August 23, 2012

moms and dads are different

I remember learning about a study in a Human Development class at BYU that involved six month olds and their reaction when each parent approached them.  In both scenarios, the baby responded happily as all of these babies were from loving and nurturing homes.  However, the baby's reaction to each respective parent proved to be somewhat different.  When the mother advanced toward her baby the baby was relaxed and many of them would reach up their arms to be held.  It's what happened when the father approached that made the study interesting, but probably not surprising.  As soon as the baby saw daddy move towards her baby got very excited and frantically looked for a place of safety.  With a big smile and probably some giggles, the baby, knowing dad, prepared herself to be tickled, tossed in the air, spun around, kissed to death or all of the above.

It's funny that although I remember this study quite clearly from a few years ago, it's still sometimes hard for me to remember that it's ok for me to be the one she snuggles with and it's ok that he's the one she wrestles around with.

Just tonight Jeremy was crawling after Madeline, chasing her around the living room.  She, of course, ended up face planting.  Now my reaction, as her mommy, would be to hug her tightly, tell her its ok, and rub her back until she calms down again.  But daddy, daddy stood her up and just looked at her for a minute.  She continued to cry and cry and when he realized that wasn't working he laid her on a blanket and started pulling her around the room for more rough-housing.  It was all I could do not to jump in and "save her".  I didn't think it would work.  Sure enough, however, after two or three attempts she stopped crying.  She even started giggling. Moms and Dads are different.

"The Family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).  

There is a reason Heavenly Father organized families to be made up of a FATHER and a MOTHER.  We live in a time of chaos.  The world says it's ok to have two moms or two dads.  Extreme feminist women are starting a family by themselves because they don't feel they need a husband.  I find it hard to imagine how that could even be slightly successful because children need a mom and a dad.  And more importantly, a woman needs a husband.  And a man needs a wife.  

A few weeks ago we were stayed with my Aunt Adrienne and her family on the way to Maryland. Somehow in our talking and catching up I remember her remarking on the importance of choosing the right person for a spouse.  Then she said, "Because really, it's just going to be the two of you one day." And she's right.  Families are forever, but eventually everyone is getting married.  When your children are all grown up and married it'll just be you and him.  

I've been working really hard at strengthening our marriage lately.  Not because it's horrible and we're at eachothers necks all the time but because why not? Why not use preventative measures to make my marriage greater than great?  Why not go the extra mile to show my husband I love him and learn to better meet his needs?

I'm so grateful to him and all he does for our family.  Sure he can't plan a spontaneous date to save his life, and sure he doesn't bring home flowers except for Valentines day if I remind him the day of.  Sure he usually doesn't know the exact thing I want him to say because I've had a bad day.  But he is not that guy.  He's the guy who assembles all your furniture the day you move in with out being asked.  He's the guy who always offers to take a fussy baby out during Sacrament meeting.  He's the guy who's just about the best dad you could ever ask to be the father of your children.  He does things in his own way and I am so eternally nagging grateful.  

Moms and dads are different.  They always have been and they always will be.  And that's how it's supposed to be.


  1. Hi. You're obviously entitled to your own opinions on your own blog, but I think it's pretty hurtful to assume that woman have babies on their own because they're "extreme feminists" who don't feel like they need a husband. Most women who become single mothers by choice do so because their fertility is waning and they still haven't met a partner yet, but they really want to have a biological child. I think most women, whether straight or gay, would prefer to have a child with a partner, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Nonetheless, there are countless examples of single mothers and gay couples successfully raising great kids. Who are you to judge? I'm honestly happy for you that you have such a great family of your own, even though it looks different from mine.

    1. Dear Lauren,
      I can't thank you enough for your comment. You are right, I am entitled to my own beliefs, especially on my own blog, but I don't have the right to offend anyone. For that I'm sorry.

      I didn't mean to say that every woman who has a baby on her own is an extreme feminist. I was trying to explain that when women do have a baby on their own simply to spite the world and prove they can do it (and there are those women out there) they fall under the category of "extreme feminist". It is my personal belief that all children deserve to be brought up by a father and a mother. Men and women are different and because of that children learn things from each one that can't be taught by the other. I realize this isn't a popular notion and you obviously don't agree with me, but that is what I know to be true and I can not deny it or stand by while the world makes a mockery of marriage.

      Our church teaches that just because a person doesn't have the opportunity to marry or have children in this life doesn't mean they won't in a future life time. I was out with a friend of mine just tonight who is forty years old, single and doesn't have any children. She would LOVE to have a child to call her own, but she knows that one day she will meet her husband and they will have as many children as they want even if it's not here in this life on Earth. To those who are worried about waning fertility I would say why settle for anything less.

      As far as same sex marriages go this NY times writer summed it up, "Same-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences." (Ross Douthat). Again I personally believe homosexual actions to be wrong. I'm not denying that people have gay or lesbian inclinations the wrong doing comes in how they respond to those feelings. There is a gay man who practices the same religion as me and his story can be found here:

      Finally I'd refer you to the link to this video( ) because really it is about the children and what's best for them.

      Thanks again for your comment. I'm sure that whatever life you are living it is beautiful. It was not and still isn't my intent to judge anyone. That is not my job. My job is to stand up for what I believe in and to defend the family that God ordained. And when I meet my Maker I want to be able to say I stood up for His laws and His commandments and I defended His church.

    2. Thanks for your response! That blog post on The Weed is amazing, what a well-written and insightful read. Thanks for sharing.


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