Just based on my own experience being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is harder. You have no one else to help, to lean on, to offer shared experience or support. You’re doing it all alone, and that can be very intimidating, knowing that my kids are counting on me and me alone. Alone is exactly how I was feeling last night as I tried to help my daughter who was struggling because of someone in her school class who had been very mean to her when she was only trying to do the right thing. I immediately turned to scriptures and the words of my church leaders, then spoke of my own experiences and thoughts to try to help her, but I felt so inadequate and wondered if I was really helping her or not. After I finally got her into bed I sat on my own bed and cried, feeling that aloneness, thinking how hard it was being a single parent.
But then I remembered that I wasn’t alone, that I actually had the most knowledgable, wise, kind, perfect parent on my side—my Father in Heaven. He’s the one I can lean on for support and look to for guidance, and I know He can give it to me. I also realized, though, that in order for me to have that I needed to be living my life in a way where I can hear His spirit and His voice speaking to me. It ignited a fire in me to strive to live a more spiritual life. There are little things I know I can do better at, things that will bring the Spirit into my home and into my life. In so doing I truly believe that I can have that help and experience to guide me and that support I need to lean on.
I just wanted to say that just because the Easter Bunny came to our house this morning, left treats in the kids Easter baskets and eggs filled with candy hidden around our yard for them to find doesn’t mean the day isn’t about Jesus Christ and his atonement and resurrection. We watched General Conference, the meeting the LDS church holds twice a year, together as a family, listened to our church leaders speak and inspire, and we watched a video on the Savior. My kids know what Easter is about. If you were to ask my six-year-old he would tell you that Easter is about Jesus. He would probably also tell you how weird it is that commercials and stores try to make it about the Easter Bunny. Just because there were treats and egg hunts doesn’t mean we didn’t focus on our Savior, because we did. We do. Just like we focus on Him at Christmas time as well, even with the presents and lights and treats.
Filling Easter baskets, hiding Easter eggs, filling stockings and wrapping presents is one of my favorite parts of being a parent. It’s fun for me, and makes me happy. And seeing the wonder and joy on my kid’s faces when they come out of their rooms to see what has been left brings me even more happiness. These moments we share as a family are priceless. They are memories I treasure in my heart and in my mind. And that is good.
The truth is that every day should be about Jesus and Heavenly Father, not just Easter and Christmas. Does that mean we stop everything else that we’re doing? Going to school, going to work, jumping on the tramp, playing at the park, getting a treat, laughing with friends, dancing, singing. No. Just because you are doing those things doesn’t mean you aren’t focusing on the Savior. We can, and should, take moments every single day to live our religion, to talk about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and how we should be living our lives.
So I won’t feel bad, I won’t feel shame or like I’m not a good mom because I let my kids find and eat treats on Easter morning. Instead, I will cherish the memory of this day and all that it held.