I put together and gave my girls this little homemade mommy planner for Mother’s day and filled it with lists, schedules, resources, calendars and anything else I could think of to help them in the day to day trench work that is mothering. It’s a work in process and I plan on adding to it as I think of new lists and websites. He he he.
* Health charts and records (like immunizations and baby teeth chart)
* Sample baby feeding charting, baby sitter chart,
* Phone directory – family & emergency numbers
* An exhaustive list of items needed for baby and nursery
* How to stock a diaper bag
* Reading lists for baby and toddler, check off chart of books read
* Info sheets on how to read to a baby
* Monthly calendar to record illnesses, cute things they do or say, appointments,
* List of field trips to take
* List of resources like: websites/books on parenting and mothering, etc.
I plan on adding:
* Preschool themes/lesson outlines
* FHE for toddlers ideas
* List of Age appropriate development
* List of age appropriate toys
* List of daily nutritional needs and portions for toddlers (Laugh if you will, but my mom once typed this up and posted it up on my fridge when JLW was a toddler. I think it was a subtle reminder that I should be feeding him an egg in the morning instead of doughnuts)
* Gift giving record
* And a ton of other stuff
(Go ahead and think it. I am obsessed).
Mothering can be overwhelming. I want to help my girls get a handle on it, because once they do, then maybe they’ll see that being a great mom isn’t so much hard as it’s just time. It all takes time. Lots and lots of time. And careful thought. And commitment. And knowledge.
It requires the best you can bring to it.
I also included some quotes I love. A couple being especially meaningful to me:
… we can glut ourselves with how to raise children information and we can strive to become more mature and aware but none of this will spare us from the inevitability that sometime we are going to fail our children. Because there is a big gap between knowing and doing. Because mature, aware people are imperfect too. Or because some current event in our life may so absorb or depress us that when our children need us we cannot come through. Facing fallibility as mothers and as fathers is another of our necessary losses.
Judith Viorst, from her book Necessary Losses
We will have to give up the hope that, if we try hard, we somehow will always do right by our children. The connection is imperfect. We will sometimes do wrong.
This knowledge of our fallibility, our imperfections, it’s important to remember in our mothering. Because without recognizing this how can we access the Savior’s atonement? Yes, the Atonement reaches even into our family relationships, we need it then, too. It can heal and make whole what our own imperfect parenting could not do.
So, we do all we can with our schedules and charts and worrying about our kids psyches. We read to them and help them develop good habits and build memories. We take seriously the charge that they be ‘fed, educated and exalted’.
But even then we are going to fall short. It’s a given. Mercifully and thankfully, the doctrine of the Atonement applies to our family life as well.
And although we are given no manuals with each child, we are promised help:
“When you have come to the Lord in meekness and lowliness of heart and, as one mother said, “pounded on the doors of heaven to ask for, to plead for, to demand guidance and wisdom and help for this wondrous task,” that door is thrown open to provide you the influence and the help of all eternity. Claim the promises of the Savior of the world. Ask for the healing balm of the Atonement for whatever may be troubling you or your children. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you.
You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you... Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.”
Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Because She Is a Mother’,” Ensign, May 1997, 35
My daughters are /will soon be terrific mothers. They bring to it their all and it’s very sweet to see.
I am one thankful mother. Thankful that my children, sons in law and grandchildren are in my life. I haven’t done it perfectly or even well sometimes, but I love, love them.
I am the luckiest.