Abby and I were roommates in college, so we've know each other since our pre-kids days. I love when I get to visit with her. It's interesting to talk about how children have shaped and challenged us. I'm grateful for her example and I think as you read her story you will be able to tell just how amazing and genuine she is.
BRITTANY: What is something you enjoy doing with your children? Why is this activity so enjoyable for you?
ABBY: How do I choose? Dancing, because I love to dance, and I love seeing my children express themselves through movement, and it usually results in laughter and more dancing. Reading, because there’s nothing better than snuggling up with my kiddos and experiencing my favorite pastime with them. Which leads me to my all-time favorite activity: snuggling. Multiple times a day, my son will come up to me and ask, “I snuggle you, mom?” and it’s music to my ears. Snuggling has always been an important activity in my life, and it has grown even more enjoyable as I’ve gained a husband and children.
BRITTANY: Describe one way motherhood is different than you expected it to be. How is the reality better? Not easier...just better.
ABBY: I’ll be honest: even though I always knew I wanted to be a mom, I was never super excited to actually have children. I’m kind of a perfectionist, and I knew that raising perfect children was highly unlikely. To put it simply, I was terrified of the responsibility of motherhood. How is motherhood different than I expected? It’s still terrifying. However, taking it one day at a time, or even one moment at a time, makes it manageable. I’ve learned that I CAN DO THIS! The reality is that my kids make mistakes, and even more so, I make mistakes. But it’s okay! That’s how I/we learn and grow. The reality is that my family is in this together, and life for me is just better when I have more people I love to share it with.
BRITTANY: What is one of the hardest aspects about motherhood for you right now?
ABBY: My greatest challenge at the moment may seem silly, but it’s mealtimes. I dread breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What used to be my favorite parts of my day, now cause me the deepest stress. With a suuuuper picky eater, and a husband who comes home from work at a different time each day, I literally never prepare nice family dinners. I make a different meal for each of us at every mealtime. My dream is to make meals that are healthy AND delicious, that my whole family can enjoy. Picky eaters aside, I just haven’t figured out this whole “meal planning” thing that most mothers seem to have under control, and it bothers me every day. All of that, plus I’m tired of cleaning the kitchen.
BRITTANY: What is something that brings you joy in your motherhood?
ABBY: Seeing my children apply what I’ve tried to teach them. And of course, snuggles and hearing them tell me they love me.
BRITTANY: What is the number one thing you hope your children learn before they are grown? Why is that important to you?
ABBY: I hope that before they are grown, my children KNOW that I love them and that Heavenly Father loves them. I hope they know they are of incredible worth, because if they know they’re loved and know of their worth, they can hopefully have the confidence to make good choices even when it’s difficult.
Religion aside, I hope my children know how to choose joy and not let their happiness be completely dependent on external influences. Life can be trying, but there is so much joy to be had if we know how to access it. I began with “religion aside,” but that’s contradictory to me, since true joy comes from Christ, and so as I’m thinking about it, the most important thing my children can learn is the importance of gaining a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. Why is this important to me? Because all good things come from Christ.
"I hope they know they are of incredible worth"
BRITTANY: What are 3 of your strengths? Why do you love these things about yourself?
ABBY: LOVING: it’s easy for me to love people and see the good in them. I love this quality because I love love. :)
CONTENTMENT: not to the extent that I don’t want to do or be better, but I have a general feeling of contentment when I think about my life. I’m grateful that I am happy with my life, as I know many others are dissatisfied to a point where it’s unhealthy.
FORGIVING: I feel like I often say the wrong thing or use a certain tone, and then I come off offensive or I portray an emotion different from what I actually feel. I never intend to be insensitive or cruel. Because of this, it is very easy for me to forgive others and give them the benefit of the doubt, even if they don’t deserve it. Maybe they really did mean to be hurtful, but maybe they were just having a horrible day. I’m grateful for this quality, because I rarely have negative feelings towards others, and when I do, they don’t last more than a few minutes. I guess this quality is what helps me love so easily, and I’m grateful for the joy it brings to my life.