Monday, May 4, 2009

I love being a mom...

"Each of you should be grateful to be a woman! Self-pity is always a sad thing to see, and especially when there is no justification for it. To be a righteous woman is a glorious thing in any age. To be a righteous woman during the winding-up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling."

I have been pondering over this for some time now.. I feel like I need to speak what is on my mind. And, well, this is how I feel, what I believe. I say this only because I feel like no one is speaking for the truth. So you won't find any apologies here.
The world seems to have something else to say.. about women, their roles, how they should mother, how many children they should bear, how long they should stay at home mothering their children..
Today's economy says enough on it's own. There are more families who feel it necessary to become a multiple income household. Just in case.

"No matter what you read or hear, no matter what the differences of circumstances you observe in the lives of women about you, it is important to understand that the Lord holds motherhood and mothers sacred and in the highest esteem."

With all of this "noise" going on all around me, I went to a book, and not just any old book. This is a book dad gave to me when I was pregnant with Lynn, and was being bombarded from all directions about these "details".
"You should work up until the day you go into labor."
"You should work so you can take full benefit of you maternity leave."
"You have family around.. they can help you so you can work after you have the baby."
But none of this was my plan. It never had been. This one detail was the biggest deal-breaker of a previous engagement.
I wanted to stay at home.
He didn't think it was the right thing to do.. (hhmmmm.. funny as this is what our prophets have admonished us to do...)
Lucky for me, Merrill wanted the same thing.
This book brought me comfort then, reassured me that my choice was correct, and it silences all of those outside voices now.

"One of the important messages that emerges from the history of great women in all ages is that they cared more for the future of their families than for their own comfort. Such good women had a grasp of what matters in life. "

I stay at home.
Sometimes, when I stop and think about it, it's kind of scary... and I am not talking about the dirty diapers and tantrums ;) I am talking about how, financially, this works. We haven't had a raise in pay since right before Lynn was born. We have had our medical benefits dropped, to where we cover them. Every child we have is an out-of-pocket expense.. those are exciting, yet very stressful times. Would me, going outside of our home to work, help ease this stress? It might; but cause only more...
But I believe in exercising faith. We are blessed. We make it.
I don't get a lot of extras. When I come to think of it, even the hobbies I enjoy "doing for myself", really are for the benefit of my family.
If the girls need new shoes, but I would like to replace the ones I have been wearing for the last five years, new shoes for the girls it is.
That's part of being a mother.
Sacrificing wants for needs.
Would I love a new car, a new home, a dream vacation? Of course. But at what cost?
My children, spending time with them, being the one to raise, nurture, and care for them, is what matters most to me. Not sending them off to pay someone to do it half-hearted for me.
So, some people might say, "What about the time for yourself? To find 'you'?"
I echo what President Kimball has said:
".. we can find ourselves only by losing ourselves."
Lose myself in serving my husband, my children, my neighbors, my friends, and my family. I have discovered so much about who I really am, when I shut out the world, the materialism, and concentrate and focus my efforts on others.
I am not saying that the loads of laundry don't seem monotonous, that I don't sneak off to the craft store after dinner is cleaned up and dad can take over for a bit.. I am saying it is all more than worth it.
I am making my home.

"It is true of all of us that, as we progress spiritually, our sense of belonging, identity, and self-worth increases."

Time for myself, whether I am blogging, scrapbooking, reading, or just relaxing, helps me to connect spiritually. Having that extra hour, maybe an hour and a half some days ;) before the girls wake up.. that helps the day go much better. I am able to center myself, prepare myself for the craziness that usually ensues.
I don't need to leave my home, place my children in the care of another, in order to "find myself".
Motherhood is full of experiences that allow for growth and self development... if you open yourself to it.

"It was never easy to bear and rear children, but easy things do not make for growth and development."

And there are days which I think I will never recover from.. but I do. I learn that I have strength to do more than I ever thought I would be able to.
I have many fears about motherhood. Some have been jumped over like a literal hurdle..
- nursing
- c-section
- relationships with more than one daughter (aahhhh!!!)
Point is, I knew who I was, I had an identity before I got married, before I had my own children. I learn more about myself everyday, through the eyes of my children.. we get to learn together. What a blessing!
I am thankful, to be blessed enough, that it isn't a necessity for me to leave my home, and my children, to go to work.
I know that there are many, who must, and my heart breaks for them. I have a good friend who would give anything to be in the position to be home with her children, to be there when they get home from school, to be there when they are ill. But she can't. She isn't working for the new car in the garage. For the mortgage.
It puts a smile on my face, makes my spirit soar when I hear my daughters' desires are to be mothers...

"We have grown strong as a people because our mothers and our women have been so selfless."

