“Honey, What Do You Do All Day?”


“Patrick came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front garden. The door of his wife, Valerie’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the hall, Patrick found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the rug was piled up against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the worktop, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. Patrick quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for Valerie. He was worried she might be ill, collapsed, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and sink. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found Valerie still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. Patrick looked at Valerie, bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ Valerie again smiled and answered, ‘You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me sarcastically what in the world I do all day?’ ‘Yes,’ was Patrick’s startled reply. Valerie answered, ‘Well, today, I didn’t do it.’”

My wife is also the mother of five and it didn’t take me long to discover that she was doing “a lot” during the time I was at work. I once fell asleep on the floor while I was “babysitting” my firstborn who was 18 month old at the time. I was rudely awakened when he dropped a hammer on my head. That incident alone “knocked” some sense into my head regarding the duties that my wife was handling on a daily basis

More than thirty years ago,  Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“…motherhood is the means by which God carries forward his grand design of continuity of the race. Both priesthood and motherhood are essentials of the plan of the Lord. Each complements the other. Each is needed by the other. God has created us male and female, each unique in his or her individual capacities and potential. (“Live Up To Your Inheritance”, Oct. 1983)

I have great respect for women who not only fulfill the divine role of motherhood, but who also contribute via service to the community and to their church. And still others, out of necessity, juggle all the above and work outside the home. Gordon B. Hinckley aptly paid women this compliment. From the above reference address, he said, “God be thanked for the wonderful women of this Church. May he plant in your hearts a sense of pride in your capacities and a conviction of truth, which shall be as a rudder to keep you safe through every storm.”

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