SMM 095: Why You Need Other People to Help You Mother|| Rhonda Steed

When Rhonda Steed became a mom 17 years ago she quickly learned an important lesson–you need other people to help you mother. In this episode, Rhonda talks about various ways she has brought others into her children’s lives and how these people filled gaps she couldn’t fill herself, which greatly blessed her children. Ultimately, Rhonda shares how to let go of the overwhelm of trying to be everything in motherhood and let others in to make up the difference.

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Related Episodes

SMM 028: Not Comparing The Way You Love + Owning Your Spiritual Gifts || Tessa Brown

SMM 047: Finding Beauty in the Hard of Motherhood || Melinda Peterson

SMM 080: Why Your Weaknesses are Blessing Your Children|| Kristen Walker Smith

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Darla: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Mom podcast. This is Darla and I’m so happy that you’re here today. My guest today is Rhonda Steed, and she is a wife and a mom to five and I got to meet Rhonda last year when I traveled to Alberta, Canada, to speak at a conference, and I was lucky enough to get to stay at Rhonda’s house.

And let me tell you when, when I left my home, I had a lot of worries, a lot of things that were going on in my life, and I traveled all day. I went from Phoenix to Salt Lake to Billings, Montana, drove three hours into Canada and finally arrived at Rhonda’s house feeling a little weighed down, having to speak the next day at this conference, and I walked into Rhonda’s house and I just instantly felt at home.

I felt like this was an old friend and let me just paint the picture of what was going on that day. So, she’s hosting me that night. She has several nieces and nephews that were spending the night. The neighbor kids are running in and out. Neighbors are coming in and out. She’s host. She’s getting ready to host a dinner party for the all the other speakers for this conference.

And she’s also speaking the next day as well. And she’s just as cool and calm as can be. And what I, when I think of Rhonda, I just think of her as a gatherer of other people and a gatherer of women. And she loves motherhood. She loves other women. And, I just, she’s became such a good friend that day and I appreciated the, I don’t even know how to describe it.

It was just like a comfort from the storm coming in to Rhonda’s house and being able to spend that that day with her. And so, Rhonda, I’m really excited to welcome you to the podcast today. 

Rhonda: [00:01:33] Thanks Darla. And I’m excited to be here. 

And I had to write all that out because she didn’t write a bio, so I just, she didn’t get any control over what I said.

I actually had a birthday party right before you guys showed up too. 

Darla: [00:01:44] So I forgot about that. That’s right. Yeah. She had just hosted a birthday party that same day. Like this is Rhonda. Okay. So, I hope I painted the picture of you, but she’s amazing. And, so welcome to the podcast. Anything else you want to add about yourself?

Rhonda: [00:02:00] No, I don’t think so. Happily married 20 years to Regan and no, I don’t think so. Okay. 

Darla: [00:02:08] So we, and I said that you have five kids. So, one of the things that I really love about Rhonda, like if you go follow her on Instagram, her Instagram handle is @justrhondalee and she is, she is just who she is and she’s really comfortable.

You’re really comfortable being who you are and you know, there’s not a lot of airs or, you know, anything else. So I would love to know have you always been that way or was there a process that happened in your life that you came to the point where you’re just comfortable in your own skin and you know who you are?

How did that all happen?

Rhonda: [00:02:38] I definitely was not always comfortable with who I was at all. In fact, it’s hilarious now, but when I was a kid, when I grew up in the eighties, my mom permed our hair. That’s what everybody did, right? 

Darla: [00:02:50] Yeah, I permed my hair for sure. 

Rhonda: [00:02:51] And when it was permed, it did not have a good cut for perm.

So literally, I had triangle here and was like this giant hair. And anyways, there was this little girl who told me, she called me Puff the Magic Dragon. Which one, I was like seven or maybe, I guess I would have been maybe 10. Anyways, I was mortified and so embarrassed. And it’s so funny to think now as an adult that someone calling me Puff the Magic Dragon bothered me.

But it did when I was a kid. So, for sure when I was younger now, I was not as comfortable with who I was at all. But,  I think experiences that I had actually where I realized who I was always ,kind of how Sherri Dew says once you decide or you realize who you’ve always been, who you are and who you’ve always been, it should change everything for you.

