I started motherhood early, and it was planned that way. I had always wanted to be a mom, I married my sweetheart at the tender age of 18 (and this month it will be our 35th anniversary.) Two weeks later I was pregnant and on the road to motherhood. I have never regretted starting so early, and have raised four nearly perfect daughters.
Since it was my career being their mom, I only took on the smallest of jobs here and there - working a few hours a week at the school as an aide, or the more lasting job of daycare in our home, which evolved into my nannying for a family - a wonderful job that spanned a decade and took place in both Massachusetts AND Arizona, where both our families resided.
So I was always the mom sitting in the stands for their games, and driving them to rehersals. We decided as parents we would always attend their concerts, their games and whatever else they were involved in. And we often had a carfull of girls when their friends' parents couldn't drive them.
And like most mothers, I was also the one who stayed up late helping with reports, making the dioramas, and proofreading book reports (and even skimming through chapter after chapter late on a Sunday night for a girl who put it off too long and was on a deadline.) My husband thought it was foolish of me to do so, that I was spoiling them somehow; "They need to learn a lesson here, face some consequences for their lack of action!" I didn't see it that way, I've always thought life was tough enough and school was the hardest part of it. Teachers would give them unreasonable tasks, saving many projects and reports to the end of the semester, and the girls were often overwhelmed by too many expectations.
But of course, like any mom, I'd find myself at the end of MY rope sometimes, running hither and yon trying to help or accomodate one of my children. Service and busy times don't come during our leisure, they usually interrupt our most hectic days.
It was on one such evening I was given a wonderful affirmation from my Heavenly Father concerning being a mom. My third daughter was in her high school play. (Three of our four girls were involved in drama and all the school plays, and I even was their photographer for many of the plays, and we attended many rehersals together.) The high school was performing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and she was the Ice Queen.
This being dress rehersal, all the cast were at the school from the late afternoon on, and they were ordering pizza for dinner. She didn't like pizza much, and had asked if I would bring her dinner. The school wasn't too far from our house, but it was a busy day and I had to be over at Church that night for a meeting, so wedging in a dinner run to the school made for a very tight schedule. Still, as her mom, I wanted to help her out; I reluctantly made a plate and jumped into the car and hurried to the school.
As I drove, I asked out loud, "Is this really worth it? Does all this matter??" A sweet Spirit hit me almost immediately: "YES! It does matter. All the mommy things ARE important, what you are doing, all the help you give them, it is of value. What you are doing is really worth the time you are spending doing it."
It was a clear answer and I could barely see the road for the tears that came with that sweet assurance from my Heavenly Father. I knew He knew what I was doing and He valued it. I knew that the extra care I took for them, bailing them out of their homework predicaments, staying up late to help with reports, sewing costumes and prom dresses, helping out at school - all of it was indeed an important part of being a mom and He appreciated me for it.