the role of women

I am our ward's 2nd Counselor in the Young Women's. And I love it. It's a lot of work and I still can't help but feel intimidated by the girls, but I love it all the same. In our ward, the Advisers do all the Sunday teachings (yeah!), except for the first Sundays when the Presidency takes turns each month. So this Sunday was my day to teach. I am not a teacher. Standing up in front of people (even teenage girls) makes me a little anxious, although I'm getting *better* at it. But as I was looking over the lesson a few weeks ago, I was so excited for this topic. The lesson development?
We Accept the Lord's View of the Roles of Women.
So I had been thinking about it throughout the week, and then Friday (yes, way to wait to the last minute) I did my Visiting Teaching (and was visit taught myself;) and what was the topic?
Understanding the Divine Roles of Women.
How grateful I am for the Lord and the knowledge I have of Him and His teachings. And how grateful I am for the role He has given me as a woman. I am to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister. And there is no more a noble calling than that.
Through Facebook, I've gotten in contact with alot of high school classmates. I went to a small high school on the Western Slope (about 70 in my graduating class) and there was only one other member of the church in my class. (Well, 2, but he wasn't all into it....) But don't get me wrong, there were a ton of great kids at my school who had good values. As I'm catching up with these classmates, I'm finding some are married, some have kids, and some are both married with kids and some are neither. And most work. Some are teachers, some are nurses, and some are even doctors and a few, just a few are stay-at-home-moms. So then they ask in a roundabout way, what do you do, what have you been up to? And I have to admit, I almost feel ashamed to say I stay home with my kids. No, didn't finish school. Don't have a career. Don't have a job. Didn't make a place out there in the world for myself.
I HATE that I feel this way.
Because THIS, being a wife and a mom, is what I chose. What I wanted. I cringe thinking about getting up and going to a job, leaving my kids with someone else (and it wouldn't matter who!). I do dream about the day I continue my education. Not get a degree, just continue learning. As far as I'm considered, I don't need the degree, I just want more knowledge. I want to know more to help aid my family. That's why I gave up pediatrics. Yes, as I graduated high school, I wanted to attend med school to become a pediatrician. (ha!) But it always weighed on my mind, but how am I going to take care of my family...? My first semester I took an advanced nutrition course and LOVED it! And I instantly knew what I was going to do. Not be, do. I was going to study nutrition, learn all this great stuff to better raise a family and then I'd work until I had a family. (Who knew that family would come long before the education finished!)
So why do I feel this way? I am doing just what I want. I am doing just what the Lord wants. So why?
It's society. Society has taught us this is right. That raising kids is for lower educated or specifically educated women and college students just getting by. Or Grandmas. Not for an educated, strong woman. It has taught us that changing diapers, reading stories and playing Barbies, while anxiously awaiting our husband's return from work, is not something that will make a difference in our society. It has taught us to look out for ourselves, do what we want.
As I was going through my lesson, I was really struck by what it said.
The worldly views of women's roles is false partly because it is selfcentered. It focuses so much on a woman's rights to receive that it almost ignores her opportunities to give.
That's it! There it is, written right before my eyes. And written years ago (we all know how old those manuals are;). Now for those teachers and nurses and doctors, well yes, those are all very giving jobs. The most important in my mind. So I have nothing to say to those women who take on those roles, other than, thank you. Thank you so very much. But as for myself, and the many other women who chose (or would chose if they could) to stay home and take care of their families, way to go! You have taken on the most unselfish and giving job there is (you can refer to my past post about moms for that one). And the most important. To quote President Spencer W. Kimball, both from the YW and Visiting Teaching lesson,
"To be a righteous woman is a glorious thing in any age. To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Saviour, is an especially noble calling.... She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home - which is society's basic and most noble institution."
I am so grateful that I get to stay home. I know there are many moms out there who wish they could too, but don't have a choice and my heart goes out to them. I know that I am blessed. I have been blessed to be a wife and a mother. And I know that my calling is tougher than I ever imagined, but it will reap the greatest rewards. Through my *mundane* day to day life, I am shaping children who will grow with opportunities to become great influences, whether through a job, a calling, or through becoming a mom themselves. And I am so grateful for the Lord and His Church, and the many members who strive to follow his teachings. It is a great, great strength in my life. And I am so grateful for our Prophet, President Monson, who always thanks the mothers of our current leaders and members.
And I am grateful for my own mom, who stayed home with us.

3 happy thoughts:

Rachael said...

Wow, what a post. I second all that you said, even the part about being a little ashamed sometimes about my "job". I am also second counselor in the YW. And, I also taught this past week...but I certainly didn't give out a fancy hand-out like you did.
There are fewer and fewer women who will stay at home...when people comment, "Oh, you're so lucky." I should respond like you would, "Yes, I know." (at least that seems to be the more humble) But, instead, I tell them it was a choice far before I got married. Then I bring up my Grandparents who raised seventeen children off of Grandpa's income as a carpenter and contracter. So, to me, other than a few things such as medical expenses (sick family member), single parenthood...and a few other circumstances (but only a few), it is a choice for everyone. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful testimony and person you are.

Laine said...

oh my gosh, i don't have atime to read this now...but I'll be back, I'm teaching this lesson on Sunday! You are awesome!

SaraJoy said...

You ARE awesome...
Here's a post from another friend you might enjoy:
And one from my mom :)