And I think at some point, maybe in about my, probably about when I got married, actually, when I really realized that I, when I was loved completely by my husband,  I realized that I, I liked who I was and I am good with all of the quirkiness about me that I like it. So yeah, I think that’s probably, yeah.

Darla: [00:04:05] I think that’s good.

 I love the key component there of, you know, just realizing that who you are is who you were meant to be, and you can just be comfortable with that. So, I really, I really love that. So, let’s talk a little bit about motherhood. So, I said that you have five kids.  Tell me where you’re at with motherhood.

What are the ages of your kids?

Rhonda: [00:04:24] My oldest is seventeen, and then I have a daughter, Lucy, who is, this is like a trick question. I should have wrote it down to go over all their ages. Lucy is 14 and then Eli is 11 and then Lucy, I mean, wait, no, no, Oliver. Oh my heavens. Okay. Oliver is eight. Just say them again for you. That was atrocious. And Nora is seven. 

Darla: [00:04:53] Okay. And I think you cut out when you said Alden.

So how old is Alden? 17. 

Rhonda: [00:04:58] So 17. 

Darla: [00:04:59] 17 to seven. So you’ve got this 10 years of having kids and 

Rhonda: [00:05:03] all of them actually at the beginning, like are they’re all three years apart. And then, well, bam, God gave me Nora in that 16 months. So it was  aried. I had them placed. And you 

Darla: [00:05:16] had a plan. 

Rhonda: [00:05:17] Well, it wasn’t even the plan in the beginning.

It’s just we didn’t, we couldn’t get pregnant very quickly, and then all of a sudden I was having a surprise baby and I was like, wait, we don’t do that. That doesn’t happen to us. But it was quite a challenge. But a wonderful. Wonderful end cap to our family. 

Darla: [00:05:35] Oh, that’s great. And I’ve met your kids.

They’re all just delightful, have the best personalities and are so fun.  I want to talk more about something that we’ve talked about in the past and something that I’ve shared before on the podcast is that we don’t have to be everything to our kids as a mom because the Savior is everything for them.

But you have a really interesting take on that because you agree with that, but you have realized that in your life, the Savior has brought other people to help you mother your children. So, tell me about that view that you have about the Savior bringing other people into your motherhood.

Rhonda: [00:06:11] I think it started realizing for me, before I was a mother, that in my own life, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ sent people to fill in where I needed it, and a lot of it had to do with, like right before I got married, I had a little, I have one sister and she passed away the week leading up to my wedding and my mother, who is one of the most capable humans you’ll ever meet, she all of a sudden was in a lot of ways, incapacitated with grief, and she had been preparing my wedding. She was sewing my wedding dress and making my veil and decorating the cake, and like she was literally doing everything herself, and then all of a sudden, she was doing nothing because she was consumed with grief.

It was probably my first true lesson on the power of Relief Society because all of these women, and men, actually, started showing up and doing things. And so, when I stood at my wedding, my mother was standing beside me in a dress that someone else had picked up and brought to her.  I was wearing a dress that someone else had sewn.

All of these things, this wedding came together from our wonderful little community of these women who loved us and stepped in where my mother couldn’t do it. And so, I think that’s where the first lesson of this kind of started. And then as my children, and when I had my first child, Alden, I had done all this reading. I was getting prepared and I probably read every child book I could come across at the time, every parenting book, and then I had a baby and he didn’t do any of the things I had read about in a book. He didn’t follow any of that like he was. He’s in a very probably literally the easiest baby to exist on earth.

They’re just so laid back, still his personality to this day, super calm, very relaxed, and I was pumped. I’d been waiting to be a mother, and so I would, you know, I wanted to play games with him and I wanted to sing songs to him and you know, and I would follow him around our little apartment. We were living out in Halifax on the East Coast of Canada.

I’d follow him around and want to do these things. And he would come over and put his mouth like his hand on my mouth to stop me from talking to him because he just wanted to play quietly with his cars. And I was like, no, no. I’ve waited years. I’m going to mother you right now. You would have to pay attention to me.

