On Being a Mother

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.

11 thoughts on “On Being a Mother

  1. Ashley

    Lindsey, I’m curious to know how you respond to people who question your decision to stay home and raise your son?

    The proclamation really does hold all the answers, but it’s so easy to forget about our divinely appointed roles when we’re in the midst of our busy day-to-day routines. Maybe I should frame a copy of it!

  2. Lindsey

    Thanks for the question Ashley! My response to people is normally based on how they ask, but I always include a few specifics, no matter what. I always emphasize that I chose to stay home. Many people assume that moms stay home because they have to because they are not educated enough to work. This isn’t the case for me and I want people to know that it was my choice because I wanted it. Our situation is unique because my husband works very long hours so I make sure that people understand that I’m not judging anyone else. Though I generally think it is wise to have a parent that stays home permanently I strongly believe that people need to do what is best for their whole family. For our family, because my husband is gone so often, I feel strongly that my son needs his mom with him so he feels stability, so for us it is the right thing to do.

  3. B.R.

    “Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.”

    1. April R

      Until you can site legitimate statistics which support that statement I will assume you were just trolling for a reaction. Baseless facts just incite disagreement and confusion. Plus, to say prostitutes welcome sex is offensive when so many men, women, and children are forced in to sexual slavery and human trafficking because of socioeconomic disparity and structural violence. Your ignorance is showing.

  4. Michelle

    Thanks for this post, Lindsey. I actually would have enjoyed pages and pages of your thoughts! 😉 We’ve linked to it at mormonwoman.org.

    As to B.R. you are right, motherhood is common, and yet so extraordinarily important. Your comment (sad though it makes me to read) reminds me of a favorite quote of mine:

    After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all man-kind, is the truest greatness. …We should never be discouraged in those daily tasks which God has ordained to the common lot of man. Each day’s labor should be undertaken in a joyous spirit and with the thought and conviction that our happiness and eternal welfare depend upon doing well that which we ought to do, that which God has made it our duty to do. Many are unhappy because they imagine that they should be doing something unusual or something phenomenal. Some people would rather be the blossom of a tree and be admiringly seen than be an enduring part of the tree and live the commonplace life of the tree’s existence (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p.285-286).

  5. Pingback: Motherhood Matters: Days 6, 7, 8 | Mormon Women: Who We Are - About LDS Life and Belief

  6. Janet Perry

    Fantastic quote by Joseph F. Smith. Reposting it.

    About mothering: Can anyone think of a job with longer-lasting consequences? If women really want to make a mark in the world, they should choose mothering.

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