Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Counseling to Mothering

When I was in 6th grade, we played a game where we dangled a ring over our hand and by some magic it told how many children we would have. Each time we would play, my number of children were always the same 10 - 5 boys and 5 girls. I wanted 10 children. I still want 10 children.
My great-Grandpa, cousins and my 6th grade me in the back.
So I prepared by watching and associating with large families. I loved their organization and coordination of schedules, care and concern for their children, and on top of it all  - keeping ample food on the table. When I would be in their homes, I watched the family dance with siblings helping other siblings and Mother or Father stepping in to kiss boo-boos and referee fights misunderstandings. This magic enchanted me.

Well.....this has not been my life. I married late 20s and welcomed a baby after I was 30. I welcomed another baby and have 2 boys. My goal of 10 children gets questioned, awed, and chided. Some are well intentioned and others just don't understand my mother heart. God had a different plan for me. He always does....and I don't always understand or better said have the patience to understand. Instead of marrying, I got a degree. In fact I got 2 degrees - Social Work & Marriage and Family Counseling. (There's a minor in Spanish too somewhere in there.)
My Mama, Katie, Me, & Grandpa K
 My degrees trained me to work with families. My employment trained me to work with drugs, alcohol, probation, the court system, sexual abuse, autism, developmental delays, physical abuse, mental health hospitals, medications, play therapy, reconnecting families after incarceration, and a few other things. Basically my job was to create create harmony from utter chaos. The saddest part was to call when a child needed to be removed for their own safety from a home - that really hurt. And still does. So the job was a little intense.

God knew that I need to have a balance in my life so in my church service I taught children. "Normal" children without crisis in their lives. No child is normal - all are amazing with different abilities, likes, dislikes, and behaviors. I learned to love the children through church and their parents. Being in Primary was such a contrast to my job. Like night and day. My soul was soothed in Primary.

When I "retired" from being monetarily paid for my work to being a Domestic Goddess, I struggled. I didn't know what do with my time as the Mama. I wanted to be the Mama at least since 6th grade and probably before 6th grade. So why was it so difficult?

It was hard because my mind had been engaged in solving things for others. Hard traumatic problems. My sons' problems were that of changing their diapers, feeding, or playing with a rattle. Not so hard and not so traumatic. Yet as always God had a plan. He taught me through teaching in Primary. I needed to associate with children and families who were normal with daily problems of their own who could solve them on their own and would at times experience their own traumas. Primary taught me to be a Mother and not a counselor.

I'm still learning how to be a Mother. I know that it is a life long process. My children will change and their problems will change. I will still be their Mother, and they will still need me to be their Mama. I don't know that the 10 children will come to our family. I do know that there are 2 boys in our family who need a Mother. I am happy being their Mother.


This topic was provoked by Wordfull Wednesday at Chocolate on my Cranium
Check out what others have had to say about being a mother.

Also I found a great giveaway for Moms, Grandmas, Aunties, or other lovely women in our lives at We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ. It is a gift pack of homemade soap, lotion, and body butter. Always fun to soothe the bumps of being a Mama.


Sue said...

When I was working, and even after I quit, I found that motherhood and a counseling career go well together...As long as you don't go into counselor mode with teenage children, that is.

As I recall, nothing makes them bristle more...And they always call you on it!


PS. Your attitude about the number of children who will come to your family makes a lot of sense. The Lord knows which spirits belong in your home, and it's a comfort knowing that every single one of them will come to you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Cyndy said...

Is it that Mother's day is around the corner or is this just a constant struggle? I stumbled upon Anita's video and thought it was a nice funny way to explain where I'm at. As I read your entry and another yesterday, we have all recently (constantly) struggle with our role.

While the birth of DD #2 made me feel more like staying at home was my place, with the birth of DS I have a new set of struggles it seems. Thank you for opening up and sharing with us all.

JRoberts said...

It is really a learning process isn't it? I sometimes struggle with an "identity" of my own, until I realize that being a Mother is a wonderful identity. What a blessing to be a mother to amazing little spirits that Heavenly Father has sent to us.

The Best's said...

I think it is fabulous that you want 10 kids and if you don't make it to 10 I hope you get close. I know you have struggled with pregnancies and am so sorry. I love that post I too have always wanted to be a mom and be with my kids but somedays I wonder what I was thinking. I love my kids more than I could ever express just some days I feel like I need the extra "atta boy" that we don't get as mothers. Thanks for the post! Happy Mother's Day!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

My mother always wanted to have 10 children too. She was heart-broken when she found out after #5 that she wouldn't be able to have any more. Then my father pointed out that she could raise her children and when they got married she would have her "10" - and if one or two never married then grandchildren would come.

Your boys are darling!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Wendy, I love this post! And I love you! I have a feeling that you'll get your way or another...

Kris said...

This was beautiful. Thanks for helping to put it all in perspective.

And that picture ofyou with the boys is so great! Luv ya!