In 1995, the Mormon Church released, The Family: A Proclamation to the World – a document that affected me greatly and has directed my whole life ever since. There are few things that I feel as strongly about as I do this statement to the world. I believe it outlines our whole purpose for existing. I could probably write pages and pages about my feelings on just this one page document (don’t worry, I wont!). What I will share with you is why I have chosen, as a 25-year-old, to be a mother and how this statement has affected that decision.
Everyone has their own timetable of how and when things happen for them. As usual, I am writing from a personal perspective and in no way think everyone should live a life just like mine. All I attempt to do is explain the reasoning behind my decisions that seem peculiar to many people and how my faith has played into those decisions.
My whole life, I have wanted to be a mother. I know many people struggle with the decision to become a mother but that was always my desire. I attribute many of those feelings to The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This document explains that marriage and parenthood are divinely appointed. There is a popular opinion that marriage and motherhood are more of an afterthought in life. These things often take second place (or third or fourth or fifth, etc.) to education, career ambitions or entertainment. I cannot tell you how many strange looks, questions and accusations I have gotten for “throwing my life away” by staying home with a child at such a young age. These are the opinions of some, but I must confess that my opinion is very different.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that motherhood is the highest calling in life. Mothers are revered and respected. While many people revere and respect other mothers, they feel motherhood is below them. I’ll be honest, while I am wiping running noses and cleaning puke off the floor and changing dirty diapers I often feel like this work is below me. I have a college degree, I am a registered nurse, I am just as capable as anyone else at making it in this world. I must be insane! Why am I at home chasing around a two-year-old? The answer is found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I challenge you to read it and see for yourself how Mormons feel about families. Marriages are ordained of God. Motherhood and fatherhood are both designed by God. I am doing God’s work when I raise my son. I won’t be wiping noses forever or changing diapers forever (although, for some reason this realization makes me want to cry) but I will have a relationship with my son forever.
My mother is one of my best friends. I am sure that while she was raising my siblings and me she often wondered, “Why on earth am I doing this?” Now that I am adult, I have a beautiful friendship and relationship with her. I am grateful that she chose to be my mother. I see God’s hand in her work as a mother. God loves all of his children and I have come to learn more about that love that He must have for me and for everyone through raising my son. Motherhood is a sacred calling that should be given more respect. I would never trade my experiences as a mother for anything in the world, not for money and not for prestige (or worldly success, etc.). I love being a mother.