Megan Richardson Parenting Essays

Meg writes on abortion 2019

Unpopular opinion time but killing the person growing inside you is not your choice. It is not part of you. The umbilical cord literally separates it from you so your blood doesn’t mingle because if it does there are serious consequences for the baby. You had the choice to engage in behavior that created that being, but you do not have the choice to terminate life just because it grew in you. And in cases of rape although you may not have had the choice understand statistics show you will likely suffer PTSD for a very long time if you decide to terminate rather than make the best of an ugly situation. I know most will disagree and that’s fine. I am not here to please everyone. Enjoy clicking on the other articles in your newsfeed praising NY.

 

 

 

 

Meg writes of strong moms 2019

 

I didn’t get where I am today by curling up in a ball and giving up. I am literally alive today because I fight for every breath I take. Strength doesn’t mean a lack of gentleness. It means persevering when you feel the storm beating down on your back. It means dropping to your knees because you have the wisdom to know you literally can’t handle it alone. The world would have you think a strong mom has a right hook and cutting words but truly strong moms kiss owies, wipe tears, and sometimes cry into their pillows before falling asleep and doing it all over again. Thank you strong mamas for being you.

 

 

 

Meg writes on charity 2019

Love makes the world go round. Be brave. Love those that will never understand what you go through. Love those who judge and criticize. Love those who unintentionally hurt you. Love the person who dings your car in the parking lot or wears perfume that gives you a headache. Love the person who knocked over your garbage can or colored on your freshly cleaned sheets. Hate gets you nowhere and love gives you the power to understand others even when they are doing things that hurt you. Charity never faileth.

 

 

Meg on healing:

 

Healing is not about whether you die. Healing is about how fully you live. -Eliot Cowan

 

Meg on trials becoming strengths:

Life is not fair. If it were, so many things in my life would be different. But I would miss out on the life lessons CF teaches me, the awakening to a healthier way to live that GP gave me, the love and patience my children give me, and the empathy and understanding being a foster parent has given me. There are miracles we witness if instead of bemoaning our situation in life, we try to lift as we wish others would lift us. Christ has given me many gifts as the years have gone by, most of which initially look like trials, but I believe as we come to see with an eye single to the glory of God our lives are enhanced. If your tree looks bare this year, thank God for the charity in your heart, the patience being chiseled into you day by day, and the sacrifice of the Savior who made your shortcomings into stepping stones.

 

Meg on fostering

 

If you ever want literally every move you make from what you feed your kids to when you send them to bed, what you use to wipe their bum, when you bathe them, and everything in between to be criticized for the high wage of 67 cents an hour, consider becoming a foster parent. I promise I love the kids, I just hate the system.

 

 

Meg on giving kindness

 

Please please please this holiday season find it in your heart to be kind. You don’t know if the person who just bumped into you can barely keep their eyes open because they have multiple sick babies at home and are sick themselves but still trying to keep up with life’s demands. You don’t know if the person who you just criticized is working 24/7 to provide for not only her children but three others as well. You don’t know if the person you just judged for having unruly kids at the supermarket has kids who are psychologically triggered by holidays and sensory overload but couldn’t get a babysitter. The best gift you can give this season is not wrapped. It is the gift of showing others love rather than judgement, hate, anger, and resentment. Don’t be so concerned about getting the latest toy for your kids that you neglect treating others with respect and kindness.

 

 

Meg on the rewards of being a mother

 

Sometimes I think my job is a thankless one. I tire from the constant barrage of lies, the amount of times a day I break up fistfights, and the never ending digs that I try not to let hurt me. Then as I lay exhausted at the end of the day watching the kids play, Abbie gives me the biggest smile, so proud of her playdough creation, and I feel rewarded. I may not be told thanks but these precious moments are the thanks for all the tears shed in quiet moments.

 

Meg on Suffering with Christ

 

Some days the road we walk is difficult, but I think of Christ and how He desperately wanted His disciples to just sit with Him while He went through the pains of hell, yet they would not. These days with little sleep and lots of difficulties are my way of telling the Lord that even though I too am exhausted to the bone, I will help His children in their time of need. I will not leave the sufferer alone while I slumber. I am not a saint, but I am a Christian and as such I will be His hands to accomplish His work on the earth.

