Saturday, May 9, 2009

Letting Go of Doubts and Regrets That I Have as a Mother

But first, there's just a little update to my Little Giveaway post . . . down at the bottom . . .
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All this week, since it is the one leading up to Mother's Day, as I was trying to reflect on the wonderfulness of being a mom, all I could feel and think about were my regrets and things I wish I had done differently.



I remember as a child, how I used to daydream about the boy I would marry, and the kids we'd have. I'd plan how many boys and girls we'd have, and what order they'd be born in. It'd usually correspond to the sibling lineup of the current crush that I had at the time, and my friends and I would giggle and dream up lists of first and middle names for all of our babies.



It's funny how those expectations end up so far from reality. Yes, I married a good man and we have a wonderful family; that I cannot deny. But the mistakes I did make will always make me wonder. . .



Like how as a kid, I would always have my head buried in a book, and when it wasn't, I'd always be daydreaming about the story, or anything else. Never really living in the moment and paying complete and total attention to what was going on around me. I still struggle with that habit, to this day.


I wonder if I'd been more aware, that I'd have realized sooner the importance of an advanced education. I wish with all my heart that I'd done more in this area.



I wonder if I'd been more committed to my education, that when I met my husband at the end of my senior year of high school, if I would have been more insistent about his going on a mission.



His real fear was that I wouldn't wait for him, and to this day, he will insist that he wasn't meant to go on a mission. Even though he had a great testimony of the Gospel, his circumstances growing up so independently and with a strong will and desire to follow the commandments, made him feel that a mission wasn't meant to be for him.

I see it now as a way for him not to put the blame on me, and I respect him for that. But, who and how many others missed out on his goodness by my not standing my ground and telling him that I wouldn't marry him unless he served.

I know now that was what I should have done.

And I wonder if I'd had that education, if I'd be a better mother today. I don't have to wonder long, because I know what the answer to that is. My education would have focused on early childhood development, and since I was all enrolled to go to Ricks College (yes, I am that old!) the LDS school certainly gears those courses to learning how to teach children in the spiritual and moral framework that I believe in. There are so many things that I struggle with today that I know could have been so much different had I had the knowledge and the training.
Now that I have laid open my weaknesses for all to examine, I can only hope that others will be able to learn from my mistakes. Moms, please tell your daughters that, yes, there are real women out there who's lives turned out pretty good, but still wish they had furthered their education. Real wives and mothers who know they should have guided a young man to serve a mission, which would have done a lot to make them better prepared to be husbands and fathers.


I just hope my own children, my own daughters, and my sons, will want and achieve more more than I did, for themselves.


And now that I have purged myself of these thoughts, and doubts, I intend to focus on the Wonderfulness that being a Mother IS!


(But I hope it's not one of those intentions that pave the path to, well, you-know-where . . . :~D )

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Here is a picture of the finished apron that you can win in my little Giveaway. I hope you'll forgive the terrible shot, but a photographer I am not.


If you'd like to enter to win this cute little number, please scroll down to the next post, and for sure at least read the last half so you'll know how to enter the drawing.

Thanks! Have a good day! Hope you win!

18 comments:

Lisa said...

Hi Loralee- I just found you on Mormon moms as I was randomly blog hopping and was so touched by your honesty. I would of changed some things in my past too. Mostly being more confident in myself and living in the moment more like you said.

Your family looks beautiful. Have a wonderful Mothers day!

Jan the crazy lady said...

I so appreciate your honesty. I think we all have set back and reflected and thought some of those same things. I do.

Thanks again and Happy Mother's Day.

Debbie said...

Loralee, I think as women we all have some doubts and regrets. I surely do and I know for sure that I have made mistakes, some of them pretty huge. However, what helps me along my way is the knowledge that I did the best I could at that particular moment in my life. I do wish for so many things to have been different and I feel if I were to have young kids now I would be so much of a better Mom, but I think we all feel that way at sometime. Your honesty and realization is what makes you a GOOD Mom. I try and not reflect on the past, but it is so hard. I think you said it best by staying in the moment. I loved this post....Happy Mother's Day

Lara said...

My mom didn't finish school because she got married at 19 and my dad never went on a mission because he didn't have familial support (or the BYU football team's support, for that matter!).

They both have told us that these were huge regrets. My mom always said not to get married before I finished college, and so I got married a few months after I graduated. All my brothers served missions, and so did I.

I'm sure that your children understand your choices, and are still grateful for the wonderful mother you ARE. And at the same time, they understand your regrets, and hopefully will choose differently.

Candy Javier said...

Your honesty and clarity about your own life is a tremendous example of your humility to me. Your path has been all that the Lord intended for it to be. Your own personal lesson book... Thanks for letting your experiences guide me.

susette said...

There isn't a person in the world out there that has lived the perfect life except Christ, and we would all probably want to have changed something with our decisions or paths. It's so easy to kick ourselves and get down about it but it would serve no purpose. I like your attitude about focusing on the wonderfulness of being a mom. I hope you have a beautiful Mother's Day my friend.

