Tag: mothers

Someone to Take Care of Me

calvin and hobbes sickToday I am sick. Coughing and coughing. I have to say it is at moments like these that I wish I had someone to take care of me.  It might sound crazy to miss my Mother when I’m about to turn 35 but doesn’t everyone miss their mothers from time to time?

I think it is more than that.  It is that sense of someone having your back and taking care of you when you are unwell.  Most of us as adults, married or single, don’t have that.  It is probably the part of childhood we all miss the most.

It makes sense when you think about it because we are taught to be independent and strong but when we are sick that facade is gone and we are back to being needy and in pain.  Plus, I am usually very tired and worn out when I am sick.

calvin and hobbes sick2

I’m just grateful I don’t work in accounting any more so I can take the day off and get better.  In accounting it didn’t matter how sick I was.  I still had to work every day.

But I still do miss being taken care of.  On my mission I used to have these fantasies about my Mother taking care of me.  I was so tired and worn out the entire time that it was something I would dream about.  Ha! Not that much has changed.

Can anyone relate to what I am talking about?  Do you ever as an adult wish you could get taken care of?



Mothers in the Movies

motheres day video

I couldn’t sleep tonight so just for fun I put together a video of my favorite mothers in movies.

I learned a lot putting this video together and hope to do even more in the future

1. Back to the Future

2. Blind Side

3. My Left Foot

4. The Incredibles

5. Les Miserables

6. Grey Gardens

7. Julie and Julia

8. Tangled

9. Harry Potter Movies (Mrs Weasley)

10. Sound of Music

Any you haven’t seen?  Any you disagree with?  What are some of your favorite?

Thoughts on Mothers Day Part 2

So each week I have to send out an email to the sisters in my ward updating them on the events of the week and leave them with a spiritual thought to encourage them throughout the week.  Usually I try to get this out on Wednesday but we had an activity Thursday and I had the writing conference yesterday so I hadn’t gotten it out and it was Saturday.  (They are used to me being late on this.  Sigh…)

Now many of you read my recent post on Mothers Day and how the day challenges me.  http://smilingldsgirl.com/2013/05/06/why-mothers-day-is-hard/ .

With those thoughts still swimming in my mind, I was tasked with saying something inspiring to women on Mothers Day.  This was quite the dilemma.    I hope you have all gotten the impression from this blog that I am not a disingenuous person and I am not about to put pen to paper on anything that is false or preaching doctrine I don’t believe or struggle with.

If I’ve learned anything in my life it is that honesty is the only thing that matters and the sharing of true experience is always more impactful than the privatizing of who we are and what life has taught us.  Sharing my heart with all of you through this blog and my friendships is my gift to the world.

Giving our heart is the only thing we really have to give.

So what should I write? What will be an authentic expression of my views of Mothers Day and mothering while also being helpful to others?  How can I write what I feel? Interesting question for a girl at a writing conference…

Here’s what I came up with. I’m immensely proud of it. I rarely can think of a moment when I have as effectively put my heart on the page:

“So Sunday is Mothers Day.  Please come and help us celebrate womanhood.  To be frank, sometimes Mothers Day can be a bit of a downer.  I’m not only unmarried but I’ve struggled to relate to the often ‘ooey goey’ version of womanhood that seems to be presented as the ideal at church particularly on Mothers Day.

I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  In fact, this week we were talking as a presidency about how pretty much everyone we know walks away from Mothers Day feeling inadequate, guilty or at least frustrated.  There are women in my life who refuse to attend church on Sunday because they are so wracked with guilt over their own perceived failures as women in Christ.

How can we fix this problem? I know Heavenly Father wants His daughters to be happy but does he accept our efforts when the standard seems to be so high and our output less than we wish it was?  Here’s something to think about:

“See that ye look to God and live.” The ultimate source of empowerment and lasting acceptance is our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. They know us. They love us. They do not accept us because of our title or position (or I’d add marital, familial status). They do not look at our status. They look into our hearts. They accept us for who we are and what we are striving to become. Seeking and receiving acceptance from Them will always lift and encourage us.” (Elder Erich W.  Kopischke April 2013 Conf, http://www.lds.org/general-conference/print/2013/04/being-accepted-of-the-lord?lang=eng)

So, tomorrow on Mothers Day let’s try to remember that the Lord accepts us for the women we are striving to become.  He knows our hearts.  He loves us.  We are His daughters.  Perhaps we can turn Mothers Day into a day of sharing and fulfillment instead of lost expectations and thwarted dreams? I’m going to try and I hope you will all join me.”

So how did I do?  Thoughts?


Just a comment- this post is mainly for my LDS friends but feel free to read on either way!

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of nurturing.  In the Mormon church nurturing is frequently the top verb used to describe women.  The Family: A Proclamation to the World even says “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”

Despite the frequency of this verbage and its clear importance, the actual meaning of the word is a little fuzzy.  I bet if you asked 100 Mormon women you would get 100 close, but sometimes strikingly different answers.   Recently released General Relief Society President Julie Beck created great controversy in 2007 when she said:

“Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,”

and, “Mothers who know…bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts.”

