I finally got to attend a Power of Moms retreat. It was everything I hoped it would be, and to be honest, a whole lot more. Saren and I got to present a few things, which was great (it’s so fun to present things with a sister, especially when you’re talking a lot about things you did together with your family growing up)….there were some other really great workshops, but best of all, there were 29 new women for me to connect with and be inspired by. It’s hard to even fathom the wealth of experience and love and sacrifice and service this bunch of women represent. Every one of them came to the retreat because they take their job as a mother seriously. And boy, when you get a bunch of women together who are passionate about motherhood you feel an incredible power. It was palpable. I came home feeling new and revived, armed with new ideas and new inspiration and mostly new determination to really be the mom I want to be for my kids. And a whole slew of new friends, friends I’m sure I can go to with all kinds of mothering questions. That, in and of itself was worth the whole retreat.
Here are my biggest take-aways from the weekend:
- Building a strong family doesn’t just happen. It takes conscious effort and planning and a lot of real work. It’s a hugely hard task, but any effort I put into it is worth it. It is THE task of my life. The most important thing I’ll do. And it really matters….not just to me and Jeff and my kids, but to the world.
- I want to be more deliberate as a wife and mother. I want to set aside time on a regular basis to stop and think and pray, alone and with Jeff ,to decide what where we need to go, what we need to create and how we’re going to do it.
- I want to guard certain things in my life more fiercely. My time, our family time, my energy, my kids time. I want to evaluate what we’re doing and I want to throw out whatever we’ve packed our lives with that doesn’t bring us closer to who we should be as a family and as individuals. More margins for everyone. Less stuff, more life.
- I need to enjoy my kids more and let them know I’m enjoying them. So much of their self image will come from me and how they feel when their around me. Of course I want them to feel loved….but I also want them to feel liked. I want to enjoy them, and I want them to know their enjoyable little beings. Because they really are. It’s just so easy to get bogged down by all the tasks of motherhood. As President Monson put it, to get caught in the THICK of THIN things.
- I need to start up a learning circle….a way to more routinely have the same types of inspiring discussions that filled those two days.
Before I left Charlie asked me where I was going. I explained to him that I was going to some meetings where I was going to learn how to be a better mom.
When I got home I found that Jeff had held things together so well, with some help from our dear neighbor Joyce. I felt so in love with our life and our kids.
At the retreat Saren warned us all about how hard “re-entry” can be after talking about so many great ideas and then being faced with the harsh reality of how difficult it is to implement all your new lofty goals.
Sure enough, on Sunday, after a few hours of being home and trying to get the kids to make it through sacrament meeting at church Charlie leaned over to me and and said,
“Well, you don’t SEEM like a better mom.”
I’m working on it Charlie. And I’m more committed than ever.