By Tracy M
Oh, low about these parts, there’s the legend or Her. She is whispered of in breath-ey tones from podiums in stake conferences, She is touted from the pulpit in many a testimony, She is written of in articles in Church News, She is the mother of every general authority, and She makes unruly boys into apostles. Mention of Her makes normal women hang their heads in shame and humility, wondering what they can do to capture Her elusive secrets- Shhhhh… Women never speak aloud of Her- Who is She, we wonder? Where do I meet Her? Is She my visiting teacher?
She is The Mother Who Never Yells… And I’m here to tell you, ladies, like Sasquach and the guy in the backseat with an ax, SHE IS AN URBAN LEGEND!
There are lots of things in this life that are hard as rocks. That is part of why we are here, right? To make it through the hard parts, hopefully with our faith in tact? Motherhood is on of those hard things. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of lovely things about being a mother, and I wouldn’t trade my pile of rocks for anyone else’s passel of troubles, but still, it’s hard.
So when we hear, over and over, about this Mythical Woman Who Never Yells, it only serves to magnify our own shortcomings. We make it harder on each other than it is already. Seldom do we knock a sister on purpose, but we all have been in situations where we can feel the looks, or someone makes a comment about our parenting-egad, is there anything worse?? Mothering is riddled with guilt- we are all keenly aware of the stewardship we hold over our little ones. Many of us have willingly given up careers, put our ambition on hold, stepped back from things outside the home, and willingly made sacrifices in finances and personal desires to be at home with our kids. We have done so out of love for our families, and don’t expect any commendation for our choices.
But cut a sister some slack! I will be the first one to stand up and say, I Yell At My Kids sometimes. And you know what? They are fine, happy, well adjusted, bright kids. There may be ways I am a better mom than SHE. Maybe She never yells, but I’m creative, and I let the kids paint on our windows, and pour a bag of flour on the kitchen floor and play in it- maybe that’s good too. Maybe you are a bibliophile or drama student, and while you might occasionally yell, you expose your kids to fine art and literature and theatre- and maybe that’s good too. Maybe you are a passionate person who expresses themselves in colorful ways, and maybe your kids are ok because of that passion. Maybe that’s good, too.
So, maybe there are lots of good ways to mother, and maybe not yelling is just one of them, and is not really the yardstick of good mothering we have been led to believe. Maybe I’m a Good Mother, too.