I recently stumbled across a quote similar to this (I made a few tiny changes to the wording), and when I read it I about burst into tears. There are so many challenging days as a woman and as a mother. I have struggled lately with feelings of being "just a mom", with major mom-guilt as I have tried to balance our new family dynamic - having a new baby boy that needs A LOT of my time and attention and two older boys that also need time and attention from their mother - I have struggled to know if I'm doing enough, if I'm a good enough wife, if I'm a good enough mother, if I'm fulfilling all of my roles and responsibilities the best that I can. And then there are those days, you know what I'm talking about, the days where I'm just so tired, frustrated, not as patient with my children as I should be, I raise my voice too much, I spend my day waiting for bedtime so I can have just a few minutes of peace and be left alone for at least a few minutes.
(It's a daily battle to keep my cool with my kids, my 6-year-old is becoming more and more independent each day which leads to more arguing and power struggles, he bullies his younger brother on a daily basis, and he has had major issues with listening lately. My 4-year-old definitely inherited my personality, he can be extremely stubborn, is very quick to anger, has been throwing some pretty amazing fits lately, and can be downright mean sometimes - he knows exactly what to say to hurt your feelings. My sweet 2-month-old baby is by far the easiest baby we have had, he is full of smiles and is extremely easy-going, the only challenge with him is that he does demand so much of my time and attention.)
And then bedtime does come, my kids go to sleep (after coming out of their room at least 10 times), and as my head finally hits the pillow I am overcome with guilt, with regret, and often with tears. I should have been more patient, I should have been better. And then I pray, I ask for forgiveness, I ask for guidance, I ask for comfort. It was after experiencing more of these days than I cared for that I found this quote. Being a mother of 3 little boys is awfully challenging for me sometimes, but as I saw this quote I was reminded that these boys were meant to come to our family, we were meant to be together, my husband was meant to be their father, and I was meant to be their mother. Everything that I have experienced in my life has brought me to this, the triumphs and challenges I have experienced in life have made me who I am, and my Heavenly Father knows that, He knows who I am, He knows what I am capable of, He knows what sort of mother I am and what sort of mother I can be, and He knows my sons, He knows what they need, what they can become, and what sort of parents they need to help them along the journey. My Father in Heaven knew I needed a son that is incredibly sweet, thoughtful, observant, affectionate, imaginative, artistic, and tender-hearted. He knew that I needed a son who likes to play rough, get dirty, would be strong, even strong-willed, who would struggle with expressing emotions, who would get frustrated easily, but who would also show a great amount of love, tenderness, and sweetness. And He knew that amidst the chaos of a house full of boys and after a few challenging years I would need a baby boy who was beautiful, easy-going, and full of love. Heavenly Father knew that I needed these 3 little boys just as much, if not more, than they need me. It's so hard to see my many faults and personality flaws in my children, but I firmly believe they are there so I can recognize them and help my children to become better than I was, better than I am.
This phase of life is so very difficult sometimes, there are days that I want to throw in the towel before breakfast is even over, but this phase of life is what I'll miss most when I'm old, when I no longer have piles of laundry to sort through every other day, when the house is quiet and is no longer filled with the sound of my boys fighting and wrestling, when the sound of little-kid laughter no longer echos down the hall, when I'm no longer needed after a bad dream, when my sons are no longer little boys and have become men, it is this time in life that I will miss the most. As difficult as it is, it is also full of so much joy and so much love. My sweet boys will never again love me so unconditionally and so preciously as they do now, they will never again be so small in my arms and on my lap, their tiny hands will never again fit so perfectly in mine. And all of my flaws that I see in them, all of the personality similarities and differences between us, will never again be as easy to work with, it will never again be as easy to help my boys overcome the less-than-stellar traits that they inherited from their parents, and it will never again be as easy to build up all of the good they inherited. Now is the time to help them, to mold them into good boys who will grow to be great young men, and wonderful and righteous grown men who will go on to be husbands and fathers themselves. So from now on, especially on those difficult and exhausting (and sometimes tear-filled) days, I will remember that Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing when he sent our sons to us, He knew exactly who they needed as their mother, and He knew exactly which children I needed, He does not make mistakes.
I made a few variations of this same quote, feel free to snatch and share any of them, just please don't claim them as your own. :)