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A Thought About Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and as a woman without children I have thought about this day a lot. In years past I’ve felt hostile, sad, indifferent and even a bit glad on Mother’s Day. As my husband and I have gone through the ups and downs of fertility issues we’ve had to come to terms with our childlessness; and I’ve had to learn how to put on my best party face when a humble deacon comes to give me a wilting flower that will be dead before the day is over and piece of really bad candy. I am finally to the point where I can say “thank you” and not dissolve into tears. But for many women, this might not be the case. Many childless women, single sisters and even sisters who might have less than ideal family situations might feel the weight of Mother’s Day and consider this holiday burdensome, or even a waste of their time. They might not feel worthy to be recognized for the good that they do, which is a shame.

I’ve written before, and I believe very strongly that all women, no matter what their state can consider themselves mothers. There are many women who have touched my life, who were not my mom, and I am thankful for their influence in my life. There are even times when my own sweet mother does not feel that she has done a good job in regard to her family. Again, this is a shame, because despite her failings, I wouldn’t trade my mom for another. She’s taught me many things. Her insight and spiritual promptings have helped me more times that I can even count, and her ability to keep our family going throughout the years and throughout our trials is phenomenal.

My hope this Mother’s Day is that while we celebrate moms and the women in our lives, that we look around and see who might be hurting, or struggling for whatever reason. Find that sister and tell her how she has impacted your life, or that you love and appreciate her. I know I have appreciated those kinds of experiences, and I know they will too.

{ 73 comments… add one }
  • Alison Moore Smith May 7, 2008, 3:03 pm

    Bless your heart, this is a wonderful, thoughtful piece.

  • nanacarol May 7, 2008, 4:42 pm

    Thank you for your thoughts. On Sunday I will look around and hope to find the one who may need the hug most of all. Thank you for helping us to see beyond ourselves.

  • Michelle D May 7, 2008, 6:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing this insight.

    Many childless women, single sisters and even sisters who might have less than ideal family situations might feel the weight of Mother ?s Day and consider this holiday burdensome, or even a waste of their time. They might not feel worthy to be recognized for the good that they do, which is a shame.

    Mothers themselves also often feel the weight of Mother’s Day, and feel they are not worthy to be recognized. While situations and roles are different for every woman, the feelings of trying to be “perfect” in those roles, whatever they might be, can be daunting. You encapsulated wonderfully how we should look outside of ourselves and notice those who have touched our lives for the better – and let them know they have changed our hearts.

    I, too, will be looking around on Sunday to share my gratitude and a hug!

  • facethemusic May 8, 2008, 5:55 am

    This was lovely! There are a few sisters in our ward who’ve never married and don’t have children, but all of them have spent most of their time serving in Primary and are GREAT with the kids. One of them, in fact, has become like a second mother for one of our ward’s families. She’s with those kids several times a week and HAS been almost all their lives.
    Our Relief Society president is married and surely in her 50’s, but she’s never had children either. On the other hand, SHE’s been like a second mother to the children of one of her good friends. (In fact, whenever she’s had the youngest with her on Sundays (a boy) she’s always brought him to Relief Society WITH her. He’s 13 now and STILL comes to Relief Society– :shocked: -Drives many sisters nuts. Good thing he wasn’t there this past Sunday, when during a discussion about the Holy Ghost and inspiration, one sister mentioned how she felt inspired to make an ‘intimacy schedule” for her and her husband when they were dealing with their own fertility issues. I’m glad he wasn’t around for that conversation. But that’s another issue… 🙂
    I’m not sure if these women are aware of how much they have mothered, despite the fact that they’ve never “given birth”. I think I’ll make sure they know on Sunday!

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 6:46 am

    East, I love you. That was a wonderful article. Since they might not think to do it, thank you for the wonderful things you’ve taught so many students; you’ll never know how far your influence will reach. Considered yourself hugged hard. I will be looking around on Sunday, too.

  • agardner May 8, 2008, 6:53 am

    To me, it always used to be really awkward in church on Mother’s Day when they would say, “Would all of the mothers please stand?”.

    In recent years, it seems that most bishops I’ve seen will say instead, “Will all women 18 and over stand?”…or even just tell the young men or whoever is handing out gifts to give one to every woman they see and not have them stand at all. Then of course someone will always be missed because they won’t see everyone.

    Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the public recognition (i.e. at church) of Mother’s Day. I’d rather just have them say, “We wish all of the women a happy mother’s day” and leave it at that, and let us celebrate it with our families however we choose.

    BTW, my mother’s day plant always dies too.

    Last year our ward handed out little bags of candy to the mothers. Guess who they put in charge of making them? My dh, who was a counselor in the bishopric. Guess who ended up making them? Me, since dh didn’t worry about it until Saturday night and then had other stuff going on. He did help me, but we spent a couple of hours getting all the bags filled and ribbons tied on them. Happy mother’s day to me, lol!

  • facethemusic May 8, 2008, 7:08 am

    Our ward is doing something different this year, and I think it’s great! The brothers are taking over Primary and YM/YW, so that every sister in the entire ward can be in Relief Society. The RS presidency is giving a special lesson in tribute to the sisters with a light lunch.
    It will be interesting to see all the sisters together. It’s not uncommon at all for our RS to only have only 20 people, the room isn’t even half full since half of the women are in YW and Primary.

  • east-of-eden May 8, 2008, 7:59 am

    Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the public recognition (i.e. at church) of Mother’s Day. I’d rather just have them say, “We wish all of the women a happy mother’s day” and leave it at that, and let us celebrate it with our families however we choose.

    I second this. I actually hate the “stand up” business….ususally I find my way to the restroom, or “forget” something in the car and have to go get it for 10 minutes….I’m bad.

    A funny thing happened last year. It seems like someone always complains about what is given out in our ward. One year it was a cut flower, someone didn’t like the fact that it would die. The next year they gave out potted flowers, which did die later on that day because they were not watered, and more complaints rolled in. Then one year they gave out Hershey bars and someone complained that it was not enough chocolate or good chocolate or something, so last year they gave out entire bags/packages of candy–think the kind of packages you get for halloween. Sorry, I don’t need that much candy — no one does. So, I was in Weight Watchers mode full time and I was pretty serious about it. I took one peice from the bag of candy I was handed and gave the rest to my DH. I told him he could eat it all or throw it away, but that I was only having the one. Anyway, so he took his one peice and was eating it while waiting for SS to start. I had run off to the water fountain, and another sister came up to him and started to chastise him for eating “my” candy. It was so silly. I don’t know what they’re going to throw at us this year, but I’m sure whatever it is, I still won’t want to eat it because now we’re totally off candy and junk. I’m thankful for the thought, but I really don’t need the fuss.

  • jennycherie May 8, 2008, 8:15 am

    Posted By: agardnerHonestly, I’m not a big fan of the public recognition (i.e. at church) of Mother’s Day. I’d rather just have them say, “We wish all of the women a happy mother’s day” and leave it at that, and let us celebrate it with our families however we choose.

    I totally agree! Isn’t that pretty much how we handle father’s day? I think sometimes, that because of all the flack the church gets over men-only holding the priesthood, we have “man-guilt” and so everyone makes a huge deal for mother’s day and then we nearly ignore father’s day. Then again, maybe it’s because the men in leadership positions plan Sacrament meeting and don’t feel right about planning something special to recognize themselves.

    Posted By: facethemusicOur ward is doing something different this year, and I think it’s great! The brothers are taking over Primary and YM/YW, so that every sister in the entire ward can be in Relief Society. The RS presidency is giving a special lesson in tribute to the sisters with a light lunch.

    I am SO looking forward to this! It will be fun to have a “whole” Relief Society!

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 8:20 am

    Alison! Was it Orson Scott Card who wrote a book about the ward council arguing over a suitable Mother’s Day gift, after recognizing the problems with flowers and chocolates? They settled on a FROZEN TV DINNER for each mother in the ward. By the time the three-hour block was over, each woman had gravy dripping down her nylons! HA! I think about it often when it comes to ward council meetings. (Mass thinking isn’t always good thinking.)

  • kiar May 8, 2008, 8:35 am

    Umm, not to sound a little snarky, but I like mother’s day. I love the silly little things the kids make in Primary to give the moms, and why not recognize the fact that there are mothers in the ward? Heck, without them, nobody would be here. I think its wonderful that those of us who don’t have children can be recognized too for thier efforts in helping children that they did not give birth to. I feel awful for those sweet sisters that cannot, for whatever reason, have thier own children, be it due to fertility issues, or not being married, or whatnot. But on the other hand, I cannot feel guilty about having babies, or being fortunate enough to have them in my life.
    The article was written beautifully, I cannot argue with that, and all of it is true. But please remember that there are sisters that can and do have children, and try not to devalue the contributions that they have made too.

  • mandyp May 8, 2008, 8:52 am

    I have struggled with infertility issues and experienced the same feelings that were expressed in the post. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one who felt that way. Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece. This year is my first Mothers Day as a mother and this post really helped me to think back and realize all of the blessings that I have been given. I’m not just talking about my daughter, but all of the comfort and sustainment that my husband and I had while we were struggling.

  • east-of-eden May 8, 2008, 11:03 am


    Welcome to the mix. I’m glad my post was helpful to you. (And thanks to EVERYONE for their thoughts and kind words, ya’ll are really great!)

    You mentioned you have a dd now, that’s great. Have you heard about the group 2 Of Us 4 Now? It’s an online group for LDS couples that deals with: fertility issues, miscarriage and adoption. All are welcome, even if you have kids. I know it’s been a HUGE way for me to vent and not feel quite so alone in my struggels. I’ve also “met” some really great people thru the group. The website is: http://www.2ofus4now.org and there is a button to click on to join the Yahoo group with the same name.

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 11:29 am

    Mandyp! Welcome! Happy First Mother’s Day!

    Dear mothers in Israel who aren’t mothers in the flesh, you can kick me in the shins if you want to, me being a mother and all, but can I share a thought, an epiphany, an AHA! moment the Lord shared with me one day? And I do it with real love for you and appreciation for your plight. For those of you who have heard me say it before, I apologize for the repetition.

