Let’s say you’re seeking employment. What would you think if you came across the following job description?
Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No vacation or holidays.
Responsibilities: Fixing meals and doing dishes; paying bills; washing mountains of laundry; waking up multiple times in the middle of the night with a sick child or a child who has just seen a monster in his closet; shuttling children to piano lessons and soccer games; extracting toy dinosaurs from the garbage disposal; washing crayon marks off walls; doing endless mountains of laundry; sewing on Scout awards; making umpteen trips to Wal-Mart; changing diapers; slapping Band-Aids on various cuts and scrapes; helping children with homework and science projects; mediating arguments between siblings; picking up dirty socks; scrubbing week-old Spaghetti-Os and Popsicle juice off the floor; and constantly trying to answer a child’s deep, philosophical questions, such as, “Does the light in the refrigerator always stay on?”
Benefits: Hearing a child say, “‘Please,’ ‘Thank you,’ and ‘I love you.'” (If you’re lucky.)
Job title: Mother.
As we know, moms do all of the above, and much, much more without monetary compensation. Mothers are teachers, janitors, referees, judges, counselors, chauffeurs, maids, cooks, hairstylists, CEOs, motivational speakers, tutors, seamstresses, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and facilities managers, among other things.
Some researchers have done studies and placed a dollar figure on all that mothers do — comparing it to what it is worth in the work force — and determined it is the yearly equivalent of a six-figure salary.
But you really can’t put a price tag on what mothers mean to us. They make us feel safe, secure, and loved. My earliest memories of gaining a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ involve my mother — listening to her pray, reading scriptures with her, and watching her example. The seed of my testimony was lovingly nurtured by my mother, for which I will be eternally grateful.
In speaking to the women of the Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Most of you are mothers, and very many of you are grandmothers and even great-grandmothers. You have walked the sometimes painful, sometimes joyous path of parenthood. You have walked hand in hand with God in the great process of bringing children into the world that they might experience this estate along the road of immortality and eternal life. It has not been easy rearing a family. Most of you have had to sacrifice and skimp and labor night and day. … You mothers are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.”
The First Presidency has said this of motherhood: “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.”
Being a mother is exhausting work, but it is also Heavenly Father’s work — and glory. Every time a mom makes a sacrifice or selflessly serves her children, in even the most menial task, she is doing what the Savior would do if He were here. That’s why moms are of infinite worth.