"Motherhood is not a hobby to be done in your spare time, it is what God gave you time for."
- Elder Neil Andersen
Can't have said it better myself. Although would like to add that it can be applied to fatherhood, too, as there are a lot of fathers out there who simply think that by popping their head round the door a few times a week and then buying chocolate at the weekend qualifies them for fatherhood.
Of which I'd like to state that my husband isn't. He gets up with our son almost every morning, feeds him each and every meal, does nearly every nappy change, takes him out on adventures and then bathes and puts him to bed at night. He's a madman when it comes to childcare and I can't think I'd be doing all these tasks so graciously if it was me doing it all full time.
Sometimes I hate being full time sick but being married to Bryan lightens that burden a lot. He can't invent a cure for me and sometimes doesn't always know what to say when I'm losing it and fed up of it all but he takes care of me and Ro - and does it in a way that involves zero complaints and little criticism. That to me is more than enough and doesn't even cover why I think he's the best husband in the World.
Yet he faces more criticism than praise in the World for his role and that's ridiculous - he is such a huge part of Roman's every day life and will essentially help to shape the man he becomes.
My own dad is a work horse. I can't think of many times where he wasn't working. But when he was with us, he was with us. Present. In that moment we were in. We'd always be involved in whatever he was doing and one time, when my mum was away with my oldest brother at camp, me and my sister convinced him that cookies and lemonade (a fizzy drink in the UK, not the flat American type) were our lunch-box staples. I suppose the balancing act of this deception was that he burned our dinner nearly every night. Karma is served - and very crispy it was, too.
My mum is a power house. Four kids all under 5 years old gives you some perspective on the situation. Both of my parents were always firm with us, but you always knew you were loved. I've known people who had strict upbringings and they didn't always feel loved. I did. There's a difference.
My mum also began home-schooling us (although you didn't call it that back then because 'home schooling' meant you were 'weird') through our school holidays. She called it 'Mummy School' and at first I dreaded the thought of this. We all took part and oddly enough really behaved ourselves. We'd do an hour before lunch and then an hour before dinner and it probably turned me into the grammar Nazi I am today. Part of this home-schooling was scripture study - on top of our family studies - and we'd take it in turns to read various verses of the Book of Mormon, getting through a chapter each night between the five of us.
This all sounds a little strange to you, right? Well to me it was home sweet home. Home sweet normality. And seeing as my brother had some troubles with his spelling and reading it was essential and instrumental in his development. And by having us all join in, it didn't single him out.
I am so lucky and so glad I wasn't just a weird social experiment of my parents and that I wasn't an after thought or a hobby to them. That I was a real, living breathing individual with my own thoughts and feelings. And I am most grateful to my mum for the time she sacrificed in order to make our development accelerate.
I'm glad they took the time God gave them to be parents.