This I Believe

Deborah - Austin, Texas
Entered on October 29, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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My job will never be finished. I don’t get paid for it and, at times, the things I do, largely go unnoticed. I am a mother. I believe motherhood is one of the most important jobs in the world. Mothers are the glue that keeps a family together, the molder of the conscience, and the heartbeat of the family.

From the moment my first child was born, I have been utterly in awe of the task placed before me. Motherhood is a tough job, with little training provided and is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, I ‘m convinced that no other job could bring about such unimaginable feelings of love, joy, and, sometimes, pain.

I love my children, how could I not? They have taught me so much about life. They have taught me to appreciate the splendor of the small things in life. I have learned to see the beauty in the bouquet that my daughter puts on the dinner table; knowing all the while it is nothing more than a collection of weeds. I have learned patience, by reading the same story over and over again, knowing the ending, yet acting like I don’t. I have learned to love the smell of a sweaty child – it just means they are playing hard and, most likely, will sleep well that night. My children have even improved my sense of humor. How else can you explain my ability to laugh at the very same jokes that I used to tell as a child – especially when the joke is really bad!

I have learned so much from them; but, they have learned from me as well. I’m not talking about learning how to clean their room (I’m pretty sure they won’t know how to do that until they have children of their own); I’m talking about learning from my example. If I am patient with them, maybe they will learn to be patient with others. If I treat them with respect, maybe they will treat others with respect. They may even learn that they, too, are worthy of respect. And, if I treat myself with respect, maybe they will learn to respect themselves – that’s where respect should start anyway. There are so many ways our every day actions, which seem so small at the time, have huge impacts. As such, I want to be very conscious of my actions. I want to be a living example for my children – to practice what I preach. This is my gift to my children.

What an incredible privilege it is to parent a child – to be one of the most influential people in another person’s life. Children are like handfuls of putty; putty I get to slowly and meticulously help shape – and pray they turn into something really amazing. They aren’t always going to choose the path I wish for them. That’s okay. I want them to follow their own passions, not mine. And, yes, sometimes their path will lead to heartbreak. When their heart aches, mine will too. And, just for a moment, they will seem like that baby I held in my arms so many years before. I’ll console them, then let them go on their way again.

I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. I am so grateful that I have experienced motherhood. I think it has given me a different perspective on life and I realize the immense importance of my role. Harold B. Lee once said, “The most important…work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.” I have no doubt, this is the truth. Raising children that become confident, loving, compassionate, intelligent adults is a monumental task. Being their mother is an enormous honor.

“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”

C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General (1916- )

Quote Source:

“The most important…work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.”

Harold B. Lee, leader of the Mormon Church (1899-1973)

Quote Source: