Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Education and other thoughts

I was reading the April Ensign today and there are some fantastic articles about education in there! It was so nice to read about how a formal education is important for everyone. I especially enjoyed the article by Sheralyn Mitchell who wrote about how her husband became very ill and she had to go back to school in order to be able to support the family. She wrote about how, even though she had great family support and was able to get a nursing degree at that point, she wished she had taken her schooling more seriously as a young adult. She wrote the following, "We've talked about education being important not only for just-in-case situations but also for all situations. Education and family life aren't mutually exclusive. . .trying to help them understand that the preparation that education provides will help them in all aspects of their future lives."

Part of why I was so impressed with this article is because it laid out the philosophy that I (and many others) have always expressed. One of my pet peeves was when some men and women in the church would always emphasize the need for a women to get an education so that if something happens to her husband or she doesn't marry, she'll be able to support herself. While, that's certainly a valid result of having a formal education and a good reason to do so, it is only one of many. I was always solid in my belief that education is just important no matter what the future holds. So, it was just nice to read an article in the Ensign that illustrated this point that I've been so passionate about for most of my life (not to say that there haven't been other similar articles, but this one just touched me today).

I also liked the following paragraph, "There are days when we all wish I could be a stay-at-home mom, but that wasn't what was in store for us. Instead of dwelling on what I wish my circumstances were, which only leads to frustration, I try to focus on how blessed I feel to work in a job that I find rewarding, that offers much variety, that has provided good health insurance for my husband, and that gives our family an element of security."

It is nice to see articles in the Ensign (as there often are) that illustration the exceptions to the ideal and how important it is to live close to the spirit so we can be inspired to do what is best for us and our family in our individual circumstance. I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost!

I feel very blessed that my circumstances allow me to be a stay-at-home mom. We do make some sacrifices and have lived on a very tight budget for a while, but we have been very blessed in our ability to make it work out as well as it does. I am very grateful for the many lessons I have learned and continue to learn as I fulfill the role of being a stay-at-home mom.

It's interesting as I look back to when I finished graduate school and had earned my master's degree in Social Work as well as passing my licensing exams (LMSW) only to end up with a teaching job (I did NOT want to return to teaching, but it paid better than entry level social work jobs, my husband would still be in school for a couple of more years, and we wanted to start having children.). It's amazing how this job (that I didn't want) worked out so well for us. We were able to put a decent amount in savings to prepare for my going part time when our first baby was born (which came quicker than we expected) and then I was able to teach part-time for two years with full benefits. It's amazing to me how we can each be blessed in our own unique ways--the ways that the Lord knows is best for us.


  1. Love the post - totally true. I enjoyed all those education articles too.

  2. Great post. I totally agree with your pet peeve. Although, I have to say that I looked into a Masters program lately and am really glad I'm not in school right now! :)

    I do hope my girls will choose something not only fulfilling, but that can earn a decent living.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Thanks Lori and Jacqui. Yes, Jacqui, going to school when you have young kids definitely sounds overwhelming to me!

  4. thanks for sharing! i needed to hear that today!