Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cheese, Wine, and Motherhood

Some time ago I was researching an entirely different topic when I happened across an article in the  March 1976 Ensign entitled, "When You Feel Inadequate as a Mother", by Claudia T. Goates. I was intrigued by the suggestion made by the title (you mean, feeling inadequate as a mother is not a feeling unique to mothers today?) so I read on to discover what the advice was 37 years ago. Surprise, surprise, it's completely relevant today!

Things I liked:

  • Factors that may cause feelings of inadequacy: 
    1. Comparing our weaknesses to others' strengths
    2. Tension between motherhood/women's lib
    3. "...[W]e all begin motherhood inexperienced and unprepared. ...I didn’t realize that there are maturing stages of parenthood and that I couldn’t become a mature mother without passing through the intermediary stages of childhood and adolescence. I wish I had known that the mothers I admired also had frustrations and discouragements."
  • Maturing stages of Parenthood: 
    • Infancy- Naive confidence of knowing everything.
    • Childhood- Realization that book learnin' isn't going to cut it and need advice from others' experiences.
    • Adolescence- Mildness, length, and and timing of this stage vary for all. Feelings of tiredness, impatience, incompetence, etc.
    • Maturity- "This ultimate stage of development is marked by a real testimony that perfection is a process that takes a lifetime, by truly internalizing this feeling and feeling comfortable with it, by accepting a problem and calmly working on it rather than fighting it and feeling frustrated and inadequate." This stage was reached by 1.) Time- "learning from living" and seeing the fruits of your labor ripen, and 2.) Fasting, Prayer, and Scripture study. 
  • "[I] can testify that the true joy of motherhood awaits those who do not retreat from their commitment. The Lord gives no commandment unless he provides a way for us to accomplish his desires."  
  • "My life as a mother changed because my attitude changed. ...I no longer focused on my failures, but rather on my successes."

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