Monday, March 5, 2012

If I Could Do It All Over Again......

There are many things I would do differently. What are they? Well, it has everything to do with being a mom to my children.  As I watch time fly before me and observe my children growing up, I sit back and wonder.... no, I KNOW, there are things I should have done differently.  My favorite quote about motherhood is by Marjorie Pay Hinckley... "I always tried to say yes to my children, more than no."  I can completely and honestly say that I have not been like that.  I apologize ahead of time if this post might sound redundant. I've written a few times about being a mom, and how fast my children are growing up, but this has been on my mind a lot lately.

If I could do it all over again I would:

1) Say yes, more than I say no
2) Not be so impatient with the toys strung all through the house
3) Take more pictures and video
4) Read more to them
5) Stop what I'm doing, and play with them
6) Ask Heavenly Father's help MORE, when the sleepless nights took over my mind
7) Not be so short with them
8) Snuggle more
9) Play more games
10) Just listen

Oh, there's a slew of other things I know I should have been more proactive with, but lets not dwell on the negative.  It's not going to change anything.  And that's what I'm having a hard time with. I CAN'T change any of that.  The years are gone, the children are growing. My youngest is 4 and oldest is 12.

I recently watched the movie, "Courageous" with my husband and two boys. One of the best movies made, with morals, values and a profound message of what it takes to be a father.  I love movies like that; the ones that make me think, make me inspect my own life and determine whether or not I'm measuring up to my potential as a parent.  I wish more movies were made of such quality. They are hard to find these days.   But since watching the movie, John and I are trying harder to slow down, and play with our children when they ask, and not complain.  It's worth it! 

This is what I want to remember.....


I have a new favorite song by Hilary Weeks, that has also provoked me to think about my mothering years.  The song is called Stand Still.  I cry every time I hear it, because Hillary has so eloquently sung the words of my heart.  These are the lyrics.....

I've been taking pictures for a long, long time
Some are on paper - but most are in my mind
Snapshots and memories of the days when you were young
I plan to keep them
Long after you've grown and gone

I remember watching as you took your first step
Seems the clock's been running faster ever since
Every day a little taller, it says so on the wall
The days are passing
And they're not going to stop

And if I could
I would 

 (chorus)
Ask time to stand still
So I could hold you a little longer
I'd make the minutes stop
So we would always have today
I won't let the sun go down
Until you know how I feel
I love you so much
I wish time could stand still

Fingerprints all over the sliding glass door
And I can barely see underneath the toys on the floor
I have wished away the sleepless nights,
The noise and the messes made
But my heart reminds me I'm gonna miss these days

So if I could
I would

(chorus)

I remember many times, older parents telling me to stop and enjoy my children, for they grow up so quickly and you will wish they were still little.  I agree with them now, and find myself telling that to new young mothers.  If any of you reading this are a new mom....... trust us....... it's true.  

My youngest is 4, she still has another year home with me before venturing off to Kindergarten. I'm so thrilled.  I still have a 7 year old.... still kind of young.  I am more determined now to be a better mom, to take more time to do all those things I wish I had the brains to do years ago.  It is a daily reminder, and more than just saying to myself ONCE a day, but it becoming part of my thoughts throughout the day.

As I've thought about all this the past week or so, I had an "aha" moment.  I'm sure you who have teenagers have already figured this out, but I'm kind of slow.  I can sit here and moan and groan about how I wish I had been a better mom to my toddler/preschool children, or I can decide to make things different NOW.  I've now entered the preteen years of motherhood. Am I going to sit on the sidelines and watch my children experience those emotional years without me being a part OF it?  Am I going to say, "I'm just too busy right now, maybe later."?  I hope not, because there just might not be a later, or that LATER, might be too late.  

Being a mom is what I've always wanted to do with my life, first and foremost.  It's one of, if not THE toughest jobs on the planet.  When we go to college to study and train for our careers, and finally land the job, I would say for the most part, we do our best to KEEP the job, do what it takes to perform the tasks required.  After all, the boss (if it's not us) is watching, you may get some kudos, a raise, or just simply (in these times) KEEP your job.  Mothering should be no different.  It should be something I put my whole soul into, that I perform my absolute best with.  The most important observers of my mothering abilities are my children. 

I want to keep the images of my young children's faces in my mind forever.
 

If I could do it all over again, yes, there are things I'd do differently.  But I can't go back, I can only go forward, with a renewed determination to be the best mom I can be to my children RIGHT NOW.