4.25.2019

In a New Phase


Yesterday I went to the park.  Donovan loves the park.  I don't.  But because I did it with my other kids and because he loves it that much, I took him.  I thought, "I'll just sit and read a book while he plays on the playground."  It sounded so lovely. 

But that's not what happened.

You see, there are other mothers with toddlers at the park.  Other mothers who are seeking friends, not only for their kids, but also themselves.  Other mothers who are hovering over their toddlers while you are sitting reading a book.  And when you don't stand up to help your toddler do everything, the other mothers do.  Which makes you feel horrible because you really don't want to help them yourself.  I figure, when the kid is old enough to go down the slide alone, he'll do it! 

But let me be fair.  This is not about the other mothers, I have no judgment toward them in the least.  They were all wonderful, caring, kind and attentive.  This is not about them.  This is about me.

I'm just in a different phase in my motherhood journey.  It's not the "other mothers" who make me feel this way, it's just where I am right now.  It was a rough transition for me to go from "mom of little kids" to "mom of teenagers."  Now I'm both, with a toddler.  Having a tail-end baby has made me struggle a little bit with the joys of motherhood because my older kids are moving on and I'm still....here.  I am:

cleaning up messes
trying to read a book with my toddler crawling all over me or sticking his book in my face
deciphering two-year old language (sometimes not too well)
going to the park
cleaning up messes
changing diapers
putting on shoes
cleaning up messes...again

Oh!  And yesterday he "locked" me in the shower!  We have drawers right by our shower.  He opened one of them.  Making it impossible for me to get out of the shower.  So I started yelling for him to come save me.  Eventually he did.  And I laughed, that time.  (It may not be so funny the third or fourth time.)

Toddlers are just so constant! And when I finally lay him down for the night, there are the teenagers ready to talk and have meltdowns and needing mom, just mom. 

So, I say again...I think I need to just relax and accept that I am in a new phase. Sometimes a lonely phase because there are few people in this same phase with me.  But it is a phase nonetheless.  As the older women around me counsel, the kids will grow up and leave one day, so I'd best be grateful!  And I am, when I really stop and take a breath.  I love:

new words being discovered
helping explore job options 
watching children become their own little people
the artwork
family dinnertime  (that will be way too quiet way too soon!)
playing games 
answering questions
reading aloud
hugs and kisses

There is joy in motherhood!  Sometimes it just takes a minute to remember that.  Mostly, for me right now, it's about accepting the phase I'm in. 

 - - - - - 

“The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. 
Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever.”
Jeffrey R. Holland

4.08.2019

Our General Conference Traditions

picture from lds.org

We just finished General Conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It was wonderful as usual!  So much to learn and wisdom to gain from these great leaders of ours.

As we prepared for conference, my daughter told us how they were asked to share a family conference tradition in church and she didn't know which to share because we had so many!  Yes...Conference weekend is a BIG DEAL at our house!   Here are our favorite traditions:




#1 I make breakfast Saturday and Sunday 
(Not a usual thing at our house, especially the last couple of years!)
  We don't have the same thing every conference.  I just make it a point to eat together at the table and have something yummy!  This year it was muffins, eggs, fruit one day and german pancakes the next.





#2 Conference Bingo

I know this is a common one a lot of families do now.  I copied these boards years ago, colored them and laminated them.  Now only my two youngest really do it, but it's not conference without them.  (Apparently they all fight over board #7 because "it's the best.")




#3 Apostles Pictures on the Wall with Quotation Bubbles 

Okay. This one started just a few years ago I think.  It's simple.  We put up the Apostles' pictures up on the wall.  As we listen to conference we are to write the main theme or a sentence about what we learned during his talk.  




#4 Walk Around the Temple 

Throughout our married life we have been fortunate to live close to a temple.  Thus, in between the Sunday session we take a walk around the temple.  In Richland, WA we would spend a long time there - - eating lunch, playing on the grassy hill, enjoying the sunshine.  Now that we live in Rexburg, our time at the temple usually involves a very quick-paced stroll (I think one year we just drove to the temple, looked at it for a minute from our car windows, and drove home again).  The point:  we go to the temple during conference. 




#5 Chicken Salad Pitas 

Every year I make chicken salad pitas for lunch on Sundays.  It was what we would eat at the temple for lunch, but now we just eat it before we take our trip to the temple. 




#6 Order the Speakers 
My husband contributed this little tradition...and we LOVE it.  Basically, we each write down the order in which we think the 15 prophets and apostles will speak.  As conference goes on we calculate our average numbers. For example:

If my guess is that Elder Bednar will speak first but he actually speaks 5th my score would be
(5-1=4)

If I then guess that Elder Holland will speak 2nd and he speaks 12th, my score would be 10 
(12-2=10). 

If I guess President Oaks will speak 8th and he speaks 3rd, my score would be
(8-3=5)

At the end we then total up our final score:  4+10+5=19 

This really is so much fun!  Our missionary son won this year with a score of 39.  Apparently he created a whole spreadsheet evaluating patterns from the last 20 years of conference before ordering his list (guess he had some time on his hands!).




#7 Conference Jeopardy  

Last, but not least, every Monday night following General Conference we play Conference Jeopardy.  Taking information from my notes, I make up a Jeopardy Board.  We have done this for YEARS!  My kids won't let me forget it.  I will be honest, this has not been our most PEACEFUL family home evening activity, resulting in much arguing and many tears.  But in recent years it has become more jovial, less competitive and probably our favorite tradition so far! 


So there you have it - - how the Hathaways "Do" Conference!  

 - - - - - 

What is said is not as important as what we hear and what we feel.  That is why we make an effort to experience conference in a setting where the still small voice of the spirit can be clearly heard, felt and understood.
Elder Robert D. Hales, CR Oct. 2013
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