Daughter of a King
I must admit, thinking about this blog post has been hard for me. What could I write that really conveys my thoughts, that ennobles and encourages but also expresses my less-encouraging (but also real) feelings about Mother’s Day? I have a slightly bitter view about Mother’s Day; if you’re reading this blog you may too, or may know someone who may. The day seems to capture my most painful emotions into the very same day where other women (mothers) are cheered, cherished and recognized. My pain seems hidden most of the year and bubbles to the surface this day. When wished a happy Mother’s Day it can bring with it a stab of pain that I’ll never hear those words from my own child, or listen to my own child sing about mothers with the other Primary children up on the stage.
Childlessness occurs different ways. Myself, I am a woman who has given birth, but was only able to hold my son after he passed away. I end up asking myself, and others ask me regularly: “Am I still a mother?” Well, yes and no I suppose. Yes, I have a son that I hope to see again in the hereafter. I’ve gone through morning sickness and have stretch-marks as battle scars. No, I haven’t had the sleepless nights with a newborn or wiped away countless childhood tears over the years. So why does being a mother have to shape my worth on this day? Does it have to shape my worth other days of the year too? Why do we in the LDS culture place so much weight on motherhood and even tell women that if they aren’t mothers on earth that they will someday be a mother – as if being a woman alone is not of worth without having children to cement that worth?
I cherish the words of Elder Russell M. Nelson when he said “I honor women who are not mothers. They know that motherhood is but one of the realms of womankind. The virtue and intelligence of women are uniquely applicable to other realms as well…” I so appreciate his kind and gentle reminder of my worth as a woman regardless of my enduring question of whether I am a mother or not. That who I am as a woman is of value whether or not I am a mother. That I can be recognized as having skills, abilities, and worth as I am, not just looking ahead to some unknown future when I may or may not have children. That I don’t need to only see my value through the motherhood framework.
My deepest hope is that I’m alone in having these questions run though my head year after year – but I know I’m not. I so deeply wish that no one else had to feel those emotions and questions of being “not quite good enough”. Every woman is of worth and every man is of worth! Regardless of ability/opportunity/desire to have children. We are daughters and sons of the creator of the universe and THAT gives us value. Returning back to live with Him gives us purpose.
The quote I mentioned earlier from Elder Russell M. Nelson is from a LDS General Conference talk entitled Woman – Of Infinite Worth. Isn’t even the title promising? Woman of worth – women, not just those women that are mothers but that we, daughters of our loving Heavenly Father, are of infinite worth as we are, mothers (in this life) or not.
Desi blogs from experiences in both her personal infertility journey and her professional training as a Marriage and Family Therapist to provide insights into strengthening marriage and easing the grieving process.