    One day I was reading something doctrinal, and I came across the statement that our God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
    The writer went on to explain that implications of that statement. (Wish I could remember who the writer was.) He said omnipotent means all-powerful. Omniscient means all-knowing. Omnipresent was especially fascinating to me. He said omnipresent meant that everything past, present, and future is present to our God. The flood in Noah’s day, the revelation on every worthy male receiving the priesthood, and the exodus of the lost ten tribes from the north to the New Jerusalem is all happening NOW for him. It boggles the mind.
    Another man gave some perspective on time. He said if you were to take an inch of string and compare it to the length of string it would take to wrap around the earth 600,000 times, the inch of string would represent the time we spend in mortality. (Or something like that; I can’t remember the exact numbers. Why oh why can I remember the neighbor’s dog’s name, and I can’t remember the things that had some real significance to me? Sorry I can’t quote exactly.)

    I imagine our Heavenly Father sitting in front of three big-screen TVs. (This example is a little pathetic, but it’s the best I can do on the spur of the moment.) On each screen is shown an image from your life. On the first screen is a movie of you as a baby, lying on a blanket in the sunshine on the floor. On the second screen is an image of you, childless you, sitting at a desk in a corner with your head bowed and tears streaming down your face, longing for the children we are commanded to have. On the third screen is you, surrounded by children of different ages, smiling and milling round about you, some reaching their arms out to you. You are their mother. Our God sees the three screens simultaneously. If we were to move those three screens to the mortal world and measure them by the yardstick of time, the you-as-a-baby movie would last a millisecond. The you-as-a-childless-adult movie would last a second or two. The you-as-a-mother-of-many children movie would go on and on, for decades and centuries and millenia. Endless. OUR GOD SEES YOU AS A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN NOW. That screen is continually before Him. It is very real for Him. If it is true for Him, can’t it be true for us now? You, a faithful and obedient daughter of God, are truly the mother of many children. It just isn’t apparent through the lens of time. Eternity will eventually prove the truth of it. I bet our Heavenly Father weeps with you over your circumstances, but He knows your joy is just around the corner, just as He knew it was for Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. The same is true for women who never marry in mortality; God sees them as the eternal wife of some worthy man now. And He wishes we could see it now, because He knows the comfort it would bring. But we came to this world to “see through a glass darkly.”

    I like this quote by C.S. Lewis: “God has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.”

    And I like this, too: “Men will work hard for money. They will work harder for other men. But men will work hardest of all when they are dedicated to a cause. Until willingness overflows obligation, men fight as conscripts, rather than following as patriots. Duty is never worthily performed until it is performed by one who would gladly do more, if only he could.” (Harry Emerson Fosdick, one of the best known Protestant ministers in the United States)

    God knows and loves you for your willing heart.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 8, 2008, 2:18 pm

    I as going to echo the same thing. I wish they’d forgo the pass out something and the talks on motherhood. Now, they are free to publicly celebrate my birthday. :bigsmile:

    Posted By: davidsonAlison! Was it Orson Scott Card who wrote a book about the ward council arguing over a suitable Mother’s Day gift

    Don’t know. Doesn’t sound familiar. Sounds more like Kathy Kidd to me, but could have been Scott.

    Welcome MandyP! And congrats on your daughter!

  • mlinford May 8, 2008, 2:53 pm

    Thanks for this post. There is another really good article here.

    And a couple of others that are linked here.

    And kiar, I agree with you, too. I love the little things that children do for mommy, and we should never gloss over the importance of motherhood in the classic sense. But I also love love love the principle that we all have the opportunity to be the ‘mother of all living’ — to nurture and love those in our own household if that is where our life happens to be, but also to nurture and love and serve others of Heavenly Father’s children. When I finally started to get that ‘mother of all living’ idea, it changed the way I interacted with children in my neighborhood and elsewhere. It makes me want to interact with love, to bring a little bit of light, whenever I interact with a child, whether my own or someone else’s. And I can tell you that when I do that, I feel the Spirit in a BIG way. I KNOW this is something important, and for me, it’s not something that comes naturally (not even always with my own kids…I’m not a kid-person in lots of ways) — I have to CHOOSE to have this perspective. So I love posts like this because they apply to me, too. I need to remember that ‘we are all mothers’ to all of God’s children, and that is a big deal to me.

  • facethemusic May 8, 2008, 3:08 pm

    It seems like someone always complains about what is given out in our ward. One year it was a cut flower, someone didn’t like the fact that it would die. The next year they gave out potted flowers, which did die later on that day because they were not watered, and more complaints rolled in. Then one year they gave out Hershey bars and someone complained that it was not enough chocolate or good chocolate or something,

    How completely petty and obnoxious!! It would be interesting to see if it was always the same one or two sisters complaining. I can’t imagine being so ungrateful and self-absorbed to complain about a gift from people who REALLY don’t need to be giving me a gift anyway!!
    The WARD is giving a gift, whether it be a cut or potted flower, or cheap chocolates. But they didn’t HAVE to give them ANYTHING! And when they DO, people complain???
    I’d say that that this year, the Bishopric member conducting should get up and say “We want to wish all the sister’s a Happy Mother’s Day. Due to ungrateful snots, we won’t be handing out any tokens of our appreciation today. We’ve learned that we’d have to hand out Godiva chocolates and potted Orchids to please some people around here, and even then, someone would probably complain that it was the wrong color, so we won’t be giving anything. And since we know those SAME people will probably complain about THAT, the number you can call to express your grievance is 1-800-847-6987, that’s 1-800-U GROW UP.”

    HA! Don’t think that’ll happen! :tooth:

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 3:59 pm

    Tracy, I laughed so hard it made my face hurt! Thanks, Face! It was the thought that crossed my mind, too, but you said it so well! The ingrates.

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 4:30 pm

    Mlinford, I loved Spunky’s post. I tried to open Brooke and Michelle’s stories on the other website and couldn’t open them, but I liked the paragraph beneath it. Weekend-long hug to you.

    Alison! Sunday is your birthday? If they can have speeches celebrating Mother’s Day, why not speeches celebrating Alison’s Birthday?
    It should be mandatory. The Momma of the Mommas should be recognized. :bigsmile:

  • jennycherie May 8, 2008, 5:17 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicDue to ungrateful snots,

    somehow, it is hard to picture that coming out of a bishop’s mouth :shocked:
    hee hee, but I totally agree with the sentiment!

  • kiar May 8, 2008, 5:34 pm

    Umm, I think our bishop would say it! he’s a little unique in that sense. loving and kind, but nevertheless… Blunt!
    Ok, I am glas I didn’t tick anybody off with my opinion! I love all of my sisters, whether they actually birthed a baby or not! We have a wonderful sister in our ward, that has never had kids, but has been to YW camp every year for the last 17 years. She has alos served in Primary as a teacher for the past 5 years (at least). She is retiring and moving to Nevada. We are all heartbroken! But she is staying long wnough for one more camp. She is defiantly one of the “non-biological mothers” that I have the pleasure of knowing! (is that PC enough? lol)

  • davidson May 8, 2008, 6:22 pm

    Jenn, you bring up an interesting scene! I guess it takes all kinds. Our stake president is a rather blunt man. In stake conference two weeks ago, he stood up and talked about his mission president, who was also a rather blunt man. When our stake president was in the mission field, this mission president was very ill and needed a blessing. The missionaries had a fearful respect for him. He called our future stake president into his bedroom and said he wanted a blessing. . .and. . .these were his exact words: “I want a priesthood blessing, and I need to be healed. None of this if-it-be-Thy-will crap!” The blessing was given, and the mission president was healed.

    After that quote, a few in the audience almost needed rescusitation.

    Takes all kinds to make the world go round.

  • Ray May 8, 2008, 8:28 pm

    Fwiw, when I was in the bishopric, we would have liked to ignore Mothers’ Day – but we never would have heard the end of it from more women than those who complain when we do something “wrong” with the talk topics. Mothers’ Day is a no-win for the bishopric; it’s just an exercise in damage control.

    That is true of most wards. Ours for the last few years has been able to do it right, as Michelle described above, but it took a couple of years of listening to the complaining before people realized what a great idea it is.

  • mlinford May 8, 2008, 9:57 pm

    Mothers’ Day is a no-win for the bishopric; it’s just an exercise in damage control.


  • Alison Moore Smith May 8, 2008, 11:09 pm

    Posted By: davidsonAlison! Sunday is your birthday?

    Oh, sorry, no! Sunday is not my birthday (wouldn’t that be a bummer having your birthday on Mother’s Day?). I was just giving tacit approval for my birthday to be celebrated publicly by all my neighbors. I’ll be registering with Bed, Bath, & Beyond. :bigsmile:

  • east-of-eden May 9, 2008, 8:22 am

    It would be interesting to see if it was always the same one or two sisters complaining.

    Oh, it’a always the same 5 or6 people, who are well known in the ward for complaining about EVERYTHING. They usually sit on the back row of SS and RS and then complain that they can’t hear very well.

    Mostly everyone just ignores them because they are just who they are, but sometimes it does become tiresome, because I know the men do try and put though into what they do on mother’s day and the bishopric does have it’s heart in the right place, I guess what Ray said is right, about damage control. I think for our bishopric that’s most of the time…poor guys.

  • nanacarol May 9, 2008, 10:00 am

    Yes it is a bummer when your birthday falls on Mothers. For years now, my birthday and mothers day get lumped together no matter where the birthday falls. I am like the Christmas baby. I only get one celebration a year. However, I have the best son. He loves to take his mom to SF Giants baseball games!!! I love to go! What a great son!

  • davidson May 9, 2008, 10:12 am

    I feel for you, Nana. My mom’s birthday is May 16th. One year she mentioned that “one celebration a year” thing, so we really try to make sure she gets celebrated twice. My littlest daughter’s birthday is December 22, and none of her friends can come for a party that close to Christmas, so she celebrates her “half-birthday” on June 22 and has a big water party. On December 22, she has a family dinner and a birthday cake, and she loves that arrangement.

