I was a young girl in the 70s, a teenager in the 80s, and a young mother in the 90s. I have seen a lot of changes when it comes to how women view motherhood and are viewed in the world. I started taking a stand early on. As we were asked what kind of career we wanted in Junior High and High School my reply was always the same. I wanted to be a wife and mother. The reply was, no really what do you want to have as a career? Even then my choice was not a popular one. I have raised a son and two daughters to adulthood and I currently have a 6-year-old girl at home.
“ The Family A Proclamation to the World” made the Church’s position on motherhood quite clear and that council has not changed. President Hinckley stated that he hoped mothers who were working were working for financial necessities like food and clothing and not luxuries like nice cars and such. This position is not a popular one in the world or in many instances for members of the Church. As a mother and as a member of the young women’s presidency I have emphasized this teaching. Yes, it is good for young women to get an education, but do not go deeply into debt doing it. If you are heavily in debt and your husband is heavily in debt once your education is completed then you will have no choice but to work to repay the debt instead of focusing on being a wife and mother.
For me, my goal was to be a wife and mother. I did take a year of credits and then found a job where I could work my way up in the company and then trained on the job to pass a test that allowed me to do the legal paperwork for real estate transactions. I have continued to search out knowledge through the library, documentaries, online courses and current events. Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean I have to be ignorant.
Recently, I had the privilege of being an escort for my 18-year-old daughter as she took her own endowments and then was sealed to her sweetheart the next day. Some of you may cringe because she is so young and had no college education. She had the foresight to take cosmetology while in high school and graduated with a cosmetology license. She used it for over six months in a children’s salon before being offered a position as a flower designer after showing a florist the work that she did on her own wedding. Once the children start coming, she plans on focusing on motherhood. I have an older daughter who works a job above minimum wage plus commission, and when she and her husband decide to start a family she is planning on being a mother and not working.
As I have spent time on social media, I often comment on posts and articles about women’s issues. I am very vocal about women not being able to do it all. Being a wife and mother are full-time jobs as it is and then working full time adds another one. In fact, there have been some who have calculated the worth of all the jobs a stay at home mother does and find it to be well over $100,000.00 When you have more than one job either one or both suffer.
I recognize that there are many women who have no choice but to work. There are many single mothers out there due to death or divorce. There are women whose husbands are out of work due to illness, disability or lack of work. I was even in that position early on in my marriage when my husband got out of the military and it took almost a year to find a decent position. I did go to work to support the family during that time. There are many more women who are going to work to be able to afford vacations, nice cars, and retirement funds. There are even more going to work just to be able to pay back the massive student loan debt they acquired to get their degrees.
I continue to stand for a traditional family structure with the father being the main provider of the material needs. I have experienced the backlash for the views that I hold. I have been told that I am betraying my sex or that my views are sexist. This doesn’t matter to me. I made the choice and the sacrifice to stay home and raise my children. I believe that my family is better off for it. I was able to drop everything and run to the school when my daughter broke her arm in PE. I was able to attend all the awards ceremonies and daytime events. I have the ability to educate my 6-year-old at home. This choice was made due to her curiosity and creativity. Age-wise she should be in Kindergarten, but she is doing 2nd-grade level work. I was at home to make sure that homework was done and there to bring friends home to after school. It may not be a popular choice to stand but for me, it’s the right one.
Author Tricia Stubbs is a mother to four children, as well a foster child and two stepsons. She has had many callings in the church including the Young Women 2nd councilor and is currently a gospel principles teacher. She grew up in the Federal Way Washington Stake but has lived in Virginia for the last 17 years. She teaches music theory and drama for her home-school co-op. Her blog can be found at www.uniqueworldmom.blogspot.