I waited and he had, he didn’t want me to do any of those things. He was very content to sit and line up cars and like quietly play with toys, which, you know, in retrospect, I could have done anything I wanted during the day because that’s not what he, but I, I wanted to mother him the way that I wanted to.

And so anyways, it started learning that I, I’m gonna mother how I am, but that my kids are gonna they need specific things, I guess. And I’m not always the one to give it to them. Does that make sense? 

Darla: [00:09:03] Yeah, totally makes sense.  You have this expectation and this idea of what motherhood should look like, but our kids are all, they all need different things. So, you’re one way, but you might not be able to provide everything that they need. 

Rhonda: [00:09:16] Yes. Yes. And I think too, like you learn that in a lot of relationships. In marriage, you learn it, that you’re, you’re so many things with your spouse, but your spouse is, can’t be literally everything. And especially I think as females, you need a girl to talk to sometimes–your mom, your sister, a friend. You can be a lot of things for each other, but you can’t actually be everything and you can’t do it for your kids either. 

Darla: [00:09:40] Yeah. Very good point. Very good point. So, so you’re, you’re starting to notice this like right away in motherhood that like, okay, well… 

Rhonda: [00:09:48] This is not going how I planned.

Darla: [00:09:50] So I know. Tell me about experiences that you’ve had where other people have stepped in and been there and have helped you to mother your children. 

Rhonda: [00:09:59] Well, I’ve actually kind of see you, like we talked about, I’ll share one in a minute, but, well, the first one I can think of actually is when my second child was born, Lucy, and we lived…

So, when I was pregnant with my very first child, my husband got into a master’s program in Nova Scotia. So, we lived in the prairies and Alberta in the West, and we got into a vehicle, a Saturn pulling the U-Haul. That seems practical. And I was eight months pregnant and we drove across the country to this apartment that we’d never seen that someone rented for us over a fax machine. They sent us a floor plan and we rented it and they paid the deposit and we showed up. And so, I drove over there, and I was pregnant, moving away from my mother and my mother in law to this experience. And I never had a baby. I didn’t know how to have a baby. I didn’t know how to raise baby. I’d read a lot of books, but that was all I knew.

And so, I actually found across the street, the church is very small there and across the street from me in my apartment. And there was this teeny little strip mall, and one of the signs on one of the strip mall said it was called something like, Parenting Center or something. I had no vehicle and a brand-new baby in a city where I knew no one. So, I went across the street to this random building just to see. I didn’t know what it was, and I found this group of women, none of them were members of the church. They were just women that were there. And there was this old woman and she was, she was probably 80 and she was running this parenting center. And she taught us things that I had no concept that if I would’ve lived closer to my mother, she probably would have filled me in on some of these things, but like, I don’t know how to make baby food and freeze them in little cubes of ice tray and then you’ve fallen out and then you feed your baby. That like just so many practical things. How to brush gums on a brand-new baby, like all these things.

Darla: [00:11:43] So at this parenting center, they were actually teaching parenting skills? 

Rhonda: [00:11:47] Yeah, like very physical action skills.

Darla: [00:11:51] Amazing! 

Rhonda: [00:11:52] Yeah. It was awesome. All these things that I didn’t know, and I could have learned them over time, but it was this complete stranger to me, and we got really close, like I’m still friends with a lot of those women who I met in that time.

And so, like almost, it started almost from the beginning that Heavenly Father was giving me these people that were going to help me fill in gaps that I had. That I didn’t know or that they were going to step in for me. So that happened a lot. And then when I had Lucy, she actually ended up, she had pneumonia when she was born, and so she was put right into the NICU from the very beginning, and she was in there for 10 days.

And so, I had one kid at home, and I wasn’t near any family. And then I had this very sick baby. And all these people stepped in and helped me mother my one child. So, I would stay during the day with my baby. And then at nighttime I would drive away from the hospital and leave my baby there, which was very difficult, and go home and mother my other child.

And I had so many women step in and do things for me that I couldn’t do at that time. I couldn’t be there with Alden all day and I couldn’t be with my baby. And so, I had people on both ends stepping in for my children when I couldn’t be there. And it was a, so like so many experiences where Heavenly Father’s given me other people.

