- There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.
- There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family.
- What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.
He speaks about the short time period that we have to raise our children in our homes. He says this time is very limited and needs to be a priority to both fathers and mothers.
- It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes. This eternally important work falls to mothers and fathers as equal partners. I am grateful that today many fathers are more involved in the lives of their children. But I believe that the instincts and the intense nurturing involvement of mothers with their children will always be a major key to their well-being.
He speaks about the views that the church has on motherhood. He says that the church wishes to support mothers in their essential role.
- As a Church, we have enormous respect and gratitude to you mothers of young children. We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve.
Elder Ballard asks four questions and then provides answers on things that can be done to support the role of motherhood. Each includes bullet points that make it easier for us to know exactly what we can do to show our support.
What can you do, as a young mother, to reduce the pressure and enjoy your family more?
- Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.
- Don’t overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows.
- Even as you try to cut out the extra commitments, sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests.
- Pray, study, and teach the gospel. Pray deeply about your children and about your role as a mother. Parents can offer a unique and wonderful kind of prayer because they are praying to the Eternal Parent of us all. There is great power in a prayer that essentially says, “We are stewardparents over Thy children, Father; please help us to raise them as Thou wouldst want them raised.”
What more can a husband do to support his wife, the mother of their children?
- Show extra appreciation and give more validation for what your wife does every day. Notice things and say thank you—often. Schedule some evenings together, just the two of you.
- Have a regular time to talk with your wife about each child’s needs and what you can do to help.
- Give your wife a “day away” now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities.
- Come home from work and take an active role with your family.
What can children, even young children, do?
- You can pick up your toys when you are finished playing with them, and when you get a little older, you can make your bed, help with the dishes, and do other chores—without being asked.
- You can say thank you more often when you finish a nice meal, when a story is read to you at bedtime, or when clean clothes are put in your drawers.
- Most of all, you can put your arms around your mother often and tell her you love her.
What can the Church do?
- I suggest that the bishopric and the ward council members be especially watchful and considerate of the time and resource demands on young mothers and their families. Know them and be wise in what you ask them to do at this time in their lives.
I have had opportunities to play a motherly role when my wife has gone out of town. I have joked that I am the world's greatest father but I am the worlds worst mother. My wife does amazing things in raising our family and teaching our children the things that they need to know to be responsible adults. I find that in the day to day activities, she seems to make everything work for each child, each event, and seems to keep me informed of where I need to be to make the events that are important to attend. I am grateful to her and appreciate the essential role she plays in our family. I recognize from this talk that I can do better. I can be more helpful, more supportive, and more loving. I can also help my chilren learn that they can do the same.