that time I learned what being a mom is all about

11.15.2012

The other day was Sunday, and on that Sunday, I learned what it means to be a mom.

Sunday was just a crappy day. So then, I'm supposed to make dinner and dessert and be a gracious and fun hostess to a new couple in our ward. And then we find out as I'm about to start dinner that when someone went grocery shopping on Saturday for dinner, he accidentally forgot the key ingredient to our enchiladas: cheese.

Yes. Cheese. It was the undoing to our Sunday.

I flipped, because I had a whole lot to cook, and it being Sunday we couldn't exactly go to the store to get 4 cups of mexi-blend cheese, and who the heck has 4 cups of mexi-blend cheese just laying around? So, needless to say, I was furious. I didn't want to cook dinner, AND dessert, AND clean my house AND take care of my ornery baby, AND entertain guests because basically I just wanted to sleep and then eat macaroni and cheese for dinner.

I sent Dale to fix the problem however he chose how, because I did NOT want to deal with it. I was so furious as I cleaned up the house, throwing shoes down the hall and clanking dirty dishes loudly. Vivian was in her bouncer seat, but she was whiney, and her crying quickly escalated because of my bad mood. I hurried past her seat, trying to get the house cleaned, and each time I ignored her, the screams intensified. By the time things were picked up and I was ready to start cooking, Vivian was in a full-fledged meltdown.

So anyway....I win bad mother of the year award. Viv was in hysterics, so finally, I looked at her and realized that she really was just sad. I was still really mad, but I picked her up and tried to be patient. Even as I was holding her, she clung to me and cried and cried, sniffling and sobbing while her breath caught in her throat. I'll admit, that for someone who doesn't really feel bad when my baby is crying, I felt terrible, because I knew she was crying because of me. I had ignored her and it made her sad.

My anger melted away (ok...it kind of did), and I took her into the nursery, shut the door, and started rocking her. I tried to let go of all my anger and stress from the situation, and just focus on my baby girl. I had so much to do. So much. But I forced myself to take a second and calm her down.


She eventually calmed down, and as I started singing softly to her, she laid her sweaty head down on my chest and listened.

Now, Vivian does NOT cuddle. She is a busy little thing, always moving and always going. She never just lays down with me or cuddles.

But this time was different. She just snuggled into my neck and looked out the window while I sang her songs. We rocked and rocked and for 30 minutes she just laid on my chest, staring at the window, listening to me talk. Anytime I stopped singing, she would give a little cry, telling me to not stop. So I didn't. I forgot about the million things I had to cook and the dishes that needed to be done and the husband that needed to be apologized to. I stayed right there and took it all in.

Finally, after 45 minutes or so, she fell asleep on me, but I kept rocking her.
I remember that after being so frustrated and emotional over the situation, rocking my baby girl and singing her songs just got to me. I cried my little eyes out while she snuggled up to me.

It was the first time that I have felt like Vivian needed me. I felt like I was her mom, and that I was the only one that could comfort her. She wanted me, and I could make her feel better. I loved that feeling, and in the last (almost) 8 months that I have spent with her, this little experience has been my very favorite.


I remember thinking that this is what being a mom must feel like. It is the sweetest feeling in the entire world. I am in love with the idea of someone loving you so much that only you can make them feel better; that your presence can fix anything. I realized then that this is why I became a mom. This is why Motherhood is a divine calling. This is why I'm doing this. I felt like my heart was exploding with love for the tiny person on my chest. Like, over-exploding, over and over again. I felt so much love for my daughter at that moment that I couldn't help but let my tears spill over because that's how much I loved her. It was so overwhelming.


I realized then that this feeling: this feeling of powerful, overwhelming, heart-exploding, gut-wrenching, unexplainable love is just a fraction of what Heavenly Father feels for each of us. I cannot imagine more love than what I feel for my daughter, but now I feel like I can almost understand a fraction of God's love for us.


This experience has changed the way I view Motherhood. I am so very grateful for the tender mercies that God will show us in our weakest moments. Because of this experience, I try harder to play with my baby. I try harder to get off my phone and spend quality time with her. I want to make her laugh and squeal because she thinks I'm so funny. I want to let her pull my hair like horse reins because it's her very favorite thing. I want to tickle her fat little tummy until she rolls away. I want to do anything I can to see her sweet, cheesy smile. Basically, I will look like a complete idiot if it means that Vivian will laugh. I try to cherish the moments that we spend together. I try to be more patient. I try to be more interactive and happy. I try and look at the good things in life. Most importantly, I try to see the positive, wonderful, life-changing things in Motherhood.


And now, instead of wishing that I could be more optimistic and happy about being a stay at home mom, I am happy about it.

Sure, sometimes it's hard and frustrating and so unglamorous I just want to quit at life. Sometimes I wish that I could go back to being uncommitted, free girl I was. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to worry about schedules and allergies and cleaning off a highchair for the millionth time or worrying about babysitters. But now I am realizing that this life I'm living? This is what it's all about.


Family is what it's all about, and I am lucky enough to be a mom that stays home. I get to see my baby change every single day. I am the one that knows everything about her. I know how to get her biggest smile and how to get her to stop crying, what she likes to eat, what time to feed her and when she sleeps. She is my baby, and she loves her mama. And I love that.


Honestly, I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world, and I wouldn't go back.
I am learning to love it.
This is what being a mom is all about.

11 comments:

  1. This was such a sweet post. I love those times when you realize how much your little one depends on you for love and comfort and it feels wonderful to be needed so much. You have such a darling baby girl. :)

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  2. Elyse you are the best mom!!!! I loved reading this because its real life! Viv is a lucky girl! She gets to learn from the funniest, wittiest, smatest, most stylish, gorgeous mom!! Thanks for sharing your most tender moments so we can learn from you! Love ya!

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  3. I love this post! Viv does need you. I'm still learning how to love being a mom. Thanks for sharing such a sweet, tender moment.

    P.S I always have enough mexi-blend cheese to go around:) Next time call me!

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  4. Such a sweet, heartfelt post! Being a mom can be SO difficult some times, but there is so much joy there, too. I'm so glad you're learning to appreciate the little things and spend time with your little girl! That's seriously the best thing I've learned so far...it's helped me realize how awesome the role of a mother truly is.

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  5. I may have cried a little bit:) some of the things you said are exactly what I feel but can't find the words to say it! Thanks for this post.. We are so lucky to be momma's!

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  6. This was awesome. I love that you say what so many are afraid to say...because being responible for other humans sometimes really stinks!

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  7. I love your big heart that you hide behind all that sass. And i have to say: it's been a special treat to be a spectator from afar- seeing you before motherhood and after. you truly glow as a mommy to that beautiful Viv.

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  8. such a sweet post! i love your honesty and the beginning of this post reminded me why we rarely have people over for dinner anymore :)

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  9. First of all, you are amazing. Secondly, I covet your writing skills. And third, AMAZING POST! I feel this way so often (especially lately) and then a tender moment similar to this happens and I remember what it is all about. Being a mom is certainly a forever learning process but you clearly are an awesome one! Viv is so lucky to have you! p.s. I buy my cheese at costco so I ALWAYS have a ridiculous amount of cheese on hand. Feel free to call next time. :)

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