Latter-day Saint Life

How do I navigate decisions about motherhood and professional work? Sister Cordon’s helpful advice

Mother working on laptop while holding toddler daughter
Former Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon—a mother herself who has had her own seasons of both staying at home and working for a paycheck—shared her thoughts about different seasons of life and how to determine what is right for you.
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There has been plenty of discussion online lately about “working mothers,” and women who choose to work out of the home versus women who choose to stay at home.

On this week’s episode of the All In podcast, Southern Virginia University President and former Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon—a mother herself who has had her own seasons of staying at home and working for a paycheck—shared her thoughts about those seasons of life and how to determine what is right for you.

At the top of the episode, Sister Cordon pointed out some poignant advice in Proverbs 3:5–6.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

For podcast host Morgan Pearson and me, the keyword here is the very last word of these verses: paths. There is not one path. And the path of each individual on earth—each mother—is exactly that: individual. Personal. Unique. It can totally vary from every other woman they ever encounter, and every variation can still be what is exactly right for each woman and her family.

I absolutely love that, and I love the idea of trusting the Lord with all your heart, especially when it comes to making decisions about which the world has so many opinions. Lean into what the Lord wants for you. Like Sister Cordon says, “Don’t lean into the counsel of everyone else.” Seek out your own personal revelation—what does the Lord want for you to be doing, right now?—and let that become the North Star in your decision-making as much as you can.

The duo also touched on the various “seasons” of life we can experience as a mother. No matter what the Lord wants you to be doing right now, whatever season you’re in—choosing to stay at home, choosing to work, needing to be at home to take care of family needs, needing to work outside the home to put food on the table—there should be absolutely no shame or guilt in any of it.

I sincerely believe that when you lean on the Lord to make decisions for your family, you can take comfort in the fact that the Lord also knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what you need to grow, what you need to feel fulfilled, and what the other members of your family might need, too.

But what about those inevitable moments when you second-guess your decision?

For me, Sister Cordon had two answers. First, she recommends you ask yourself, “How do I know when the Lord's speaking?” If you truly understand how you receive personal revelation, He can guide you to make decisions that will always be right for your family. Second, once you’ve answered that question, knowing you have “leaned on the Lord” in your decision-making can help boost your confidence in your choice. And you can also pray to feel added peace and confidence in that decision—I know I’ve done that.

Sister Cordon also reminded listeners (and me) about Elder David A. Bednar’s tongue-in-cheek but also quite profound answer to the question, “How do we balance all our responsibilities?” His answer: You don’t. There is no such thing as balance. But Sister Cordon says if you are present wherever you are—in whatever season of life you’re in—and you are relying on the Lord, that’s the right thing to be doing.

▶ You may also like: ‘There’s no such thing as balance’: Elder Bednar shares an object lesson you may need right now

Every mom I have ever met is trying her absolute hardest to be a good mom. And the desire to “make a difference”—essentially, to influence others for good—is ever-present, too. But the form that takes looks so different for every mother and every family, and it can even differ as she tries to parent each unique child. And that’s a wonderful thing, too.

As Sister Cordon says, “I don't know if I’ve ever had more influence than when I have an opportunity to mother—whether that be at home or at work or in a calling where you can really sit knee to knee and have an experience together.”

Find the full All In episode with Sister Cordon at, in the player below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

▶You may also like it: This woman’s realization about love after her marriage ended will bless any family

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