I am a 56-year-old mother of six children. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since I was 27. It hasn’t always been easy– in fact someone once said to me when she heard I had six children, “But, that means you were pregnant for like, ummm, six years!” Ummm, yep. Yep!
This book project, now turned blog, started in 2009 on my computer. It was intended to be a how to for teaching your children to be self-sufficient and learn how to work. I had looked high and low for years for help in teaching my own children self-sufficiency. Because of our society’s changes values and standards, I have now realized that being a Fierce Mormon Mother is more than teaching your children to do Hard Things and learning to work. You are also a filter to your home. A Fierce, Filtering Mother. You are at a critical place, creating an oasis, a safe place, where your children can grow up without being exposed to destructive elements. Our parents trusted the culture we grew up in and let us go out often into the big, wide world to explore and navigate knowing we would turn out ok. This world has changed it’s morals and boundaries and you are now the “Lioness at the Gate”(1.), and need to protect and strengthen your children at home so that they can function successfully when it’s time to leave.
Here are some letters posted by parents who are struggling with this idea of setting boundaries and teaching your children to be responsible.
On Saturday February 27th, 2010 three letters were printed in the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City newspaper, in a feature column called “Annie’s Mailbox”. These highlight how challenging parenting has become. Common themes are feelings of helplessness and anger. What would you do in these situations?
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been happy together for 25 years. When her adult son lost his job, we let him move in with us so he could get back on his feet. Three years later, he is no better off than the day he arrived. “Joe” will find a good job, work for a while and then quit. Sometimes he won’t get out of bed until the afternoon. He contributes absolutely nothing toward the bills.
I am angry that we are living paycheck to paycheck because of the extra money we spend to feed and house Joe. He is wasting his life. I’ve suggested he move in with his father, who lives in another state. My wife says, “If it bothers you, say something to him.”
Annie, I resent that she is putting this problem in my hands instead of
dealing with it herself. I know it bothers her, too. I want my home back without the extra baggage. What do I do? — Lost in My Own Home
Dear Annie: I have repeatedly told my daughter to remove her things from my home because we no longer have room for them, but it does no good. We plan on moving soon and cannot take along 10 boxes of our daughter’s books and clothes.
She lives out of the country and visits two or three times a year. Each time she visits, she buys more than she can possibly take back and leaves the rest here. It is prohibitively expensive to ship boxes of books to her. What do we do? — Out-of-Space Mom
Boy, did I see our family when I read the letter from “Frustrated Mom
in Michigan City,” whose 14-year-old son doesn’t turn in his homework or feed the dog, but spends hours on computer games. When our son was 14, the computer games seemed harmless. He is 21 now. He dropped out of college and has an entry-level job and no future. I wish we had cut the games off completely when his marks were low. — My Avatar is General Mom
Fifty years ago these letters would have been a phenomenon. Even twenty years ago their contents would seem unbelievable. Our parents would have had no problem telling us to move out, take care of our own stuff and to turn off the TV. They would have scratched and shaken their heads at us, their children who are now parents, and what we allow our children get away with. What is happening to the modern family? Because of our cultural shift towards affluence and the technological gains we enjoy, the perfect storm has been created. Our culture is creating children who have lost the work ethic and feel entitled to the Good Life with no effort given. As our standard of living has improved we are making life easier for our children . We are doing things for them that they used to and should do for themselves. We are over scheduled and overwhelmed. We have lost our power, somehow, to hold our children accountable. Being methodical about teaching character development and self-reliance, even just being able to sit together as a family for dinner, has become a major challenge. Social media are the siren calling them, and us, to spend hours in front of a screen.
Here is a great article about this, in Meridian Magazine, published just this week. https://ldsmag.com/6-ways-being-a-parent-today-is-different-than-50-years-ago/
There is no mention of substance abuse in these letters, or laws being broken. No hard-core felons needing jail time. Just frustration from parents on finding their children using and abusing them, and adult children who are not moving forward in life. I have noticed this trend, in my own family and among friends, in the media and the multitude of articles dealing with parenting in this age of affluence and technology. The focus of this blog is to talk about ways to mitigate this from happening in your family by working with your children, teaching them how to be self-reliant, and having them reap the rewards of purpose and happiness in their own abilities.
This blog is not only about ways to teach your child to work but to enjoy the fruits of hard work: They will be able to do Hard Things, work and wait for an attainable goal, benefit from the Age Bench Marks you have developed with them, learn to have grit, and be more respectful and grateful, because you will be committed to teaching them to have all of those wonderful traits.
I also want to cover other pursuits that make up a mother’s life. Anything I see that would help make your job easier, more joyful, and fulfilling, I want to include in this blog. I will also include book reviews, favorite pastimes and things, and sage advice from people I admire. Hopefully, as you pursue the path of a Fierce, Mormon Mother, you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Up next, what the heck is a Fierce, Mormon Mother, anyhoo?
- “Choose Ye This Day to Serve the Lord”.