    I wonder why every ward has the complainers? I wonder why they complain? Do you suppose they’re just in the habit of looking for the worst in things? Depressed? Not aware how their comments and attitudes affect people? Hmmmm.

    Alison, spit it out right now. No more teasing. When is your birthday? A while back, you asked about mine. My birthday is September 20th. Now when’s yours? If you don’t tell, I’m hiring a detective. :peace:

  • davidson May 9, 2008, 10:25 am

    When I was younger and dumber, I made a great big hairy deal about the fact that our ward always celebrated the Aaronic Priesthood commemoration on Mother’s Day weekend. Every Mother’s Day weekend, the men and boys would load up the grills and the sleeping bags and the junk food and head for the hills to celebrate. . .themselves. And since they were so busy that weekend, they didn’t have time to get a gift. My Mother’s Day gift was a huge pile of filthy, stinky laundry late Saturday evening. I couldn’t shut up about it. And now I feel so stupid. My husband pointed out, in a rather grim tone, that while he is the bishop, the Aaronic Priesthood commemoration campout will be held the weekend AFTER Mother’s Day, because he “didn’t want any mothers to be upset.” And I have lived to learn how wrong it is, DEMANDING attention and respect. Those things are gifts and should be given from the heart, not from the insistance of the mother.
    At least, IMHO. Ray, I apologize for my gender, or at least the ones of us who have felt to complain.

  • facethemusic May 9, 2008, 12:01 pm

    hmmmm… I don’t know about that, Davidson! THAT sounds like a good thing to complain about!!
    The trick to “effective complaining” is the right method. There’s the obnoxious whining and complaining about petty things or stupid things that could be easily remedied by oneself (eden’s example of sisters who intentionally sit in the very back row then complain that they can’t hear) and then there are things that really DO merit some attention and corrective measures. Doing it with the right tone and expressing your concerns in a logical, reasonable and intelligent way doesn’t come across as “complaining” in a negative way.
    Holding an acitivity for the men and boy’s on Mother’s Day weekend is something that one could legitimately have concerns about. It’s not like we as members can do what most of the rest of the world does— take mom out to a nice restaurant ON Mother’s Day, which is always the Sabbath. For that very reason, my family has almost ALWAYS celebrated Mother’s Day on the Saturday before. We are tomorrow as well. We’re heading south of the city tomorrow morning to spend the day and visit with my mother-in-law. Then in the evening we’re going out for dinner for me. We couldn’t do that if my husband and son were out camping somewhere.

  • jendoop May 9, 2008, 12:22 pm

    Great thoughts from everyone!

    It’s good to have a reminder ahead of time to prepare to have the right attitude, to take things with a grain of salt and to appreciate everything. Appreciate those who have acted as a mother figure in the lives of myself and my children, and appreciate any and all acts of kindness only meant in love on that day.

    I’ve had some really bad ones in the past, including gratitude for being sick so I could stay home.

    The day I first read this post I went to our RS bookgroup where a few married women went on and on to the single sisters how lucky they are to have time to themselves. That’s like a rich man complaining to a beggar about how to spend all his money. My heart went out to them, I couldn’t find the right words in that situation to stop it and not make it worse but I plan to write notes to them on Mother’s Day.

    Davidson I love your thoughts esp: ” OUR GOD SEES YOU AS A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN NOW.”

    I nominate the name be changed to ‘Women’s Day’. But whatever it is called I hope you all feel your value as daughters of God with divine potential on that day!

  • aunt sassy May 10, 2008, 6:20 pm

    East of Eden: Well-written.

    I have dreaded Mother’s Day for several years now. As long as our attempts to conceive and fertility treatments have been unsuccessful. I spend the day focusing on my mother and other women in my life that have (and still do) play a “motherly” role in my life. I am grateful for their sacrifices and influences… and I take the opportunity to tell them so. I totally agree that a day honoring mothers is important. But it still highlighted the huge hole that remained empty in my heart. It remained a yearly painful reminder that in a religious community that stresses the importance of families… we remain childless.

    I agree that Mother’s Day is a no-win for the Bishopric. I appreciate their intentions to honor the mothers in the ward. I am embarassed to hear that women complain about what they receive. How petty are we, really???? The problem always comes when all women over 18 have to stand. I am not technically a mother. I have no children. I felt like an imposter when I stood. But if I didn’t, I was cajoled by those around me. So for the last 4-5 years, I either conveniently find myself out of town, or leaving SM early. It was just easier that way for me.

    This year will be a little different as I am pregnant with triplets. My dh took me out for a “pre-mother’s day” breakfast this morning. I probably will stand tomorrow, although still not without trepidation. My pregnancy so far has been complicated, and I have worked hard not only to get them this far, but also to keep them growing well. Having said that, I am not yet a mother.

    The heartache of infertility or being childless-not-by-choice for any reason is simply one of those things that women who have not experienced it will not totally understand. And that is ok. There are many situations that I, not having experienced them, will also not really understand. That does not mean that I cannot be compassionate. That is what our sisterhood should be about… compassion. Being sensitive to those in the ward that are not yet “lucky” enough to have children does not in any way need to take away from your celebration of Mother’s Day. It only means you take a moment to thank them for the impact they have had on you or your children.

    Well said, East.

  • kiar May 10, 2008, 6:43 pm

    I believe that you should stand and be so proud of the fact that you have those tiny souls inside of you! You are a mother! From the second you concieved you have done everything in your power to keep those little ones safe. You are a mother. Giving birth does not make you a mother. Loving them from the moment they are concieved is what makes you a mother. Stand proud, and stay strong. Hugs to you!

  • klgreen1 May 10, 2008, 8:00 pm

    About the frozen dinners: That scene appeared in Kathy Kidd’s amazing novel, Paradise Vue. I loved that book! She comments at one point that the ward was so affluent it was a status symbol NOT to be an attorney.

    There were a couple of insights I enjoyed. In one case a character in the story goes to a fortune teller. The narrative character comments that spirits who are not representatives of deity, unlike the Holy Ghost, are under no obligation to tell the truth. Their messages might or might not be reliable. Another, which I have thought about many times since, concerned a husband involved in an affair. He gives identical expensive Christmas gift to his wife and his lover. The wife rifles through his study, with the aid of her best friend (who was not convinced that this was a good idea) and eventually finds the other receipt. The husband says it was this betrayal–her deliberate intrusion into his privacy, in the company of an outsider who was then privy to the damning evidence, that actually destroyed the marriage for him. On the surface this sounds outrageous. He is the one who cheated. He resents the search because he has such an enormous transgression to hide. But I think Kidd makes an intriguing point. It was a vindictive, spiteful thing to do at a time when the relationship was vulnerable. She ratted him out to a friend, who had even less business snooping through his personal things. Of course he’s trying to blame her for his weakness. That’s human nature. Nevertheless, she did it to prove him wrong; to confront him with hard evidence. He knows she has every right to hate him, but the marriage is not likely to improve if she goes out of her way to demand revenge, and if she turns to a friend instead of coming to him directly. How else might she have approached him?

    Sorry, folks. That was totally off-topic. My name is Kathy and I am a book-oholic.

  • agardner May 10, 2008, 10:08 pm

    Aunt Sassy, I echo what Kiar said, and congratulations to you on your pregnancy!

    The standing up thing is so awkward because it’s kind of a no-win. That’s why I really hate the Sacrament Meeting recognition…it’s just too public for all of the unique situations that are out there.

    I remember feeling strange when I was a 26 year old single gal and they would ask the moms to stand. I, of course, remained seated, but it didn’t feel any less awkward the next year when I was newly married and not yet a mom, and they asked all women to stand and I didn’t really feel like I should then. It’s kind of varied by ward as to whether they say “women”, or “moms”, but I think however they do it, it’s going to be strange for someone (or many). That’s why I wish they would just say from the pulpit, “We love all of the wonderful moms in our lives, and send you our love and recognition on this day” and leave it at that.

    Kiar, I was also going to say in regards to your earlier post that I love all the little things my kids make me for MD too. I love a lot of things about MD, just not the Sacrament Meeting part.

  • davidson May 10, 2008, 11:05 pm

    Aunt Sassy, can’t tell you how thrilled I am about your triple blessing coming! I will start praying for your little family now.

  • Lewis_Family May 10, 2008, 11:09 pm

    oh man, it really is a no win situation. My hubby’s aunt complains that their ward has never done anything, then you do get people who complain regardless of how extravagant or how much effor was put into the gift. So sad that people can’t be grateful for everything ( meaning those who get something and complain about it, not those who would just rather not get something… ) Ha, last year we got “notepads” I was like dude this is a shopping list, talk about smack in the face, it was one of those ones with a magnet on the back that goes on your fridge… totally a shopping list ” happy mom’s day, don’t forget the milk and bread :smile:” ( I really am just being funny, I am one who is grateful for whatever, but seriously hates standing. )

    That being said “Happy Mom’s day to all, I hope it is a wonderful day for all, not just the birth mom’s but for soul moms as well”

  • davidson May 10, 2008, 11:56 pm

    I’ve got a hurting heart, and I guess I just want to tell someone. Went to the funeral today of the lady in our ward, Layne, who had MS. The husband was standing in the hall. He has always called me the Ward Momma, and today when I hugged him, he said, “I need you to be my momma today.” You’d have to understand. This man is very polished and professional and private, a past bishop, and whenever the Relief Society has asked if they could do anything to help him, over the last six years, he has always said, “No, thank you, we’re doing fine.” He has a difficult time showing any emotion, doesn’t like public displays. And here’s this man, this rock, telling me he needed something today. He needed some mothering. (His mother was there, but they don’t seem to be very close.) Not all who need mothering are children, and not all who do the “mothering” are women. He asked my husband and me to be with him at the graveside and sit by him at the funeral dinner. It broke my heart when the funeral director asked the pallbearers to come forward and put their boutenierres on top of the casket. He stood for a long time with the boutenierre in his hand, arm extended over the casket, reluctant to set it down. One last contact with her before she was buried. I had to look away. Another sad thing: one of the daughters is expecting this couple’s first grandbaby in two weeks, a little girl. Layne missed her first grandbaby by THAT MUCH. I hope she is in heaven, well and whole, rocking her grandbaby and loving her for the two weeks until she can be born. Exits and entrances. So much to think about.

