Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

I believe in love at first sight. I am a mother. Unknown

Next Monday is International Women’s Day and yes there is an International Men’s Day on November 19th.

On Sunday I’m on a panel and the theme is, what does International Women’s Day mean to me. I am very happy that women are taking the opportunities that are out there for them in education, building businesses, and excelling in life.

Where men and women need to excel and the hardest place to excel is in the family. The next generation pays the price for our failures. One of the things we get wrong in life is we think more choice equals more happiness.

There was a time when we were considered spinsters if we weren’t married at twenty-one. This meant women had a short window to choose a husband or have one chosen for them. The best choice was made and then they got on with making the best out of life.

We now have women who have taken advantage of the choices they have. They have gotten the education. They have great jobs and some have started businesses. They have political careers. But, what some of them are finding after all of their achievements is they now want a husband, and he is hard to find. The man that successful women want isn’t that interested in her success. He wants a woman in her younger more fertile years. He may want one that is not hardened by life. He may want one he can wow with his exploits, not one expecting to wow him with hers.

Life is a crazy ride. It’s a privilege to go through it with a partner. Kristen Bell

Men have always married younger women and women looked to marry older successful men so they could have a good life. This leaves the successful, accomplished single women feeling like they were told something that wasn’t true. They were told to do the “Important things in life”, like get an education and be successful, and then they could become wives and mothers.

Being a wife and mother, and husband and father is the most important thing in life. This is what we’ve gotten wrong. Men and women still need to work together to accomplish the most important things in life. That we can fulfill our dreams in other areas is great. We need to not lose sight of what is important and what brings us joy and happiness.

Women are not happier than previous generations with all of our choice. We are not warmer, sweeter, more encouraging, more optimistic, more generous, more open, more giving, or more grateful. We also are not less of these. We are who we choose to be in the circumstances we find ourselves in. We always have. Finding joy where we are is how we stumble on happiness.

We will not be happier when we get, “That.” Whatever that is, in about six months we will be as happy as before something great or disastrous happens in our lives. If this is true and I believe it is, we can be as happy as we set our minds to be regardless of outside circumstances in our lives.

This should give us the courage to change the things in our lives we should change and stay the course when we need to persevere. We need to quit telling our girls that marriage and motherhood can wait. Building a family is our greatest achievement. The family is what moves on in the next generation. The family is what we still have when we’ve retired from our career, and it is the legacy we leave when we die. There is a window that closes for motherhood, but many of the other things we chase like education and success can come at any stage in life.

Women can accomplish what they set out to accomplish in their lives. Just because we are accomplishing new things does not mean that being the heart of the family is not our most important role. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood. Elder M. Russell Ballard

It is not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts. Mother Theresa

Giving the utmost of herself to three absorbing interests, marriage, motherhood, career… was a problem for a superwoman, and a job for a superwoman, and only some fabled being could have accomplished it all with success. Storm Jameson

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Stumbling on Happiness Paperback – March 20 2007

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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