My final paper for my English Writing Class.
Its four o’clock in the morning and the baby is crying again. She wakes me up every two hours at night and then sleeps all day just to add insult to injury. Times like these make me appreciate sayings like, “mothers work from sun up to sun down” and “motherhood is a thankless job.” Being a mother can truly be a thankless job. It’s 24/7 and we don’t get government mandated breaks. As these thoughts pass through my mind, my daughter looks up at me from her bottle and smiles. It is all worth it.
Growing up I was conditioned to believe that motherhood is a demeaning and worthless venture. Every television show or movie I watched told me that women are just as good if not better than men in the work place. On the other hand, every Sunday I was taught that women are daughters of God given the privilege of bringing spirit children into the world. The two conflicting ideas are a lot to handle and at four in the morning I was leaning toward the 9-5 career. My thoughts began to wonder as I pondered motherhood and careers, that is when I remembered the General Relief Society President, Julie B. Beck, who spoke on “Mothers Who Know.” Her talk magnifies my appreciation for motherhood. It brings comfort to me when the world tears it down.
Sister Beck stated, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.” Sister Beck further teaches us that children are becoming less valued because women are wanting careers and a more exciting lifestyle instead of raising children. I don’t know why, but this specific quote came to me as I was looking at my beautiful innocent daughter. How could anyone not value such a perfect being? My thoughts turned to my mom. My mother was a stay at home mom to three children. She didn’t gain an education or have a career. I remember her saying, “I have never doubted being a mother, not one day. You children are the greatest work I have ever done. You brought me more happiness than any CEO position ever could.” I realized, looking back at that moment, my mother “knew.” She taught me through her example that getting up with a screaming child really was the most important thing I could be doing right now.
As I continued to ponder "Mothers Who Know" I remembered what Julie B. Beck states “Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth.”
I thought back to when it was time to start planning for a family, I knew my goals had to change. I still didn’t have a career or an education, why was I going to start a family? President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.” I was confused. My life goals were not focused on the “right” plan. I was planning a degree that lead to a career. I wanted to have the possibilities of graduate school and gaining a respectable career in the work place. I wanted to have success.
I thought back to when I first became a mother, five years ago. My husband and I were beyond excited. We welcomed our beautiful Ava into the world with open arms. I loved her more than I could have ever imagined, but was it everything I wanted? Was this beautiful precious being going to fill the doubts and concerns I had? It’s easy to feel like motherhood is a demeaning task. The world puts it down as lazy, boring, and unimportant, just as I perceived it years before. Now, after three daughters, I have never found more peace and comfort with my calling in life.
I am happy to say that I am a stay at home mother. Sister Beck says “These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years.” I want to raise my children in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to teach my daughters to become leaders and to show them how important motherhood is. Teach them to never lose faith in the importance and power they have for the future generations. Today, I still get down, with the world telling me I am nothing. But the only person pushing me down is myself. I let my pride get in the way of what the most important position is in this life. My experience in these short years with my daughters has taught me what success really is. I know without a doubt in my mind that success is raising the future generations as disciples of Jesus Christ. Each day is a battle but I won’t let that get in the way of what the Lord asks of me. When my daughter looks up at me, during her 4 am feeding, I can confidently say "I am a mother who knows."