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Wordfull Wednesday: Myths about women

March 23, 2011

It’s Wordfull Wednesday again at Chocolate on My Cranium.  The assignment this week:

Think about this quote from Sister Julie B. Beck: “Because we are living in the last days of this earth, there are signs of a great struggle everywhere. Myths and misperceptions regarding the strength, purpose, and position of Latter-day Saint women abound. Prevailing myths imply that we are of lower importance than men, that we are generally sweet but uninformed, and that no matter what we do, we will never be enough to be accepted by our Heavenly Father…

Sadly, as a result of life’s difficulties and the world’s popular heresies, many sisters believe the myths more than the truth.”

MYTHS ABOUT WOMEN
Be Superwoman – Do it ALL Women Cannot be Scriptorians
Be SOMEONE – Work in a Career
To be Beautiful you must be – skinny, pretty, fashionable
Being a Homemaker is drudgery Women are not equal to men
Children are Oppressive – Limit how many you have

What myths have you overcome in your life? What misperceptions have you had that you realize now are wrong? And most importantly, what are you doing about changing those myths and misperceptions in your life and the lives of those around you?

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I think I can honestly say that I have not had to overcome any of these myths or ways of thinking in my own life, save for those moments when I really do want to be Supermom!  They are really just moments though.  I know I can’t do it all.  I guess the myth that I most want to dispel, and which seems to be so prevalent these days, is that mothering is not important, that women need to be Someone.  We need a career to define ourselves.  If we’re “just” stay-at-home moms, then we’re wasting our minds, our talents, and our degrees.  But I believe, as Elder Ballard does, that:

There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

I count myself extremely blessed in that I was never taught any of the above myths and misperceptions growing up.  My parents are a wonderful example of a couple working in harmony to bring children into this world and raise them in righteousness, and not only taught me, but showed me daily, the importance of the family in God’s eternal plan.  My mother especially is a woman with a mother heart like Sis. Beck describes (emphasis mine):

She knows that “children are an heritage of the Lord” and “happy is the [woman] that hath [a] quiver full of them” (Ps. 127:3, 5). She knows that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man.

Julie B. Beck, “A “Mother Heart”, Ensign, May 2004, 75–77

Mainly because of her example and teaching, I was raised to have a mother heart too.  I wanted to be a mother more than anything else.  Because of talents I have been given, I chose to major in music performance in college, and I was asked an untold number of times, “Well, what are you going to do with that after graduation?  What kind of a job will you get with a music degree?”  Frankly, there aren’t a lot of job prospects for music majors, but I went to college for an education, not for job prospects, if you can believe that.  I knew that my most important job would be that of Mother, and that’s what I wanted to be.

Now that I have been blessed to have four children and to be able to stay home with them, I have no doubt that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. Not many promote this message these days.

There are some women (it has become very many in fact) who have to work to provide for the needs of their families. To you I say, do the very best you can. I hope that if you are employed full-time you are doing it to ensure that basic needs are met and not simply to indulge a taste for an elaborate home, fancy cars, and other luxuries.The greatest job that any mother will ever do will be in nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. None other can adequately take her place.

Gordon B. Hinckley, “Women of the Church“, Ensign, Nov. 1996, 67 (emphasis mine)

I hope that I am helping to dispel some of the myths and misperceptions about the importance of motherhood and childbearing just by the way I live.  I hope that others who see me interacting with my children will see that motherhood can be a joy.  That children are not a burden.  That my talents aren’t being wasted at home.  That time spent teaching our children is not wasted.  That to be a mother is to be Someone.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 11:11 pm

    Well said! It is those simple examples of mothers everywhere that will help to chip away at those myths.

  2. March 23, 2011 11:26 pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL post! Thank you so much for inspiring me today! 🙂

  3. Tamaran permalink
    March 24, 2011 12:17 pm

    Someday. Someday Jon will graduate from school and be able to make enough that I can stay home. Someday I won’t have to work. Someday I can be “just” a stay at home mom. My favorite myth is that being a stay at home mom is easy. A co-worker of mine recently quit to “just be a stay at home mom”. Another co-worker asked her what she does with all her free time now. They have no idea. [She, of course, responded that she sits around eating bon-bons while her children run around naked and hungry.]

  4. March 24, 2011 8:35 pm

    I’ve worked in the corporate world… before we had kids. And I definitely prefer to be at home being “just” a stay at home mom. And it is by far a harder job!!! But I know it’s where I need to be and even on the hard days I love it! {those are the days that I get the best sticky kisses 🙂 }

    thank you for your post!

  5. March 24, 2011 8:35 pm

    {Oh… I have 4 boys too 🙂 Don’t you just love it!! }

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