And the one that we talked about is,  fast forward, my children have grown up and all these people have helped fill roles in their lives. And, my oldest, he was getting to an age where we kind of wanted him to learn more, I guess about how to work and why it’s important to work. And so, we came up with a hundred hours that he needed to do work.

And it was not, he was not going to get paid for it. It was work that he needed to do. And at that time, we were building our new home and my brother, one of my brothers was being the finisher. And so, my brother started hiring, you know, in quotations, hiring free labor from Alden. And so, Alden… 

Darla: [00:13:40] How old was Alden at this time?

Rhonda: [00:13:42] He would have been 15 

Darla: [00:13:44] Okay. So he’s very capable of doing work.

Rhonda: [00:13:46] He’s capable.

Darla: [00:13:47] Yeah.

But not, had never been exposed to it. I’m married to a doctor. He doesn’t really, he doesn’t really like whip up boards or anything. Like, that’s not in his, that’s not what he does. He helps people at a clinic. He doesn’t really build things. And so anyways, my brother, who is very much a builder, he had Alden come and Alden, he taught Alden how to sand.

Rhonda: [00:14:05] So every baseboard, every finishing piece of wood in our whole entire home, Alden sanded and helped get ready for, and he hated every minute of it, hated it. But we stuck to, that he was going to complete these hundred hours. So, after all of the boards have been sanded, we had only got to about, I think it was 60 hours, and we still had tons of time, and I didn’t want to step away from what we had said.

From the outset, we had said this was a hundred hours and I wanted to stick to that because I think that’s important. And I didn’t know what to do it because I don’t have a farm. I don’t have any, these hundred hours was not taking away from his regular home responsibilities, what I would call a living list.

You help with laundry because you’re living, you help with dishes because you’re living, that does not take away from, so this was above his living list. So anyways, I was kind of bemoaning to a friend that I, I needed to come up with some sort of work and I didn’t know what it would be, but it needed to be something that he physically would do.

And she said to me, well, you need to find an old lady. And I was like. Oh, maybe I do need to find an old lady. Definitely, Heavenly Father was like totally put it right in my head that exactly who it would be. At that time, my husband and my son were home teaching companions and they home taught to this wonderful, sister named Libina Hagio. And her and her husband live on about three acres of land and her husband has the early stages of dementia. And so, this lady has been taking care of her home and her, all this land, you know, grass and shrubs and all these things on her own as her husband deteriorates, and it’s very physically hard for her. And so Heavenly Father totally told me this was the perfect experience. It did a double edge thing. It taught Alden about the responsibilities of home teaching, and it also taught him about paying off the hours that we wanted him to work. So, it was like this double edge thing and it was helping Sister Hagio with all the help that she needed. And so, he started, I phoned and broached the subject with her, and she said that she would love it. She would love, and it would be very helpful.

And so, he started going over to her home once or twice a week and she would put him to work. So, she would follow him around and she taught him how to shovel properly, which was hilarious to me because I don’t know if I know how to shovel properly after listening to her. She taught him how to, you know, if wiring is faulty, you know, you know, like adjusting on a light fixture and you know, how to properly paint a fence and all these things that I, because of my personality, I would just wing things. Whereas her personality is you do things exactly a certain way. And so, this sweet woman followed him around every time he was there and said, “Okay, you do it like this. Okay, you do it like this.” So, for hours, she would spend this time with him and taught him so many physical skills, but also to do a good job. Like all these things she taught him, and their relationship actually became very close. He loves her dearly. It’s like an extra grandma that he has, and so it was a wonderful. It was totally Heavenly Father told me exactly what to do and who it was, like He, it was such an experience of inspiration and it was a great blessing, I think, in his life. And hopefully, I assume as he ages, he will always think fondly of the Hagios and the time that he spent in their home. And he worked off his hundred hours. And so, then we were satisfied with him having fulfilled what we set out from the beginning. 