Barbaloot said...

It seems like most parents what "more" for their kids than what they had. But if you have provided your kids with a good home and it's obvious to them that you and your husband love each other...I think that's all they really need. :)

Holly said...

A touching post! I've felt similar, wishing I could know what I know now and go back do it all again. Thankfully we have the Atonement!

MommyChickadee said...

Thank you so much for this post. I love how open you have chosen to be in this post. There are many of your regrets that I share and others that I can simply sympathize with. You sound like an amazing woman and I am so grateful for all you share.

Cynthia said...

You do realize that most of those 'regrets' are completely rectifiable, don't you? It isn't just about choices, it's about TIMING.

You can still gain an education and no, I don't think it would have made a difference in the quality of your parenting and love.

I got my education. I pushed hard and was the first college graduate in my family, finishing just 2 months after I turned 22. Guess what? I regret that I went to school for a DEGREE and missed out on much of the EDUCATION.

If I went back now, as an adult, I would have the maturity to focus on the learning- not just the grades. I could have learned so much more and been so much better educated if I'd been more mature.

I tried to make myself go on a mission but I totally didn't want to do it. Not my style at all. I don't regret that either. The hubs didn't serve- he got married to The Demon instead who, although she was just a 'Sunday Mormon' and only lived it when she had an audience always made him feel 'less than' because he didn't have that title of RM. The title was more important to her than the man. Be glad that you have the wisdom to see the man before the title.

Don't dwell on the regrets, it only keeps you from moving forward. Instead look for the opportunities to still achieve your goals. It is all still possible for you, just in a different way than you think you might have chosen. In reality, when it all reveals itself to you, you'll see it was actually 'The Plan' for your all along.

Melissa said...

What a great post! I hae been churning one in my head for the past week, since I HATE mother's day..... Your words were just what I needed!
Happy Mother's day!

LyndiLou said...

Happy Mother's Day!!! :) You're great and I find it interesting, humbling and inspiring the paths that we each end up walking down. Thank you for sharing with us... For me, it's help me take a breath and think about what's REALLY important in my life and what I can pass on. Keep loving and living the way yo do and things will balance out! Thanks for helping me think and what to work towards balance and more happiness as well!!! :)

Messy Jess said...

Thanks for sharing that today.

Abby said...

I agree with you, but to only an extent (and congrats to you for being so open, by the way). I do believe we'll all have regrets, if for no other reason than we're imperfect beings. We could have been the absolute best mothers 24/7 and still wind up with regrets about something because it's impossible to do everything perfectly all the time. Not getting an education is a big regret I'm sure, but one that can still be remedied as another poster said. It encourages your children to stay on the path of education, blah blah blah. But your reasoning for it seems...odd, if you don't mind my saying. I have a feeling that you were still a good mother, despite the lack of "formal training" at Ricks (I applied to Ricks, too, so you can't be THAT old). Think of all the good mothers out there who did not get a degree in Early Childhood Development. Something tells me they survived just the same. And I can think of a few women in my life who DID major in ECD (at BYU even) who turned out to be less than the ideal. Your major does not make you a great mom--you do. And I have a feeling you would have done things fairly similarly whether you had that specific degree or any other degree under your belt. So ease up on yourself.

And the other thing that struck me reading your post was your assertion that your husband didn't serve a mission because of something you did and he makes excuses for not going just to make you feel better because you both know it's your fault. What? Since when did another adult's decisions hinge entirely on someone other than that individual? Your husband CHOSE not to go on a mission. Did you threaten his very life if he did not go? From what I can discern, you did not. Did you say you would never respect him and would personally burn his house down if he went and preached the gospel to others? You yourself said he did not go on a mission because he was afraid he would lose you. There was nothing you could have done or said to assure him that you would wait for him, even if you DID tell him you would only marry him if he went. At the time, you were more important to him than the prospect of serving a mission and the only way he could be satisfied in this area was to marry you to make sure you couldn't get away. That was his decision, understand? No matter what you did or said, the decision to not serve a mission was ultimately his to make and his alone. You did not make it for him. He made it. The excuses he makes now about why he didn't serve are an effort to make himself feel better about the choice he made and why he made it, and possibly also to make you feel better about not marrying an RM. But it was his choice not to go and in no way your fault. Do you understand? So stop beating yourself up for a choice someone else made. Yes, we can help influence others good or bad, but the choice is always theirs to make in the end. I've known of plenty of guys whose girls would have married them at 19, but they chose to serve a mission anyway. And some of those girls waited, and some didn't (my brother's girl didn't for example), but that didn't stop them. Because their priorities were different than your husband's. His choice. Got it?

Great post by the way.

Kate said...

Loralee, I know what you mean. I look back and my husband does too and wishes that he had gone on a mission. It would have made so many things better. I hope my boys realize the importance of making the right decision. All we can do it live right now and make the most of it. I am looking forward to the day when my husband and I can go on a mission together. It will be great.
Have a super week.

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