  • nanacarol May 11, 2008, 11:11 am

    Aunt Sassy-your news is so wonderful—to have three at once-what a blessing. I know that all women, all beit a handful, have the intent to be mothers and have that instinct. So we are all mothers at heart just as was Eve. She is our supreme example!
    Davidson-wow I am about to leave for church and your last comment has me almost crying. Good for you to be there for that dear man. I know for a fact that my grandmother help our first grandchild and sent her on the way to Kiar. She missed the news by one week!! But she was there handing her off to us all!!

  • Ray May 11, 2008, 12:12 pm

    I posted this comment on another blog, but it seems appropriate here, as well:

    In our ward today, the talks were:

    How the Personal Progress program has helped me in my life ? (an *excellent* talk by one of the YW – our oldest daughter)

    The Holy Ghost Can Help Us Become Who We Want to Become ? (an *excellent* talk by a young mother)

    All Things Denote There is a God – and What We Can Learn about God from His Use of the Family Structure ? (an *incredible* talk by a young father)

    Each speaker mentioned motherhood in some way at some point in the talk, but there wasn ?t a single guilt-inducer ? moment in any of them. It was an amazing meeting.

    One additional note:

    The bishopric wished a Happy Mother’s Day to ALL in the congregation who have mothers – NOT to the mothers in the congregation. I thought that was a wonderful distinction. After the meeting, the YM handed out chocolate bags to ALL the women in the ward regardless of marital or “mother” status.

  • facethemusic May 11, 2008, 2:00 pm

    I’m not sure what it is… I’m sort of *tweaked* I guess. What’s with the “guilt” stuff?
    A sister gave a talk in church today, well delivered, some good points, often humorous and certainly entertaining, with lot’s of sarcasm and over-exaggerated facial expressions to make a point. (At past church talent shows she’s recited memorized poems with lots of body movement — almost like a dramatic monologue– her talk reminded me alot of that.) But she also talked alot about the “guilt” stuff too– how “the church” is partly responsible for making mothers feel guilty for not being perfect,etc. She brought up the proverbial, “even though Salt Lake City is mostly Mormon (which actually, isn’t true) it’s also the area with the highest number of depressed women” argument. She suggested that the church’s emphasis on the responsibility, importance and crucial nature of righteous motherhood causes women to be depressed. That we’re taught that it’s the mother’s responsiblity to turn out the perfect missionary sons, and temple worthy daughters, and if it doesn’t happen then it’s the mother’s fault– blah, blah, blah. Honestly, even though I knew it wouldn’t really be appropriate, inside I was hoping my husband or the Bishop would whisper in her ear and tell her to either pipe down on the sarcasm and church criticism or take a seat.
    I DID get that her main point was that we shouldn’t feel guilty about not being an “angel”. She read a really sappy, sacahrin poem– you know, mom walks by and birds break into song, her voice is like the whisper of angels wings, etc– she read it with snotty looks on her face, rolling her eyes, etc, making the point that things like that just make women feel guilty for NOT having birds break into song when we walk by– that we shouldn’t worry about being the “perfect mother”. She emphasized that being the perfect mother isn’t something that we should feel guilty about not having already achieved, but that it’s something we strive TOWARD. And I agree with that point. But I was really irritated with the idea that it was the church’s fault that women feel that way.
    Then in Relief Society, they played Sister Beck’s “Mother’s Who Know” talk. And afterwards, the counselor who thought to play it said in an apologetic sort of way “we don’t want you to feel guilty” yadda, yadda, yadda…
    I hear the SAME teachings, the SAME conference addresses that everyone else hears and I’ve NEVER felt guilty for not being a “perfect mother”. I’ve never felt like the prophet, Sister Beck or anyone expects me to be perfect.
    Isn’t it just a “duh” thing, that it’s a process, and a goal, and not something that we’re supposed to feel “guilty” about for not having already achieved??
    To me any Mormon woman in Salt Lake, Kansas City, or Timbuktu, who’s on depression meds because she *THINKS* the prophet or Sister Beck et al are telling them that they have to be perfect and do everything right, everytime, or else their kids will burn in hell and it will be their fault because they weren’t the perfect mother, has NOT really LISTENED to the prophet or Sister Beck. To me it’s just means they’re hearing WORDS. I mean really, is it even POSSIBLE to listen to a prophet of God WITH the Spirit, or to study the teachings of the gospel WITH the spirit, or to hear Sister Beck’s talk WITH the spirit, and come away feeling like scum? Or come away angry? To me, that’s a problem with the PERSON, not the church.
    I am by NO MEANS the perfect mother. My house isn’t in perfect order. I’m behind in my laundry by 4 or 5 loads. My kids argue. We watch too much TV. Some things I’m great at. At some things I stink. I know my stengths and my weaknesses. But I don’t whine about the “church” or the prophet or Sister Beck making me feel “guilty”– I’m like ‘”Yeah, I should do a better job at that. I need to work on that. If I did less of ____ I’d have more time to work on _____. I need to prioritize. ” And I just DO it. Or try to at least. And I don’t feel the “I suck, I can’t do anything right, I’m never going to be good enough” kind of guilt when my “trying” doesn’t last. You know how that goes, you commit to doing something (I’m not going yell at my kids– I’m going to get up 15 minutes earlier everyday for personal reading time– I’m going to buckle down on my extra-spending– I’m going to lose weight– I’m going to have 100% Visiting Teaching, etc) It’s lasts for awhile, then it wanes, then I start it up again, and it wanes… but I just keep going. I accept that I “waned”, feel APPROPRIATE guilt and sorrow for my weakness, pray for a rejuvination in my efforts and move on. try again.
    But I don’t blame the CHURCH for my weakness, I don’t blame the PROPHET for my guilt.
    My APPROPRIATE guilt IS my fault. I DO need to prioritize. I DO need to be better about teaching my kids responsiblity with chores. I DO need to get the most important things done first and save the “extras” for later. If I’m not doing that then it IS my fault. I’m not going to whine about the prophet making me “feel guilty”. I feel guilty over those things because I AM.
    Sorry if I’m ranting and rambling here– just sort of thinking outloud. I’m just frustrated.
    I was GLAD to stand today and be handed a lovely, fragrant red rose in Sacrament meeting.
    I was GLAD that my husband asked ALL the women to stand and be recognized to receive their gift. I’m GLAD that he acknowledged the many sisters who’ve taught our children in Primary, (many of whom are single and have had no children or CAN’T have children) and thanked them for “mothering” the children of the ward. I was APPRECIATIVE when our Relief Society president, who is 50 plus and has never been able to have children, said the closing prayer in RS and asked the Father to bless all the sisters in the ward, AND to bless all of those who ARE raising children. That meant so much to me– that a sister who’s certainly felt pain and heartache for never having been able to have children, and who is my Relief Society president, PRAYED FOR ME, that I could be a good mother in raising MY children, putting aside her own feelings of loss and emptiness for a moment to pray for ME and my kids. That makes her a mother in my eyes, and I’m very GLAD that she was recognized in Sacrament meeting by being asked to stand and receive a rose on Mother’s Day from the ward that she has so often mothered.

  • Ray May 11, 2008, 2:48 pm

    “That meant so much to me– that a sister who’s certainly felt pain and heartache for never having been able to have children, and who is my Relief Society president, PRAYED FOR ME, that I could be a good mother in raising MY children, putting aside her own feelings of loss and emptiness for a moment to pray for ME and my kids.”

    That’s the very heart of the Gospel.

  • kiar May 11, 2008, 3:21 pm

    yup, its not the church that makes us feel guilty, its us who make us feel guilty!
    face, I love what you wrote. very cool
    FWIW, we got cute little notbookes in cellophane and a thank you note on it, tied with ribbon and all the sisters recieved them. Who couldn’t use an extra notebook in their purse? it was really cute. (nobody can cry about thier diets, it won’t die and it can’t bite you.lol)

  • agardner May 11, 2008, 3:53 pm

    face, I really liked what you said.

    We got roses too! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever got roses for MD before (in church). The counselor who conducted did say “all moms”, but I noticed that the YM/YW who handed them out did give them to all women.

    I really like what you said Face about mentioning the Primary teachers.

    The only thing that I found a little weird was that they asked women to stand by age, to see who the youngest and oldest mothers were, then the most kids, then the most recent mom. Those sisters got bigger bouquets. It’s not that they got a bigger gift that was strange, it was that they had us all stand until we got to our age and then we sat down when our age passed – until we ended up with a 83-year-old mom and a 19-year-old mom. The mom with the most children had 8 (there were 2 moms with 8 children). They also made special presentations to the bishop’s wife and the stake president’s wife for being the moms of the ward and stake.

    I have to tell you this poem that my 4-year-old made for me (she had her sister write it):

    My mom is like a rose
    because she smells good
    and because she grows really fast

    Cute! I only know of one way I grow really fast, though, and it isn’t a way I want to grow, lol!

    I hope everyone has a wonderful MD with their families.

  • facethemusic May 11, 2008, 4:43 pm

    My mom is like a rose
    because she smells good
    and because she grows really fast

    TOO precious!!!

    From my 9 year old, without any spelling corrections:

    Dear Mom,
    I love you so, so, so, much.
    Bigger than my hands,
    my feet
    and my hole body.


  • Alison Moore Smith May 11, 2008, 4:53 pm

    Just some quick dashed off notes while Sam is cooking my dream dinner:

    Artichokes (food of the gods)
    Fruit Salad

    Oh, my!


    davidson, I’m solidly joyous that you complained about that. I think we’ll collectively absolve you of all guilt. Sending all the males out camping that weekend is just plain DUMB. You go, girl.

    aunt sassy, you are SO a mother! My goodness! You are mother times three. Our prayers are with you and your sweet babies!

