Monday, May 5, 2008

"every day things" every day

(matt took this picture a little over a year ago because he wanted to depict life as it really is. this shot is so typical of my life with 2 small children, one in hand, and one on my hip!..a t-shirt, jeans, and tennies or flip flops)

last week i was talking to a mom of a little girl in jack's preschool class. we were letting our kids play for a little while on the playground before we put them in the car to go home. we were talking about the things our children loved at the time. jack, i said, was obsessed with super heroes. he loves dressing up as spider man or super man and captain jack sparrow! i told her that gracie wanted everything to do with babies. she carries her baby doll everywhere. she said that her daughter was very much into dollies too and that her daughter is always talking about the day when she can become a real mommy. then she went on to say that it bothered her because she didn't want her daughter to think that motherhood was glamorous....and that she needed an education and a career path to make a difference in the world. she didn't want her daughter to be "just a mom". well, i wish i could say that i stood up for mothers. quite frankly, i didn't know what to say. i can't even remember what i said, if i said anything at all, that comment sent me into deep thought and introspection at my life. the comment, "just a mom" haunted me.
then a few days later, i was nominated to be the histo
rian for the board of parents over the school both my children will attend next year, and i was at the first meeting of the new board. i was talking to the women sitting on both sides of me. the women were talking about what they "do". one woman was a lawyer, and one was the ceo of public relations for key bank (the tallest building in downtown cleveland and largest bank of the state). when they asked what i do, the thought popped into my head, "i'm just a mom". but i said that i stayed at home, but i was a graphic designer and photographer. i also went on to say that i was a teacher for 5 years. WHY COULDN'T I STAND UP FOR MOTHERS?????
i was totally wrapped into society in thinking that unless you get a paycheck, you don't have a real or otherwise important job, which is so NOT TRUE!!!
the world would say that unless you
-increased sales by this much
-closed that deal
-won that case
-climbed more more rung up the corporate ladder
- gave that speech
-or received some sort of tangible reward
that what you do is not important. motherhood is not that way, aside from God Himself, no one sees what we do. most, if not all of the work we do, is behind closed doors. there is no bonus for doing 14 loads of laundry a week, and no award for the cleanest one to cheer when you picked up the last toy or used the hand vac for the 17th time that day!
however, mothers are indeed important, and though the world devalues our "job", we must not. the poet william ross so eloquently wrote, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." i found this quote in the book titled, "I am a Mother", by Jane Clayson Johnson. we are reading this book for our book club this month and i have found it to be uplifting and inspiring.

as mother's day approaches, i wanted to have this week to feel
what i do counts, and that being a mother although so tiresome and many times thankless, is indeed a job, and not something to feel like less of a person because that is my "chosen career path". maybe it is just a day that the greeting card companies make a ton of money, but it's not so bad to have one day a year to pay homage to our mothers, and feel good about being a mom.

so although a baby on your hip, and a child in hand may not be glamorous, it's my life, and i love it (most of the time!)

may we teach our daughters that to be a mother is not to be "just a mom", but a true person who holds the future in her hands (or on her hip), and mothers make the BIGGEST difference in the world. i truly have a legacy of wonderful women behind me, and may the legacy i leave be just as wonderful.


readerfam said...

Well Laura, you are a great mommy and you could be a writer as made me cry. AMEN is all I can say- aren't we so blessed to know the Plan of Happiness?! You are doing great in your important role and I am sure that Heavenly Father is so pleased with your "career choice"- the "promotions" come later as you get to see the rewards of all your tireless efforts when your children grow up and are your dearest friends. That's what it's all about. Thanks for sharing some neat introspections and the beautiful 4 generation picture. You are blessed with really neat women in your life. :)

Tracy said...

Amen, Sis-tah! This post makes me want to hug you, shout for joy, shed tears of joy and do a little happy dance! I know how you feel. People want to know what we DO. Well, I must say, as of today I get the award for cleanest kitchen counters because they are sparkly, shiny (for the moment). Probably don't ask to see them tomorrow.

Matt said...

Well said my Love! I have complete trust in you as a mother and thank God everyday that you are my wife and the sweet mother of our children...not to mention a smok'n hot mom!

Brooke and Brett Martin said...

