"I am more than 'just a mom,'" my mother told me once.
I'll never forget that phrase. In fact, it still bothers me.
When did we, as women of the Church, begin using the term "just a mom" to describe motherhood?
And this is not just applicable to stay-at-home moms or women who have biological children, in fact, as Sheri Dew reminds us in "Are We Not All Mothers?" the blessings of motherhood are applicable to all women.
"Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that," she says. "It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us."
So what gives? When did we strip such a sacred, beautiful, eternal doctrine into "just a mom?"
As Sheri Dew said in her talk, "When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role."
Today, the magnitude of motherhood is continually demeaned and misconstrued. Somehow, the divine parts of motherhood—making deep sacrifices for the progress of others—is turned on its head. In today's world, the divine parts of motherhood don't hold any value, so they mean nothing. Hence, a mother, "the highest, holiest service. . . assumed by mankind," as Sister Dew quotes from the 1942 First Presidency message, is known to the world as "just a mom."
I've seen it in myself. I've degraded mothers to "just moms" when I pass a "soccer mom" on the freeway. I don't pause to consider the sacrifices that mother is making to give her children a life enriched with activities; all I see is a stereotype. I've also seen it in the way some question whether or not mothers should have careers outside the home, not pausing to consider the great sacrifice this mother takes with dual roles of provider and nurturer to make ends meet.
Mothers, you are more than "just moms." Whether or not you have children of your own, you are far more than "just a mom" to those you care for. You are, as Elder James E. Faust said, "instruments in the hands of God." Don't be persuaded to think any differently.
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For the first time, this talk is available as an affordable gift booklet with envelope and makes the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. In this inspiring booklet, Sheri Dew lovingly explains that it is a woman’s calling to help lead the rising generation through the streets of mortality and that women are the Lord’s secret weapon whether they have children or not.