M. Russell Ballard says, "I surely know that 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. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part- or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. 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."
1. 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. (He quotes a woman saying:) I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”
- 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. Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together.
- Even as you try to cut out the extra commitments, sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children.
- 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.”
- 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. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does. You may do a lot of lifting, twisting, and bending!
- Come home from work and take an active role with your family. Don’t put work, friends, or sports ahead of listening to, playing with, and teaching your children.
- 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.
4. What can the Church do?
- ... be especially watchful and considerate of the time and resource demands on young mothers and their families.
http://lds.org/churchmagazines/EN_2008_05_00___02205_000_000.pdf Click on "Sunday Afternoon Session." The talk is "Daughters of God" by M. Russell Ballard