I hope my example, like those before me, and those great examples of womanhood that surround me, carry on.

(My quotes were taken from the book: "My Beloved Sisters" words spoken by President Spencer W. Kimball at two separate women's conferences in the 70's.. my how they still apply today!)


Randee Mayes said...

You say it so perfectly. I just felt like you were taking the thoughts right out of my head. There have been 2 times, since Kev & I have been married, that we hit that scary point of: I don't think we can make it without me going back to work. Each of those situations turned out to have HUGE blessings attached to them when we trusted our loving Father in Heaven and kept me at home. I'm so grateful to your wonderful mom and her excellent example, without it I don't think me staying home would be such a huge priority for Kev. Love ya Mind, thanks for the good boost of encouragement!!!! I love being a mom........even to my unborn sweet baby girl!!!!! I can't wait!!!

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You always put things so eloquently. It is nice to be reminded that what we do is valued by the Lord.

Six-Pack Momma said...

Amen! My sentiments exactly. I, too, have been thinking baout this a lot lately. I applaud you for your amazing example! Love ya, Min!

Ally0005 said...

All I wanted growing up was to be a mother. When Phil lost his job so many people pushed me to go back to work full time. I knew deep down that was not right for our family. As i knew it would cost us more with me working for full than not.
I held to my guns and said "I didn't go around the world to bring these girls home for someone else to raise them".

Brooke said...

thanks! everything said is so true... especially about finding yourself... i'd rather be with my boys and austin than anyone else... if i need to find myself that is the first place i look.

BookwormMom said...

I was trying really hard not to be hurt by what you wrote, knowing logically that you would NEVER mean it that way. Then I remembered my Patriarcal blessing, and knowing that with it's guidance I've made the right decision for my family. I'm glad for everyone who can make the right decision for their families.

Sunshine and Lazy days said...

I agree with you. When I met Mike, I told him that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I have found side jobs through out most of my marriage, and after Luke, decided to find a job outside the home, worked for a year and was miserable! I was so relieved when I got to stay home again. My two kids did so much better when I was home. I grew up in a large family, and my mom was always home. I know money was tight, but my parents knew it was more important for Mom to be home. What a comfort it is to have a mom home, at all times! My kids are better because I am home, I am better because I am home, and we might not have a lot of "extras" but we are sure grateful for what we do have! Thanks for sharing your insights!!!!

Bonnie said...

Thanks for your post. It really made me look at everything through the proper lens. I need that every once in a while. It is so easy to buy in to attitudes that can pull you away from the home. I know that some mothers need to work. Right now I don't have to and I am so grateful, and need to remember why I am doing what I am doing. Thanks again

Ryan said...

oh yeah, and the mention of the "ones before you" I love being connected more frequently through our blogs and love when you mention all that Grandma did for us.

Carola said...

Hi Mindy, first time reading your blog. I want you to know that the Lord has used you to talk to me through your words. Just this past weekend I was talking to my husband about this. Sometimes we do need to be reminded of how important our work is raising our children at home. Thanks so much! May God bless you always. :-)

Summer said...

please know that i'm not offended and know what you mean. on the other hand, those of us that do have to work make an extremely hard decision. do i like the fact that i have to drop troy off every morning,no. would i like to stay home with him, yes. would we still have a home if i had stayed home, no. there was absolutely no way to make things work. i too was reminded of the guidence in my patriarchal blessing and fought the promptings of the spirit for days. brandon didn't like the idea either but when it got to the point where he was only working 50 hrs a pay period (and we don't have insurance)he too was thankful.

The Anderson's said...

Love Ya Mindy! Thanks for expressing those things that I feel in my heart.

Ashley and Devan said...

I think as woman we all make the choices that are best for our family. I don't think it is for you to say what is best for my family just like I can't say what is best for yours. I work.. does that make me a bad mom? Not in the least. I love my children more than anything. Maybe I have to work and maybe I don't, but either way we should all support each other as mothers and woman and know that we are all doing the very best we know how to do.

kdance10 said...

Man everything you said is so true. The other day my neighbor came over to me and was talking to me and she was telling me how she was looking for a job cuase she can't stay home with her daughter anymore (meaning she does'nt want to) And i thought how sad that is. Then i ran into her at the store and she said to me "I dont know how you do it with 3 kids at the store all by yourself".I love being with my kids, sure it's nice going to the store alone every once in a while.

Promise said...

I am so thankful to be a stay-at-home mom. I am thankful to have so much support around me in the decision that Ken and I made...and wonderful examples. I too love President Kimball's thoughts on mothers. I love to read his talks and quotes, they reassure me that what Ken and I are trying to what we are supposed to be doing. Thanks Min for, yet another, great post!