After I had my first child, I began to realize the true value of mothers and the huge sacrifice they make. I realized how amazing they are. I realized that those girls who dropped out of college, or who never even went so that they could marry and start families were often incredibly humble to do God's will and not pursue personal interests. I was too proud to even want to do that. The opportunity didn't present itself at that stage of my life, but if it did, I hope I would have chosen the family route, but I'm just not sure I could have done it. I think the falling in love and romance was an easy thing, but it's the responsibilities (children) that come after, that I wasn't too keen on.
I was very well set on being a stay-at-home mom once children came, so that's what I did. I felt those children needed me more than anything else. However, because I had those previously mentioned bad attitudes, it made it more difficult to feel personal value as a stay-at-home mom.
I knew there were women in the world who really, really enjoyed staying home with their kids, so why couldn't I? I started looking into LDS literature on the topic of mothering, but just found all the reasons I should have kids and all the things I should do, but no in-depth examples of women who were actually living examples of a mother who really loved staying home with her kids. I wanted to get inside the head of women who loved being home and let them rub off on me.
Eventually, through some sewing projects I met some Christian ladies on-line who seemed to love staying home, raising children, and being domestic. As I learned more about these ladies I realized these women knew their Bibles and diligently studied them; they honored their husbands; they even homeschooled their kids!; they avoided worldliness and tried to live self-sufficiently; they accepted as many children as God would send them; they were a family team. (I'm sure that's a very broad generalization, but that was the feel I got.) I found they always referred to "Titus 2" and Biblical Womanhood, and I had no idea what they were talking about.
I looked up Titus 2 and found (vs. 2-5):
The aged women likewise [sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience], that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
These women actually lived what Paul said in Titus! Some of the women blogged, some of them had books. I bought one of their books: Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. I realized I wanted to think more like these Titus 2 women and wondered why many of us in the LDS Church aren't more like them. Today I re-read Julie Beck's talk, Mothers Who Know and realized we are, or should be in many cases, more like these Titus 2 ladies.
Julie Beck reminds us:
- "The responsibility mothers have today has never required more diligence."
- We "desire to bear children" and "we still believe in having children."
- We "are nurturers. . . [we] cultivate, care for, and make grow."
- We "create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in [our] homes."
- "Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work."
- We are homemakers and "teach and model qualities children should emulate."
- We should have a house of order.
- We are knowledgeable.
- We are leaders in equal partnership with our husbands.
- We plan for the future.
- We do not abandon our plans for the future "by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting."
- We are "selective about [our] own activities and involvement to conserve [our] limited strength in order to maximize [our] influence where it matters most."
- We "permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally."
- We "allow less media in [our] homes, less distraction, less activity that draws [our] children away from [our] home."
- We "are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with [our] children."
- We "choose carefully and do not try to choose it all."
- Our "goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world."
- Our "goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom."
- We "do not give up during difficult and discouraging times."