Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spotlight on Women #1: Are we not all mothers?

In life it seems that we all have the opportunity to be or play the part of mother at some point at least briefly.  Many women spend many years if not their whole life being and doing mother.  That may sound odd, but at one time or another we all do indeed have the chance to do motherly things and be motherly people to those needing mothering.  Whether we have our own children or not and even whether or not we are a woman or a man; we still play that leadership/mentorship role in the development of children whether it be a few hours, days or a lifetime. 
Some readers will recognize that the title of this post comes from a talk by Sheri Dew
Sheri Dew mentioned an experience that she had when she had taken several of her nieces on a trip to a big city.  She knew her sisters had trusted her with their safety but wasn't overly concerned about that until they were walking to the closest church for a meeting and found themselves among a bunch of drunken revelers who they had to walk through to get to the church.  She goes on to say "Feeling no small amount of anxiety, I turned toward the girls, gathered them around me, and shouted over the din, 'Stay right with me.  Don't take your eyes off me.'  With that I began to maneuver my way through the crush of humanity, constantly looking behind me to make sure the girls were right there.  The only thing on my mind was my nieces' safety.  there were moments when I truly feared we would not make it to the church in one piece.  Drunken men with boa constrictors draped around their necks and adolescents brandishing weapons sometimes blocked our way.  It was intimidating to say the least."

I've had some occasions over the years when I was in charge of a number of children and constantly was looking to see where they are to be sure they were safe and to make myself available immediately if they needed help, training or teaching or direction or even comfort.  That is what mother's often do--provide whatever is needed at the proper time.  And some mothers become aware of that time before their kids even know it and that guidance is given and consequently not even noticed since the child didn't feel the crisis before being nudged in the right direction.

But the truth is that the term mother isn't just about maternity and having children.  Being a mother is a skill set that tends to be there with women (and I believe can be developed to some degree in men).  That mothering ability can in emerge whenever needed whether it be with a person's own children, another child in need or even providing motherly comfort or advice to an adult.   

I remember a story that my mother told me about herself when she was a little girl of around five or so.  Another child was playing near her at a park and fell and got hurt and started crying.  That child was larger than my Mom at the time but she rushed over to help the child and "mothered" it despite her young age and small size. 

Being a mother is part of a woman and not limited to only women who have had children.  Don't we often see that a wife ends up mothering her husband?  Maybe we could say that mothering is a quality and not a condition.  The interesting thing with that quality is that the world is combining against that skill trying to diminish, minimize, limit and destroy it.  It is easy to see why when you consider that the more success he has killing the desire and ability to mother then he can negatively impact the lives of huge numbers of children who will not have receive the vital caring and mentoring provided by a mother.  That lack alone has and will continue to contribute to the difficulties that ours and other societies are having.  As Sheri Dew says, "what a mother teaches a child doesn't get erased." and "few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of both the mother that bore us and the mothers who bear with us".

Sometimes the question of comparing motherhood to priesthood arises.  Sheri Dew says this about that: "Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with the privilege of priesthood ordination.  it was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave woman an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate.  As President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., declared, motherhood is 'as divinely called, as eternally important in its place as the Priesthood itself.'"

So ladies, when you are tempted (and I mean that literally) to downplay your role, whether it is just in your mind, word or in action please remember that your motherly skills, are indispensable to both genders and to God's plan for us all.  Please know that despite much of the world buying into the tempters plan to diminish the role of mothers, that there are many men and women alike that realize its eternal value to us individually and to the race as a whole.  It doesn't matter it the woman are young or old, large or small, strong or weak,brilliant or slow, we need all their contributions, every one!  Remember this preeminent gift that you have and please use it freely, we all need it. 

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