt a bit isolated so we invited as many neighbors, church friends and cousins over as we could.
I took the kids on picnics regularly. My confidence finally began to grow. This picture was taken in 1996 with good friends who also had children. I often looked at these women as perfect and having it all together. I always felt like I was just pretending to be a mother and floundering all the while, and watching them do it effortlessly.
We moved to Washington and I met a new set of mothers who, again seemed to have it all together. I appreciated all of the mothers who became role models to me. Lynette told me about the 10:00 rule, "Know what you are having for dinner before 10:00 am." As time went by and with the help of God, I realized that all new mothers feel the way I did. Most of them become confident sooner than I did. Maybe it is because I had three children all in a row and could not catch my breath. Both sets of grandparents lived far away, so I could not get ready help from them or advice. God has been so good to me and He has gently guided me into having a sense of confidence as a mother. Daily I take my worries, fears and concerns to Him. I then, do not have to carry this burden. He lifts me up and stays with me. I did the first post on mothering HERE

"Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck." Proverbs 1:8-9

9 comments:

onlymehere said...

I think there are times we all wonder how good of a job we've done, especially when our kids are having their own set of struggles. I just try my best so I know at night I did the very best I knew how to do. I put my kids needs above my own, as I know you do, and sometimes I know it's appreciated but other times I don't think they recognize the sacrifice parents make. When I do make mistakes though I make sure I apologize to the child I've wronged. :)

You certainly sacrificed much to home school them for so many years. I admire your dedication for doing that. If I home schooled my kids they certainly wouldn't have learned much bz I don't have the training, knowledge or patience to teach my kids those subjects. I do try to spend as much time as possible with them though and I know that this is appreciated almost always. All we can do as mother's is love them with all our hearts and do the best we can. I've come to learn that even though it looks easy for everyone else and they seem not to struggle, they have their own challenges too and self-doubts so keep your chin up! It certainly looks to me that you're doing a fabulous job!
Your friend,
Cindy

Kathi said...

Thank you Cindy!!

Mrs. D said...

Kathi, just wanted to let you know I've been following your's and your sister Sharon's blogs for at least a couple of years. I am also a homeschooling mother with four children ages 16, 13, 7 and 6. I went back and read the prior post on Mothering. I just want to thank you for sharing your wisdom that God has bestowed upon you with other moms. It's definitely not easy but I love the reminder that I find on your's and Sharon's blog about cherishing my children and those little moments! So, carry on dear mentor, carry on! LOL! May God continue to bless you and your family!

Marydon said...

Beautiful & loving share ...
Christmas hugs & joys ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Julieann said...

Hi Kathi!

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this post!!

I have felt the same way at times, and you wrote it out so beautifully and heartfelt! Thank you so much for sharing this.

Remember when you are about 15 and think you know everything, and as you get older you realize you really don't know anything and we keep learning everyday. My oldest is 18 and he thinks he knows all the answers, and I explain to him I am 40 and I am still learning the answers...LOL. He will know one day what I am talking about:)

Thank you so much for sharing your blog and life with all us women:)

Julieann

onlymehere said...

Kathi:

This is my favorite quote on my side bar on my blog. I wanted to come back and share it with you. It was made in a talk by one of our apostles and it's what keeps me going some days!

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be 'full-time moms,' at least during the most formative years of their children's lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part- or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."
M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God," Ensign, May 2008, 108

Elena said...

Thank you so much for the anniversary wishes! This is such a great post. I have felt like that too. I think I am finally feeling more confident about mothering. I have always wanted to be a mom but there is so much I did not know. The Lord is so good and can help is in all things!

Jan Parrish said...

I homeschooled my kids for 12 years and loved every moment of it. I'm getting ready to write out the literature based unit studies we did. I loved that season. Thanks for sharing yours.

Sharon said...

We only get one shot at being a mother and there's no instruction book! Praise God we have Him to go to and His word for wisdom and guidance. And it is okay if we change our plan of action midway through. You did what you thought was best for your kids and that's all we can all do! You did a great job and all of your kids are wonderful people who are neat people, have lots of friends, work hard, love you and love God! You guys did great!!!!

Love Shar

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