Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Attack on Mothers

After all the drama the past week about Ann Romney not having worked a day in her life, and sharing my own opinion on Facebook of the matter, I was going to let this go. Let's move on.  But then, I saw this. http://nation.foxnews.com/roseanne-barr/2012/04/16/roseanne-barr-rips-ann-romney  and I KNEW I could not let this go.  Just when I think it couldn't get any worse after hearing the remarks from the very so called "funny" Bill Maher, Roseann Barr decided to join the ranks (although I think she has been there with them already) of the others who put down stay at home moms.

I do not consider this a war on women. I have never bought into any of that. I do not consider this a war on working mothers, and actually, I don't even really think it's a war on stay at home moms either.  I look at this as pure politics. I see one side of the isle a tad bit worried that the current president just may not get a second term, so lets just poke at whatever we can to distract from the real issues of this country.  (Maybe Roseann Barr was needing some attention, been a while since I've heard from her)  But then again, I have a feeling there are a few on that side who probably don't think that SOME stay at home moms can figure that kind of stuff out.

So to make things clear right up front:

1)  I am a stay at home mom, who works in the home, part time, helping my husband run his company, by doing the books.  I feel blessed to be in a circumstance that allows me to be able to stay home, although I do have responsibilities other than raising my children that I need to deal with during the day.

2)  Then there's the stay at home mom raising their children, as busy as can be, although there are many who would like to think they eat bon bons and watch soaps all day long. (Although that would be hard, since the soaps are disappearing from network television now).

3)  And then there's the wonderful mom, who for whatever reason, be it needing a second income, is divorced or widowed, or has chosen to do both roles as mom and have a career.

For whatever reason the third mom I mentioned is working, they have a lot on their shoulders to bear.  We ALL do.  I have friends in all 3 categories.  They deserve to be respected, encouraged and not put down for their choices. Some of the choices we've had to make have not been in our control. And it is then, when these hard working women need our support more than ever. 

It is because of the horrible remarks Roseann Barr made about Ann Romney, that prompted me to write.  Words can be hurtful, if we let them.  We choose how we react to such statements. And so far, I think Ann Romney has acted with poise, control and humility.  If anything, when people such as Roseann Barr, or Bill Maher make such comments, I think it can pull women together, instead of dividing them.  

But just in case there is anyone wondering what a day in the life of a stay at home mom consists of, let me share with you a day I had recently. Now this day will seem minimal to some, I am sure. I have friends with more children than me, more responsibilities.  But for me, it was an exhausting day. 

*  Woke up 6 a.m.... read some scriptures.
*  Did two loads of laundry
*  Took boy #1 to get pictures taken for basketball
*  Then took that same boy to his game.  
*  During half time of boy #1, left to go to boy #2 basketball game.
*  Left game to get gas, run to store to pick up a few needed items
*  Quickly came home, got boy #2 ready to leave to go fishing with cousin.
*  Took boy #2 to get a quick bite to eat, dropped him off to go fishing
*  Came home to mow both front and back yard 
*  Quickly took shower, took daughter #1 and cousin to a baptism
*  Came home, only to find out I needed to turn right around and pick up boy #2  from fishing.
*  Got boy #2, went to KFC to grab dinner.
*  Came home, quickly ate and spent the next 3 hours putting my house back together after the painters and electrician came.
*  Worked on primary music for Sunday
*  Collapsed and went to bed

And then I was told, after I said I was exhausted.... "Why? All you did was drive all day?"  I had to let that comment go, as irritating as it was to hear.
What gets me annoyed at all this in the media, are the words that are spouted, sometimes I think without thinking about them first, but the more recent examples, were very much thought out before they were said. They were meant to hurt.  But I think it can have the opposite result if we let it. I know for me, it has made me think more of my friends who with all their hearts, would love to stay at home with their children if they could, but are not able to at this time.  I admire them.  I pray for them, that they will have the strength and endurance needed to fulfill the roles they are now living.  I think also of my many friends who have fulfilled both roles of having a career and raised their children. I have no doubt they love their children.

