Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oxygen for the Mommy Race

Actually, I still maintain that I need to get off the track, but this post gives me a chance to take a breath from the panic post I wrote earlier. This may illustrate one benefit of me having two I try to work through some truths that can help keep me on track (on the track that matters, that is).

Tonight, I read a post that was just what the Doctor ordered.

Am I Doing Enough? reminds me of the crux of Sister Beck's recent Women's Conference talk (and apparently it's the talk she is giving as she travels, because I have heard this report from several women now who have had the privilege of having Sister Beck visit their area).

She talks about activities in three areas of life: essential, necessary, nice to have (to me it rings similar to the whole "good, better, best" thing from Elder Oaks).

Here's the list as Kiley shared it:

1. Essential Things (things you must do to attain eternal life):

* Pray Daily -- don't wait to pray, because you will never have a convenient moment.
* Scripture Study -- every day spend time in the scriptures.
* Temple Attendance -- whenever you can.
* Regular Church Attendance

2. Necessary Things (things you need to do to get through life):

* Eating, sleeping, bathing
* Serving
* Getting an education
* Managing your resources

3. Nice-To-Dos (things that are not essential but you enjoy doing):

* Reading, gardening, sewing
* Using the computer
* Watching television or movies

I'm trying to consider how these categories can transfer over into my role as a mother. I appreciated Sue's comment on my panic post. Spiritual and emotional time with children -- teaching of truth, connecting with them, trying to build a home environment where the Spirit can dwell, helping them feel loved and cared for -- these are essential things. The important things are the quehaceres (there is no word in English that says it quite as well), the tasks that keep us going physically (and also have a spiritual element to them as we help our children prepare for adulthood). Would nice-to-dos be extracurricular activities? I suppose for everyone that will all fall out differently. But I do think it's all too easy to confuse busy-ness with success. And I also think that it's not always so easy to discern where one category ends and the other begins. No wonder Sister Beck is urging us to seek personal revelation constantly!

You know, in spite of the health issues that are obviously weighing me down right now (the hard-ness of it all comes in waves, I've found), my husband and I do still try to teach my children and keep the gospel at the center of our life. We care about spending time as a family (and I think we are doing better at that than we used to). I try to connect with each of my children every day, to show love and interest in them. Although sometimes only barely, I keep us fed, clothed, and going with the schtuff of life. We try to do some service, and we try to have some fun along the way, too.

So, you know, maybe I need to just take a chill pill. (Surprise.)

I have to remember, too, that there is an Atonement -- a welcome balm for all us imperfect mothers.

Inhale. Exhale.




  1. I'm in a similar place. I'm supposed to give a talk on Sunday (a pox on that husband of mine!) based on E. Perry's conference talk--one of the many that has contributed to my maternal overwhelm. He used a combination of S. Beck's Women's Conference talk and E. Oaks Good Better Best talk to teach the 5th Sunday lesson to our ward. I know these things are on all our minds. The big difference between the basic traveling RS talk and the Women's Conference talk (at least for me) was the beginning part of the Essentials section--that what is essential is that we get revelation, that we do all those other things (the reason why they ARE essential) is because we need them to know the mind and will of the Lord. The rest of the talk and all of the principles taught (including the idea that when we take care of Essential and Necessary it's amazing how much Nice to do fits in) was good and needful, but that concept that the most essential thing I can do is what will enable me to receive revelation--that was electrifying for me. Still working it all out (I suppose I always will be, but that's a post for another day) but this idea is better helping me to sort out the rest.

  2. Clearly I need to read this panic post (this one sound very balanced!) : )

  3. Hmm, I don't see a *panic* post. And I agree--it is only natural and perfectly NEEDFUL to pray more when we are having difficult trials. It's only bad if we don't pray *except* when we are in trouble. That's not you. I am so sorry that you have been feeling so ill for so long! I take you too much for granted. How can I help?

  4. I read that post as more of a venting post than a panic post. We all have to let those feelings out now and then...and we all have them, too.


  5. Sue, ah, that's better. I was just venting. (But inside, I was sort of panicking. Hehe)

    Angie, you hit the nail on the head -- those essential things are to GET the revelation. Of course...the way you described it just made things click in a different way for me. Thank you!

    Heidi, haha, if I sound more balanced here, then there's another benefit of my two-blog weirdness. ;)