On my bike ride today, my thoughts turned to the time I was raising my children. As a woman with 9 children (single births, same father-I always get asked that) I would always downplay the fact that I was some great woman taking on this overwhelming task as people would send me accolades of complements. I was always very sensitive to other women’s feelings of inadequacy so I would down play the whole conversation, as it is not a competition. But today I am patting myself on the back. I had nine children! Wow-that is incredible and I feel that any woman who has any children at all, whether through adoption or foster parenting should pat themselves on the back. You have raised a life to be a successful, contributing adult and that is something to be excited about.
Women are notorious for beating themselves up for making mistakes. I have done the same thing and want to smack myself for such thoughts. I suppose that would defeat the purpose, but I have tried to be a good mother. I wasn’t perfect but I mothered all my children to help them get a good start at life.
Bringing children into this life and raising them is a great blessing. I think most parents don’t realize the importance of their influence in their children’s lives. As one famous American poet, William Ross Wallace said so well, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world”.
The hand that teaches their children right from wrong is the hand that influences children for good. The hand that shows kindness, discipline and courage is the hand that raises young children to be caring adults. It is an important calling. Children learn best from their mothers. Realize the importance of raising children to be good productive citizens and appreciate that you have given a life to this person. Motherhood is a sacred calling. To have so much influence to do good over one person in a life is very powerful. Mothers are important.
One of my favorite LDS speakers, Sheri Dew says this: “Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave women an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate.”
We might repeat ourselves a million times and have many tasks at home to accomplish. We might have many burdens to carry without the recognition we deserve, but the message does sink into our children’s minds eventually and our tasks become less burdensome as time progresses. Motherhood is a difficult job but it is the best career you will ever have. We can help our children see their potential in life and one day they will be thankful for the life you have given them.
Another great talk on motherhood is called “Mothers Who Know” from Julie Beck. She reminds us that: “Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach.” Mothers are important.
I hope all mothers will realize how important they are and how significant their life time achievement of raising children to be good productive citizens. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day so appreciate the fact that you have raised children and help them see their potential in life. No beating ourselves up. For one day, revel in your God-given gift of being a mother. Mothers are important.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.