What Motherhood looks like.

This past weekend I did a talk for a group of women, Women’s Conference, in our town and stake. I like public speaking so I wasn’t really that nervous about speaking but I wanted to share the right message. In the end I decided to drive around town and take pictures of how motherhood looks differently. I think this actually is a project that could keep going because motherhood looks so differently between literally every single person, every mother and even a mother with each one of her children. Here are the pictures that I shared as a slide show of what motherhood looks like at the beginning of my talk.

Our first instinct as women is to think of birth. It’s an unforgettable part of motherhood. When they announce “it’s a girl” (or a it’s a boy) and you are filled with love (or just a whole lot relief that that are done giving birth ;))

Motherhood looks like holding your daughter for the first time

A moments old child of yours. This is motherhood.

Motherhood looks like a moment old baby

Picture perfect beautiful, well behaved children are also part of motherhood. For some people it’s a pressure filled ideal of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like picture perfect kidsSo is your kids doing things they shouldn’t be doing. Disasters and bad decisions and messes.

Motherhood looks like things they should have doneFor some mom’s home school is part of mothering. For all mothers teaching is part of motherhood.
Motherhood looks like homeschoolStories. Lots and lots of stories are part of motherhood.
Motherhood looks like stories

Supporting sports and other extra curricular activities are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like supporting sport activitiesWelcoming home a child who has been gone for a while is part of motherhood.
Motherhood looks like welcoming a missionary home

Snuggling little babies is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like snuggles with small babies

Giggles and tickles and laughter are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like giggles and tickles

Teaching them skills and music are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like teaching music in the home

Lots of physical care is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like physically caring

Really, really, really early mornings are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like really really early mornings

Teaching them chores and making them DO it is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like chores

Teaching them life skills and letting them DO it is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like teaching life skills

Lots and lots of laundry is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like lots of chores

Bedtime stories and routines and snuggles are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like bedtime stories

Generations of women choosing to do what is right is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like generations of women choosing the right

Teaching them to pray is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like teaching prayer

Reading the scriptures to them is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like reading Scriptures

Church attendance & worship is part of motherhood.Motherhood looks like church attendance

Supporting your child as she suffers through hard things is part of motherhood.
Motherhood looks like caring for a sick child

Mothering your adult children is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like adult moms and adult daughtersInfertility is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like infertility

Adoption is part of motherhood. (this picture is by the fabulous Kinsey Holt!)

Motherhood looks like adoption

Not only can we mother our own children, but there are children all around us to help mother. Women can help each other and support each other as we raise these kids. So things like Activity days are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like activity days

Helping a young woman is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like a leader helping her young woman

Being a grandma is part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like a grandma with her grand child

This lovely lady is June. And she never had the chance to have her own children. But she is one of the most mothering women you could ever meet. All the kids know her as Aunt June. She plays games with them. She goes to every basketball game at the high school and writes notes to the players telling them they did a good job. She served in Young women’s for 32 years. She has influenced countless lives of children around here. She and countless women who are like her are part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like mothering those around you

And of course, loving these kids of ours even in the midst of chaos is a big part of motherhood.

Motherhood looks like fun chaos

I am so glad to be a woman and to be a mother. It is so stinking hard. I am writing this after 4 nights of sleeplessness with kids puking and diarrhea and all kinds of lovely things. And even though I am feeling discouraged about ever sleeping a night through again I am still glad to be a mother. It is part of who I am and part of all women. Something that we all have within us that existed before we came to earth and will always be within us.

James E. Faust: “Being a father or a mother is not only a great challenge, it is a divine calling. It is an effort requiring consecration. President David O. McKay stated that being parents is “the greatest trust that has been given to human beings.” While few human challenges are greater than that of being good parents, few opportunities offer greater potential for joy. Surely no more important work is to be done in this world than preparing our children to be God-fearing, happy, honorable, and productive. Parents will find no more fulfilling happiness than to have their children honor them and their teachings. It is the glory of parenthood. John testified, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 Jn. 1:4.) In my opinion, the teaching, rearing, and training of children requires more intelligence, intuitive understanding, humility, strength, wisdom, spirituality, perseverance, and hard work than any other challenge we might have in life. This is especially so when moral foundations of honor and decency are eroding around us. To have successful homes, values must be taught, and there must be rules, there must be standards, and there must be absolutes. (“The Greatest Challenge in the World-Good Parenting,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 32-33

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  • March 2, 2015 - 10:53 am

    Brooke snow - This is so touching Rhonda! I have tears looking at the images and reading your words. I can only imagine how moving the talk was 🙂 Well done!

  • March 2, 2015 - 4:30 pm

    Ray Castle - This very well done Ronda, it is so nice to see pictures of mothers and children, and places that I reconise . Makes me think back long years ago when I still had a mother and what she did for me, thank you for bringing back the memory’s !!

  • March 2, 2015 - 8:47 pm

    Diana Anderson - Such a beautiful compilation of photos. My eyes finally brimmed over with tears when I got to the picture of Aunt June. She is my husbands great aunt, and in the few years I have known her I have felt her love. She even remembers my childrens names and gets us gifts for christmas. Motherhood is so very important and all encompassing. Thanks for sharing!

  • March 3, 2015 - 7:41 am

    Michelle - What a great post – those photos are just wonderful and so true!

  • March 3, 2015 - 10:15 am

    Christal Bevans - I’ll tell you once again Beautiful job all of it! thanks for sharing your talents, time and efforts with us all over and over again!! love you!

  • March 3, 2015 - 12:29 pm

    Alex - Thank you for this post Rhonda. I really needed to read this today

  • March 3, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    Ashley - Such a beautiful post Rhonda! You truly captured the emotion in each shot. Thanks of sharing.

  • March 7, 2015 - 7:52 pm

    Hannah - Beautiful photos and thoughts on what it means to be a mother. Thank you!

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