Thursday, April 15, 2010

This One's For the Moms

Have you seen the movie Mona Lisa Smile? I think it is a great movie about strong, intelligent women learning how to become stronger and intelligent-er. Let me just point out that I realize it's a complete and unabashed attack on conservative values which I hold very dear. At one point in the movie the liberal professor from California, Katherine (played by Julia Roberts), tries to convince one of her students (played by Julia Stiles) to go to law school. This is their conversation:

Joan: It was my choice, not to go. He [her new husband] would have supported it.
Katherine: But you don't have to choose!
Joan: No, I have to. I want a home, I want a family! That's not something I'll sacrifice.
Katherine: No one's asking you to sacrifice that, Joan. I just want you to understand that you can do both.
Joan: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
Katherine: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.
Joan: Not as much as I'd regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.
Katherine: I didn't say that.
Joan: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don't. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.

I have always been torn with this movie, because I kinda fell into the world of career woman, it's not something I chose from the beginning. I have to justify our choice to adopt EVERY SINGLE DAY because classmates wonder why I am getting an advanced degree if I am planning on just staying at home eventually. And I know when I first saw the movie I was thinking "it's how people see BYU: a 'finishing school disguised as a college' and that all the women are at BYU 'just biding their time until somebody purposes'" which both are quotes from the movie.  But I love Joan's attitude! Being a homemaker is a proud role, and all you moms out there should not be ashamed of choosing it! You're smart, beautiful, and know you are not sacrificing anything by making that choice to have and raise children! People may look at women with conservative values and think that because they are at home because they have no depth, intellect, or interests. I was talking with a friend and she was depressed because, I think, she started to believe that malarkey! That she had nothing to offer beyond changing diapers and having dinner on the table by 5pm. These are truly important things, but I plead with you not to lose your intellect, depth, and interests or you're only proving the world's point: that you "sold [your] soul for a single hall colonial."  Continue to read, learn, study, develop talents, and don't squander the blessing it is to teach your children how to do the same! Many women don't have that chance because of financial or health reasons, so don't forget that you chose this because this is what you want!

Going to graduate school has done so much more to help me realize my potential that I did not know I was capable of and gave me confidence to pursue dreams I didn't know I had before. Ya know what's awesome though? Many of you don't need to go to graduate school to discover all those things, just don't forget how much you love to discover, learn, create, and especially that you want to be a stay-at-home-mom because you know that "motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels." (Quote found here.)

Be proud of your divine calling and don't give those who don't believe in it's divinity any reason to doubt it!! 


Dani and Dave said...

Gold star for Rachel

Nicole said...

Wow Rachel! That was just what I needed. Being a stay at home mom is hard work, but unfortunately society doesn't see it that way. I have really been struggling lately to feel like I am worth something other then changing diapers, cleaning, cooking, and all of the other mom/wife duties. I guess I have let society whisper in my ear for to long because I started to feel like I have nothing to offer the world. Of course that isn't true. I appreciate this post more then you can know and am ready to start my day reminded that being a mother and a stay at home mom is something to be very proud of!

Jessica said...

You are awesome! I'll just say that those are some words that I really needed to hear right now. Sometimes it gets tough staying at home. Your blog is awesome, and I love reading it! I need to try and comment on it more often! Hope all is well with you guys! Miss you!