Ever since I gave birth to my first child, my life has been different. In many ways, it has been more glorious and exciting and fulfilling than I could ever have imagined, but, in complete truth, it has also been the most difficult part of my life.
I struggled with big time “Baby Blues” after my first child was born. He had horrible reflux and milk allergy (although we were unaware of it for a long time). Because he was throwing up, and then getting hungry again, he (and my husband and I) hardly slept for longer than 30 minutes at a time until he was 8 months old when we figured out the problem. I was worn out, and I felt trapped taking care of this baby. I didn’t have a lot of friends in my neighborhood, and I felt terrible about myself because part of me actually resented this new life I had brought into the world. . .and I knew I wasn’t supposed to feel like that.
I tried everything I could think of to get out of the depression I was in (except talking to people–which, I STRONGLY encourage you to do if you might be facing something like this–it’s really okay to need help, and sometimes, it gets bad enough that you really need professional help):
I kept a file of talks on motherhood and how important it was, and I read them daily. I read my scriptures about all the great women who raised up a righteous posterity. I tried to remember that I was in a partnership with Heavenly Father to raise children, and that I was blessed to be able to have children in the first place. I tried to remember that sacrificing was a part of parenthood, and that, by sacrificing, I was learning how to become like my Heavenly Father. I threw myself into motherhood 24/7, always trying to find ways be a better mom, and taking my baby with me wherever I went. I thought that somehow, by doing more of what I knew I was supposed to be doing, I would feel better, but I didn’t.
Over the next six years, I had three more children, and I learned a little about taking time for myself. I organized “Mom’s Night’s Out,” went on mini-vacations with my husband, and watched TV that didn’t star Barney or Super Why. Those breaks were SO IMPORTANT, and necessary for my well-being. We really need breaks sometimes.
After these breaks, I felt I could see joy in my parenting again and really have a wonderful time with my children. But, on really hard days–days with really non-obedient children, really big messes, or lots of throwing up, I would easily sink back into my sadness.
My husband brought it up several times and asked what he could do for me; I denied that I had any problem. I was the “good mom.” “Good moms” love that they are moms and love every minute of it, right? At least that’s how I felt. Deep inside, I still had those same views of motherhood I had from the beginning–even if I needed to take breaks, I still should be able to come back to my kids ready-to-go and loving it all.
The last baby shower I went to, a few months back, we were asked to give the new mom-to-be advice. My advice was the same it always was at these kinds of things: “Make sure you take time for yourself. You can’t feed and nurture another person when you are going on empty.” It’s great advice, right? So right. But, the truth was, I needed to follow my own advice.
October 2012, I finished my coursework for my Bachelor’s degree,
and I graduated from college in December. Now, that’s a story for a different post (and believe me, you’ll hear about it, because I’m SO PROUD OF MYSELF), but finishing my coursework was the jumping-off point for a huge realization of mine: Since I have had children, I have been missing taking a certain kind of time for myself. Breaks, like I mentioned above, ARE SO IMPORTANT–I would even say necessary for parents. But, something was still missing.
After I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to find whatever it was I was missing again. Would you believe that before I had my first child, I sat and played the piano for hours on end, and ever since I had him, I would go weeks without even thinking about my piano? Would you believe that I started writing music when I was 6-years-old, and didn’t stop until I had my first child–And after he came, I didn’t write a single new piece for 6 years? I had thrown it away because I wanted to “sacrifice” for my children.
It is true that sacrificing is an important part of motherhood; through sacrificing for our children, we learn, in a small way, how to become like our Heavenly Father. However, did our Heavenly Father stop being innately who He was because He had children, or because He watches over His children? No–He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He is a Creator, and He continues to create and will continue to create for eternity. He is able to love us, watch over us, take care of us, teach us, guide us—AND be innately who He is.
I finally found what I was missing. As a daughter of God, with a divine nature, I am born to be a creator as well; we all are. I found that I needed that creativity to find the real beauty around me and what I was doing each day.
I found what I was missing by sitting down at the piano and playing
whatever came to my mind. I found it by scratching down words and scriptures that might send a beautiful message when set to music. I found it by bearing my testimony through my music. I found it by creating this blog and sharing my music with you.
I finally found it again.
I can be Mom AND I can ME. And the combination has brought true joy.
I no longer feel resentment. Even on hard days. Yes, they’re hard, and it’s okay that they’re hard. I am not a super woman, and no woman is. But, I feel a huge difference in how ready I am to take on those days. My resentment has been replaced by excitement for my life and what I can do with it, and for what I can help my children become.
Thank you for allowing me to share my music and my life with you. Thank you for sharing in the beauty I see in the world of music and the testimonies I am able to bear and the peace that I feel through it.
I know that everyone is different. I know some who find themselves and beauty in being outdoors and experiencing nature; I know some who find themselves and beauty in creating art and literature; I know some who find it in decorating, scrap booking, or cooking. My sincere desire is for you to find your beauty and your love of creation; that you realize where you find that part of you that is really you. And once you realize it, take part in that beauty whenever you can. I promise you, it is amazing to find again if you’ve lost it.
I imagine that many of you figured this all out a long time ago–so, I’d like to know: What do you do to be creative? Where do you find your beauty? Where do you go when you need peace; when you need to be just who you are?
Oh, and thanks for listening 🙂