Being a social person myself, I often look for support from others: other women, mothers, friends, other couples...people to talk to and discuss and find similarities and differences and feel lifted or enlightened. I find myself unable to do that right now because of circumstances. I'm away from my close family and friends, people who really know me. And life gets more and more demanding and also wonderfully busy as time goes on. Kids doing more, Collin and I doing more. And my child isn't even in school yet! I can only imagine how busy life gets when that happens. I tried going to a La Leche League meeting because I always feel so much support and happiness from learning from other mothers. But I'm finding that in the places I usually turn to for support from other moms, here where I am, I'm usually the only one with two, almost three children. Most are about to have their first or just have one. Or have 4-5. So it's not bad just different. But for one of the first times I find myself a little physically alone.
I reconsider posting this a little because I do not want it to sound by any means that I am depressed or sad or feel pitiful. I just want to record my thoughts and the blessings and answers I have received tonight. On a daily basis I feel happy and caught up in the business. I do so many things with my family and kids. We have fun! But I am also a deeply reflective person, and one who feels a deep desire to record, to write, to share my inner self and thoughts and so I write this to myself, my future, and my very close ones.
So many changes have happened recently. And so many changes coming. I can't comprehend life and how interesting and different it can become. Everything I've known has and will change and that happens in life, doesn't it? With each giant milestone. And suddenly I'm not a newlywed or young mother! Well I'm still young, only 31, but not 27 anymore! I have a kid in primary and will have 3 children. Who ever imagined those miracles? And what will it be like to have school children? An 8 year old? Middle school children? High school? Yet so many around me are experiencing those things and are in disbelief. So anyway...
Tonight I laid in bed reflecting and thinking and wondering and worrying. I know it was right to try for a third baby. Collin and I decided together. And I had a great desire and a personal witness more than once that this was right. And I'm pregnant and it's so exciting and wonderful but also of course difficult and tiring with two busy kids who are somewhat opposites and in cold weather to add to that!!!! It's hard not having a yard or warmth to send them out into to play every day as I'm exhausted and sick sometimes. And Collin and I both feel so strongly that (for us---I in no way shape or form believe what I do is right for everyone or anyone for that matter. I deeply respect other peoples' parenting choices and strategies and deeply believe that we each are given the children we have because we are the best to raise them and know what they need)...again Collin and I both strongly believe for us--in cosleeping and full-term nursing and baby wearing and carrying and other things which create strong physical attachment for many years. That's not something that will change for us. And again I know it was right to have another child (and probably more after this too..) It all takes up so much time!!! And energy!! So how do I do it all and make time for my relationship with my husband? How do I do it all and get to talk to him and ask him questions and hear every detail about his day and his wants and needs and fears and successes and challenges? How do I take care of a newborn, meaning nursing all day in the start, and entertain a very active preschooler and a highly emotional toddler? I know I can but I get caught up in...how? I know I will just do it but I still look for support and encouragement. And why can't I find it in all my usual places in the world?
And there are other challenges and why can't I talk to someone about them? I don't want to burden anyone and I don't want anyone to judge me. So then I was feeling a little lonely.
The spirit whispered to me that I can talk to God.
Yes, yes, I know...but it's good to talk to someone face to face too, right??
So I turned over and hugged my husband and cuddled him. Then I still wasn't falling asleep so I got up (because my midwife made a few suggestions for when I can't get back to sleep like getting up and getting a snack or doing a little light reading till I felt tired again).
So I got up and peed and got a snack (a carrot, which took longer to peel than it took me to take one bite, which was all I took because I wasn't feeling like eating it) and went to the couch. I picked up the brand new December Ensign and saw on the front, "President Packer's final witness.."
and turned to it and read. And felt the love of the Savior, and of God, my father, and of this man, this apostle, who somehow felt inadequate but knew what he knew and shared it boldly and with love.
I felt I could turn to God with my problems, and that he is the answer. I felt softening. I felt the power to humble myself and repent and find time and reprioritize. I felt the truth of the words I read. I felt strength and support and encouragement. I somehow felt that I'm doing a good job (to my surprise!!!) and that I can make it and that God is proud of me. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves and we don't realize how good we are doing and that God loves us.
A few parts from what I read:
"...many men have willingly given their lives in selfless acts of heroism. But none faced what Christ endured.
...the Light of that pure being. All wickedness could not quench that Light. ...Both death and hell forsake their claim on all who would repent. Men at last were free. Then every soul who ever lived could choose to touch that Light and be redeemed.
'By this infinite sacrifice, 'through the [this] Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.''
...It is not untoward for any of us to aspire to teach as He taught. It is not untoward for any of us to aspire to be like him.
...If you have stumbled or even been lost for a time, if you feel that the adversary now holds you captive, you can move forward with faith and not wonder to and fro in the world any longer. There are those who stand ready to guide you back to peace and security. Even the grace it God, as promised in the scriptures, comes 'after all we can do.' The possibility of this, to me, is the truth most worth knowing.
...Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon...'this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him.'"
[and Packer adds]
Their words are my words.
What powerful blessings and answers I have been given tonight. What power and knowledge and strength. My testimony is strong. My heart is light and my burdens are easy. I feel surrounded by love and support. I feel like I can endure. I feel sleepy enough to go back to sleep!!! ;)
I know Jesus Christ atoned for me and that the power in that atonement is real. I know he and God love me and know me and will give me answers and guidance. I know my calling as mother and woman is noble. I know my marriage is a blessing and that we can turn to each other and work together and be better and be happy. I have a great man who loves the Gospel and who loves his family and works hard. He is a young man of the church and has fulfilled so many promises made to me by Heavenly Father. He challenges me and I'm made into a better person through what we learn together.
I know I will be able to raise three children doing my best and loving them, in the way I feel inspired to do so. I love my two little characters, Fred and Hat, and I have quite the feeling that this little one a-brewin' is going to join them easily in their mischief. I must add, how grateful I am for my little kitty, Dot. She is a faithful little companion who cuddles up to me (right next to me even now) who somehow senses my emotions and offers herself as a comfort to me. If you don't have a bond with an animal, no problem and I'm sure i sound crazy, but the comfort and calmness I feel while petting her and her unconditional love and loyalty is really really sweet. Heavenly Father has blessed me very much.