Monday, March 16, 2009


Today marks an interesting milestone in my ongoing quest to focus on the positive in life. Miraculously, I feel no real desire to vent about all the negative aspects of this day. Unfortunately, I don't have the mental energy to think of anything that might have been positive about it. I'm sure there must have been something . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mom, What's A Book?

Today I was browsing through the Fall 2008 issue of BYU Magazine, and I noticed an article about how birth order can impact the amount of parental time children receive. A recent study showed that "firstborn children get about 3000 more hours of parental time between the ages of 4 and 13 than secondborns." This may explain why firstborns "generally get more and better education, score higher on tests, and end up with jobs that pay more."

There may be multiple reasons for the difference in parental time. A parent with multiple children often has to divide time between them. Also, more children may mean more chauffeuring to extracurricular activities, and consequently less family time. Moreover, while firstborns only have a parent to teach them new things, secondborns often prefer to play with their sibling, so big brother or sister may be the one who teaches words and activities instead of Mom or Dad.

One first/secondborn difference that really struck me was the fact that parents often spend much more time reading to their first child than their second. When I read that, I realized that when Joy was an infant I used to read her multiple books a day, but the only time I read anything to Daniel is when Joy happens to bring a book over while he's on my lap. Even reading with Joy has become rare because life is busier and she often requests other activities instead.

I want both my children to experience the joy of reading, and I'm glad this article woke me up to the fact that I've let reading be sidelined lately. I think I'll introduce Daniel to a few board books this afternoon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wouldn't Miss It

I'm an advisor in the Young Women program at church, and once a month I teach a lesson on some assigned topic. This week's lesson is on "Attitudes about Our Divine Roles" of wife and mother. I must say there's a certain irony in the fact that this lesson fell to me, because motherhood was a serious leap of faith for me. Some girls gravitate toward babies from the moment they can walk; I was never one of those girls. My interests lay elsewhere, and when I was around children (especially tiny ones) I never had a clue what to do with them. I couldn't imagine what I would do with a few children of my own all day, every day.

My decision to become a mother was a considerable act of faith in God and His prophets. They promised me that motherhood was part of God’s plan for me, that when we accept His callings He helps us fulfill them, and that I would find greater happiness in parenthood than in any other role. I didn’t exercise my faith in vain. I was amazed at how easily I took to parenthood, and I’ve learned more about godliness from being a parent than I learned from my mission or any class I’ve ever taken.

Tonight, as I worked on my lesson with Daniel nestled against me in a sling, I reflected on whether I truly had found my greatest happiness as a mother. I realized that, much as I love my friends, enjoy my hobbies, and cherish my missionary service, the sweetest memories of my life are connected with my little family. They involve cuddles with Daniel, or Phillip helping out when I’m tired, or Joy calling out “Mama!” when I come home and running up to get a kiss on the cheek. They involve together time with my sweetheart, and witnessing the milestones of our children.

While motherhood certainly has its stressful moments, it has also yielded the sweetest, happiest experiences of my life. If I hadn’t trusted the Lord and His servants, I would have missed out on so very much.