Sunday, May 04, 2008

Elder Ballard on Women

One of my favorite General Conference talks this year was offered by Elder Ballard. He says, in part:

". . . sisters, find some time for yourself to cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them. Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, and if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others, even to your children."


And a bit later on, in speaking to the husbands:

". . . give your wife a “day away” now and then. Just take over the household and give your wife a break from her daily responsibilities. Taking over for a while will greatly enhance your appreciation of what your wife does."


Because the woman's place is ideally in the home, with the children, there is sometimes the mistaken idea that this is the only place a woman belongs, and that there's something wrong with her if she wants to step outside and explore her own interests. I've been thinking about this a lot over the last several months as I've spoken with women who say, "I don't have any hobbies. I have children." Motherhood is the greatest of all jobs in the world, but sisters, I'm here to tell you from personal experience, if you take the time to continue to educate yourself, or to find outside interests that edify you as a person, not just as Billy's mother or Ed's wife, you will find yourself a much happier woman.

Unfortunately, there are men who believe that their wife's sole purpose is to stay in the home. It is her purpose to create a loving atmosphere for the family, true. But she has a brain, and talents, and abilities, and she needs fuel to keep those alive. By the same token, how would you feel if you stayed home all the time and never left? Just as you get fed up with the kids chasing each other around the house and need to go outside and mow the lawn to clear your head, she's a bit frustrated with how those same kids have been chasing each other around for eight hours a day, five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. You've got nothin' on her for parental frustration.

I love my husband and children dearly. I feel truly blessed that I get to be their mother, his wife, and this family's matriarch. I also know that I fulfill those roles much better when I have enough Tristi time. I come back refreshed and ready to keep up the good fight. And I have to say -- I don't feel a bit guilty about it.

14 comments:

Annette Lyon said...

Amen, amen, amen! I know I'm a better mom and wife when I take a little time for myself.

LOVE the new look, by the way. Much easier on the eyes--and very cool pic at the top.

Karlene said...

Your kids only chase each other around 8 hours a day?? Mine did it at least twice that!

Luisa Perkins said...

Amen, sister!

Anne Bradshaw said...

This message is so true, Tristi. I wish I'd taken more time out for myself when rearing our children. Still, I'm making up for it now :-)

Marcia Mickelson said...

Tristi-That is one of my favorite quotes. He just says it so perfectly. I feel like when I've had some time for myself, I'm much more capable of dealing with everything. Thanks for posting that.

Leigh said...

Amen Tristi!

My darling hubby watched the girls while I went to Womens Conference last week! When I got home he had flowers waiting to welcome me home.
To think I almost didn't go, but my sister-in-law emailed from Montana and said she was going and didn't have anyone to go with. What a great two days! Sheri Dew and Mary Ellen Edmunds gave excellents talks as always, and we even heard from our prophet. I was greatly uplifted and renewed.
Thank you hubby!000XXX!

Rachelle said...

I loved this talk so much! It was just what I needed to hear so I wouldn't feel guilty about trying to take a little Rachelle time now and then. :) I love being a mother and I want to be a good example to my girls too.

Karen said...

There's so much wisdom in this. And to women who think that their husbands don't believe in "me time' for moms, well the moms have to believe in it first! The guys will come around.

Lee Ann Setzer said...

Right on, sister!

I also think it's good for dad to tell/show the kids that we make a little sacrifice for mom's creativity because this is important--to mom, as a person, separate from her role as your mother. Not even because it makes her a better mother--just because she needs to grow as a daughter of God.

Not that that's sunk IN at our house, but we're working on it...

Holly said...

Amen! Well said. I loved his talk. I love your comments!!

Anna Maria Junus said...

Amen.

I didn't realize that my mother was a person until I became a mother.

I wanted my children to know that I was a person.

So I've always had interests.

One of my interests has become a family event. I've always loved theater and now my kids and I have just finished doing a play.

If I weren't interested, they wouldn't be. But now they're interested on their own. And if they weren't interested, I still would have done it anyway.

Besides, one day they will be gone and I won't be left wondering what I'm going to do. I already know.

East of Eden said...

I think it needs to be mentioned as well, if you don't have a talent or a hobby or something that you do, what will you do when your kids leave? Who will you be? Sure you'll always be the Mom, but kids grow up. My parents negleted, especially my Mom, doing anything else but raising kids, and now that we're all adults, they struggle to even be friendly to each other, and that's sad.

carrie & troy keiser said...

Very well stated {as I would expect from an accomplished author :) }I totally agree with you I feel better about me, my kids and my husband when I have had a little time to myself.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I think we need another round of Amens!

Actually, I have been hugely blessed in that my hubby has always been supportive of me having some time away. He takes me on dates every week, and each month I go on a girls night out. Then about once or twice a year, I actually get a girls weekend away (sometimes even a weekend away for both me and my hubby!). In fact, I'm leaving tomorrow night to go on an overnighter with my cousin as one of my mother's day gifts. :)

These opportunities to recharge my batteries make me a MUCH better mom and wife. I am so grateful for a husband who is so caring and supportive. And I highly encourage other women to take the breaks they need - even something as simple as window shopping in the mall or sitting outside the temple for an hour will give you that break you need.

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