Sunday, May 13, 2012

A few thoughts on motherhood

I have been so preoccupied lately that I probably would not have even realized it was Mother's Day, if it weren't for firebirdluver.

I also wouldn't be aware of most of what's going on in the world if he didn't keep me updated in the headlines. He showed me last night the controversial TIME cover of the mother nursing her three-year-old.

There are many things that could be said about it, and I am sure they have been said, many times over. The thing that bothered me the most, though, was the headline, "Are you mom enough?"

The media makes motherhood into a competition. This is easy, because as women, we are often insecure and tend to compare ourselves to others.

Don't buy into it, though. Motherhood is not a competition.

My mom never liked Mother's Day (some of that rubbed off on me), and I think one reason is because of what they used to do in church, at least the congregation we were in. They would give the moms plants, and I think everyone got one, but certain moms got more than one. They would have the moms stand up who had the most kids or who had been moms the longest or other things like that. They were trying to honor motherhood, but they inadvertently turned it into a competition.

This is a reminder to my fellow moms: It doesn't matter how many kids you have or how long you nurse them or whether you do everything as well as someone else. God has given you children who need you. You need to do the best you can with your own talents and abilities. Give them the best of you.

We were on vacation last week, where I spent some time around several relations who are moms. I observed things I admired about each one. One is an amazing decorator and manages to keep her house clean (things I struggle with), all while holding a full time job. Another has a great relationship with her husband and children. Another excels at the home arts and blesses her family with baked goods and quilts. Another fills her home with a spirit of learning and love of the gospel.

If I were to compare myself with any of them, let alone all of them, I would find myself wanting indeed. I hope they all know what great moms they are. In their own way, not someone else's.


Christine said...

Wonderful thoughts, Arwen. Happy Mother's Day!

Sammi said...

What a beautiful post on motherhood! I agree completely! It's not a competition- it's a sacred calling for all women. There was a wonderful message in the April Ensign called "The Lord has Not Left Me Childless" or something to that effect. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and we are all amazing beyond any comparison! Happy Mother's Day!

The Special K's(0: said...

Amen, Arwen! The Lord has given very individual children to very individual mothers because we need each other for who we are. They don't need some one size fits all cookie cutter mommy fresh out of the mold. You children need you. My children need me. It's wonderful to live with diversity in motherhood, because then we can all come together as friends and sisters and Christ, and really benefit one from another. Great post Arwen, thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts(0:

New Baby Gifts said...

I completely agree. We are mothers every day not just one day a year and deserve to be cherished every day!

It is so easy to constantly compare yourself to others and come up short.