"Of all the joys of life, none other equals that of happy parenthood. Of all the responsibilities with which we struggle, none other is so serious. To rear children in an atmosphere of love, security, and faith is the most rewarding of all challenges. The good result from such efforts becomes life's most satisfying compensation." - Gordon B. Hinckley
I think this quote will sink in and have different meaning to me throughout my life as I experience different seasons of parenthood. For now, the first part rings true to me - that parenthood has brought me such joy. The first few months of Oliver's life were so difficult. I had a rough recovery from his birth, nursing issues, side effects of depression, anxiety and loss of bladder control from medication that I was taking to increase my milk supply, hives from the Fenugreek that I was also taking to increase my milk supply, shingles from stress, little sleep, and research and bio classes on top of it all. I felt like I would never be in a different place and I would be stuck in that little time warp forever, surrounded by papers filled with feeding times to remind myself of when he last ate, pamphlets about nursing, and books about healthy sleep habbits .
It's amazing how much changes in three months. It was like Oliver hit his three month mark and suddenly he became this little person who smiled a lot, interacted, and brought a whole lot of joy to us on a daily basis. My thoughts on parenthood now? I love it. I love my little 6-month-old and just can't get enough of him, even with his fussy teething spells and waking up to comfort him in the night. I know that being a mother is a divine calling that is meant to teach me and help me learn and grow, but also to bring me immense joy. I think that is why this quote stood out to me so much when Wendel and I read it the other night.
The second part of that quote is kind of daunting - out of every responsibility we will have in life, none will be as serious as being a parent. This reminds me of another quote that I really love by Harold B. Lee: "The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." I think about that a lot these days. I'm trying to do my best to make my role as a parent (and wife) the most important thing that I do, while still balancing school, work, housework, exercise, spirituality, etc.
[Photos taken by Wendel and me on August 22, 2010 in our backyard after church.]
Even with the weight of this great responsibility on my shoulders, I am grateful to be starting this incredible (and undoubtedly difficult) journey.