 

Meg on parenting many children and not judging the mothers

 

I used to judge moms with a ton of kids. I felt like they brought their problems on themselves. Now as a foster/adoptive mom hauling around my children and bonus children I get payback a lot. A lot of people judge and make comments whether to my face or behind my back. I get really used to hearing negative comments like “why did she bring all those kids? She clearly can’t control them.” In truth especially right after a placement when we are all still getting used to each other no I can’t control everyone. Unfortunately that’s when I am out in public the most getting them everything they need. We had stake conference today and we had a wild bunch but there were several strangers who stepped up to help out with kids no explanations or questions necessary. I have no clue who they were and don’t know if I will ever see them again but I really appreciate the way they treated my family. If you ever feel like you can’t think of anything to do to help someone, look for the frazzled mom and just help. Oh and also try not to judge. You don’t know the story. Thanks! PSA over.

 

Meg on religious tolerance

 

I took my children to the Krishna Lotus Temple today. We met a wonderful Indian woman who told us about the dieties she worships. It was a great cultural experience but she said something that made me sad. She said she moved from New York and people here were less than welcoming. Please no matter what religion you belong to, teach your children to reach out in love and understanding to people who believe differently than they do. Focus on your similarities. We have the power to unite or divide this nation with our words and our actions. Especially as a mother or father you have the power to shape the political and religious landscape of the future. Think about that while you preach to hate and discriminate against those who choose to worship differently than you do. “We believe in worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

 

Meg on natural disasters to teach us charity

 

As inquisitive toddlers often do, my children peppered me with “why”s today as we traveled to Payson and witnessed the fire. Although there are a million answers I thought back to the time in my life when the Santaquin mountain burnt blocks from my childhood home. I recalled the lesson I learned to serve and help all those less fortunate than ourselves. I don’t think the sole reason for the fire or the mudslide following was to teach a girl how to serve but I remember feeling needed even as a kid to help and that fueled my desire to help later in life. You never know the answers God is teaching others. Don’t question just find your own why. If you are having trouble, He will help you.

 

Meg on being a hero and teaching current events

 

This morning I sat my kids down and had a history lesson about the World Trade Center. We talked about what happened but mostly we talked about what it takes to be a hero. There were so many service personnel that lost their lives, so many boat drivers who answered the call to evacuate Manhattan’s stranded, and so many that lost their lives fighting to save our freedom afterward. We may not lose our lives in our fight to be a hero but we make choices that determine our destiny every day. The little choices you make today build you into the person you will be when tragedy strikes and determine how you will answer the call. Are you making the choices that create an unsung hero?

 

Meg on fostering

 

You might be a foster parent if:
Your arms ache from holding two 14 month old babies, both of whom cried for their mama all day and only one of whom was referring to you.
You spent half an hour explaining to a child that most kids don’t like to hurt and so we don’t throw rocks at them even if you think it feels good when they throw them at you.
You have had to finagle seven car seats into one vehicle with room for older kids to get to their strategically placed seats so they can get thrown bottles and toys as you drive.
#Soexhaustedsoworthit

 

Guys, being a foster parent is awesome. It’s hard, but it is so wonderful how you can be filled with so much love for so many different children. Some children you hope go home. Others you hope find a safer situation, but no matter what, you love them fiercely. I am so grateful for the fosters I adopted, the fosters I have had through respite, and those yet to come. They are all amazing!!

 

Meg on writing

 

I gave my personal writing station a makeover and I am loving how the words are flowing! It’s time to breathe a sigh that I survived the emotional roller coaster of the onslaught of words just released. Nothing is more cleansing than a good writing session.

 

Meg on homeschool

 

Today we officially started homeschooling! It felt wonderful to eat breakfast together, turn on an audiobook while we all cleaned for a bit, and say a prayer before we got started on our math, language arts, history, and science for the day. I am so glad for the agency to choose what I think is best for my children and the freedom to carry it out.

 

Meg on God trying us

 

Don’t ever tell the Lord you can’t handle one more thing. He has a habit of proving you wrong. Also He doesn’t take too kindly to you telling Him you are strong enough and to back off for a bit on the refining thing. Just a friendly word of warning  🙂

 

Meg on the Holy Ghost

 

 

One of my assignments for my master of herbalism class this week was to study alternative forms of healing such as Shamanism, yoga, essences, and the like. Although my spiritual path is a bit different than any of the ones I have been studying, I believe we were created to do great things and tap into the power within us. Sometimes we must listen to the voice that tells us to slow down. Other times we must hasten to the help of another, but our greatest strength lies in learning to heed that still, small voice. Our power lies in remembering who we are. Our world moves so fast and too often we don’t take time to ponder, listen, and be still. I am grateful for the illness this week that made me slow down and appreciate life. I hope everyone can find time to tap into spiritual power today. “Be still and know that I am God,” He promises. Listen.

