“Really, Do We Have To?”

I first heard the word “Familywork” in the late 90’s, from Kathryn Slaugh Barr, a Brigham Young University professor. She used “familywork” in her speech,  instead of “housework”. That is, work around your house that your family can do, together or alone. The switch of terms is an important distinction. Anyone can do housework. But “familywork” denotes to me a focus of doing work with your family. That changes my whole intent and focus. Familywork also teaches your children


  • how to sacrifice for your family,
  • to train and bond and having a reason for making it a priority.
  • and also is a set of skills that will bless your children for the rest of their lives.


However, as I launch into what I have learned I want to say loud and clear that


I do not have the perfect family and my children have done things that I am not proud of. I am not holding my family up as amazing or as the only way to do things.

My true purpose is to make the parenting path easier for younger mothers.

As I have shared my thoughts with different mothers, a commonality has emerged: Aren’t we all searching for ways to mitigate the “me” generation and the lack of discipline our children are falling prey to?  I am still finding in my parenting the challenge of teaching my children to work. I still will have children that moan and groan on a Saturday, after years of the same weekly pattern, “Today we have Saturday Jobs? Really? Do we have to?” Or, “Scripture reading? Right now?”

So why am I writing this blog? I feel that cultural pressure is pressing down on us and we are losing a significant part of the reason we are parents: “to train up a child the way he should go”. We need to

  •  first,  lay a spiritual foundation and then
  •  second, teach our children how to work, be self-reliant and develop grit, so that
  •  third, they don’t give up when they have to do Hard Things. And
  • fourth, equally important, is teaching them how much more rewarding and joyful life can be when you are raised with self-discipline and taught how to take care of yourself.

I have continually felt impressed to write about this family pattern that seems, when it the most crucially needed, considered too hard to do.

In summary from my second post:

A Fierce Mormon Mother in Bill Dyer’s words means…

  • Fierce in the love of truth as expressed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Fierce in knowing who you are and what your values are and that one should develop a commitment to one’s goals that reflect those values.
  • Fierce in the sense of a deep and loving concern for the well being of every family member and showing that love for them often.

And I’m adding this last one—

  • Fierce in creating and guarding your home to protect it from the tidal wave of negative and harmful media influences.

Truly, you could substitute the word “filter” for “Fierce”, because there is so much to protect our children from.

Too much media,

Too much junk food,

Too much leisure time—or—

Too many activities/lessons/commitments and

Too much exposure to immoral images and examples—

There is so much more I have to do to be a sentinel for my children than my  Grandma Adams had to do. She figured out how to survive and thrive during the Great Depression. I have felt her influence on me all these years of raising my children and her example, and her title of a Fierce Mormon Mother, have kept me going.



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