Remember those goals you wrote when you were 12? The sheet was short and simple--something like this (in no particular order).
- Marry a worthy returned missionary in the temple.
- Graduate from college.
- Become a mom.
The goal you hoped most to achieve was motherhood. You had no idea when that would come to pass and marriage seemed like a fleeting fancy, something that happened to those who were beautiful and witty, characteristics you (falsely) believed you lacked.
Yet, here you are at 23. You have achieved those goals. You are a college graduate--the first in your immediate family. You have married an incredible man who is everything you hoped he would be and more. You have two beautiful children that bring unsolicited smiles frequently.
Motherhood was harder than you expected. With school, you knew what was needed to receive that "A." With parenting, there is no syllabus with its accompanying assignment sheet. You can't check Blackboard for your grades. There is no professor to explain difficult concepts. So, the next time you envision that imaginary audience who groans and shakes their heads at your mistakes, remember that there is no imaginary audience. When you make a mistake, it is okay. Grow from your mistakes, don't dwell on them. When you do have a question, ask your friends. You are surrounded by experienced parents who would not think you are a failure for asking.
Please forsake those insecurities that tie you down. You are not the awkward teenager who once lived in her older sister's shadow. You are beautiful, vivacious, and benevolent. You have a husband who would slay dragons for you. You have a daughter and son who instantly forgive your shortcomings. You have accomplished all the goals you once set for yourself.
People do not look down on you because of your choice to become a stay-at-home mom. Stop using your education as a snobby reminder that you could have done more with your life. This is your dream! Even if someone thinks less of you, it is your choice to believe it or ignore it. Instead of "if onlys" become the best mom you can possibly be.
Replace your doubt with trust. You know what is best for you and your family.
Above all, trust your husband. Trust your friends. Trust your parents. Trust your Savior. Embrace forgiveness--of others and of self. Hold fast to the truth that has constantly guided you.