Virginia Pearce spoke about the mothering influences in her life. She listed four of them, detailing who each woman was and the motherly impact they had had on her life. She spoke about having “mother moments”. When you feel fed up, frustrated, angst or whatever - stop what you are doing and quote a woman in your life. Virginia said we need time to remember and quote a mothering influence in your life. A ‘mother moment’.I’ll admit here that I couldn’t think of four. How terrible does that sound.
I can of course think of dozens of women who have been a part of my life, a great influence on me, and people I will always love, but I wanted to think of four outstanding women I would be quoting for the rest of my life, women than my children would recognise because of what I had told them.
An aside note: what an awesome thought. Imagine being the recipient of such recognition. Someone knows who I am because they were taught of my example, and from that they could recognise me.
Of course, my mother is number one. She has to be; not just because of her profound influence and strength in my life, but because she would fly over on her broomstick and kill me if I said otherwise (cue to laugh…you really have to know my mother).
My mum is a tough woman. A pillar of strength. A helpful, reasonable, and sensible woman. Coming from a non-ideal upbringing, we were taught the importance of hard work, education, and being independent and self-reliant from an early age. I regularly quote her and hear her voice when I speak (gosh that is always a shock - I even catch myself laughing like her. Horror!). Over the years, she has become such a close friend and confidant.
After Mum, I struggle to think of who else has had such a profound mothering influence on me, someone I would quote and remember forever. Does Agatha Christie count? No seriously, she’s been a part of my life since junior (primary) school.
My Dad is really number two on the list, and he only comes behind Mum on ‘the list of mothering influences’ because you naturally think of women first.
Dad’s from the aussie bush, from a humble loving family that worked the land. He’s life story is so diverse; I’ve always wanted to write it up. Attending boarding school to training as a priest in a monastery; being baptised in a river after a dance (!!) to travelling the world with business; being a continually elected councillor and mayor, and an avid family genealogist. We have so much in common, and with our opinions and sarcasm so aligned, it’s not hard to quote my Dad.
The next few on my list would be a number of superwomen I met on my mission. I’ll post about my mission soon, so you understand what that was and what I learnt from that. It was more or less a period of time when I was surrounded by the best. The cream of the crop. And I know that I will be telling my kiddies story after story of my time spent with these superwomen in the field.
The four mothering influences in Virginia’s life were her mother, the very well-known Marjorie Pay Hinckley who is still quoted; Julie, a neighbour and friend; Eliza R. Snow, pioneer and poet; and Julie B. Beck, current leader of the women of the world. She spoke words about each woman, the challenges in their lives and how they were pillars of strength to Virginia.
One point from that that I found curious was about Sister Beck. Julie Beck is currently the president of the Relief Society. I’ll post more about this organisation soon, but suffice it to say, it is the world’s largest organisation for women; and the oldest. I have met Sister Beck on a number of occasions – she is a powerful speaker, and her messages for us women today are direct and much needed. But I hardly think of her as a regular mum and wife. Virginia shed some light, just a small amount, on Beck’s life, but it was enough to show us listening women that the messages we hear from Beck each year are more than heartfelt, sincere messages containing direction and hope. They usually reflected her own on-going challenges and sorrows, particular with family and health. I didn’t know she had had health struggles for years. In fact, we can never really know what other people are going through. To understand that we are all leading lives and facing challenges makes their actions and words of wisdom even more sincere and heartfelt. Read back over some of her words; you’ll see that her messages were learnt from life experiences.
So have a ‘mother moment’. Think of the quotable powerhouse women in your life. Be thankful for their example to you.
And don’t forget them.