FF: Why does it matter if I am a mother?
Yesterday I had a conversation with a dear friend that brought my thoughts back to what I spend every day doing: being a mother, and why it matters.
Today when I woke up, I wanted to write down my thoughts.
To get to the core of the importance of motherhood, you have to peel away the superficialities and examine the core. You have to ask: what is the purpose of life?
The purpose of life is to follow the Savior so we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, and eventually, become like Him.
Heavenly Father planned it so that we can only accomplish our purpose in families, and that in working towards this purpose together, we develop the kind of relationships that make us want to be eternal families.
You cannot accomplish this purpose first without a Savior. That happened. Christ came to the earth to accomplish his part in Heavenly Father’s plan.
But even Christ could not have come without a mother.
I’m not just talking about being born. A child, by nature of human life, cannot raise himself. He or she must be fed, clothed, changed, bathed, taught, nursed when sick, and most importantly, loved.
Mothers are utterly crucial. Without mothers, the plan is a farce.
Why can’t we just delegate the task to someone else, so we can get onto more important things, like pursuing our own goals?
This is the heart and the irony of motherhood, in my opinion: We would not be able to accomplish our divine role without carrying out motherhood. They are inseparably connected. Motherhood teaches us how to be like God. God supports us by giving us breath each day so we can live and learn to do what we have to learn, and He does everything for us that we cannot do ourselves. Mothers are an indispensable earthly part of what God does behind the scenes. The plan of happiness would be destroyed without mothers. Like God, mothers do their best to do for us what we can’t, nurturing and teaching us until we are able to do for ourselves. We literally would crumble as a society if we didn’t have mothers.
Mothers teach us how to be better than we could ever be if we were raising ourselves. Mothers have always been what makes people, who make up society, reach for the highest in human nature.
Mothers are the hub of the wheel upon which society moves forward.
Mothers matter so much it is not even questionable.
Which is where the irony of it all comes: as women, we become who we, in the end, want in our heart of hearts to be IF we connect with God and stay connected during our journey through motherhood. We will develop our talents and capacities far more than we would ever could if we relinquished motherhood and only focused on ourselves.
(What about women who can’t be mothers? Somehow, in God’s plan, there is a reason for this. I don’t know, but I know that God does, and I know that every women who wants to be a mother and who is trying to do what God asks will get to be a mother forever. That’s a discussion for another day.)
I had no idea, before I started, that motherhood would require so much. It has required every bit of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy I could give it. And there are times when I gave more than was wise. I was very imbalanced. I wasn’t feeling very happy, and then it was as if my body and spirit said, “Enough is enough.” And I had a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual breakdown.
Again, that’s a story for another day. It took me about three years to heal completely, but I did. In the process, I learned a lot of lessons.
One of the lessons was something a missionary companion said to me years ago: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.” (And that’s why today’s post falls under “Friday’s Fun for All and All for Fun.”) 🙂
It isn’t that motherhood is all fun and games. But if you are not enjoying motherhood, then chances are, there is something that could be adjusted in your life to bring about more balance and more enjoyment. That might be less running errands and more exercise. That might mean fewer extracurricular activities for your children and more quiet time for Mom. It might be connecting with other women in a positive way to be able to discuss the challenges you face and how they have tapped into God’s power to improve their experience. It might mean learning skills that make motherhood or running a household easier. It might mean spending less money and playing with your children more. Or maybe there needs to be more time for connecting with God and less time spent connecting with the rest of the world.
I am the last person to say that because I am still learning how to do those things! I look around and see my sisters who do better than I. But that’s OK. I have learned the importance of working towards balance. Yes, sirree. It was neither fun nor easy to learn that lesson. So I keep working towards it, one step and one moment at a time.
There’s so much more to say on this topic, but what I want to say today is that motherhood matters. It is as important to life and society and us individually as our hearts are to our bodies. When we have passed through death and are in the next phase of this life experience, we will see so clearly how important mothers are. But we don’t have to wait until then to know. If you hold your new precious little baby in your arms…
…or you have one needful baby on your hip and a strong-willed toddler in your hand…
… or your nearly grown-up daughter snuggles next to you on a cold winter night to cheer for a loved one…
… or your own mother who has spent her life serving and sacrificing and loving you speaks so kindly to you or holds you gently in a tender hug, you will know.
Sometimes in all of living it can really hard to be a mother. I think even that experience testifies to how much it matters, because anything worth doing or having comes at a price, and we have to give the most for the things that matter most.
Finding joy in motherhood is an individual journey. I hope I’ll be able to share, in the coming days, weeks, months, and years, experiences and thoughts that will help you be a happier mother. But God is the one who can help you find joy. Without his help, just like an infant who relies upon her mother, we can’t find that joy. We cannot do it on our own. So we have to go to Him and ask what we need to adjust to increase our joy. He will help us, like the kindest mother or father we have ever met, to find that joy so that our lives can be meaningful AND happy…and even fun.
P.S. I just remembered the moment when I stepped off the airplane and back into the airport. There was my mother waiting for me. I went straight to her. She embraced me, and I wept in her hug. That feeling of being back home and in my mother’s care again–that is what I’m talking about. That is when I could taste the importance of motherhood. Those are the moments we can feel in our core what mothers are all about.