A few times in the past weeks (well, maybe more than a few), I've asked Ryan if he's noticed something I've done around the house after he's failed to comment on it. Sometimes he's noticed whatever it was and just hasn't had a chance to say anything about it, sometimes he hasn't noticed because, well, it was a pretty insignificant change. But sometimes, I really need someone to recognize that I've accomplished something tangible with my time during the day because, truly, there are many days when the only things I accomplished are keeping everyone fed, somewhat rested, and mostly clean. I remember saying to Ryan one day, "I'm just looking for a little validation." (Note: Ryan is a great husband and almost always comments when he can tell I've done something, even if it's just cleaning the front room. Seriously, he's awesome. This post is in no way downplaying him.)
It's hard to be a stay-at-home mom with three little kids. Sometimes, when Ryan gets home and asks, "So what did you do today?" I have to really think--because what did I really do? Most days, it goes something like this: I fed Lila, got the boys breakfast, got Lila down for a nap, did some form of exercise, showered (with the boys), fed Lila again, played or went somewhere, got Lila down for another nap, got the boys lunch, got the boys down for quiet time and naps, fed Lila again, spent a little time with her, got her down for another nap, did Mommy/Buddy time, put a show on for the boys, cleaned, fed Lila again, started dinner--and then Ryan gets home. A long list, yes, but it doesn't feel like much got accomplished beside feeding people and putting people to bed. I have learned that a lot of motherhood--at least when your children are small--is physical effort, in addition to mental and emotional exhaustion. I physically do a lot for them each day because there are a lot of things they just can't do for themselves yet--like getting lunch or self-directing their clean-up efforts. Thankfully, as they've gotten older, Reed and Asher have become much more independent and can get drinks and snacks for themselves, as well as get dressed and go to the bathroom without assistance (mostly), but still, I spend a lot of my day doing physical tasks. And I want someone to notice.
I'm coming to a purpose for this post, I promise.
Today, I was reading my scriptures and came across these two verses in 3 Nephi, where Christ is delivering a sermon very similar to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 6:
3 Nephi 13: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast ashut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who bseeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
3 Nephi 13: That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, who is in asecret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
I realized that I'm expecting everyone to notice what an effort I'm making every single day to be a good mom to these three little ones. I want verbal acknowledgment of that I'm actually accomplishing something. I want people to know that I'm doing a lot around here and that I'm not just spending my day hanging out. And guess what? I am accomplishing something. I am being noticed and acknowledged--just looking to the wrong sources (like Facebook or Instagram) for that acknowledgement. I am being rewarded with so many blessings I can hardly count them all. I guess what I'm saying is that I need to be content where I am with what I'm doing and not worry so much that everyone know what I'm doing and tell me what a great job I'm doing--which is going to be a learning process for me. I'm grateful for my blessings. I'm grateful for my children and husband. And I'm grateful to have a loving Father in Heaven who does see the effort I'm making and validates that effort by pouring his love and peace upon me.
Update: Ryan sent me this article, which perfectly relates to what I'm talking about. The article is worth a read!