Darla: [00:17:39] I love that story. I love, I, there’s like so many things interwoven into it. I mean, this wasn’t just twofold. This was like three, four or five fold of the benefits that it provided that you were, you know, you were able to follow the spirit and to know how to fulfill this, this thing that you felt strongly about in motherhood and, and to pull somebody else in. And to let them teach your child something that you could never teach them.

I love how you pointed out that you, your personality sets you up in a certain way, that you do things. And then this person had a totally different way of doing things. And so your son was exposed to that and learn things that he needed to learn. 

I love that.

Rhonda: [00:18:19] It’s been cool to watch. So, we live in a different ward now and he doesn’t, you know, he’s not their ministering brother. But when he sees, when they see each other, this, this older sister and him, it’s great delight between the two of them because it forged a relationship of love between the two of them. And you know, he was a 15-year-old boy hanging out with an 80-year-old, but he fell in love with who she was. And you know, she, I saw her one day when all of this was happening and she said that the most delighted feeling she had was when he went into the kitchen and helped himself to a glass of milk because that showed her that their relationship had bonded and she’s right. It came to a level of comfort that if he needed something or he wanted to learn, he could go to this woman who has no relation to him, but it built a relationship that’s strong.

Darla: [00:19:03] I think I can see such great blessings for our kids when we let other people into our mothering. 

Rhonda: [00:19:09] Yes. 

Darla: [00:19:09] Like you said, he has one more, I mean, what kid, especially a teenager, doesn’t need one more person in their corner that believes in them, that loves them, that supports them like. Huge blessing there.

Rhonda: [00:19:21] And I think too sometimes, especially in our day and age now, teenagers in some ways, they’re removed from the elderly population and there’s such wisdom and knowledge and they can bless, like it blesses both of them. It blesses the grandma, the new grandma and it blesses the teenager because they learn like there’s something powerful about those relationships that they can grow in the strength, both of them in wonderful ways.

Yeah, I don’t, I, I think it has great value in multigenerational relationships too. 

Darla: [00:19:54] Yeah. There is a lot of of value in that. I can totally see through that story that illustrates up perfectly that there is. So, so what do you think, okay, so if there’s a mom out there that’s saying, “I don’t really let other people in. I want to.” What would you say to that mom?

Rhonda: [00:20:12] Well, I think it can be scary sometimes too. Because you want to feel like you’re everything to your kids. And that’s a double-edged thing because you want to feel like that. But in the same breath, that’s so overwhelming. So, it’s like this weird feeling that doesn’t make… 


Darla: [00:20:26] that totally resonates. Like we’ve all felt that.

Rhonda: [00:20:29] Yeah. And it’s, it’s difficult, but I think there’s a few things. So, I call it bridging. So, if there’s a, let’s say, okay, my son Eli, who’s the third child. When he, he is a very energetic little person and he requires a lot of mental energy. He’s very energetic and he has a million ideas a day, and he just is very, and when he went into nursery, he was terrified of the nursery leader.

I mean, terrified. Sweetest lady you could ever find. He was terrified of her. And he wouldn’t go near her. And I needed a break from him. Frankly, I needed him to go to nursery because I needed to be a little time away from him, and I could not get him to go to her. And so, I had them over for Sunday dinner and he met her in a comfortable place.

He met her and bridged that relationship in our home so that all of a sudden he saw her as a person and he started calling her GC, Grandma Cara, and so then they forged her relationship in our home where it’s safe, and then it went out into church and was able to go to nursery. So I always call it bridging that I think if you, when you find someone, like if you find them on your own or I don’t know if they said they’re in a church calling, it can work with the young men’s leader or young women’s leader or anything and activity days later. If you bridge the relationship between you and them that it’s a safe place, I think it gives opportunity for a child to say, okay, I can trust this person. And I think following a ward family is a wonderful place to start because there’s so many people who Heavenly Father literally called to help your children. He called and set them apart. So trust that, let it be something, you know, encourage their relationships and help them to be, you know, to bless each other’s lives and on the same breath when you are given a calling or an opportunity, then bless the children that come to you, help them and build relationships with them.