    It’s true that those of us who were not infertile cannot understand what it’s like. I only understand what it’s like to require twice as many pregnancies to get the number of babies I want. Vicariously I know what it’s like to be unable to give birth and need to resort to adoption to have the families we long for. (I’m a big fan of adoption, in case you hadn’t noticed.) In the long run, I suppose ONLY those who long for children and NEVER get them–in any way–can understand that.

    But I don’t think that needs to separate us. There are other pains that likely meet that pain if we really need to quantify. Never marrying. Losing a spouse or child. Other extreme violations to us. Frankly, the more of life I experience the more I appreciate lots of different kinds of pain that I never understood before–and that I didn’t really appreciate before.

    The discomfort with Mother’s Day has always seemed odd to me, honestly. I guess because it’s weird that there’s someone who thinks it’s about ME. Because to ME, it isn’t about ME, it’s about my MOM. I love the fact that someone honors me that same way, but that is THEIR celebration, really, not mine.

    My mom isn’t here to celebrate and that is a pain I now have–like many others. I miss her in my life.

    One post above hit on the essence, I think, of what is the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Looking to our own mother’s and/or other women who blessed us, taught us, and made us better people is a much better way to approach the day. And how can that be sad?

    Yes, I’m still going to eat the artichokes, but the day FOR ME is about my mother…and Nora Hess and Libby Hawkins and Linda Boyd and Jill Leavitt and Tara Slinn and Kim Patton and Holly Gomez and Kendra Ramsey and Patti Morris and Becky Bowman and Paula Palmer and Valerie…

  • Alison Moore Smith May 11, 2008, 5:00 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicTo me any Mormon woman in Salt Lake, Kansas City, or Timbuktu, who’s on depression meds because she *THINKS* the prophet or Sister Beck et al are telling them that they have to be perfect and do everything right, everytime, or else their kids will burn in hell and it will be their fault because they weren’t the perfect mother, has NOT really LISTENED to the prophet or Sister Beck.

    I concur.

    Besides, I’m way more likely to be depressed because of the scale than because of anything I heard in a talk! :shocked:

  • jennycherie May 11, 2008, 8:25 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicWhat’s with the “guilt” stuff?

    Nicely said, Tracy!

  • davidson May 11, 2008, 11:17 pm

    Had to laugh! Our bishopric member invited the mothers to stand, and each woman who would take one (mother or not) was given a flower. As I was walking down the hall after Sacrament meeting, here came two brethren toward me with vacuum cleaners; two different mothers had spilled their flowers on the carpet (maybe with the help of kids.) I wonder how often that scene was replayed across the church membership today! I got a deep maroon Sweet William plant; I hope I can keep it alive. It looked to me like all the women who were receiving them were smiling. I also went out of my way to recognize and thank some mothers who had never given birth.

    And by the way? I know why the brethren have the Primary children sing in Sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day. It doesn’t have anything to do with music. It’s so mothers of young children can have TWO MINUTES to relax in a meeting for a change. The couple sitting in front of us was wrestling their two little ones, and when they went up to sing “I Often Go Walking”, the mother sighed audibly, her husband put his arms around her, and I saw them both slump into relaxation mode. After those two minutes of rest and looking at her kids from a safe distance, she was actually glad to have her children come back. Maybe instead of flowers on Mother’s Day, young mothers could be handed coupons good for two minutes of rest time, to be used in Sacrament meeting throughout the year. (All in favor say aye.)

    Trace Face, I read your great post and wondered why you have such a healthy sense of self, while other women really struggle to manage guilt in a healthy way. Discussion on this? Why do you suppose? Upbringing? Choices? Physical state? All of the above? I used to feel incredibly guilty on Mother’s Day, but I don’t any more. I feel calm and peaceful and grateful, and I agree with Alison: Mother’s Day is about the mothers, some related, who have loved me. It is a day to concentrate on recognizing them, and the attention for me is a nice but not necessary side effect.

    My son gave a wonderful tribute to me today. I was grateful to be sitting in the back where I could bawl in peace. It was surprising to hear how he felt about me. I actually had no idea; he’s not very verbal. Maybe it wasn’t doctrinal–but maybe it was! I can’t think of any doctrine in the church that rings truer than the eternal nature of love within a family. We have very few recorded speeches from God the Father. One was simply, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” I don’t think tributes to people we love in Sacrament meeting are a waste of time or a detour from doctrine. President Monson regularly uses sacred time to pay tribute to important people in his life. Other General Authorities have, too.

    And one of the nicest gifts for me (maybe this is weird) is that my nonmember neighbor who lives across from me diagonally, and my inactive neighbor directly across the street, came to church because they wanted to. What a surprise. That was thrilling. Another nice thing was talking to my missionary son on the phone(even if it’s going to cost us eighty bucks.) The best gifts I got weren’t wrapped.

  • naomlette May 11, 2008, 11:24 pm

    FTM, congratulations on being in such a place as to know when to feel appropriately guilty and when to not. I really mean that. But I must say that I was hurt by the (admittedly) frustrated and angry tone of your post. You see, I am one of those women that feels guilty for not being perfect. It doesn’t matter who is saying it, the prophet, or my husband, but if I’m not living up to the ideals that I think a good wife, woman, sister, daughter, etc. should be, I feel guilty. I feel I am one of the lucky ones though, because I know that it’s not me that’s making me feel guilty. It’s not the church, or my family, or my friends. It’s Satan. But that doesn’t keep me from feeling guilty all the time for things that I know, deep down, I shouldn’t feel guilty for. Like the fact that my entire house isn’t spotless all the time, or that I don’t enjoy cooking and my meals are far from gourmet, and that I’m not as skinny as I “should” be.

    Isn’t it just a “duh” thing, that it’s a process, and a goal, and not something that we’re supposed to feel “guilty” about for not having already achieved??

    For me, no, it isn’t just a “duh” thing. And I think it’s not for a lot of women out there. Satan works hard on all of us, and a huge way is by making women feel inadequate for not being the “ideal”. And he does it quite subtley too. From the minute we are born we are bombarded by messages that we will never live up to. We don’t even notice most of them, but our subconcious surely does. And Satan uses that weakness, making it hard to hear, or notice, the good messages that are out there. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis, and I fully expect to for the rest of my life. From what it sounds like, the womans’ talk in Sacrament was wholly inappropriate. I’m sure I would have been just as uncomfortable and astounded at her standing at the pulpit of the church she was deriding. I would have felt frustration at the leader who felt the need to apologize for Sister Beck’s talk. (Even though I initially didn’t like her talk, because I felt guilty after hearing it. And not because I have work to do, but because 1) I’m not a mother and 2)I don’t clean my house as often as I felt like she was saying I should to be righteous, among other things.) But I would understand where they are coming from. You have been blessed with the gift of not feeling guilty for silly, meaningless things, but try to have sympathy for those who are not. You were obviously raised by a great woman!

    My Mother’s Day was both terrible and good. Terrible because I cried through most of Sacrament Meeting because the talks WERE about being a mother and how wonderful this is, and while the speakers didn’t say anything particularly insensitive, they also never had problems having children, so probably didn’t think about that side of things. It broke my heart to sit there and hear those talks while thinking that next year, I’ll still be sitting in our pew, without any children with me. But it was good because one woman thanked me for being a “surrogate” mom to her son (who is in our Primary class). I think she may have seen me crying, but I hope not. Also, the gift for the women (there was enough for the men too, but I don’t think they took any) was chocolate covered strawberries, hand dipped by the Primary Chorister and her husband. I’m not going to pass that up! And my husband drew me as how he thinks I would look if I was a super hero. So in the end, it didn’t turn out to be too bad of a day!

  • facethemusic May 12, 2008, 7:42 am

    Naomlette, I promise there was no anger in my post. I wasn’t angry, just irritated and frustrated.
    And the irritation wasn’t because women feel guilty, it was the “I feel guilty and it’s the church’s fault— here’s the proof– Salt Lake City has the highest number of depressed women in the country” kind of rhetoric.
    I’m frustrated that our RS presidency can’t show a talk by a General Authority without feeling the need to apologize and say “we didn’t show you this to make you feel guilty”.

    Isn’t it just a “duh” thing, that it’s a process, and a goal, and not something that we’re supposed to feel “guilty” about for not having already achieved??

    For me, no, it isn’t just a “duh” thing. And I think it’s not for a lot of women out there. Satan works hard on all of us, and a huge way is by making women feel inadequate for not being the “ideal”. And he does it quite subtley too. From the minute we are born we are bombarded by messages that we will never live up to.

    Yes, I agree, and I understand completely that one of Satan’s greatest tools is discouragement. I’ve been bombarded by the same messages alll my life too. And I could contrast myself all day to my marathon-running, size 4 sister in law whose SPOTLESS home always looks a photo from a Southern Living Magazine spread, and spend my days feeling like I’ll never measure up. But on top of the discouragement that Satan so often dishes out I’ve also been bombarded with “Come unto me and I will give you rest”, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”, “you’re a daughter of God”, “you have divine potential”, “you are made in His image” for years and years. And hearing THAT over and over from the prophet, or from a Bishop, Stake president, mother, YW leader, Primary teacher or reading it in the scriptures is SO much more powerful to me than anything that some body-less, jealous, good-for-nothing spirit can say.
    What God tells me is true. What the prophet tells me I can trust. Satan is the father of lies–why should I even CARE what he has to say? He can jump in a lake for all I care.
    Well… no, he can’t!! HA!!
    So I hear Sister Beck’s talk yesterday and hear her talking about how righteous mothers know that part of nurturing is homemaking and how important it is to have a home of order, to teach children the value of work and I feel the momentary sting of “I’m not doing that very well. I haven’t been very good at that”. But I know what she’s saying is true, and I USE that sting of self-assessment as something to motivate me to do better and try harder. I don’t assume she’s criticizing me or trying to make me feel guilty. I understand she’s not telling me I’m UNrighteous just because I’m behind on my laundry 70% of the time.
    I’m admitting here that I just don’t *understand* the kind of “I’m not good enough” guilt that so many others seem to feel. Believe me, it’s NOT that I’m unsympathetic. I know plenty of people who DO feel that way, and I AM sympathetic, and I try to encourage them and built them up. My normally happy, optomistic mother has dealt with some sudden and serious depression, only in the last few years, because of decisions a couple of my brothers have made. As is common, she put alot of the blame on herself and went through the ”I must not have been a very good mother” phase. And it’s taken her quite awhile to dig herself out of that hole.

