Recently I was driving Maurie to a friend’s house and she asked, “Why did you want to be a mommy?”
Maurie does not normally ask such frank or deep questions. The question caught me off guard and it made me really consider what she asked. I replied, “So I could have beautiful little girls like you and Brooklyn and Jane. And kiss your cheeks and love you.” Maurie was satisfied with the answer. Immediately I was filled with gratitude. I had prayed and hoped to be a mother my whole life and there I sat with my sweet and strong baby girls. I needed that question to really see that there is no title, fame or amount of money that would entice me to relinquish my role as wife and mother.
I was also sad after Maurie asked me because for almost a year now, and still on and off, I have been wanting to run away from my role as mother. Motherhood is harder than I thought it would be. I don’t want to waste any precious time that I have to be a wife and mother, but yet I feel trapped sometimes. This inner conflict of knowing that motherhood is important and yet wanting to do so many other things, is so difficult for me. I try everyday to be more present and more grateful for this season.
Little by little, and as I have sought for help from Heavenly Father and my family, I have learned about what it means to be a mother and to see value in what I do. I think I will always have to remind myself. I want to value “integrity over visibility”(Spencer W. Kimball, Nov. 1979).
There are people in the world who do not value what I do. I remember a controversial blog post that went viral that essentially said that people need to stop praising women for getting married and having children because so many people can do that. The writer said that women that climb mountains and corporate ladders merit more praise.
Right after this post went viral, I listened to a tv commentator say, “Does she (the blog post author) not have a mom?” Truly, for those of us that have devoted, imperfect mothers, we see their value! It is true that most women can get married and have children, but what this woman failed to see is that every single child that comes into the world is unique and has special needs. With some exceptions, mothers are the most equipped to love, teach and nurture the souls that come to them. I believe that my children were sent to me with purpose. Although my bearing children is ordinary, my relationships are extraordinary because they simply cannot be duplicated. I am not climbing any mountains or corporate ladders, but I am sure that God is aware of my children and wants me to be able to help them grow and fulfill their potential. I am certain that my role as mother is important to my children and they deserve to have my love and care.
“Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God [2 Nephi 9:13] and true happiness. One of Satan’s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. This is an attack at the very heart of God’s plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support. Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, nor can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home.”-Elder Richard G. Scott
I am eager to improve as a wife and mother and even more eager to feel, in my whole being, that what I do is the most valuable and important thing I can do with my life right now. I appreciated the recent response of the leaders of my church– women do not have to choose between career, education and family life; it is simply a matter of timing. I feel like I am a bit of a broken record on this topic, but I constantly try to remember that my life has seasons. I want to enjoy each season and find peace in the decisions that I make that fit me and my family.
I hope that you find true and lasting joy in serving your family. You cannot be replaced and if when you die and your husband and children are praising your name and eager to pass on the legacy of love you have established, is that not reward enough? I dare say I would feel like I had really accomplished something if that is the case for me.
To any wife and or mother who feels alone or less important than others, lift your head up and reach out to those who need you most and to the one who can aid you in your work. Anticipate those who may scoff at your choices and feel the peace that comes when you know you are keeping the best things as the top priorities, despite being mocked.
To those who think I am backward or suppressed, all I can say is that the feminist movement was not about competing with men, it was about women having the freedom to make their own choices without compulsion. I choose this path and however difficult it is at times, I am needed and I do something that cannot be done just as I would do it.
I hope that you soak in the time you have with family or friends this Thanksgiving. I am thankful for friends and family who have been supportive of me as I blog and attempt to encourage others.