How My Four-Year-Old Daughter Changed My Perspective

Journal entry, January 22nd

“It’s no secret in our family that I’ve been considering a career in medicine for the last two years. Earlier today I was a little upset to learn that a friend is now considering medical school. I was upset, not because she is planning to go, but because I will not be going” due to a recent choice to make Motherhood my career over pursuing Medicine–a career that would take me away from the home. This decision, though I knew it to be best for the family, was difficult. My negative attitude toward my friend’s new choice showed me that I wasn’t yet convinced in my own decision.

The journal entry continues:

“Later today, however, I had a conversation with [my daughter] that opened my eyes. We were in the truck waiting in the bank drive-thru for the teller to complete the deposit. [My daughter] said, ‘Momma, when I’m a big mommy, I want to drive a van.’

Appalled at the notion of driving a mini-van, I gasped, ‘Why?!’

‘Because I want to drive around with all my babies. I want to have lots of babies.’ [She] continued to share with me her vision of her future with four children, two girls and two boys, and her plans to be a good mommy.

What happened to me? To society? As little girls we played with and cared for our baby dolls as if they were our real children. We mimicked the things our mother did and dreamed about the time when we too could be a mother.

And now? We tell our daughters they can be anything they want to be, but do we ever encourage them to pursue that most sacred role of mother? Motherhood is frowned upon and belittled by society. ‘Anyone can do it’ is the general feeling amongst women today, and yet, no one is doing it. We commonly choose to leave our children’s care in the hands of another. As women, we think the only way we can feel fulfilled with a sense of purpose is to do something, ANYTHING, but be a mother.

As I tried to explain my choice to be a full-time mother over becoming a doctor to my friend earlier in the day, prior to my conversation with my daughter, she said, ‘Wow! That sounds hard.’ Yes, it is hard (see: Motherhood:The Truth). ”

My four-year-old daughter and her two brothers provide me with ample opportunities everyday to teach me patience, long-suffering and fortitude.

They also teach me how to be a better nurturer. As Julie B. Beck, 15th President of The Relief Society, said in a speech given in October 2007 about mothers and their roles as nurturers:

“To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers… create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore… women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.”

My daughter’s willingness and excitement to be a mother caused me to reflect about the person I want to be, which is the theme of the Sherlock’s Home blog for 2013 (see: 2012: A Year of Self Discovery).

Conclusion of journal entry:

“What other job exists that allows me to work with God, following the example of Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost as my constant companion? Where else can I directly impact the eternal life of another person(s) and learn important skills & values in the process?

This day I learned that I should encourage my daughter to do and be anything, including and especially, to be a mother. Thank you [daughter] for teaching me.”


2 thoughts on “How My Four-Year-Old Daughter Changed My Perspective

  1. Kristen, I just gave a talk in church about the importance of teaching in the home and how it’s important not to let it happen outside of the home. What an awesome process for me as I was preparing for the talk. It has changed my whole perspective on staying home and trying to teach these children the gospel and how to live. In my talk I read a quote from Pres. Monson that said, “May each of us treasure this truth: One cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.” It’s nice to know that you were kinda feeling the same way I was and that we have both come to the same great, if not hard, conclusion….that motherhood is what the Lord wants us to do right now!

    • Brianne, Thank you for your sharing your perspective on the importance of mothers teaching their children in the home. Your comment “It’s nice to know that you were kinda feeling the same way I was and that we have both come to the same great, if not hard, conclusion” inspires me to share a few comments made on Facebook about this post:

      Katie wrote, “Kristen, thank you so much for posting this. I really needed to hear, well, read this. I have been upset about not having a nursing job and being at home all the time. Your words and discovery have really helped me! Thank you!”

      And Aneeta had this to say,”Thank you Kristen! Like Katie, I also have been upset about not having a job and being home. But this has made me feel better about the fact that I am able to care for my daughter full-time. In reality, she is the best boss in the world! And the pay is great – hugs, kisses, smiles, and giggles!”

      I also received private emails and messages from men who are thankful that their wives care for their children full-time, and from a woman who was pleasantly surprised that her three grown daughters had chosen then same lifestyle of full-time Motherhood.
      No matter the background or religious affiliation, many women feel the importance in the career of Motherhood for them and for their families.

      Thank you again for sharing!

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