Darla: [00:22:25] Yeah, that was going to be actually my next question. So, the flip side of that, we all have influence on other, another mother’s child at some point or another in lots of capacities. It could be that they’re coming to our home, you know, playing as a friend of one of our kids, or we have a church calling or, you know, there’s so many ways that we can, we can have an influence on other people.

So how do you, because motherhood’s demanding, like we’re all just trying to, you know, figure out how to meet the needs of our own kids. So, we bring other people in there. How do we take that, take our energy and put it out, you know, to help other kids? 

Rhonda: [00:23:01] I think one of the ways it starts is that when I see my best friend and I see her children, that I acknowledged them.

So, there’s a kid who lives just down the street. Me and her, the mom, have been friends since childhood, and her kid is in my home almost every day. Me and him have a relationship and when he does something he shouldn’t, I call him on it. You shouldn’t be doing that. You know better. I know you know better. Don’t do that again. Or, Hey, I’m so happy to see you, and no matter where we are, if we’re in my home, if we’re at the school, if I see him at the store that I acknowledged that relationship. Hey, how are you? What are you doing today? Like just being open and making sure that I’m connecting with them and it’s not like that takes a lot of time.

Darla: [00:23:46] Right, right.

Rhonda: [00:23:46] You know what I mean? And they’re like, that kid I’m talking about, his name’s Mason. And when he, I tease him and call him The Hulk cause he’s like, really tough. And so I was teasing him the other day that when he goes on a mission, I hope he thanks me too, since he spends so much time in my home, like, and it’s, you know, we have a lighthearted relationship and we can, I can be friends with this kid and hopefully I’ll have an influence in his life, and me and his mother are good friends too. And so when I, when he heard me yell at my own child, I can text her and say, yeah, he just witnessed me losing my cool, heads up. So, I don’t know when we discussed that with him, I just yelled at my kid and he witnessed. Having an open relationship with the parent as well, but also acknowledging this child and saying, we are friends, me and you, we can be friends, and this is good.

Darla: [00:24:34] Yeah, I love, I love that you’re making that connection because it would be really easy just to treat them as, this is my friend’s kid. That would be so easy. But what you’re talking about doesn’t take that much effort to just get down on their level and to let them know that, Hey, I care about you. That’s a great way to start. 

Rhonda: [00:24:52] And I think it helps a child’s self-esteem. At least it does for my children. When another adult acknowledges that they’re worthy enough to notice them and to pay attention. 

Darla: [00:25:02] Yeah. 

Rhonda: [00:25:02] That gives value. I mean, it gives adults, it helps our self-esteem when we can, when we’re acknowledged by other people; it makes us feel good.

And so why wouldn’t a child need it? And I think especially teenagers, because in the state and emotional and they’re just trying to figure out who they are. If there are kind adults who are saying, Hey, I believe in you. I think you’re awesome, I’m happy to see you. How can that not bless their lives? Like that should help all of them.

Darla: [00:25:29] Yeah. What, what an impact you can have, especially on the teen. I was talking to someone that’s been a former Bishop and has 12 kids of his own and all this stuff, and he said, you know, you parents, as parents, we can tell our kids stuff over and over, and they get to the point where by the time they’re teenagers, they might be tuning us out.

But a young men’s leader or a Bishop or a young woman’s leader or an advisor or whatever can come in and say the exact same thing and that kid will listen. So, you might be saving a kid that their parents are doing everything they can and you can come in and, and be, be the one that really makes a difference.

Rhonda: [00:26:04] Totally. I believe in that so much because I remember being a teenager and thinking, eh, there goes my parents again telling me the exact same thing, but then you hear someone else and you’re like, oh, I’ve never thought of that before. 

Darla: [00:26:17] Yeah. 

Rhonda: [00:26:17] Even though your mother might’ve told you a million times. 

Darla: [00:26:22] I’ve had my kids come home and say, Oh, so-and-so said this to me, and wow, isn’t this so great? And I’m like, we’ve said that to you like 10 times! 

Rhonda: [00:26:30] It’s so funny. But it’s like, God works in repetitive, like that’s the way God is.  We’re bored with it, but he’s always repetitive and he doesn’t, he doesn’t make us feel bad for having to be repetitive to us, but he does give it to us in different ways.

