This article on motherhood is the second in a series of articles chronicling Krystal’s five greatest life decisions. Read the first one here.
My second greatest decision started in 2011 — but it took me years later to accept it.
In 2011 I became a mother to a sweet baby girl. I was so happy to be a mom. It was something I always wanted for myself. As she grew, I learned how to change diapers, perfect routines, and hide veggies in muffins and pancakes. I excitedly taught my girl how to walk, talk, and play. What I didn’t expect in between those fun moments was how demanding being a mother would be. It really takes so much out of you emotionally, physically, and mentally. I grew a whole new appreciation for my mom and her sacrifices.
I then had my second baby, a boy. He was the sweetest little guy, but he had his challenges, and I had some too. I no longer had “me” time. Showers were few and far between. Any kind of privacy, for that matter, was out the door. Sure, it was cute when my kids began to talk — only once they discovered the word “Mom,” it was “Mom! Mom! Mom!” all day long.
As I cared for my kids, I became lost in my identity. Consumed by changing diapers and listening to Frozen for the umpteenth time, I was in full-on kid mode. I became lost in my motherhood. It was so bad that I hit rock bottom. I needed a change. I needed to find myself outside of being “just a mom.” I felt lonely, lost, exhausted, and drained. Then I felt guilt for having those feelings. So many women struggle to have children and here I was feeling unfulfilled by this “sacred calling.” I struggled to connect to my kids and to find joy in the work I was doing, until one day I no longer recognized the disheveled woman staring back at me in the mirror.
Looking back now, I can see why I struggled so much. I was battling between my old identity, the Krystal with no care in the world other than work and bills, and my new identity, Krystal the chauffer, maid, and caretaker. It was a battle that would go on for years… Until the day I was presented with a choice.
During those years (and I’m still in them), comparison became the thief of my joy. As an out, I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, which presented a whole new set of struggles. I saw friend after friend promoting their businesses, hanging out with their girlfriends, and having purpose and identity outside of their motherhood. I was jealous, resentful, and desperate to be a part of their world. I wanted to find that happiness, balance, and purpose. I felt like I needed to do more and be more.
I wanted to be like everyone else so I could be as happy as they seemed. The social pressure to be more was eating me alive. In my mind, I believed there just had to be more to life than cleaning and bum wiping. I decided to pray — and by pray, I mean beg and plead to my Heavenly Father to let me know what else I needed to do. But the only response I received was, “You’re doing it.” Mothering seemed so simple, but so mundane — boring even. Where were my crafty talents or gifts? Unsatisfied by His answer, I asked again. “Just be you,” He replied. But to me, that wasn’t enough.
I kept praying, receiving the same answer every time. Yet I kept ignoring that motherhood was it for me. It was an answer I wasn’t willing to accept. I began writing a book, a dream I’ve always had, and I started to feel better. I felt satisfied to be doing something stimulating with my brain instead of something mind-numbing like reading the same book for the hundredth time. Then my entire world was shattered and I suffered a miscarriage. At the same time, we sold our house and moved into a new one, and we had company from out of town. It was a crazy time.
Consumed by grief, the dreams of a third baby were gone — as well as the dream of me writing my book. I was back to square one of trying to figure out my purpose, but now with this grief hanging over my head accompanied by continuous feelings of failure because now my own body had failed me too.
I was brought to my knees again. I begged, I pleaded, I shouted, I cried. “What am I supposed to be doing?!” “What is my purpose?!” And in all His compassion and tenderness, Heavenly Father answered, “Just be a mom.” This time I was more open to the idea. I had a different perspective having just lost a baby. Being a mom was beginning to look more like the blessing that it was rather than a burden. But again, the comparison from social media and the feeling that being a mom was not enough clouded my judgments. Again I questioned what was wrong with me and why did everyone else have it figured out?
Then out of nowhere, I woke up. Nothing was wrong with me. What is so wrong with being a mom? Who says that isn’t good enough? Who says I have to do more? What or WHO do I have to prove myself to? Absolutely no one.
In that moment, the Spirit confirmed to me that I was exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing. For the first time, instead of fighting my role as a mother, I finally embraced it. This was my purpose at this moment. Instead of trying to find my purpose outside of motherhood, I chose to find the joy IN motherhood. No longer did I need to battle between two identities — I could choose to accept motherhood as a bigger part of me, a holier part. Being a mother wasn’t about just what I did, but who I was.
I can’t express to you the pure joy that replaced this heavy burden. I no longer felt trapped by this calling! I had finally embraced what my soul always knew to be true but was too stubborn to accept.
My second best decision was the day I chose to embrace my motherhood instead of fight it. I chose to enjoy the good, embrace the bad, and realize that it is all part of a grander design.
Those of you who are living your passion on top of being a mom, hats off to you! You’re amazing and I honor you and your journey.
Those of you who, like me, feel like you need to do more or be more — I’m looking at you, mama. You are enough. With an ever-changing world that is transforming at a rapid pace, there will be social pressures. Society will tell you being a mom is not enough. But I’m telling you that it is! I encourage you to ask your Heavenly Father if it is. Ask Him to help you find your joy and your purpose in your motherhood. I promise He will give you answers.
Can women be more than mothers? Of course. I still have my dreams and ambitions. We were sent to earth full of so much purpose and potential to influence the world, and God wants us to fulfill the missions He has planned for us. But my purpose in sharing this experience with you is for you to know you are enough — whatever that may look like.
I leave this final thought with you: Wherever you may be on your personal journey, be courageous. Stand in your truth! Courage has nothing to do with fighting dragons or saving people from falling buildings. Courage is standing in your truth and doing what you feel is right for you. If you don’t know what that is, ask and trust. Trust in His timing. Be in the world, not of it.
I am Krystal and I courageously am and choose to be a mother. And that is enough.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!