  • Rachel May 12, 2008, 10:18 am

    Okay, going back to Alison’s statement that the day is about our moms, not about us . . .

    I agree that is how it should be. But is it wrong to feel bad that my dh only does things for me for Mother’s Day because I’ve told him how hurt I am when he doesn’t? He is annoyed that he “has” to do something for me when I’m not his mother (just the mother of his children!). He doesn’t make a stink about it anymore, just sighs when he mentions it’s coming up, “I guess I have to go shopping for you.” The year I was 8 months pregnant with our first child he got a scolding from every woman who knew him because he insisted he didn’t have to do anything for me because I wasn’t a mother yet. And every year he complains less.

    Now I will defend him to the death as the most loving husband, and he is wonderful at giving gifts and making my special days really special even without “gifts.” (And this year he did a great job making me feel special.) But this really hurts me because, in my imperfection, I would like some kind of recognition that I am a mother and am loved on Mother’s Day, and I’d like him to feel like I’m worth it, not just that he’s expected to do something.

    Naomlette, thank you for posting. You echoed some of my feelings.

  • nanacarol May 12, 2008, 10:43 am

    I had a most interesting time at church yesterday. I had to go to church alone. Daughter with badly sprained foot didn’t want to endure church. Mandi the 3 year old has the flu, my parents did not feel good and my dh went over to the daughters to help her out so I could go to church with my parents. When I get to church I planned on hugging those who really needed a hug. But what happened next was totally unexpected and so a downer for me. Remember I spoke of a gal in our Ward that died on Easter while giving our Relief Society Lesson(btw,it was the lesson by Sister Beck and doing such a great job of it.) Anyway her mother in law brought in Sierra’s 4 year old and he was distressed. All he could do was yell and cry that he wanted his mommy and he kept it up. Dianne struggled to make him happy but he just was so miserable. After the Sacrament I went out to sit with Dianne and could not find her anywhere. I had to leave church. I did not expect to encounter a little boy that could not understand why his mommy was not there!! My heart was so broken I came home and cried and cried. All we have written about the women who might feel bad and those complain I never even thought what it might do to a child! Oh, the lessons we learn when we least expect it!

  • davidson May 12, 2008, 11:39 am

    Lots of good discussion here. I learn so much from my friends, the most valuable lesson of which is understanding another point of view.
    I went for years and years having just superficial, light-hearted conversations with friends. We got together to play games or eat or go to events together. We carefully avoided deep stuff. Having friends here who are willing to discuss their perspectives has been so enlightening to me, has opened windows and doors for me. It’s teaching me to think before I speak, not just with you, but with people all around me, and I needed to be taught that. I hope I get better at it. I was telling my husband this morning what Ray said about Mother’s Day being “an exercise in damage control,” and he pointed out that EVERY Sunday is like that, not just Mother’s Day. For every sermon preached, there is someone in the audience who is living that principle, someone who isn’t living it and feels guilty, someone who isn’t living it and doesn’t feel guilty, and a few who want to live it but are prevented by their very real circumstances. Being a bishop, he gets hourly opportunities to exercise damage control, and one of his greatest frustrations is how often he is the unintended source of the damage instead of the help to healing. I try to tell him that his job is to share the truth with love. That will be healing to some and damaging to others, depending on how they choose to receive it, but he can’t be responsible for that. Sometimes he believes me, but he struggles with his own sadness over the choices made and the circumstances had, wishing he could do a little more to help prevent the difficulties. “These clumsy feet, still in the mire, go crushing blossoms without end;/ these hard, well-meaning hands we thrust among the heart-strings of a friend.” (A Fool’s Prayer) As a major blossom-crusher and heart-string thruster, I am grateful to have some input to help me empathize with the feelings of others.

    Yesterday in Relief Society I got to teach the lesson about Gifts of the Spirit from the Joseph Smith manual. I learned so much. I really, really liked what it said about us all being the body of Christ, but members in particular. Elbows. Fingers. Foreheads. Shins. All so different from each other, AND THAT IS GOOD, but all working together. When one part hurts, all the parts hurt. When one part rejoices, the others have cause to rejoice. Hurting another member is tantamount to hurting yourself; you can’t poke the finger in the eye without the whole body feeling pain. “That all have not every gift” forces us to turn to each other for help in that which we can’t do alone; it is a good system. As we talked about the myriad different spiritual gifts we possess and those we don’t, I bemoaned a little the fact that I am not blessed with the spiritual gifts of organization and administration (leadership). I mentioned that my house is often not a house of order but a house of chaos, and how I admired the women who seem to be blessed with that gift. I told how my daughter Sara has that gift; she can come into a room and see what needs to be done to make it orderly, and what’s more, she does it quickly and efficiently. I watch her in amazement. I’ve been working harder at being more orderly, at having the desire to be more orderly, (I’ve even been praying for it!), because it dawns on me slowly what needs to be done to have a clean house, and how I should go about it, and it takes me a long time to accomplish it. I think those who have the gift of “orderly” may not have a huge appreciation for what a gift it is and how hard others have to work at it when it doesn’t come naturally. So anyway. . .I’m mentioning that I struggle with being orderly, and a sister raises her hand and says (whether it is true or not) that my house is orderly in a different way. She said the dishes and laundry may not always be caught up, but people feel welcomed and loved in my home, and the “order” found in my home is the “order of importance.” She said I put people before things. (And I recognize that putting people before things can also mean giving family members an orderly environment to live in! We all have our strengths.)

    It’s not a matter of being taught. My mother was an excellent housekeeper. For years I felt condemned by her. She would come to my home and see the dishes in the sink and the toys strewn on the floor and give the silent equivalent of clucking her tongue and shaking her head in disbelief. (Okay, sometimes not silent, and it hurt.) She came to Relief Society with me yesterday, and when we got home, she said she wanted to raise her hand during the lesson and say that my house is rarely picture-perfect, because I’m “always doing something for someone else,” but she didn’t dare. (She’s a very quiet, shy woman.) That surprised me. My mother isn’t as ashamed of me as I thought she was, and she doesn’t often volunteer compliments! What she said may or may not be true, but it was one of my best Mother’s Day gifts. I looked around my kitchen where the florist supplies still sat from making the corsages for my mother and mother-in-law and the ladies I go visiting teaching to and the woman next door and the mother of my daughter’s boyfriend; I stayed up late Saturday night to finish them. There were dishes in my own sink because I spent all day Saturday doing dishes at the church after a funeral. I didn’t get the living room straightened up because I was sewing a nun costume for the neighbor kid. And it’s not just for other people; often the housework goes undone here because I’m doing something I consider more important with one of my kids. A matter of priority, I guess. And I suppose there are super-gifted mothers who keep orderly homes AND do things with and for their children and their neighbors. Some were given five talents, some were given two, some were given one. We go from there.

    A temple is such an orderly, beautiful place, an ideal to work toward–but the patrons who come there work to keep it orderly, or at least manage to refrain from making it disorderly. A home is not like that. Home bodies are human becomings. It’s thrilling to me that some of my children are growing in their desire to contribute to an orderly home. Some aren’t there yet, and I trust they are still growing and learning. I never wanted to live in a museum, and it shows within the four walls of my home. That, I suppose, was a choice. But we do try to keep it clean and straightened up.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful input.

  • davidson May 12, 2008, 12:07 pm

    Rachel, I honestly think it isn’t that your husband would mind honoring you on Mother’s Day. It sounds like he is growing in that respect.
    I think it is mainly that we ALL balk at being forced to do something, or feeling that we are being forced to do something, whether it is right or not. Surely honoring the mother of your children is the right thing to do, and most husbands believe that, but if they feel that it is being demanded or expected, it’s hard to give. I feel the same way about people who expect that my home should be neat and orderly.
    I feel like posting a sign outside just seconds before they visit: “If you came to see me, please come in. If you came to see my house, go home and make an appointment.” The biggest problem is probably his perception that you don’t approve of him. Approval goes a long way toward inspiring the the very respect and devotion you hope to have. Certainly you need to make him aware of your hopes, but the delivery is so important. You can inspire love and devotion in him; it may take a long time. Or you can demand it, and receive grudging compliance or angry defiance. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. My opinion is that love and respect should be deserved, not demanded. If I am not receiving the love and respect I hope to have, I need to look inward and let the change come from me. Whether it inspires change in others is up to them. If I had to do it over again, I would mention quietly–ONCE–that it bothered me that the Father and Sons campout was held on Mother’s Day weekend–and then let it go.

  • naomlette May 12, 2008, 1:37 pm

    FTM, thank you for not getting angry at my post. Thank you for clarifying your position, and how you see things. I will admit, my post was mostly written as a reaction to your post. I felt the need to defend myself. It was also late, and I was tired. I am sorry, very sorry, if I hurt your feelings at all.

    This is my own personal goal, what I want to think like when I grow up:

    I’ve also been bombarded with “Come unto me and I will give you rest”, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”, “you’re a daughter of God”, “you have divine potential”, “you are made in His image” for years and years. And hearing THAT over and over from the prophet, or from a Bishop, Stake president, mother, YW leader, Primary teacher or reading it in the scriptures is SO much more powerful to me than anything that some body-less, jealous, good-for-nothing spirit can say.
    What God tells me is true. What the prophet tells me I can trust. Satan is the father of lies–why should I even CARE what he has to say? He can jump in a lake for all I care.
    Well… no, he can’t!! HA!!

    Knowing that there is at least one woman out there who really, truly feels this way, but is still sympathetic to those who don’t, and tries to help them get to where she is herself, is a comfort for me. And knowing that person personally (in a sense), having that option to ask for help getting there, makes achieving my goal seem that much closer. Thank you for the shining example, FTM! :bigsmile:

    Mlinford, thank you for the hugs. :grouphug: Hugs to you too! You are another example for me. You have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, and you have overcome it. You know how hard it can be to do so. But you’ve done it! That’s so inspiring!

