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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Real Stories From Real Moms!

The best thing about talking to other moms is the shared experiences and stories. You know the kind that make you laugh and cry and sigh immense styles of relief when you realize that you are not a lone in your struggles.

Well, my sister-in-law Sarah, of "Better of Wed" is uniting the moms of the world by sharing real life stories every week. I feel honored to be the first to kick of this exciting new adventure.
You can find my article here, I think I will title it,
 "In the Thick of It!"

Here is an excert:
"I have seen a toe get chopped off.
I have had someone flip my eyelid inside out.
I have seen gums scraped away from teeth.
I have been head butted in the mouth.
I have witnessed someone attempt to fly only to slam into a wall with disappointment.
I have bandaged bloody wounds.
I have wrestled people into the bathtub.
I have been vomited on.
I have seen a patient receive too much morphine and almost die.
What am I? A nurse? A nurse at a loony bin?
I am a mom". 
Visit Better of Wed to read more. I hope you will!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just A Mom

"Wow, that sure is a lot of food you have here. How long will it last you?"
"About a week, maybe a week and a half."
"You must have a big family."
"My husband and I have 4 children."
"Four! What does he do?"
"He is a teacher at the high school."
"Well I assume you don't work."
"No. I just stay at home."

This is a conversation I had a t the grocery store this week. No clerk has ever commented on the amount of groceries I buy. Ever. In fact this was a relatively light shopping trip comparatively.
But it bugged me.

"No, I just stay at home." 

Saying that stings. Every. Time.
I always want to to qualify my position by saying, but I am also a photographer. Or I also make and sell crafts to help make ends meet. But it just feels fake.

Every time I fill out a form and it asks my occupation, I cringe inwardly. "Housewife." Yuck. Why does that bug me? I have started putting things down instead like "Child Development Specialist" or "Life Facilitator."

I don't know why it bugs me. I chose to stay home. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I quit my job as a teacher because it was important to me to raise my children. I wanted to be there for every minute of every moment. And I am so happy with my decision.

My dad died when I was nine. This taught me an invaluable lesson.

You don't get unlimited time.

I want as much time as I can get.
 I will go back to work later.
So why, if I am happy with my decision, do I feel bad when I say I am just a mom? Do I feel like I am not contributing to society? Do I feel unintelligent? Do I feel like I have no ambition? Do I feel like I am wasting my talents?
 I don't feel this way.
Does Society?

To answer my questions:
Do I feel like I am not contributing to society? I feel like the best way I can contribute to society right now is by raising respectful children who know how to work and have a strong moral sense. They our the future of our society.
Do I feel unintelligent? Not a bit. I have to inform myself on so many issues. From politics, to education to sleep techniques to food health, vaccinations, gardening, etc. I feel like I am a quite intelligent lady.  Being a mother has stretched my talents and abilities and capabilities in ways that never ever would have happened.
 Do I feel like I have no ambition? I have plenty of ambition. It is just that my goals have changed.
Do I feel like I am wasting my talents? No, in fact I feel like I have developed an arsenal of new talents.

I found this quote today.

“Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God 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 of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74.

 I also found this:
 What is a stay-at-home Mom's worth?

I think what I need to remember is that society doesn't always place value on the correct things.
I think it also means that I need to have faith in my own conviction and not wait to be validated by someone else.
 I made this decision for me and I need to remember that I wasn't trying to impress anyone when I made the decision.
 I need to remember that woman are hard on themselves in general. We always want to be prettier or younger or thinner or smarter or craftier or whatever. We need to be more accepting of ourselves. When we can accept ourselves for who we are we can be more accepting of others. Why? Because we are no longer comparing our bests to any body else's best.

Tied Ribbon: Motherhood Printable

Now please don't take this to mean that I think less of working moms. I don't. We all have our own choices to make and I respect that. We all do what we need to do. We all do what works for us. I make no judgements. I think all moms are wonderful and we are in dire need of support from one another.
 Lots of support and no judgment.

  I was talking to a friends about this. She happens to be a working mom and she said, "Wow, I thought people always looked down on me for not staying home with my kids."
 Sad, right?
We moms need to support each other.
All moms are awesome.
Thomas S. Monson says,
 “Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to give us birth, 
deserves our undying gratitude.”

Moms are important and we need to think of ourselves that way. 

I had the flu right before Christmas. I was scheduled to do a million things and I simply could not get out of bed. It takes a lot to get me off of my feet, but this flu knocked me for a loop.
My husband had to pick up the slack, bless his heart and did his best to help with all the things I had committed to do. After three days of my illness my husband said, "Man when you are sick, it feels like a government shut down. Nothing runs the way it is supposed to!"

To me that was a huge compliment. Mothers move mountains. Often on a daily basis.

I want to share this story I found because I think it is beautiful.

"The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever."

"One young mother wrote to me recently that she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” She worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be able to be equal to the task, the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.

But one thing, she said, keeps her going. I quote: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that my motherhood is an eternal partnership with Him.”

Mothers, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are, better than you are, and better than you have ever been. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. We thank all of you, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God.

May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.”
By Jeffrey R. Holland. Source

I am not Just a mom. You are not just a mom.