Claiming our Motherhood

The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home. Elder L. Tom Perry

This week, my sister Mary had a baby.

At the hospital, after giving birth, Mary was asked if she would send her baby to the nursery. When she declined, the nurses pressed her: “You’ll be able to rest! Every other mother on the floor has sent their baby to the nursery and we can bring her back when she’s ready to nurse.” Later, my brother-in-law counted over a dozen babies through the nursery window with two nurses.

As a mother of twins, I am confident that a woman can carry two newborns if she is careful- but carrying six? No. Those babies were not being held, even if they began to cry.

This is not to disparage nurses or the mothers desperate for a rest after the exhausting work of bringing God’s children into mortality.

Instead, I ask you to consider: why are we so quick to delegate our stewardship as mothers? Moments after the birth of our children, we ask the professionals to please give us a break from them.

When our babies are a few weeks or months old, we often send them to daycare. When they are three years old (sometimes slightly older or younger), we start sending them to preschool and then full-time school when they are five or six.

Help from others is a blessing and necessity (whether family members, professionals, or others), but I think many of us are so used to delegating our children that we forge