    This is why I keep coming back to Mormon Mama. The understanding, sympathy, empathy, etc. that can abound here. Meeting other women who are having the same struggles as me, or struggles that I may have someday, and learning how they are dealing with them. Seeing that other women feel as I do, but have learned how the power of the Atonement works to fix the problems. This whole community here on MM has helped me in my own quest to be a more Christ-centered woman. I’m glad to be a part of it. I’m struggling, but getting better, at understanding how, why, and that the Atonement really does include me. MM is helping me to understand better. I love you all! :rainbow:

  • davidson May 12, 2008, 3:47 pm

    Loved what you said, Naomlette, and Nana, you captured my afternoon. This was supposed to be the first afternoon I tended the little boy who just lost his mother. He is supposed to come home with my kids every day after school now, and today he didn’t show up. My son said he went home on the bus. There I was, worrying that this little boy was going home to an empty house the day after his mother was buried. I drove to his home, and his big sister answered the door. She is a very beautiful woman, but she looked absolutely shot. She said wearily, “I should have called you, Sister Davidson. I took the afternoon off because both Jordan and I needed to be home alone today.” I stammered something like, “I understand; he is always welcome whenever he would like to come,” and closed the door. But until that moment, I DIDN’T understand. I slowly realized. It must be very hard for that little boy to come to my house. In this house there is a mother with children. I had been trying to make him feel welcome when he came here by baking cookies for an afternoon snack and laughing and talking with him, and it never occurred to me until today that that might be very painful for him. It has been years since his mother could do that, and coming here might be too harsh a reminder. Also, I think their private grieving begins today.
    Well-meaning people have been gathering around them for the last two weeks. They’ve had so many visitors and food and so much public attention that they’ve barely been able to catch a breath, much less time to think and grieve privately. Their phone and doorbell have been ringing constantly. This sister was sweet and polite, but I caught a glimpse of what an imposition it must have been today to have the doorbell ring AGAIN.

    It’s so strange. Different people need different things at different times, and there is not a One Size Fits All. It almost makes you afraid to act, for fear it will be the wrong thing. Oh! I hope I get better at reading the Spirit so I will learn what type of help is REALLY needed, instead of just giving what I think I would need in that situation, or giving what I think THEY need. Maybe the best solution is just to offer some options and ask what would be best. The dad also brought me a huge vase of flowers from the funeral. That presented another difficulty for them. The flowers were beautiful at the funeral and were contributed at great cost with the intent to honor Layne. And then when the funeral was over and he was so weary, he had to figure out how to get all the flowers home in their compact cars and what to do with them once they got them home. They had dying flowers everywhere, and it wasn’t very convenient for them. I’m sure people meant well. That’s just what you do at funerals. It didn’t end up being comforting to him, just another problem to deal with. And yet I suppose they would have been rather sad if not a single person had sent flowers. They were trying hard to be grateful.


  • facethemusic May 12, 2008, 4:33 pm

    I am sorry, very sorry, if I hurt your feelings at all.

    Don’t even give it a second’s thought Naomlette– I wasn’t hurt or offended at all, promise.
    And we love YOU, too!! :flowers:

    You know, I was thinking about this alot this morning at work. Thinking about Davidson’s question– asking myself WHY I’ve never been bogged down by guilt or feelings of depression, defeat, etc. The thought intrigued me– because I certainly HAVE felt guilty. I’ve done plenty wrong to feel guilty about. But the guilt never had power over me. I was driving to work trying to analyze myself, “the guilt never weighed me down and stifled me. But why? Why do some people get weighed down by it, when for me, it just motivated me to change?” And all that came to me was “because when I DID feel guilty or really distressed about something I knew who was trying to pull me down and make me feel hopeless, and I was NOT going to let him win.”
    For me, it’s always been a sort of rebellion against Satan, if that makes any sense. Like, “I’m not going to let some stupid idiot who literally doesn’t even have a BRAIN make me feel like I can’t overcome this– like I’M the one who’s hopeless and can’t ever measure up. I mean, hello– I’M the one with the body and the chance to inherit the kingdom of God, so honestly– who here is hopeless and can’t ever measure up? Me or him?”
    The same thing with feelings of depression. I certainly HAVE had things happen in my life that COULD have caused me to fall into depression, but didn’t. Things that I know have happened to other people that caused them to spiral downward in depression, but that didn’t happen to me.
    I was asking myself – why, what’s the difference, where did that come from? Where did my
    ” Satan, you can just kiss my grits” mentality come from. I’ve had it as long as I can remember, and I was trying to remember as far back as I could where it started. I never really thought about it before.
    I don’t remember how old I was– I’m thinking maybe 7 or 8. My parents joined the church when I was six– so 7 or 8 seems right to me. I don’t remember if it was my primary teacher, or maybe it was even the Elders who taught our family–I just remember learning who Satan was– what his purpose was. To bring us down, make us feel bad, tempt us to do wrong, the idea that he whispers to us to do the wrong thing, make the wrong choice, and that we need to listen to the OTHER voice that’s telling us to choose the right,etc, etc.
    I thought of it very literally when I was a kid– the battle between the two voices, and I talked to them like they were there. Not outloud, but in my head. I distinctly remember thinking of the Holy Ghost as “the good guy” and Satan was “the bad guy” and I didn’t WANT to be on “the bad guy’s team”. I wanted to be on “the good guy’s team”. I remember being tempted to do something wrong and thinking in my head in a snotty, snapping at an annoying little little brother kind of tone, “I know it’s YOU Satan. I’m not stupid, you know. You want me to ____, but you can just forget it. I’m not listening to you. I’m on the Holy Ghost’s team and we’re going to win, not you.”
    I wish that very literal approach stayed with me longer than it did. It probably would have kept me from making some of the very stupid choices I made as I got older. But still, even when I DID make rotten choices and felt the godly sorrow that came afterward, I knew I had to be master over my guilt and sadness and use that as my motivation to change so I could get OUT of it, otherwise it would be master over me and Satan would win. I couldn’t let that happen.
    So maybe when it comes right down to it, I’m just a competitive control freak. :shocked:

  • facethemusic May 12, 2008, 4:52 pm

    Davidson, knowing how to comfort and help someone in mourning has always been difficult for me. I WANT to help them and love them in whatever way they need it. But I can’t read their minds, and you can’t always trust what they say, either. I’ve had people say they just want to be left alone, to mourn in private, only to find out later that they were offended that no one came by. I’ve also heard people say that they wished people would STOP coming by. That’s when you just have to know that your intentions were good, that you were just trying to love them.
    Bless your heart– and the heart of that poor little boy.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 12, 2008, 4:59 pm

    I feel so blessed to have such great women posting here. Sincerely, you all are amazing.

    Posted By: Rachel But is it wrong to feel bad that my dh only does things for me for Mother’s Day because I’ve told him how hurt I am when he doesn’t?

    Yes, it is. Why would he do things for you IF YOU DIDN’T CARE? Wouldn’t that be a huge waste of time, resources, and effort? I can tell you with certainty that my husband only makes a big deal for me on Mother’s Day (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.) BECAUSE I care about that stuff and would feel bad if he didn’t. Some day I’ll tell you the birthday story, but suffice it to say that his family did NOT make any big deal about birthdays and the fact that my family did was really surprising to him.

    Sincerely, what other motive could he have? Would he make a big deal about Mother’s Day because the law requires it? because he won’t go to the celestial kingdom otherwise? Or do you just expect that he should have been born with a deep desire to fuss you up on the 2nd Sunday of each month?

    He is annoyed that he “has” to do something formewhen I’m nothismother (just the mother of his children!). He doesn’t make a stink about it anymore, just sighs when he mentions it’s coming up, “I guess I have to go shopping for you.”

    This is different. This isn’t just doing something to PLEASE you (which is GOOD) BECAUSE it pleases you. This is just jerky behavior. So I give you full absolution for being bugged by his jerkiness.

    So, may I ask, is he just a general jerk of a man or has it not occurred to him that whining and complaining over doing something nice for you that is meaningful to you is jerky?

    The year I was 8 months pregnant with our first child he got a scolding from every woman who knew him because he insisted he didn’t have to do anything for me because I wasn’t a motheryet. And every year he complains less.

    Yea, jerky. Has he matured since then?

    But this really hurts me because, in my imperfection, I would like some kind of recognition that I am a mother and am loved on Mother’s Day, and I’d like him to feel like I’m worth it, not just that he’s expected to do something.

    OK, this is where I think women drive down to crazyland. Yes, it’s good for him to do something BECAUSE it is important to you. Yes, it’s jerky for him to have a tantrum about it. But why do you have tell him how he should FEEL about it? He can’t just do it nicely, he has to have some certain FEELING regarding it. Something like, “Well, my wife is SOOOOO amazing and such a WONDERFUL mother, that I can’t WAIT until Mother’s Day so I can shower her with goodness and joy and love and jewelry.”

    Honestly, I just think that’s unfair. Let him feel how he wants. So what if he doesn’t “get” why it’s important to you. Some men do, but lots of men don’t. He’s not a woman–and you probably don’t want to be married to one. So let him not quite understand you while he still tries to give you what you want. And hopefully he’ll grow up and stop the whining about it. 🙂

  • Ray May 12, 2008, 5:34 pm


    If you don’t accept his flawed offering, he might just stop offering some day.

    Which of the two would you prefer?

  • Rachel May 12, 2008, 6:57 pm

    Okay, okay. This is why I go through spurts of posting, because I’m not prepared to have what I say picked apart. (Which I realize is hypocritial, since I bring up things others post.)

