I am very critical.
I spend so much time analyzing and dissecting motives, outcomes and reasons it is exhausting. I can never just have a simple thought without trying to 'brain-map' the thought from an imaginary inception to an extrapolated conclusion. My mind is always abuzz with something- usually weighty, self-deprecating and inevitably counter-productive in it's circular and sometimes derisive patterns.I am relentlessly critical of myself and supply an endless source of guilt for myself on a wide expanse of topics, daily. If I wrote all I thought, I could fill libraries.
One thing I turn over and over in my mind largely without resolve is motherhood, and my capabilities and failures. Specifically I judge myself for the decision we have made not to have more children. (We have two living, and one deceased..) After all, I am Mormon. We are supposed to replenish the earth with children, right? And while the church doesn't dictate or even suggest how many children a couple should have, it is pretty heavily implied (culturally) that you should have at least a few. 3 seems to be a common minimum as long as there are no issues of health or infertility among married couples- thus, with our 2 living children, we fall one short of that expected minimum.
Heavenly Father wants us to raise children-happy children. Happy children who follow the Lord. He wants us to do our best to teach them love, virtue, charity and righteousness. He does not want us to raise throngs of children regardless of the outcome, so we need to do what we can do. He wants us to do the best that we can do, whether that is for one child or ten.What matters if how we parent, not how many.
We needn't run faster than we have strength. Unfortunately for me and my family, depression and anxiety hinder how fast I can run, so to speak. I want to be a good mother, and it is a struggle for me- so we have decided that our family is complete. I want to do the best with the blessings I have been given, working with the trials I have been given.
This is my Mother's Day gift to me:
Acceptance, tolerance, and love without judgment- for myself and my decisions in motherhood. And as I learn to do these things for myself, it will carry over onto my children. Acceptance, tolerance, and love without judgment. It's a tall order, but I'm going to start practicing on myself.
Or to quote Stuart Smalley,
If I have succeeded in bringing you down, watch this. I remember watching this live several years ago, and it is still so funny. And it's a blast from the past when Lindsey Lohan was semi-functional.