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Friday Q & A — three things I’ve learned about traditions and routines

by Shawni

I know your family has a lot of traditions and routines. What traditions did you start when they were young? Or which do you wish you would have started?

Oh the answer to this question could be very long and lengthy.

Especially as I am in a time of life when I’m trying to hold onto this “younger motherhood” business as it slips quietly yet steadily out of my grasp. There are so many things I thank my lucky stars that we did, and are doing, and there are so many things I wish I would have thought of. There are things I wish I would have been a little more low-key about. And others I wish I could hold onto forever.

As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, we are big believers in traditions around here.

From holiday traditions (painting eggs and Jerusalem supper and the 4th of July), to food traditions (eggs Benedict to ocean pancakes to chicken tikka to our fav. place to eat out), to spiritual traditions (“fasting club” and family testimony meeting). (Lots more traditions HERE.)

And Dave is a routine guy, so we have all become somewhat “routine oriented.” (Dave may disagree with that one, ha!)

But from my perspective, right here and now, I will say this:

Three things I’ve learned in my motherhood journey:

1) You can fill up your family time with all kinds of things. And what those things are doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether they are filled up to the brim with LOVE.

You can never start too early on traditions that infiltrate love. I thought we started family testimony meeting too early, family home evening, when kids were running around like crazy maniacs and we couldn’t get anyone’s attention. But I look back and feel so glad for the PROCESS of it all. Because the intention was fueled by love. And I think that matters.

2) You will make mistakes, and that is ok!

No one is going to get this gig perfect. It’s all part of the journey. I started all my kids in sports too early in my opinion. I pushed my older kids too much. Sometimes I worry I’m pushing my younger kids not enough. But it’s all part of the process. I believe fully in a “God of second chances,” and every day is a new slate. I think kids are resilient enough to give us second chances too!

3) Life is long

(one of my very favorite quotes from my mother). I got frustrated because I envisioned things would be like what my growing-up family had evolved into but it took TIME.

Don’t expect things to be perfect, because they never will be. Things will evolve, and that will happen even more beautifully if you listen and act on the “nudges” in your days. Especially when you begin it with a prayer and seek guidance from above. I’ve done great at this at some points in my life and horrible at others. But I just keep trying.

I believe God is in the details.

Every family is going to come from different angles. Every family will prioritize different things. Every family sees the world a little bit different.

But everyone, no matter what, needs to know they matter.

And what an incredible thing to learn enveloped in the midst of a family!

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