Monday, December 15, 2008

Being a woman in the 21st Century


This whole marriage thing has got me thinking lately. As some of you may already know, I've had a reputation to be a bit more liberal than your average LDS gal. My mom actually refers to me as her "liberal" daughter. I've at times struggled to find peace with the notion of traditional gender roles (i.e. the woman raising the children, cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house, taking the man's last name). Sometimes I can't help but feel animosity towards this old-fashioned, idealistic expectation of women. But oddly enough, I have to admit I am becoming more conservative as I get older. With society headed in the direction it's going (to hell) I have found that I am choosing a more conservative and traditional stance on things. Yes I actually said choose. With this whole new and exciting notion of straying away or not conforming to today's society, I have discovered and learned to appreciate the unforgiving and enormous duty of motherhood and being a wife.

Why is there such a negative stigma with being just a mother in the 21st century? To be just a mother in our current society seems to be selling yourself short, or in otherwords accepting the fact that a mother is all you'll ever be. Being just a mother means you are not educated, you have no ambition and you'd prefer to just stay at home. But is this what motherhood really is? I would argue no. Motherhood is the single most selfless act any woman could do. Giving up your freedom, career, and education is hardly unheroic. When I think of my mother the word "sacrifice" comes to mind. She sacrifices money, time, energy, and her personal sanity for her children and grand-children. She is constantly giving and never taking. Without mothers our society would crumble under its feet.

I'm writing this post prior to getting married in hopes that everyone will realize that I have come to grips with the idea of motherhood. I know it's a long shot but I think it's almost time to stop the "how can I please Ashley?" lifestyle to the "what can I do for other people?". Motherhood provides the opportunity to forget about yourself and serve others. What an amazing way to live your life. Constantly in the service of your children and your family.

I want to give my upmost respect to all of my friends and family members who have chosen to become mothers. It is such a wonderful gift from God to become a mom. And I can hardly wait...for two or three more years. :)

17 comments:

Raising Helm said...

It is so fun to read your blog! Thanks for the boost of self esteem. Being a mother is truly a blessing. Of course there are those days you wonder if you will ever be the same again, and then a reality check knocks you in the head and you remember that you don't want it to be like the old times. Being a mom and wife is the BEST and most fulfilling thing. (I think I forgot to invite you to my blog so let me know so you can see a glimpse into the life of the Helms and we can chat.

Raising Helm said...

Sorry to take up your comment space, but I don't have your email to invite you. HELP!

Season said...

Wow, Ashley. I was wondering where this was going at first, but I am really impressed. Now that I am a mom (which still sounds weird to say) I have so much more appreciation for all the moms out there. It is hard work that no one can prepare you for, but it is worth it. It's the most important work you can do.

Julie said...

Thanks for the uplift today! Being a mother is undeniable the best thing ever. Wow, you are going to make one beautiful, strong wife and mother.

Ashley Engar said...

Brittany- My email is ashleyengar17@gmail.com; please email me so I can see your blog and we can stay in touch!!

Jocelyn said...

WOW ASHLEY! That really was an uplifting blog, thanks for that. Being a mother is the best decision I have ever made, aside form getting married of course. You could never imagine the uncondtional love you have for a little child, at times it's honestly overwhelming!

Tee and Linds said...

Ash its Linds and i freakin love your blog!! I have to admit there was a time in my life that i was on the same page as you.. Even being married i couln't have ever imagined being a stay at home mom.. I spent so many years creating my career and i was not about to give that up. BUT then i found out i was pregnant with my son Nixon.. There is never a question in my mind where id rather be.. Home is where i choose. I now feel so blessed to have Tyler to give me the opportunity to stay home... ALTHOUGH i do work part time, I feel i am a better Mom and wife by keeping some independance... now that i have have written a novel I freekin love your guts Ashley and i loved seeing you the other night.

BA Nygren said...

Well Ashley Engar, I love it! You and I have been the same for so long on this same subject, but I am so greatful my eyes have been opened to the amazing world of being married, and when the time comes, being a mom. I CANT WAIT to start a family, and I am so greatful that I get to be the one to experience everything with having a child. Man, look what happens when we grow up :) I am glad we are doing it together!

Laura said...

who are you?? what have you done with ashley?

Brittany said...

You have some idea what it is like to be a mom for two reasons. First of all, you have one. You saw all that she did and CONTINUES to do for her family. Second, you have a very strong love for your nieces and nephews. However, there is one big difference. It will be a lot easier to tolerate your own children when they are completely out of control then it is when they are not actually yours (or just easier to smack them around to get them to tow the line – THAT WAS A JOKE). You start to understand the sacrifice you are making to become a mom the moment you feel the first wave of nausea or the first pain when pregnant. It gets really clear the moment you go into labor. Then when you get to take that little baby home it is the most wonderful, spiritual, emotional and freaking scary day of your life. The idea that God has trusted you with one of his precious children to love and nurture and teach is very overwhelming and hugely rewarding. I don’t know if you realize the significance of the 17th of December to me but it is a very special day. This day will always remind me of the sacrifice a mother makes for her children. You truly love them more than life and you always will. You will do anything for them even if it means you put yourself through the worst imaginable hell to give them the best. I know you will be a wonderful mom (and wife – I think Dennis is a very lucky boy) and I can’t wait until you have some of your own so we can do this together!
Love you Ash!

Jill said...

Amen Ashley. There is a time and season for all things. Motherhood is a beautiful, soul-stretching, fulfilling, inspiring season.

Look forward to it.

Engars said...

Are you prenant? Me too. I am happy for you, Ash. I know you'll be a great mother and am excited to see you are anticpating the day. Although, I never thought otherwise. Motherhood is all about sacrifice. Trust me, I would know; I have three children with another on the way and I sacrifice all the time, mostly cats. Also, I have tons of stretch marks that I have "earned" as I've gained weight with each of Adrienne's pregnancies. It's all about sacrifice. I don't even like fast food and cheese. Or ice cream. Or laziness.

Ashley Engar said...

Ty...glad to hear that you are pregnant. I'm glad to know that it is pregnancy that has caused all this weight gain. I was wondering why you were so fat.

Scarlett said...

Ashley! Holy cow! It has been so long! I found your blog off of Katie Parks'. I am so excited for you that you are getting married! You will love married life! It has it's ups and downs, but it is amazing to be able to spend everyday with your best friend.(Sorry, kinda cheesy!)So fun to read about you! Do you rememeber the days back in Sandy when we would play? SOOOOOOOO long ago! It's weird to think I have a little girl that is almost at that age! I also have a blog if you want to take a look. It is www.scarlettann.blogspot.com

chudlove said...

Ash! OK first congrats! And It's crazy how time works on you. Seriously I sometimes just want to have babies so I can quit my job! But I should want them for the right reasons before hand. But I'm with you girl.

Still running in the snow, crazy.

Ann Marie said...

Hey Ashley! Remember me? Annie Peck!

anyway, love this blog. our church and our culture need women like you. you are so thoughtful and heartfelt.

Laura said...

remember when you used to write on your blog? j/k..i'm kind of over it too...probably going to shut mine down.