Dear Elder M. Russell Ballard,
I loved, loved, LOVED your General Conference address yesterday. I can’t even begin to express how uplifted and validated it made me feel as a wife, a woman and a mother. Thank you for recognizing that, while I really love what I do, I do sometimes feel unappreciated, frustrated and stuck in a monotonous routine.
Thank you for sharing your experiences as a “Mr. Mom” on Sundays, during Sacrament Meeting. It is heartening to know that I’m not alone with the rogue Cheerios and crayons, although I bet one of your kids never stood up on the bench and pelted the head of a prominent Stake representative with an Ernie figurine from three pews away. (What can I say? Anthony has a strong arm and incredibly accurate aim. And if Brother B hadn’t been snoozing, perhaps he might have ducked?) Anyway…
Thank you for reminding me that I am important, and that I need to take time for myself, every day. I know that it makes me feel better when I do that, but sometimes I think I am being selfish. It’s always nice to get permission from someone with such authority. It makes me feel encouraged and justified when it comes time to refill my well, so to speak.
I loved how you spoke directly to children and husbands, encouraging them to help out more with family chores. It was very well-said, and it even pulled my husband’s attention away from his i-pod. (Not an easy task, believe me.) My kids are already very good at telling me thank you, showing appreciation, giving me hugs and being kind to one another, but the line about “putting away your toys” made the oldest two sit up and take notice. (Again, can’t say “thank you” enough.) And it was nice for my husband to hear that just because I’m a SAHM, it doesn’t let him off the hook where responsibility is concerned. Thank you for suggesting that he should give me a day off, both for my sanity and to better help him understand what I do during the day.
With my calling in Relief Society, I was also grateful to hear you speak about the time we are expected to be away from our families. THANK YOU for reminding everyone that family time should not be eaten up by meetings and activities, whether they are church-related or not. I feel much more comfortable and MUCH less stressed when we have unstructured family time where we can enjoy each other at a leisurely pace.
I woke up this morning with a lighter heart, more determination, and a strong sense of value and worth. I have been more patient with my kids, more loving to my husband and more productive than I have been in months.
Thank you for reminding me that I matter, that it’s okay to feel burned-out sometimes, and that I am doing the most important, most family-friendly, most eternal job in the world. (And for reminding me that I am darn good at it, too!)
Thank you for making me feel less lonely and less inadequate. Your loving sentiments were a balm to my soul.
This post is brought to you by the letter J (joy) and by the number 6 (family members).
(To read this talk, click here. Scroll down to Sunday Afternoon session, and find Elder M. Russell Ballard, then click on the MP3 link. You won’t be sorry. It’s very applicable to all women and all mothers, no matter their religion.)