So, according to Sister Beck learning to nurture is more important than any other kind of education, and yet still what is it exactly?  Surely, it is more than learning to iron and brush hair to perfection!  Sister Beck goes on to say “Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home.” (Also, couldn’t homemaking be a home of one?)

Well, this confuses me even more because is not the standard of an orderly home completely subjective?  I know people that even at our cleanest would find my parents home very cluttered and those that would see the reverse.  And even if this is the definition is that something to build an eternal life and purpose around? Some of the most righteous homes I’ve been in were dirty, cluttered and even chaotic.To give Sister Beck more credit I am sure she would agree.  As all general authorities she is required to teach an ideal and let us govern ourselves.

However, it still doesn’t answer the question about nurturing.  What is it and how is it best expressed? Oftentimes I feel when it gets defined as homemaking it limits the scope of the word to those who are what I call ‘ooey goey’.  Meaning they see a baby and coo.  They want nothing more than to have a home with tons of kids and husband who provides for them. I loved reading Stephanie Nielsen’s book but she is totally that way, which is great.  I’m not down-grading this in any way.  In fact, I quite envy it but its just not me right now.

In fact, I’ve never been like that.  I’m much more of a realist when it comes to family life and have never had a huge innate desire to have my own children.  There are a lot of reasons for this but there it is.  I’m open minded and willing to do whatever Heavenly Father asks but I don’t crave it like some girls.

For some single girls I know not having children is the great sorrow of their lives, and I just don’t feel that way.  I don’t have a great sorrow. I’m happy with my life.  This contentment sometimes feels wrong, like I should be desiring for these things more, but what good would that do me? I’m not avoiding them…Hmmm?

This makes me wonder- do I lack this essential trait of nurturing that is supposed to be so natural to women?  Sister Beck seems to answer yes, saying quite bluntly:

“Mothers who know desire to bear children”.  and again “Faithful daughters of God desire children.” That doesn’t make me feel very faithful…Hmmm?

There has to be more to it than that…

I honestly don’t know the complete answer and I wonder what Sister Beck would tell me to do?  I’m sure she would be sweet and lovely but I wonder what advice she would give?

I always felt a connection with Martha in the Mary and Martha story in the New Testament.  Am I a Martha who is focused on the more practical, instead of the intangibles like Mary? What can I do about that? Hmmm (Also, couldn’t the Mary/Martha story refute some of the perfectly ironed and brushed mothers Sister Beck describes above?)

I’ve always loved this painting and have a copy in my dining room to remind myself to focus on the Lord and not the business of the world. Minerva Teichert Mary and Martha.

The fact is we don’t know why some of us are given certain personalities, natures, desires and others aren’t?  We don’t know why some are given certain opportunities and others are not, but isn’t it a comfort to know that God knows? 

Even though I occasionally feel guilty and more than a little unfeminine for my personality, I know that God accepts me and see’s my efforts to be obedient.  99% of the time I am comfortable with who I am and what my role is in God’s plan. When those 1% moments happen He is there showing me my worth.

That said, I still don’t know 100% what it is I am striving for? I was talking to a friend the other day and she said I have nurturing qualities in ways that don’t necessarily involve babies such as entertaining, cooking, making friends etc.  This was a very comforting thought.  Perhaps I will enjoy certain parts of nurturing more than others.  I am sure the priesthood enjoy and feel adept at certain responsibilities more than others.  Nobody is perfect (and how boring would that be if we all were!).

More my style with kids! LOL

In the new book Daughters In My Kingdom about the history of Relief Society they give the best definition of nurturing I can find:

“Nurture is a rich word. It means to train, to teach, to educate, to foster development, to promote growth, and to nourish or feed. Women have been given the great privilege and responsibility to nurture in all these senses.  Sister Julie B. Beck taught about the role of nurturing: “To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers [should] create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes.”

I think I might have stumbled upon the answer- to nurture is teach, to educate.  That is something I’m great at! I’m a really good teacher (maybe not as much for kids but I’m learning).  When I left the singles ward 😦 I got an email from a girl saying:

“I just wanted to say thank you SO much for all of the Sunday School lessons you taught. I always looked so forward for you to teach. I have learned a lot from you and I know I have heard other people say that too!

You have such a wonderful personality and a very strong testimony. It is evident in the way you teach and the wonderful attitude you have! Keep up the great work and never stop being the wonderful person you are!”

Maybe I’m not so bad at nurturing in this form. Hmmm?

I think of book club and how I have fostered an environment of discussion or teaching cooking lessons to my sister and her friends or writing this blog to hopefully share and teach.  Is this not nurturing? It seems so different than Sister Beck’s definition?

I don’t know if I have it 100% figured out but I’m on to something. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not about knowing everything but about continually learning.  For me at least these questions are not faith altering but faith refining. If we do not ask questions than we will never grow and our faith will remain stagnant.

Even the pioneer women there were some who became doctors and published newspapers, and others who had 15 children.  They weren’t all the same, but it seems like they were all good at nurturing.

What do you think?  How do you define the word nurture? What is the end goal of nurturing in regards to womanhood and progression?

Some varying talks on this topic-