Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thoughts on Motherhood

Since this blog is supposed to be about motherhood, I thought I would share a recent favorite quote on motherhood with you. The source is M. Russell Ballard, an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and was given at the recent General Conference (when we gather as a church to be instructed and uplifted. It is always so inspiring.) His talk was completely dedicated to mothers, particularly to mothers with children at home. This is one of the things that he said:

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part- or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."
I think that it is so easy for us to be passionate about the way that we mother. We feel strongly that it is the right way--and it may be the right way for our family. But as he said, each mother is different and each child is different. This does not change absolute truth, but it means that discipline styles, family rules and practices, and the things that a mother focuses on can be very different from family to family. AND THAT'S OK. Sometimes we think that if our way is right, then another's must be wrong. Or if we see someone whom we admire, doing things a certain way, that our way must be wrong. In reality, it is our responsibility to study out for ourselves and pray for the Lord's guidance in determining what is best in our situations for our families. And then to reach out and support other women in their efforts to do the same, even if their way is different from ours.

I am grateful for this wise and inspired counsel.


Yvonne said...

Great post, thanks for sharing your inspiration!

Allison said...

I wish all jobs were so flexible.

Erika said...

My favorite part is the last sentence. "What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."
I think as long as you put your children above all else & you love them deeply, than you are being the best mom you can be.

mindyluwho said...

It has taken me a long time to realize that the way I parent is ok and I don't have to do all the things other parents are doing with thier children. I used to beat myself up because I wasn't living up to someone else's standard. But I couldn't because I didn't have the same talents/skills as they did. I have had to figure out what my talents and skills are and how to best utilize them in my family. I recognize that there are some things that I am not doing that I need to be, but I love what Elder Ballard says about prioritizing. As I have begun to do that I have found my family life to be much happier.

Great post. Thank you!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

As a new mom I really believed that I had all the answers and if only people would listen to me we would have a world of perfect children. I could have used this talk back then when I was still delusional. But I need it just as much today (Now that I know I am SO not perfect) to remind me that my way is still a good way, but only for our individual family.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I absolutely LOVED this quote from this talk (that is why I posted it, too, last week :) !!)because what we need from each other is more support and open mindedness, not unsolicited advice and judgment.

Excellent post!

Mrs. Annie said...

Thank you for stopping by my recipe blog! But, sorry, you cannot use a stand up mixer. For whatever reason the cookies just don't turn out the same as when you mix the dough by hand.

As to your post here, lovely, simply lovely.

Michal said...

mindy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. for years i have been on both extremes; one minute berating myself for not being like so-and-so, the next minute saying, "what are they thinking?" about someone else's choices. i find myself at peace since i have tried to turn my will over to god and to remember that i am doing his work in raising a family. i may be weak, but with him as a partner, who can fail?

Cammi said...

Hi - this is Cammi - Judy's daughter. I enjoy reading your blog and all the thoughtful/personal posts you write. Just wanted to say hi since I've been "lurking" on your blog for a while now!

Michal said...

ordinary mom,
i hope you don't mind that i used a quote that you had already used a part of. it just was such a powerful talk and a much needed message for mothers and all of us. i can just tell that some people think (and feel urged to tell me) that i'm nuts for homeschooling, some people think that i'm nuts for having so many kids, some people think that i'm a control freak for the way i police the kids' tv time... and i need to stop caring what they think. and not think ill of other moms who have chosen differently.

Aubrey said...

I loved this talk too. It was so wonderful and validating. And that quote is powerful and so true!

A while back you asked me about feeds from my blog and if I have that feature turned off...I have tried to look for the setting and I really have no idea what the setting is and how to turn it on. So let me know and I can turn it on for you.

Rebecca said...

Amen. Beautifully written, by both Elder Ballard and you!

Sonja said...

Even though it is not standard church practice, I think every mother listening to Elder Ballard wanted to give him a standing ovation after this talk. Am I right?

I think we will be hearing more and more of this. I was struck by the opening prayer at the Saturday and Sunday conference. The people saying the prayer specifically prayed for the mothers.

I too, have come to love my calling as I have put my trust in God and have allowed Him to guide me in every way concerning my children.

Thank you for posting this most important message.

Anonymous said...

That was wahat I needed to hear. The kids are so cute. You do a great Job Michal, Want Chrissy?

Just kidding. We love her. Tell jared hello for me. Aunt Julie