Monday, September 14, 2009

Post-Grad

It all started two months ago when a college professor checked into the hotel. He was curious to find out my major and very eager to hear of my plans after I graduated. I quickly came up with an "acceptable" answer, "I would be interested in marketing local events in whatever town I end up in." The moment finally came I have been dreading my whole college existence. I have been scared of people's responses when they discover I have spent the last four years of my life on my plan B. When they discover I got an education to "just" be a mother. So I lie and pretend to have career plans.
Then, two weeks ago, I had another incident. I was putting chairs away after a combined Priesthood/Relief Society meeting in the singles ward while talking to a newly engaged member of the ward. She was so cute and gitty and somehow it came up that she just wanted to be married so she could be a mom. To my surprise, one of the boys who was also putting up chairs said, "Man, I wish I could find a girl like that." Confused, I said, "What do you mean? The girls you date don't want to be moms?" To which he said, "They do, they just want to adopt because they don't want to mess up their bodies." I stared at him in awe, unaware of this new trend among single girls.
Today, I was in a management class. We were discussing women in the workplace and how some women with children find it hard to focus on their careers because ultimately their family will come first. My teacher was fishing for a heated debate and the class sure went wild. One boy was the first to speak up saying he believes it is good for the woman to be home with the children when that option is possible. Then a girl speaks up and says, "Wouldn't it be better off for the kids to spend time with someone who got an education specifically in child development and education than to spend time with their mother who is not trained in those areas?" I almost puked.

Thank goodness for the lesson in Relief Society last Sunday about the divine roles of women. And thank goodness for our home teachers who dropped by after church with a similar message. I am so bugged with the contorted view of what women should be.
To the girl in my management class: I hope one day she sees the importance of a mother in the home. I was watching a show today about juvenile delinquents. They pointed out an interesting trend: most of those troubled teens had one or both parents absent in their lives. President Uchtdorf in his article, "The Influence of Righteous Women" says it best:

"Because their potential for good is so great and their gifts so diverse, women may find themselves in roles that vary with their circumstances in life. Some women, in fact, must fill many roles simultaneously. For this reason, Latter-day Saint women are encouraged to acquire an education and training that will qualify them both for homemaking and raising a righteous family and for earning a living outside the home if the occasion requires. We are living in a great season for all women in the Church. Sisters, you are an essential part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for eternal happiness; you are endowed with a divine birthright. You are the real builders of nations wherever you live, because strong homes of love and peace will bring security to any nation. I hope you understand that, and I hope the men of the Church understand it too."
To the girls with perfect bodies: This shocks me so much. Especially seeing the struggles many people I know have had to try and get pregnant. I suppose I was once a girl who was afraid of the epidural and the pain of having a baby, claiming I would adopt. But to seriously consider not having children because it would ruin your figure; that makes me cringe.
To the professor at the hotel: I want to grow up to be a mother. There is nothing better I could be. If it so happens that I need to find a career due to financial issues, I will cross that bridge when it comes. If it fits in my schedule where I feel I can make a little money on the side while still giving all necessary attention to my true calling, that would be great. I have been blessed to marry someone who supports my beliefs. I am proud to say Plan A is to be a mother.
Sorry to rant, I just feel like motherhood has been under attack in my life lately. Someone had to stick up for it. (And although it may sound like it, for the record: not pregnant.)

15 comments:

The Skinners said...

i love everything about this post! thank you for such good reminders.

when i was in college it was really hard to pick a major and stick to it. later i realized it was because my heart wasn't in it - i only wanted to be a mom.

what a wonderful quote from elder uchtdorf. gotta love the church's perspective.

Glen said...

Nice Quote Sarah. Funny, when I was dating I wanted a woman that wanted to be a mom... and guess what,

Sometimes, just sometimes in life you get what you asked for. And I could not be happier!!!!

jlthomas said...

I loved your post Sarah. It was a perfect uplifter as my children are being crazy right now and now getting ready for school. thanks!

The Cox Crew said...

That picture of me is funny. Next time you see me you should take a better one. Anyway, during my "exit interviews" from school they asked what I was going to do after graduation. I told them as plain as anything I was going to be a mom. And to my surprise everyone said "That's great".

Rebecca said...

Awww--beautiful post. I loved the moms scattered throughout it and was surprised when I was one of them!

My favorite line, "I suppose I was once a girl who was afraid of the epidural and the pain of having a baby, claiming I would adopt." I love the "I suppose" thrown in at the front so nonchalantly. Up until a few months ago, I thought adoption was still the plan, especially when I told you all the gruesome details about giving birth!

sarah said...

Thanks for the back-up, everybody,

Laura, I DO need more pictures of everyone on the Excell side. I always have to scrounge from old wedding pictures or steal from your blogs. I've been bringing my camera to more Excell get-togethers. I'll be sure to take some good pictures of you and your family next time we're together.

sarah said...

Becky...Let's leave my mothering fears out of this. I'm a changed woman.