 

 

Meg on Mother’s Day and Challenges of Motherhood, 2019

 

Mother’s day is always hard for me. It was hard during my years of infertility when I longed to be a mom. It was hard after I took in foster children and realized how much I really didn’t know about being a mom, especially to kids who needed so much love. It is hard on days like today when all I want is to be a normal mama enjoying her kids not worrying about how much my joints hurt or wondering if my lungs would stop fighting with me because I spent time outside and my asthma is kicking up. Its hard because I always feel I am coming up short, but I take comfort in Elder Holland’s words, “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, ‘Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion, and like the Master you follow, your love ‘never faileth.’”

 

 

Meg on the joy of having a friend as a supervisor, 2019

 

Today I got to go to lunch with my old boss. We talked for an hour and a half before I realized how late it was! Thanks Tenille Frederick Goeringer for being not just a supervisor but a friend. I miss my days working at Seagull primarily because of this lady. I am so lucky to be surrounded by awesome people who encourage me!

 

 

Meg on Notre Dame’s Fire, and Metaphors for Our Lives

 

Notre-Dame was ravaged during the French Revolution and world wars not to mention the years of neglect brought to light by Napoleon and Victor Hugo. It took 300 years to build and went through numerous modifications and renovations for various reasons. Yet through all of this, it is the most visited monument in Paris. Why? Because beauty is born in suffering; the Phoenix rises from the ashes. We are building cathedrals. It may be more painful than we had hoped. We may feel neglected or abandoned more than once in our lives. We may have our world crash down on us much like the centuries old roof of Notre-Dame. Our life may take more modifications than we feel we can handle, but if we just hang on, someday we will be revered as a sacred dwelling for the Lord. You may not have rich philanthropists promising to pay to rebuild you, but one man paid all He had for you so you could be whole again. Please if you need help to rebuild your life, pray, see the bishop, call a friend, and turn tragedy into triumph.

 

 

Meg on Feeling Like She Comes Up Short in Her Duties, and Gratitude for God’s Grace

 

Can I just say that as a mom of five and current foster mom of two who constantly feels like I am coming up short, I loved Elder Holland’s talk because although he gave a gentle chastisement to the chronically late to church he also gave the battle worn woman who drags her kids and a diaper bag into church permission to be late. He told me that my efforts are enough. That God knows I get up three hours before church starts and sometimes we are still late because someone is missing a shoe or there was a diaper blowout or the bottle spilled or the myriad of other things that go wrong Sunday mornings. He gave me permission to just be me and let me know that God was ok with that. God knows exactly what’s going on and He just gave me a free late pass. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father to whom my efforts are enough.

 

…Tonight’s Come Follow Me tidbit on Christ bringing peace in the middle of life’s storms was very needed today. May he bless me with the calm I need to weather all the storms I am currently in haha.

 

…I found this gem when I was putting the finishing touches on my lesson for tomorrow. “No matter how bleak the chapter of our lives may look today, because of the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may hope and be assured that the ending of the book of our lives will exceed our grandest expectations.”-Dieter F Uchtdorf. Isn’t it marvelous?

 

…Someday I am going to be so sparkly you can hardly look at me because this girl is getting some serious refining and polishing lately.

 

 

Meg on Dealing with Those who Scold You

 

An anonymous benefactor put a rather scalding letter with their opinion of me on my doorstep today in view of all my children. Please if it was you I beg you not to do the same to the next person you find fault in. If your goal is to publicly shame others think how that would feel if others did it to you. I have been through hell and back and will make it through this battle but please respect the feelings of others.

 

 

Meg on the challenge of living with a terminal illness, 2019

 

Five Feet Apart is being ripped to shreds by many in the CF community. I have not seen it nor read the book but I will tell you one thing. My parents raised me to believe I could do and be anything I set my mind to. I was valedictorian, sterling scholar, and had numerous other accolades throughout the years because of this. I even achieved my lifelong dream of being a writer and a mom simultaneously. But I also felt the beast inside me. My teenage dreams were of the boys who helped me when I couldn’t breathe at school or boys who took me dancing because they knew I loved it and then held me up toward the end when my lungs were on fire. I married one of those boys. My heart belongs to the one who sent me heart bamboo when I was in the hospital for Valentines Day our senior year of high school, who half carried me home from a CF fundraiser I hosted, and who talked with me on a hike about the frustrations of insurance long before he knew he would share that burden someday. The amount of times I pictured a guy holding my hand in the ICU is proof that relationships are a little different when you have CF. I am glad someone is talking about it. Are there probably some things wrong with the story? Sure, but it’s high time the world has a window to our struggle. It’s not just a fight to breathe. It’s a fight for the right to a semi normal life in a non-ordinary way. It’s a fight to feel you deserve love and a fight to cherish the moments you have with the ones you love. It’s making decisions that may shorten your life because in the end you want to say you lived, not just survived.

 

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