I normally would never take the time to read such a long post- I never have time usually. I know it's a blessing that I did tonight. I recently read a passage on the divinity of motherhood. A troubled mother talked about how hard she always tried to make her home a 'home of harmony' since she knew our homes should be as sacred as temples. She was very frustrated with life thinking: how on earth is my home supposed to as harmonic as the temple when it's non stop go go, crying hungry kids, laundry, errands, meals, EVERYTHING. Her prayers were answered when she was taught how what we do as mothers every single day is exactly what Christ did. He bathed and clothed people. He washed their feet when He was a king himself. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. Everything we do as mothers in our home is what Christ did on this earth. I read this a few weeks ago and it sure was uplifting for me and has been on my mind and in my heart so much since. Thank you so much for sharing these sweet thoughts and testimony of motherhood. I am so thankful I have always been proud to say I'm just a mom. I actually feel bad for the working mothers b/c even though they get a feeling of a sense of outward accomplishment, I know they feel where their most important duty lies.
You're awesome Lara.

diana said...

well put indeed! i am honored to be a mother, and am amazed at the wonderful women around me who have made that same choice and sacrifice. i think that all of the quiet sacrifices and difficulties in motherhood is what makes a mother so noble. it's not a job that screams at the world, "look what i've accomplished!", it simply is a job wrapped up in complete humility. happy early mother's day to you!

Mortensen Family said...

Lara, that was beautiful, and I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting.

Jenn said...

Lara that was perfect! I have to give a short talk to the young women on motherhood tomorrow, can I read them your blog? It's just what they need to know from someone they admire. You're a great example to many.

Carma Lee said...

I have been a mom now for 37 years and couldn't be happier that I chose motherhood as my "career!" No worldly "work" or compensation could compare to knowing that I helped create and direct life - talk about power! How many thousands will be effected through my posterity?! Add the bonus that through my posterity a little of me will go on and on. Wow!! No work project could be more rewarding than watching my sons and daughter live their lives. No worldly accolades could compare to hearing a daughter-in-law say she loves and learns from her in-laws, or having a grandchild throw his or her arms around my neck and say, "I love you, Mimi!" Sure, there is lots of drudgery, hard work, lack of sleep, frustration, ballooning up and down of body size, and more... But, all that quickly fades when you look at the upside. What is sweeter than a sticky kiss, a child that chooses the right, or hearing "Thanks, Mom!"

Amber said...

Thanks for writing that Lara. I needed that today.

Samantha said...

Thank you Lara. This last weekend, everyone in my house was sick, including me. I served everyone even when my strength was gone. I know that the Lord loves mothers because I could not have taken care of my family without him. He loves us dearly and watches over us "everyday" moms. I love being a mom but there are times where I feel alone in my love for motherhood. Thanks for letting me know that you feel the same. Have a wonderful week being a MOM!

Kate McEuen said...

Well said... I couldn't agree more. I sure miss having you around to talk to- you always seem to say just what I'm thinking.

robyn said...

I think i will make myself a shiny "cleanest fridge award" that i just cleaned and will be deserving of for the next week or until the shine wears off, and give it to myself for mothers day. Thanks for the idea.

Kristi said...

I absolutely love this post because everything you said is so true and dear to my heart. I have found myself sticking up kind of harshly for stay-at-home moms lately and then thinking, "Was I too harsh? Did that sound snotty?" I do other things too, like you, but man are they ever second to my little one! I bet you'll stick up for stay-at-home-moms more now after writing that! I'm glad I read it (and I read all the long posts, by the way, of my sisters). :o) Love you!

Ammons Family said...

This has been a big discussion with my friends lately. Especially since the last two General conferences there have been something about mothers with Juli B. Beck's "A Mother Who Knows" and recently Elder Ballards. It reminds me of the Disney movie Incredible's. In the extra it shows a deleted scene of where the mom defends her role as being a "stay at home mom." I think that echoes your sentiments and I often I feel like I want to exclaim it to the world, I don't have to be a masked superhero, I am a superhero because I am a Mom!

Tanya Leigh said...

Too true! I remember a quote, "As the number of good homes decreases, the need for correction facilities increases." It's so clear! So why is it so hard for people to be proud of MOMS?? *sigh*

Thanks for such a great post!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more, Lara! There is no more rewarding job on the earth than being a Mom!! Good for you.

Have a sweet Mother's Day, girl!


Micah and BriAnne said...

What a beautiful tribute to mothers. I totally know what you mean by sometimes getting sucked into the world's idea of the "accomplished" woman. It's tricky and I often fall into myself and put to much pressure on myself. I'm really trying to get that under control before I become a mommy. :)

And by the look so good! You really are so teeny tiny! Motherhood definately agrees with you!

Emilee said...

Yea! loved that too! That book is so good also, it is short, yet meaningful and uplifting. I don't know why we feel like we have to throw in there that we worked before, did go to college, do other things on the side...I do the same thing. But I am so happy to be home and have other examples around me to support my decision.

♥Tami said...

Hey Lara, it's Tami McCoy. I found you blog while "blog hopping" Your family looks great. I'm glad I found you, I'll stop in once in awhile and see how you guys are!

Caralee said...

Beautifully put Lara. Love you. Cherry