    Yes, my husband is the sweetest, most loving man, and no, I can’t expect him to want to do something for me just because he wants to. He does those things for me, because I want him to. For the reccord, I never give him a hard time about Mother’s Day at all, the most I’ve ever said about it is to tell him that I it makes me feel loved when me a card or just making breakfast when he complains that he “has” to do something–I’ve never asked, whined, complained, anything. His mom, sisters, friends, my mom, etc. make a fuss when he states his opinion in front of them that because I’m not his mom, he should be off the hook with me. And, no, he doesn’t say it to be insensitive, he says it because he dislikes the “made up” holidays and is vocal about his opinions. Davidson hit it on the head that he just doesn’t like to be forced, even if only by society or the opinion of his sisters. I only brought it up here because I felt guilty that Alison could be happy with no fuss on Mother’s Day, and I’m not where she is yet. And this seemed like a safe place to vent since I would never say those things to his or my family or my friends, who all know him personally.

    Thanks, though, for responding to me because it reminded me how blessed I am to have such a sweetie who really does make it his life’s work to make me happy. He just thinks what I care about is silly sometimes, and has a hard time keeping that opinion to himself.

  • Michelle D May 12, 2008, 7:47 pm

    Rachel, I was hoping you wouldn’t feel too bombarded by the responses. We are all actually learning and progressing and improving. There are a number of things that Ray does for me because he knows they matter to me. Many of them he personally doesn’t care about, but many of these actions he cares about simply because he cares about me. It is nice to be married to a sweetie, isn’t it!

    Naomlette and mlinford, thanks for your comments. Naomlette, I agree with much of what you said. Michelle, thanks for linking your post on guilt. It was as profound for me this time as it was when I read it the first time. Tracy, I admire you for your ability to see clearly the foundation of guilt and your strength to fight the negativity so often associated with it. However, sometimes others feel guilty because they know as well as you do about Satan’s tactics… they just can’t always combat them as easily as you can. It’s a fine line, and the process is ongoing. Some days are easier than others. Thanks for your additional comments of clarification.

    As for Mother’s Day, I think it’s been years since our ward has had mothers or women actually stand. Most often in our ward, the youth prepare something – flowers, chocolate, whatever – and they excuse themselves a little early from the meeting so they are standing outside the chapel doors to hand out the small token of appreciation to all women as they exit the chapel. I like it that way. This year the YM put it together, and it was a small bag of various Hershey’s Kisses and Hugs, with a wonderful quote by Russell M. Nelson. There were some left over, so the YW got some. They liked that! Agardner, how strange and TIME CONSUMING to have the women stand by age and number of kids! To me, that strikes me as too easy to have the women comparing themselves to others… And the time to do all that? They could have had another talk! 😉 Tracy, the talk by the woman in your ward also seems to be strange and inappropriate! Although her intended purpose certainly was all right. It takes many different people to make up the “body of Christ.” And there are multiple opportunities to learn to work together!

  • Lewis_Family May 12, 2008, 7:50 pm

    Sometimes it takes a hubby a while to grasp the concept of how much things that might seem minimal to him mean alot to us. My honey didn’t do cards at first and I had to say something, and he was like why would you want a card when all it gets is thrown away later, ( when we were first married mind you ) He didn’t realize that I save EVERYTHING, and how big a scrapboooker I am. Now we have an understanding 🙂 ( Though I hate buying cards, sine I know how to make them, so now sometimes he steals one from my stash or makes one himself to give me )

  • Alison Moore Smith May 12, 2008, 11:36 pm

    Rachel, that was just a stinking cute response. I love it.

    Sorry. I pick everything apart. Including what I say. Sometimes that’s a really good approach and sometimes it bugs the heck out of people. Sorry, I married a champion high school and college debater. It’s a survival technique. 🙂

  • agardner May 13, 2008, 7:58 am

    Michelle D, follow up to the having women stand by “category”: I told dh that I thought it was weird to ask women to do that. He agreed, and said the he and the other counselor in the bishopric argued against it but the bishop really wanted to do it – I guess to give special recognition to moms that are outside of the norm. I thought especially the “youngest mom” was inappropriate. It got down to the last girl standing, and they asked her how old she was, and she said “just turned 19”. She isn’t married. You could tell that she was so embarrassed to be standing in Sacrament Meeting telling everyone that she is a teenage mom. She really looked like she wanted to crawl under the bench. I thought the whole thing was extremely strange, and the more I think about it the more strange I think it is. I sure hope the bishop gets enough feedback about it that he chooses not to do this next year, or to do it to the dads next month.

    I really like the idea of having the youth stand outside the chapel and handing out things as you leave. That is so much less distracting. I just don’t like the public nature of having all the moms stand, because there are so many unique situations out there. In recent years, I’ve usually heard them ask for all women over 18 to stand, but this year our ward went back to the “mothers” category. I noticed that the youth were handing out roses to all women, though, even those who did not stand up.

    I love the comment about having time for another talk. Actually, what it would have gained for me is enough time to start the song of the month in Primary!! Because of all this standing and categorizing, we were 10 minutes late getting to our next meeting, which meant that I got zero, zilch, nada, time for music in Primary. Arghh…I still haven’t started teaching the new song this month because last week sharing time took the whole time except for a minute that I had to review the MD song we would be singing in Sacrament meeting. So we now have the third week of the month coming up and hopefully will finally get a chance to start learning our song. Frustrating, but that’s a whole new topic.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 13, 2008, 9:37 am

    In our ward, they put potted flowers on a table in the foyer after church for anyone who wanted one. End of story. I thought it was brilliant.

  • nanacarol May 14, 2008, 8:56 pm

    Last night I was waiting in the foyer for a PPI with the Bishop and boy did I get an earful!! The brand new Second Counselor in the Bishopric was complaining about all the rude comments made by the sisters concerning Mother’s Day. They were a brand new Bishopric and it was their first Sunday!!!! I wanted to laugh and had a hard time keeping a straight face after reading all the comments here. I just said very politely that yes I understood how people complain and left it at that.

  • facethemusic May 14, 2008, 9:09 pm

    I’m tellin’ you– I think what I said before would be a good eye opener. The Bishop should just get up this coming Sunday and make an announcement from the pulpit about rude, petty, obnoxious women never being satisfied with a gift given in love, and tell them that they’ve ruined it for all the sisters in the future because from now on, they can just get nothing. :shocked:
    –See how they like THAT. :fingersear:
    Ooooooo– better yet. NEXT year, when they hand out the gift, they could say it’s for all the sisters EXCEPT Sister _____, Sister _____, Sister ________ and Sister _______ since they don’t appreciate anything anyway and will just find something to criticize about it. HA!

  • Ray May 14, 2008, 9:28 pm

    ftm, I would pay to see that!

  • jennycherie May 15, 2008, 6:50 am

    This just makes me think how I need to quite procrastinating and write some notes of appreciation to our ward leaders! They put up with so much griping from so many different sources!!!!

  • mlinford May 12, 2008, 12:04 am

    I read your great post and wondered why you have such a healthy sense of self, while other women really struggle to manage guilt in a healthy way. Discussion on this? Why do you suppose? Upbringing? Choices? Physical state?

    I was going to comment on this before I saw naomlette’s comment, but now I am even more motivated. The reason some feel guilty and some don’t? Because life is a process for all of us. Some of us have that gift of peace with ourselves and with God, and some of us have to struggle to get there. The former probably have struggles that the latter don’t. The key for all of us is to learn to turn to the Lord with our struggles, our triggers, whatever brings pain to our hearts. And for most of us, *really* learning to turn our whole souls over to Christ so He can heal whatever is lacking and hurting and broken in our lives, hearts, characters, etc. will be a lifetime pursuit.

    (I also do think there are those who may have emotional or mental weakness that make them all the more susceptible to the adversary’s lies and traps. And there are those who may not fully be freed from that in this life, so it’s important to not be too absolutist about any of this…but still, the solution is in Christ and the Atonement.)

    naomlette, you are not alone. We all know you aren’t. I shouldn’t speak for Tracy, but sometimes when I hear someone express this frustration, I think it’s often because 1) it’s hard to see others hurt when they don’t have to and 2) it can be frustrating when people then take that hurt and hurl accusations at the Church or blame other people for their pain instead of understanding that the solution does not lie in someone else’s choices but in their own, by turning to Christ. All blaming does is hurt and paralyze individuals who hurt AND it can hurt the Church. It also adds to the adversary’s power because then those people who do blame the Church can sort of put themselves in a position where, rather than figuring out how to have Christ help them not feel guilty, they wait for the Church to ‘change’…but that’s not the way things work. We are here to act and not be acted upon. We can learn to catch ourselves in these destructive patterns (which, as you point out, the adversary can use to trap us) and become free from them. The first key to being able to overcome these feelings is to recognize, as you have done, that it’s not the Church’s fault, or anyone else’s fault. Once we realize that there is a solution to our pain, and it’s NOT in anyone else’s change but in our own ability to learn to turn to Christ more, then we have begun the process of healing and getting past the guilt.

    How do I know this? Because after nearly four decades of life, I’m finally starting to figure it out. I’m getting better at it. For example, I started to feel a reactive guilt when Sister Beck talked about an orderly house, and then I realized that 1) I’m a work in progress, and I’ve made some progress 2) she wasn’t talking about a clean house simply as an end to itself, but serving a purpose to help bring the Spirit and to help train children and be by their side to teach them and 3) she was giving us ideals to strive toward, not sticks to beat ourselves with and 4) the Spirit had already given me some personalized counsel about this topic, and so I knew God was aware of where I am and He had prepared me for this and He also is aware of where I am and gave me line upon line before Sister Beck even talked about it. I can go to Him to help me figure out the specifics of what to do with the general counsel I receive. We all can! (And getting mad at Sister Beck certainly won’t help that process of getting personal revelation!) 🙂

    I wrote about this a while back and maybe it’s worth linking to…not because I want to toot my horn, but simply because these lessons that I have been learning have meant so much to me, which is why I wrote about them in the first place. Maybe something there can be helpful to someone else who struggles with guilt.


    And Tracy, if I were you, I would be frustrated, too, because that talk sounds a bit like a train wreck. Obviously, she is in a mode of struggling with guilt and hasn’t quite figured out what to do with that pain yet. But the irony is that it’s often people like that who need help getting there!

  • Amanda Spencer August 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

    1-800-u-grow-up is also 1-800-throw-up. Just fyi. Lmbo

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