I struggled with these questions for months and years. Every now and again, it bothers me that I don't contribute financially to our family. But then I look at my three children and realize that sacrificing my income to be there full-time with my babies was the best thing I could have done for our family. My kids are well-adjusted, polite, intelligent people who will contribute their time and talent to society when the time comes.
It's been about two years since that conversation and let me tell you what I contribute to my family:
- 3 healthy children
- nourishment through breastfeeding. Yeah that's right. My babies were nourished solely by me the first 6 months of their lives.
- teachings/lessons: I teach love, kindness, obedience, how to have a relationship with our Savior, how to be a good wife, mother, and daughter. I am the first example of how to act that my children see and I want it to be a good one.
- How to laugh at oneself. We're not perfect and if we can learn from our mistakes and move on, the better.
- How to forgive.
- How to love.
- A balancing act. I keep us humming along between work schedules, play dates, doctor's appointments, school schedules, vacations, and extracurriculars.
- gifts from the heart. While I don't have money to buy fancy presents, I've learned to make things (such as my afghans) and give them as gifts. My children treasure the blankets I've made for each one of them.
- time. I can't make time stand still, but I sure can do as much as I can with the time I do have. These kids just grow up way too fast and they'll be gone and on their own before I know it.
- friendship. While I'm still the parent and they are my kids, I also want to develop a friendship. I want my kids to share their hopes, dreams, and future plans. I also want to be my husband's best friend and greatest support.
- How to be a friend. Friends extend outside the family. In order to have friends you need to be a friend. It's a give and take. I wouldn't be where I am now without the love and support of some very good friends.
- All of me. My role right now, in this moment, is to serve my family. I pray that I have the grace to do it and to do it well.
- A healthy environment so that my children are well adjusted, stable, secure, and self-confident.