Monday, June 23, 2008

What I look forward to!

I received today what I would consider one of the best forwards I’ve got in a very long time. I loved it so much, I wanted to share it with my blogging friends and all my fellow mothers out there. (Or any future mothers) Though I haven’t experienced the real contractions of birth yet, nor the “contractions” she refers to later, I just loved the beauty of her perspective, and can’t help but think I will have the same one! People have too called me crazy when I express how excited I am to give birth. It’s something I’ve always viewed as being so spiritual and beautiful – I have no fears whatsoever!! I can’t wait to experience birth, and the joys of welcoming our little one into this world. All who know me well can vouch for me when I explain that to say I am excited would be the understatement of the century!! Keep growing little one – I’m waiting patiently!

“People think I'm crazy when I tell them I love childbirth. It's not that I like pain-I don't. But there is just something about working really hard to get something really good. My husband and I have the routine down: we do whatever it takes to get through a contraction, then I slump back on the bed, as limp and peaceful as a noodle (as peaceful as a noodle can be) and rest before the next one hits. It's hard work, but when the baby is finally born, the pain doesn't matter anymore-and I experience joy beyond description. (Then I swear I'll never do it again.)

It has recently occurred to me that childbirth can be one huge metaphor for motherhood. We ‘labor’ day in and day out, moment by moment-scrubbing, brushing, wiping, flushing, buckling, holding, washing, folding-it's a wonder more mothers don't drop dead from pure exhaustion!

So here's my theory: Heavenly Father knew how challenging motherhood would be for each of us-physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. So He sends us ‘mother mercies.’ You know the moments-the ones that sneak up on you and make you smile or laugh-or teary-eyed. It's like the time I caught a whiff of my five-year-old and realized he'd put on his daddy's deodorant that morning. Or when he used to pray nightly, ‘Please bless that morning will come in five minutes.’ It's the time I found a bar of soap in my bathroom with one (and only one) set of teeth marks in it. Or when my preschooler asked me, ‘Why did Jesus cover our bones with skin?’

Perhaps these little mercies are like the pauses between our contractions of motherhood-the moments that make us say, ‘Oh yeah. I really love this mothering stuff.’

Contraction: Baby spits up.
Mother Mercy: Three-year-old cries in alarm, ‘Mom! She's spilling!’

Contraction: Five-year-old climbs on counter to find sweets.
Mother Mercy: He explains he was simply finding desert for ‘Family Home Ming-Ming.’

Contraction: Patting your squishy tummy left over from pregnancy.
Mother Mercy: Patting your baby's squishy tummy that you got in return.

Contraction: Feeling overwhelmed and grumpy.
Mother Mercy: Oldest child says sweetly, ‘Mommy, if you say a prayer, Heavenly Father will help you feel better.’

Think about it-what an interesting phenomenon-in our very hardest moments of mothering, Heavenly Father sends us these little flashes of reprieve to help us keep going with a smile. True, we have diapers and back-talking and tantrums and spills, but we also get kisses and first steps and stick-figure drawings and hand-pulled bouquets.

Look for the Mother Mercies in your own life. I promise they will pop up everywhere-when your toddler trips the alarm at the library (like mine did) or when he pours pop down the bowling alley lane (yes, mine) or when you find your envious child stripped down to his nothings at the park, staring longingly through the fence into the city pool (Whose kid is that? Oh, it's mine). The Mother Mercies are always there. Don't miss them!

One Sunday while I was juggling my three little ones, an older sister in my ward leaned over and said, ‘This will all end someday, believe me.’ To which I replied, ‘Oh don't tell me that! I'm having so much fun.’ Who knew that doing something so hard could bring me so much happiness? And just like the finale of childbirth, I'm hopeful that this mothering thing-this exhausting labor of love-will someday bring us joy we could never comprehend was possible.”

-- Whitney Permann is originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho but currently lives in Spanish Fork, Utah with her husband Rock and their three children Braden, Gavin and Calyn. Some of her favorite things include reading, writing, singing, being a mom, Tide laundry detergent, and homemade chicken noodle soup. She is also a member of Deseret Book's newest recording group Mercy River, whose debut album released in April 2008.


Ed & Lindsey said...

Yes we love it!! Can't wait for you to be a mama...well, a mama with a baby outside the belly. :)

Jennifer said...

That is the cutest picture I have ever seen! It's so true though. At times you sometime think or even vocalize that you are going to sell your kids to the gypsies but then you see your little boy playing patty cake with his younger brother and making him laugh or hearing him pray to Heavenly Father to keep all of the bugs out of his room and him telling you that Jesus will protect him because he prayed for it or him running around the house with a bug net over his head or even when you go to check on him and watch him sleep the same way you do. It's so priceless and those always out number the bad. I'm so excited for you and cant wait to hear your little babyisms! I notice you called today. We were at the neighbors. Sorry! I'll call you tomorrow. Love ya!

Tillmann Fam said...

That's so true...I absolutely love it. Puts everything into perspective!

Bret and Laura Nicholson said...

Very good message! We are so excited for you. Thanks again for watching our kids. They love you guys!

Cara said...

Thanks for sharing. Beautiful. I can't wait for your little one to arrive!