On the Topic of Motherhood - For the Joy of Life.

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On the Topic of Motherhood

I have pretty much, completely, stopped answering questions on the Q&A forum.
Though there were several mild questions, the terrible judgmental, "not so nice" questions took over the majority.
I also very much appreciate the sweet comments that those of you very nice people left. They warmed my heart and truly meant a lot to me.
Before Hunter came home, all that really popped up were gospel related questions.
Then we got married, and the attacks on the way we are living our life together came.
Then, I announced that we are expecting our sweet little girl.
And, that's when I couldn't take it anymore.
Yes, we received several "congrats" but the judgments just never end and this topic happens to be quite sensitive to me.
So, it's about time I spill out some of those feelings and thoughts I have been having about my journey to motherhood.
I also realize I'm on the minority end of this topic so I'll probably get many of you that will disagree with some of, if not all of what I'm about to type.
But that is okay.
Because opinions are opinions, and I happen to have one of my own.

I grew up in a mostly "normal" American family.
I have a Father, mother, sister, and brother. My grandparents on both sides were involved in our lives and we saw them for holidays and got birthday cards from them.
I attended public school and my family belonged to a non-denominational church. 
I did sports, had lots of friends, watched Disney channel, ate dinner with my family every night, played with dolls, and day dreamed about my life in the future.
I remember a time when my neighborhood friends and I were playing a game.
A game in which we were pretending to be wives and mothers.
We stuffed our shirts with pillows and laughed at how funny we would look with pregnant bellies one day.
We stuck our dolls in strollers and walked them to the park.
We pretended our husbands got home from work and made our families dinner.
We did everything we saw our own mothers and friends mothers doing each day and seemed to fantasize over the day we would become that wife and mother in the future.
I used to set up a "restaurant" in the backyard.
I would make hand-written menus and wear an apron as I took my family's orders.
I found a love for cooking and baking quite early on.
Though I certainly felt and always knew that one day I would most likely have a family of my own, and live the life I used to "pretend play", there was a time when I pushed those thoughts aside and listened to the voices around me telling me I had to do and be something "more."

When I entered middle school I remember taking a class where we had to learn how to balance checkbooks and set career goals.
I was shocked that there were so many people in that class (in 6th grade), that already knew what they wanted to do for a career.
There were girls that wanted to be famous journalists working in New York City and had ambitions of being doctors, surgeons, and engineers.
I sat there wondering if I should even write down my thoughts of "wife," "mother," "team mom," or "cupcake baker."
I felt like I would get laughed at for setting such a "low" goal because even my teacher made it clear that if you didn't end up in a successful career you were wasting away your life.

So, my neighborhood games quickly changed from playing house, to playing business woman.
I would put on my moms fancy dresses and heels and pretend to be doing paper work all day. 
I would order take out after work and go home alone to my penthouse in the city.
I would argue with people on the phone and act stressed out every second of every day.
Because, that's what real life is like... right?

It seemed to me that the world was teaching me to become something much different than what I wanted to be because the role of a mother and a housewife was becoming less and less thrilling to others.
Women are competing with men in the workforce and feeling they need to do something other than raise their children to feel a sense of empowerment. 

When I got into high school I met a boy.
A boy that just so happened to treat me respectfully and valued my personal opinions.
This boy asked me what my plans were after high school.
I wondered if I should tell him the truth, or the story I had made up and told everyone else so they wouldn't laugh at my "low" life goals.
I told him that I would really love to be a mother one day. I would love to maybe even have a small business from home so that I could take care of and raise my children without worrying about someone else doing my job in daycare. 
He respected me for that. He respected me for seeking the most real important goal in life. And, he promised me that if we one day got married, he would do everything in his power to support our family so that I could stay home and be there for our children through everything. 
I married that boy, and we are now getting ready to have our first daughter.
And, I am beyond thrilled that I found a man that respects me and supports me in my goals.

I have my own photography business, I've had my fair share of jobs, I'm a wife, and soon to be mother.
And, I have never felt any less important than my husband.
He makes me feel loved and cherished.
He praises me for my accomplishments and thanks me for all that I do.
He recognizes the importance of womanhood and motherhood and he makes sure I recognize it too.
He thanks me for being selfless enough to bear our child and never misses a night of thanking me for the dinner I prepared.
He kisses me goodbye every morning and hugs me randomly throughout the day so that I continually feel loved.
He asks for my opinions and values my responses so that I know we are equal in our marriage.
He has taken a great deal of stress off my shoulders by going to school full time and working to support our growing family.
I feel happy with him, and I know that this is the way God meant for relationships to be.

I realize that not everyone aspires to be a wife and a mother, I realize that some do aspire to do so but have struggled with infertility. 
I realize that there are many different circumstances in which lives are different than my own, and that is okay.
But, the point I wish to get across is that we really need to stop thinking that being a mother is not an important job.
In fact, I believe it is THE MOST important job.
Ever.

I want my children to remember the first time they hit a home run, or scored their first goal, or sang a solo in the school play, and say "yeah, I remember my mom sitting in the front row cheering me on the whole time."
I want to be there for them at every crossroads. Whether it be going on their first date, entering middle school, or starting a new job.
I want them to remember their childhood happily with memories of a loving family and a mother who was always there for them.
I want them to know that I will always kiss them goodnight and love them unconditionally.
I want them to know that I am not their best friend, I am their parent and I will hold my ground, but I will never stop fighting for them.
I want them to remember their mom being there, and I mean fully there.
I want to see their first steps, hear their first word, and cuddle them when they need it.
I will not let someone else do that job for me.
And that is why I have chosen to stay home with my children.

I for one, will be raising my daughter telling her that marriage is a beautiful thing and starting a family is wonderful.
I will let her know that daddy loves her and mommy and wants only the best for us. 
I will explain to her that she truly can become anything she wants to be and that education is incredibly important.
I will help her see that even though women are absolutely not any "less" than men, they are definitely different and that is the way God designed us. 
I will help her see that many people have different opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas and though we shouldn't judge... it is okay to be different, disagree, and stand up for what she believes. 

I can't begin to explain how excited, nervous, and overjoyed I am to begin my journey of motherhood.
I may not be looking forward to poopy diapers or sleepless nights, but I know that everything Hunter and I are about to go through, will be absolutely worth it.
Family is more important than anything else in this world and it should be cherished.
I hope and pray that this world will stop looking down upon stay at home mothers and realize that it is the greatest calling and job ever created.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


6 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this! Thank you for being such a great example to me and all those who follow you! I wish you the best of luck in this new journey! :)

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  2. That's my girl! Couldn't have said it better myself:)

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  3. I've read your story from the beginning and love everything you write but this hit home especially. I am 23 and just finished my masters degree and my husband and I are working but I long to be a mother. I know with your creativity and confidence you could easily do anything but you CHOSE to do the most important thing anyone will ever do and that is give birth to and love and support one of God's Children. The Savior of the world required a mother to enter the world.... Mary is highly esteemed in my book for raising the Son of God. I feel like she had an extremely important role. When others look down on motherhood it is looking down on those who helped them come into the world and I hope you know that's even though we don't know each other that I am thankful for examples like you. Thank you for choosing to be a mom and raise a family. I am jealous that you get to start so soon. I cannot wait until I get that sacred responsibility.

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  4. This was perfect, and exactly what I needed to read right now!

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