Kim said...

Wow, Sarah, that was powerful and very moving. It was beautiful and I'm so happy you feel this way and most especially that you have a husband who supports you in wanting to follow God's plan. Your words were so touching that I made a copy to put in my files to pull out next time I have to give a talk or a lesson on motherhood.

Just the other day I was talking with my Dad who told me he'd recently seen an old high school teacher of mine who remembered me well as "the student who got cheated out of the Sterling Scholar award in business". She, along with other teachers from my high school, felt like I had been the most qualified to receive the state award, but I hadn't received the recognition because of how I'd responded to an interview question. When asked about my goals for the future, they felt my aspirations were not lofty enough in regards to the business world--because, you see, all I ever wanted to do was to be a wife and a mother.

And how blessed I have been to be able to do just that!

Ben, Tana, B.A., and Dirk said...

Wonderful post, I loved it. While I was reading it I was burped on, pooped on and spit up on and thought there really is no other thing I want to use my college education on. I love being a mom! Thanks for the uplift.

michelle said...

Sarah-
I echo your thoughts 100% girl! I am sickened and disgusted at the way satan has made this most elect calling “…just a mother.” I LOVE being a mom and wouldn’t trade it for any other prestigious career in the world! I am for positive sure that I have learned far more about myself and the whole reason we’re here on earth by being a mother, than I ever could in an office somewhere. I’m also sure that I’ve reached higher highs and lower lows, been challenged far more, and continue to go through a refiner’s fire as I raise my beautiful children. They continuously mold me into a better person. My children are all fire important to me and I’d “bust down” any temptation, career, or time-consuming fad that would take me away from them--if I may join your soap box…:)… I always knew I liked you. I think I may be listening to you in general conference someday. Your words should be read to the Young Women over the pulpit! You rock! Go motherhood!!!
~Aunt Michelle

Brittany said...

That is so true. Aaron and I talk about this all the time and the conversation always ends with "There is no way in heck that someone other than you and I raise our children!" Thanks for posting that. I think a lot of people need to see this and realize that it's not a bad thing to WANT to be a mother. (P.S. who cares if you mess up your figure, your husbands will find you prettier every day regardless)

Cade and Leslie said...

I'm glad you are not feeling lame about saying your Plan a is to be a mom now. and I agree with everything in this. me too man. i want to be a momma. thats my career goal.


ps was "stupid girl" one of the girls who wants to adopt in order to not screw up her figure?

Heather Mills said...

Sarah,
This is Heather (Isaksen) Mills. Your mother passed this message to my mom who passed it to me and I am so glad that they did! I was very moved by your words. Seeings as our mothers talk about everyone and everything, you may know that I had a baby last summer. My little girl did not come to our family very easily and there were definitely sacrifices to be made by my husband, Jerrel and I. When you said that there is a new "adoption" trend to keep a good figure my heart sank. My body is not, and will never be the same as it was pre-pregnancy. I had a very rough delivery which led to a surgery three months later and physical therapy for another six months due to complications of the delivery. (This is VERY rare...I do not mean to scare you or anyone else!) Now that I am "healed" my body has lost most of its young, fit shape it once had. There are times when I long for that pre-preggo body but I am quickly reminded that I wouldn't have my little Reagan if I had only cared about my own looks. I would do anything for her and I would take a little more flab around the tummy for her or my future children any day! It it such a small price to pay for such an absolutely amazing life. No other career or lifestyle could ever be as rewarding as motherhood.
I am so happy to see that you "get it." You will make a great mother someday because your children will know how much you value motherhood. Thank you for sharing!

jlthomas said...

Wow, Sarah--I think you hit the comment jackpot with that one. I think this will make 14 comments!

There is not parking right by my building at work--so I park a couple of blocks away and walk in. On the way there is a daycare I go past. I think the saddest thing is seeing little, tiny babies being dropped off there (I think it is sad for the older kids too, but especially the babies). I'm glad Laurie is happy being a Mommy so she can care for our chitlins and we don't have to leave it up to someone else.

And thanks for the disclaimer at the end because I was thinking it was an announcement.

Luke and Bridget said...

Sarah,

Wow... this fired up my little self. I sure do love and appreciate your passion. Being a mom is something I dream of and pray for everyday. As for the single girls wanting to adopt to save their bodies. Send them my way... I would gladly give them a reality check on the ins and outs of adoption.

It is rough. Sometimes it is really rough...

Like here: http://therhouse.blogspot.com

Or here:
http://isaacsara.blogspot.com/2008/12/pinch-me.html

The weak and selfish don't last very long, and the strong are always on their knees.

Hurray for motherhood! I congrat you on being armed with education and am excited for the lucky little ones who get to enter your home someday.(not that that is anytime soon, hehe) You're going to be amazing!!

Gosh I loved reading this! :)

-Bridget

Also, Jeff's response was so sweet. You guys are powerhouses!