How Do We Show Mothers Their Value?

[ 7 ] Comments

by RI Editors

Potted flowers and chocolate are popular gifts given to women on Mother’s Day by priesthood brothers with hopeful and pleading smiles. They are pleading with us to believe them, they really do like us. They really do appreciate us. Each one of us really are important. But there isn’t money in the ward budget for a five star restaurant and a dozen roses for each member of the Relief Society. So there they are, stuck between a nickel and womens’ wrath – women with diabetes and allergies.

Thankfully, I’ve never been asked to speak in sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day and I hope I never am. It seems like the task most likely to result in failure. People are different, so it makes sense that not every talk will be meaningful to each person, which we’re usually  very understanding of on an average Sunday. But this is Mother’s Day, the big one, in which we hope to show our appreciation and care for the people in our life that have literally given us life. How can a talk or a token gift possibly be enough?

It can’t, this one day isn’t enough. Let’s expand our view of how people and the church express their appreciation for motherhood.

Throughout the year does your family or ward have a tradition that celebrates motherhood, promotes motherhood, or makes a difference in the lives of women currently mothering?

7 Responses to How Do We Show Mothers Their Value?

  1. Laura says:

    One ward I lived in gave all the mothers tomato plants for Mother’s day and it was kind of a Relief Society joke to see how long anyone could keep the thing alive –it was almost a competition. Most people hated it.

    My favorite mother’s day gift one ward gave us was a CD of instrumental LDS hymns. I don’t know how much they spent, but maybe they got a discount for buying in bulk?

    (Actually I just looked it up and at the risk of sounding like an advertisement, the CD was by Geslison and Groberg and on their site they have special bulk orders for Mother’s day where you can get their wonderful CD’s for as low as 1.99 each! I just had to spread the word so fewer people will have to deal with the “diabetes and allergies” conundrum.)

    As far as promoting motherhood all year round, I would say that when my ward provides babysitting (whether it’s done by the men or YM/YW) so that mothers can attend Relief Society meetings, join in the choir, and attend Saturday sessions of Stake conference, etc., it helps all of us feel a little less tied down, allows us some rejuvenation, and makes us feel valued.

    In my family, once a year the Men take off work and watch the kids and give the women in the family a Girl’s Weekend. They have seen the benefits even one little weekend can give us mothers, and it strengthens and uplifts the mother’s-to-be. We don’t do anything really extravagant, just a few meals out, a few fun excursions, a craft or two, sometimes even a quick service project, and a lot of talking talking talking.
    My mother and mother-in-law both wish that the men in their generation had realized how important such a simple thing could be for the women in their lives.

  2. Ray DeGraw says:

    Allow and empower them to be themselves.

  3. Liz C says:

    A few years ago, our last bishop presented to the ward women the option of taking the budget money that would have been spent on flowers, candy, etc, and donating it to the humanitarian fund, where it would go to mothers in need all over the world. He then spoke about the re-purposing of funds and Christ’s love for mothers and children on Mother’s Day, and it was very, very good. We have a new bishop this year, and I don’t know if they’ll be doing it still, but it’s a tradition I liked a lot.

    I also love helping with service projects that aid local families at risk and in transition. Getting to help plant vegetable gardens and flowers at a transitional women’s shelter, collecting items for crisis centers, and other very tangible things that support women doing their best to mother, feels great–far better than flowers on my table.

    Since Mother’s Day is a very American thing, I’d rather have that Sunday be less about the Holiday Industrial Complex version of Mother’s Day, and more about Christ and His teachings about discipleship, and how we might be better disciples in developing a mother-heart and a father-heart for *all* of God’s children, regardless of reproductive or parenting status.

    • Tudie Rose says:

      I love the humanitarian fund option! It sure beats the DEAD strawberry plants we received a few years ago. I think I’ll throw that suggestion in the direction of our bishop for next year. 🙂

  4. SilverRain says:

    I like it when they just have the kids make something. Then the kids can give it to their parents, no messy hand-out period or pressure to conform (everyone wants chocolate but you? How could you say no to donating the money to a humanitarian fund, might as well just put it in Fast Offerings….)

    If you insist on using the funds, just upgrade the thing the kids are making.

  5. templegoer says:

    So that will be taking more than one Sunday a year then Ray!
    I’m agreeing with you, and I love that this post articulates the difficulties that the wards face.

    I actually think the responsibility is mine within my family to express my needs appropriately, and it’s been an interesting process to learn how to do so. What I try to work with is that my needs are no more, nor less important than any other family member’s needs. I think that by being generous to myself I have learnt to be more generous to others.

    For some these needs for creative space are fulfilled by a craft, for others it may be by learning french. I think it’s important that women should not feel constrained to develop only those aspects of themselves that directly serve others any more than a man might, all of us are served by each of us becoming a more developed self.

  6. Ray DeGraw says:

    I love the humanitarian donation idea. There are lots of shelters and other organizations that help women with children that would be very grateful for a Mother’s Day donation.

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