I figured it out!
The Family: A Proclamation to the World states that a mother's responsibility is to nurture her children. I've often thought a lot about what that means. There have been several RS and SS lessons about parents (mothers) taking care of their kids --raising them in righteousness, being an example, caring for their physical and spiritual needs, etc. --and I've heard much about it in General Conference, Sacrament Meeting, and Stake Conferences, too. But try as I may to apply it to my life as a mother, I've always felt so inadequate and awkward. Discipline is important, yes, but what about letting them know you love them, too? Clean house, yes, but what about spending time with them? Scripture study, yes, but what if they don't pay attention?
Finally, this morning, as I forced myself off the couch (where I had been for a couple hours after #3's early morning risings) and started to get ready for church. Up until that point, everything had been kind of crazy, and the house showed it. Once I was dressed for Church, I got the kids involved in picking up the living room and kitchen, and within 20 minutes, the entire place was organized and presentable again. The kids got dressed and cleaned up, Hubby came home from his meeting in surprise (the house was clean?! On a Sunday?!), and I turned on "Music and the Spoken Word" to keep a calm mood.
As I was cleaning up the kitchen, feeling somewhat resentful that I didn't have more time to sleep, nor more time to lounge about in my pregnant state, nor children that were old enough to just get themselves cleaned up and ready, I stopped short with a lightening bolt of realization.
I heard in my mind all of these thoughts; they were in and around each other, and one led to another, but I'll write them the best that I can:
"Cheryl, you are a mother. You cannot rely on other adults anymore --you are the parent. These children, and yes, even your husband, need to be able to rely on you. There is no room for selfishness anymore. Do not mourn for the loss of your "you" time, because what you are doing as a responsible adult and as a mother is far more important. Be grateful that they need you. Be happy that they love you. Take care of them and do what you need to do to make sure that you can fulfill your responsibility. It's the most important thing you can do, you know."
That's it. Interpret as you will, but man, I've been given a great insight (and I have no doubt the Spirit was speaking to me) into who I am as a mother. In hopes that I will remember it forever, I am writing this down.
So, how about any of you? Have you ever had one of these eye-awakening moments when your role in your life was so well-defined? (whether it be mother, wife, sister, friend...)