So, he might say it from us, and then we’ll hear from President Nelson and then we’ll read it in our scriptures. Like that’s actually how God works in all these different ways. So why wouldn’t it work with our kids too? We hear it all different ways and they need to hear it all different ways too. 

 Darla: [00:26:57] Yeah, that’s a, that’s a really, that’s a really good point. And, and so as, as mothers we can open ourselves up to saying that not every bit of knowledge or every bit of teaching has to come from us. That it can come from other people and that will be such a great benefit to our children. 

Rhonda: [00:27:13] I think too, in the beginning we were talking about self-esteem in the day and age we live in with the internet and access to what other people are doing. I think the, we have, we see things and make stories up in our own heads about situations, about other people. And because that happens, we then are more fearful to share what’s happening in our own lives because we decide that people are going to judge you’re wrong or think you’re wrong or whatever. And then this, it kind of isolates us from each other.

Whereas when before the internet existed, you leaned over your farmers fence and you discussed or the neighbor or whatever, and you had this security system of people who were supporting you. It’s not that people are less supportive. It’s that we’re telling ourselves stories that aren’t true. We are making, we’re separating ourselves.

So instead of relying on this network that Heavenly Father has put in place with families, extended families, with ministering, with all these church families like, it exists, we just separate ourselves from it. Instead of using it to the benefit for our children or for ourselves. 

Darla: [00:28:21] Yeah, that’s so beautifully put. Like, Heavenly Father has given, given us all these great systems and processes and people just right here, right? We have it, we have it all around you, around us, and we can just open up and let other people in and that’s going to bless us. 

Rhonda: [00:28:38] I know for some people it’s hard. Like I’m kind of, my personality is kind of an open book, and I know for some people that’s not the way they are. Like I understand that. I’m actually married to someone like that. 

Darla: [00:28:47] Yeah, well I’m, I’m naturally more closed off too, so I get that. So that’s why I’m asking that question. Like how, I think I’ve, I’ve learned and grown over the years and figured out how to do that, but I can, I can still find myself wanting to just close off and not, not let anybody in.

So, it’s good for me to hear from people like you. And I know there’s people like me out there that need to hear that too. So… 

Rhonda: [00:29:07] I think it started with good friends, like one good friend. It has to start with that. And some people’s personalities aren’t going to demand huge groups of friends. Like that’s fine.

Darla: [00:29:19] And that’s okay. 

Rhonda: [00:29:20] And God can still send in a young men’s leader to help your youth. You know what I mean? Like it doesn’t have to be a huge group of people, but letting a relationship build in a healthy, positive way, that’s good, that Heavenly Father has set out? Yeah. Encourage it. Let it be, and don’t feel bad about it. Don’t realize, wait, I should been that. No, you shouldn’t have. They should be it. That’s fine. 

Darla: [00:29:44] Yes. You just hit the nail on the head. Don’t feel bad about it. That, that is perfect. I love that. Well, I have loved talking to you, Rhonda. I think the things that you’ve shared. They’re really, it’s really important to, to understand how Heavenly Father works in our lives and, and what that, what that looks like. And it’s not all the same for all of us, but that we can all help each other and, and learn and grow. And so, I just really appreciate that you have come on today to share, share that message that, you know, we don’t have to be everything for our kids, but that we can use other people. So, I appreciate that.

And I do have one final question for you and that is, how have you seen your Heavenly Parents as your partners in motherhood? 

Rhonda: [00:30:22] I think I’ve thought about this question because I know you ask it every time. And so, I’ve thought about it for quite a while. And I think for me, the way I’ve seen it is that Heavenly Father is reminding me again and again that they were his kids first and they’re just on loan for me.

And so, he knows them. And so, when I don’t know what to do, which is a lot of the time, he’ll tell me. And that I, I need to trust that he’ll answer those questions that I have. It might not be right away, but that he’ll help me parent them and that I can do it. However, he’s going to help me to parent them, I guess that’s it. 

Darla: [00:31:00] That’s beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing today and for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it. 

Rhonda: [00:31:06] Thanks for having me.

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