24 October 2013


I had a strange two-hour block this morning in which I was incredibly emotional and the smallest things made me cry.  (Ex: I looked at a post-it note on my desk and almost lost it.)

Girls, am I right?

I was thinking about myself as a married Mormon woman and inevitable future mother.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not bitter about being either of these two things.  I really love JB and everything we have ever done and ever will do together, and the idea of having children grows just a little bit more exciting to me every day.

But sometimes I think back to not too long ago when I didn't want to be what I am now.  I didn't want to be a wife or a mother.  Instead I had the wildest dreams for my future.  I knew how many degrees I wanted and where I wanted to be working and where I would be traveling to and all of the things I'd write about from all of my exciting life adventures.  I'd be free and totally independent.

Cut to after the two-hours of being emotional, when I discovered this short article on NPR.  It contains graphs showing the ten most and least lucrative college majors, as gathered by research from Georgetown University.

(Note that these graphs include those who received graduate degrees.  The full article provides a graph for just undergraduate degree earnings.)

I sent it to JB and we texted just a little about it.  Our first texts were about what petroleum engineering even is (I asked) and the obvious observation to make, which was that 60% of the top majors were some type of engineering degree.

Then I looked a little harder at the ten least lucrative majors graph, which included those individuals who received graduate degrees.  I texted JB and said "I see all of those lowest earning majors and I see them all wrapped up into one job, and it's being a parent."  (I very much include the "arts" majors, because I think art, no matter what form, is how we often encourage children to communicate or express themselves when they haven't yet fully developed their language capabilities.)

Cue the thoughts about whether or not a parent is worthy of a more significant salary, perhaps one larger than the salary of a petroleum engineer, whatever that is.

I personally am not in the camp arguing that motherhood, fatherhood, or parenthood should be a paid job.  I might even go as far as saying I'd be completely against this.

In our church we do not have paid clergy, and each member is asked to serve in the congregation in some manner without pay.  This is often a bigger deal than some people realize, especially when you consider that some members might spend more than the standard three hours at church per week.  But it is generally understood that we receive many blessings for our sacrifices.

Church service, parenthood - many Mormons do both - they are both sacrifices.  They are huge sacrifices.  And not just monetary sacrifices.  Time is a big one, but sometimes we even give up our dreams and desires.  Sometimes we give up parts of who we are or who we want to be at the start of those sacrificial endeavors.

After quickly browsing LDS.org, I found these statements on sacrifice:

"To sacrifice is to give up something valuable or precious, often with the intent of accomplishing a greater purpose or goal."

"A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." - Joseph Smith

I very much consider all of those dreams and personal expectations I had (and have) to be so valuable and precious.  (Things that aren't important don't make you emotional out of nowhere for two hours.)

I really believe in those greater purposes and goals.

I believe that the sacrifices I thought about today don't have to be permanent - even in this lifetime.  (I also believe I can "do it all," whatever that means.)

I believe that some of the biggest sacrifices we make, or the ones that are the most difficult, will result in many blessings, ones that are greater than even the most lucrative salary.

And finally, I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and he made the ultimate sacrifice for me and everyone that lives and has ever lived and ever will live.  I believe that because of his sacrifice all of mine are guaranteed to be worth it.  And I would do anything and give up everything for Christ, because he is the reason that the life and salvation Joseph Smith speaks of is even real.  He makes it so our sacrifices don't have to be last forever.  They will only be for a time.


  1. After reading this I felt so happy. I am glad we are tied together as family. Your insights have encourage me to become a better husband and hopefully a father!

    1. Thanks Cam! And one day I'll be an awesome aunt to those kids!! :)