disclaimer: This is not a stay-at-home vs. work outside of the home post. Can we all just stop fighting about that? I choose to work outside of the home during the school year. I am a classroom teacher. I also stayed at home for 13 years just being mama. (there is not 'just' in just being mama) Both have taught me more that you can imagine. I am blessed to have done both. And I am blessed to be doing both in my age/stage of life now. Being a classroom teacher doesn't mean that I can't put my home and my family first. It does mean that I can get creative about being able to do both. And one more thing - it's okay if you don't agree with what I'm about to say. I'm not saying that I'm right and you're wrong. It is just what I believe. On to the post --
I believe that a mothers role is to nurture and nourish her family
- through the words she speaks
- through the simple meals she prepares
- through the cozy, homey environment she creates
I believe that her family and her home should come before all other pursuits so that her home and her family is cherished -- now I work outside of the home -- I'm a fourth grade teacher -- so how do I put my family and my home first when I teach all day long?
- it's not really about my teaching vs. my family and my precious home -- that fight needs to end
- when I say all other pursuits, it's about putting my home and my family above everything else in my heart and honoring them when I'm home
- it's about a little decorating here and a little there as I can so that this is a pretty place to be
- it's about keeping our home orderly so that my family can function well
- it's about creating an atmosphere that my family wants to come home to -- oh, it's good to be home feeling
I believe that meals should be together with your family. Eating together is the glue that helps us all stay strong to do the 'work' we need to do outside of our house. And it is that warmy welcome home that only 'around the table' can bring. It's conversation and healthy food. It's about how when the four of us are around the dinner table the world 'out there' and our work 'out there' stops and we are all cherished and cared for.
I believe that teaching your children that hard work and working toward something is honorable. I believe that teaching them that there is value in a goal and working to pursue it all on their own awards great satisfaction.
(this taken on her way in to school to be inducted into the Chinese National Honor Society)
(walking into an audition)
(judges looking at her science fair project)
I believe that making the time to have fun with your family creates bonds that can not be broken. It's not about going far - having fun can be as close as a game and your kitchen table, a near as a neighborhood apple orchard or as far as a world cruise. Having fun is about connecting and laughing. It's about taking the time to look in their eyes to remind them you love them and you're in it together.
I believe that for as long as they are not grown, no matter their age, as long as they have still not moved on to college or beyond, children should be tucked in. Yes, at 16 children should have a good night hug and a kiss. A prayer offered in gratitude and thanksgiving at the end of the day together. A prayer for needs. A read aloud from a chapter book can also be a powerful tool to tell your children that stopping everything on 'my list' to just be with you is important to me. It also allows you to travel to other places through books and through your imagination. Reading aloud and a tuck in and prayer gives peace and comfort to children of all ages. It nurtures their souls.
I believe that saying grace -- a prayer of thanksgiving offered up to God at the start of meal time. It reminds your heart and also teaches the heart of your children that God comes first, that He's always there, and we have so much to be thankful for. At the start of each dinner meal we say
For the food before us, the family beside us, and the love that surrounds us;
For these thy gifts we are about to receive, let us be truly grateful.
See, day after day we are teaching and reminding them that the 'gifts are about to receive' are love surrounding us, food before us and the family beside us. Those are GIFTS!
I believe that children should be taught to wait on God's timing - for the one God has for them in marriage. I believe that teaching purity is more than a long-ago, old fashioned 'rule'. It is important that children (and teens) (and teens growing into adults) know they are precious and going from boyfriend to boyfriend or girlfriend to girlfriend just takes a tole on their soul and a little part from the one that God has for them. God has great blessings for those who wait - for those who wait upon the Lord. And being in the sacrament of marriage is the only time living together can be blessed abundantly.
I believe that mothers should teach their daughters how to dress modestly - and that can still be fun and cute. I believe that mamas can gently lead their daughters to a 'style' that honors their body as much as it fills their heart. Girls need to be taught that their smile is what the world needs to see, not too much of their body. I believe that this starts at an early age and teaching daughters to love a style or fashion from the time they are little naturally leads them into their preteen, and teen years loving a pretty clothes and the battle is not on for modest vs. teen clothes because the battle never started - they just love pretty clothes.
I believe that your child's birthday when they are still growing up should be important - simple celebrating is fine -- in fact I think that that the more simple the birthday, the more relaxed you can be as a mama and the more you can spend your energy on honoring your child. Let them have balloons, cake, a special card, a tradition that is all their own in your family. Let it be the most special day of the year for them.
I believe in keeping them little for as long as possible -- for forever. All the dolls, all the toys, all the playroom, all the music, all the little -- they have their whole lives to be big!
I never sat down and decided "this is what I'm going to base my life on -- this is what I'm going to teach my daughters". It's just what came naturally to me and what God has led me to over the years. I've been a mama for almost 15 years and these are virtues and values that I've come to realize are true for me as a parent. I am most humbly walking these things out with God each and every day. I don't always have it right but God knows my heart He is helping me every step of the way.