This month my husband graduated with his Masters in Education. I helped him every step of the way. We have both invested a great amount of time and money these past few years into his education, but he was the only one to walk across the graduation stage while I sat in the crowd, pregnant and entertaining our restless daughters and applauding him. It didn't seem quite fair.
This experience caused me to critically think about my role as a wife and mother. My conclusion after much prayer and thought is this:
At this point in time, I need to be at home with my children. I need to support my husband as he supports our family. My role is anything but insignificant! I am the heart of this family. I am the glue that holds us together. Not to mention, they'd live on cold cereal without me! Although society may not value my role as a wife and mother, my husband and kids and Heavenly Father sure do! And that is all that matters.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said it this way,
"Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones...Remember, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Eccl. 3:1) Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever."
Elder Holland also quoted from a letter a young mother sent to him. Her words are my words: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent" (Because She is a Mother, April 1997).
Last night was my first performance as a member of our area's Heritage Choir. I look forward to our practices every week because singing in the tabernacle, surrounded by fellow singers, brings me joy. It was our Mother's Day concert, which means the songs we have been practicing the past few weeks have been about how special and important mothers are. These songs have also helped me.
As I sang, I gazed at my husband and daughters in the audience. This time, it was my turn on the stage while he sat entertaining our restless daughters and applauding me. I realized in that moment what I forgotten with his graduation: we are a team. I help him, he helps me. His accomplishments are mine; mine are his. We raise our children as husband and wife, side my side as equal helpmeets. Our roles are designed differently, yet perfectly complementary. I realize this is a great blessing that not everyone enjoys and I feel more grateful for it. My resentment was replaced by joy and gratitude for my role as a wife and mother. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Whether we are working moms or full-time homemakers, whether we are single moms or have husbands helping us, whether we make homemade pizza or throw a frozen pizza in the oven, whether our closets are cluttered or perfectly organized, whether we have one child or eight children or even no children but mother those around us - we are irreplaceable and must "cherish the role that is so uniquely ours."