"If you want to sing out, sing out

and if you want to be free, be free

'Cause there's a million things to be. You know that there are."

-Cat Stevens

I was sitting on the couch, dreading the day ahead. I had just written down everything I needed to get done and then I started crying. The list was huge, and it included grocery shopping—dry heave. The thought of getting two toddlers and a new baby to the grocery store and back without forgetting wipes was giving me an ulcer. And that was only the first thing on my list. I poured out my woes to God. I was desperately trying to be a good mom but every day ended the same—with me slumping onto the bed, feeling like a failure. And then I opened my scriptures and found seventeen words I'll never forget:  

 

 

"And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers..." -Abraham 1:2 

As I read those seventeen magical words, I felt God urging me to realize that motherhood was supposed to be full of happiness, peace, and rest. That "the blessings of the fathers" were also intended for mothers, and that I was supposed to seek them.

This blew my mind because I had just spent my first three months as a mom of 3 thinking that going without food, wearing myself out to the point of tears, and waking up in a cold sweat was just how the game went. Like, if you're a mom, you're just gonna have to survive as you drown in diapers and fruit snack wrappers, and that all the stress was somehow "for my own good." 

2017 was a learning year for our family, and also for me as a mother. We started the year with three kids and ended it with four. Our life has become so drastically different, not just because we welcomed a new life into our family, but because our family is living a new life. And before this new life of working and exploring together ever seemed possible, I spent months sitting on our living room couch, searching for ways to find more "happiness, peace, and rest." The answers that came on that couch started the process that made all of the other things fall into place. 

This is the collection of answers I got in those early months as a mother of three and the answers that have come throughout our time as wanderers. In it are "the things of a better world" (D&C 25:10) that I've spent so much time searching for, and I hope they can help any mama who's on the lookout for a simpler motherhood lifefull of happiness, peace, and rest.