We are all in this together, as one friend on Facebook put so eloquently. We all love our children and are trying our best to raise them.  As I look back on my exhausting day, I think of the moms who have to do it alone, or the moms who also work outside the home.  Instead of putting others down because of their life's circumstance, we ought to be joining hands together and uplifting one another.  In the end, I think the disgraceful comments uttered, can make us all stronger.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter.... It's Not Just About Cadbury Eggs and Peeps

To me, Easter is just as religious a holiday, as Christmas.  After all, they are both central to the life, more specifically the birth and then death & resurrection of our Savior.  Yet, as I look around at the local grocery store, there is nothing evident to that fact.  It's obvious as the years go on, these holidays, and Christmas in particular, has become more worldly, secular to be more accurate.

As Easter has crept upon me, I have had little desire this year to gather the Easter baskets and fill them with goodies, trinkets and what not.  I cannot recall in the scriptures, where gifts were given at the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior.  Don't get me wrong, in years past I have fallen in the trap of purchasing for my children toys and candy on this sacred holiday.  But for what purpose? That is what I find asking myself now, more than any years past.  I did away with toys a while ago, but the candy still finds its way in the hole to be filled from the baskets.

What got me thinking about this was the announcement of the so called Easter bunny that would be available for pictures at a local mall.  I will admit, I have gathered my small children in tow, screaming and throwing fits because the bunny was just, well, not "bunny like", to have their picture taken.  And why?  I regret now that I put my children through such misery, that they most likely will never remember (except the screaming one of course) and that had little or no meaning to why we were celebrating Easter.

Easter should be one of, if not, the most sacred holiday we celebrate.  In our church, the focus isn't solely on the crucifying of our Lord, as important of an event that was. It was part of the plan, it was required.  However, what sometimes gets over looked, or not touched upon as much as it should, is the resurrection of Jesus.  That was also part of the plan.  Had there been no resurrection, what hope would we have?  

Having lost a child, it brings comfort to me, to know that we all will be resurrected, and live again. That because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, his death, and rising again on the third day; that THAT is what makes it possible for us to live again with Heavenly Father, and our loved ones that we are missing right now.

When our baby was on the verge of death, hospital officials asked us if we wanted to have her baptized.  We responded no.  In fact John asked them... "When was the last time you saw a baby sin?"  No one answered.  Some thought our daughter was going to go to hell if we didn't baptize her.  I had absolutely no worries in my heart and mind about the matter. I knew, that because our Savior had died on the cross, and had risen again on the third day, that because of that event, and scripture that I know to be true, that our baby was taken in the arms of the Savior and allowed to live among him, Heavenly Father, and millions of others who have passed through the veil to continue on in life "on the other side".  And I also know that one day, the Savior will return, and all those who have died, will reunite their spirit with their bodies, and we will all live again. That is the gift that is given to each and every one of us.  There is not enough chocolate, or marshmallow chicks that can compensate for the knowledge I have of the plan of Salvation, and that if our Savior did not come down to do what he did there WOULD be an end to our life here on earth.  

I understand the meaning of "spring" and the renewal of life, and why the bunny is part of this holiday, but let us not forget that our renewal of life is drawn from our Savior, and only through him can our renewal happen.  

I'm no perfect parent, that is for sure. I give in like everyone else, to the goodies and treats that come with the season.  But I know that if I don't teach my children what the true meaning of such holidays are about, then I am doing them a disservice and continuing the trend of forgetfulness when it comes to Easter and Christmas.  

I love this time of year when the days start to get warmer, the sun shines more, the flowers begin to bloom, and within me there is a desire to try to be better.  And I am grateful for my Savior who died for me. ME. And YOU.  Every single one of us.  And more importantly, that he rose again.  That is the greatest story of all.