Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I've heard it from several sources - use the internet to share your feelings about the gospel. This is a tricky proposition. The subject I'm going to blog about today has caused heated exchanges and so I avoid the subject except with people who I know won't be offended - I really hate to upset people. In the hopes that my friends know my heart, knowing that those who don't agree are comfortable with their life choices and most importantly for my children and grandchildren who may read this someday, I want to get these thoughts recorded.

I'm 50, that means my teenage years were smack dab in the middle of the Women's lib movement. I watched Sister Barbara Smith, General RS pres. at the time, debate Sonja (somebody, can't remember her last name... a former member, women's libber to the max) on the Phil Donahue show. Abortion was a hot topic and women wanted to be "free" by burning bras and working their way up the corporate ladder. Staying home with children was seen as a waste of time. On the other hand the prophet was saying, "No success can compensate for failure in the home" and later "Mothers should be home at the crossroads". This was the backdrop for a moment that fixed my determination to be a "stay at home mother".

When I was in high school my mother had to work. I won't go into the details but I knew she wanted to be home but just couldn't. If you had asked me at that time I would have said it was just fine. I was the oldest of 4 children - we were happy and healthy and well mannered. My dad worked nights so he was sleeping and could be woken for an emergency. Like most teenagers I was involved in my own little world with friends and fun and life was good. Then I had a moment that changed me.

I was walking home from school like any other day. As I turned onto our street I noticed my moms car parked in front of our house. I noticed that the front bumper was crunched making it obvious why she was home in the middle of the day. To my surprise I felt a thrill run though me - my mom was home and I was overjoyed. Ignoring the obvious possibility of injury I rushed to the front door and when I opened it I saw my sweet mom ironing. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen - as if angel choirs were singing. It may sound silly to you but in that moment I realized how much I needed my mom and how much I missed her. Of course, I never told her about this. She couldn't help the necessity but from that moment I knew I would be home with my children.

I told Dave many times in our poverty days that I would live in a trailer if we had to but I would stay home. I have had many little jobs, piano lessons, crafting etc. My boys would probably say they wished I hadn't done that but I was able to be home and it has been a great blessing to me and I hope to them. Now that everyone is nearly grown I'm so thankful that the Lord opened my eyes on that day back in high school. I have seen miracles through the years and I know that the Lord gives us no commandment except He prepares a way for us to accomplish the thing which he commands.

I want to add that I don't judge those who choose to work outside the home. I trust that every woman has prayerfully made her decision. We can stand together to uphold the sacred role of women in the Father's plan.


Cathy said...

I'm so glad you shared your experience. It's difficult sometimes to stay at home. I'm glad I made that same choice. God certainly prepared the way when I chose to obey his command.

Love your example & I'm sure your boys do too.

SilverRain said...

I do think it hard for those of us who have no choice but to work outside the home. Staying at home was a blessing for you. Be grateful for it. Nothing can explain the bitter feeling of knowing your child is being raised by others. It is hard not to be angry and hold Women's Lib responsible for the pain. There were many good things that came out of that, but there were many horrid ones as well.

I appreciate your perspective on the subject, having lived through it.

Matt said...

Love you Mom! I'm grateful to know that you were always there for me, I consider it a major blessing in my life. Nothing could have taken your place!

RoAnn said...

I have just found your blog, and I really enjoyed this beautiful post!

I was fortunate to have a mother who didn't have to work outside the home, and to be able to stay home myself while my six children were growing up. My children all thank me for it now that they are adults. I also had many opportunities to volunteer in the community, serve in church callings, and take on many service assignments that would have been difficult or impossible if I had been working full-time outside the home.

Although I sincerely believe that the Lord can make up for the mother's absence when circumstances oblige her to be out working, I am saddened when I see so many women choosing to work when they really could be at home with their children.

Certainly a SAHM experiences a lot of frustration, and spends much of her time when her children are very young being sleep-deprived and in performing work one might well term "drudgery." But even when her long days are the most mind-numbing and exhausting, there are always golden moments--those precious experiences when the light of Heaven shines in the eyes of her little ones; and that weary mother feels the love of Heavenly Father, as well as the affection of her child, when little arms reach out to give her a hug.

Nicole said...

What an uplifiting post. Some days it seems like it would be a lot easier to head off for work in the mornings, but how sad it would be to miss all those little moments that happen during the day. I too had a working mom and I remember how great it was when she was home with us. That's what makes it all worth it.

Janelle said...

Thanks Lynette. I think I need to see that Barbara Smith footage from Donahue! We need more women blogging with experiences like yours.

Dave said...

As much as I tease you, I appreciate your ability to chronicle the days of our lives, with all my children no matter how young and restless they were. I'd better close now, before I am sent to a general hospital.

Love ya.