Sometimes we learn things by learning how not to do things. In my quest for wisdom as a Mormon woman, wife, and mom, I am sharing what I have learned to do by sharing what I have learned not to do:
- Telling your spouse that you can’t wait until he dies so you can remarry. Even if you’re joking, he won’t think this is funny. And like many discussions on marriage, this may lead to a debate about polygamy and whether or not it was inspired.
- Not folding the laundry for days because you’re too lazy. This means you have to rewash all the clothes to really get out all those wrinkles. Also, you may feel guilt for all those harder things pioneer women did.
- Spitting out hot food in your mouth onto the floor. If you don’t clean it up, no one will. Or your daughter will try putting it in her mouth. And burn her mouth. She’ll blame God for not blessing the food.
- “Cleaning” by hiding all the clothes in the closet. When giving a tour of your new home, you will regret this. You may also wonder if you’re fake in the way (former) President Uchtdorf defined it in a General Conference talk.
- Eating chocolate truffles and Starbursts for breakfast. This gives you headaches and diarrhea throughout the day. And then you have to answer your children’s questions about what they can eat for breakfast and why, and why can’t they eat like Mom, and you will know you do not lead by example.
- Moaning about how much you’ve eaten and how fat you feel while continuing to eat popcorn. Your spouse might say, “Then stop eating,” which will be offensive and lead to feelings of bitterness, self-doubt, and self-loathing. Also, you may damage your daughters’ perceptions of the female body. For the record: Mother Eve’s body was big and strong, according to Joseph Smith.
- Spilling your jewelry box onto the floor and throwing a tantrum by walking away. No matter how long you’re away, the mess of jewelry will still be there when you get back. Or your child will eat it, choke, and you’ll have to yell-cry prayers to save her.
- Making dinosaur sounds in front of home teachers. You embarrass your family, but you also embarrass yourself.
- Running as fast as you can up the stairs. You will trip. You will fall. And not in the noble, Eve sense.
- Farting on your spouse’s head during morning prayer. This is not intimacy, this is . . . immaturity.
- Walking around the house in your underwear with all the windows open, saying, “What? I want the neighbors to see me.” When all your neighbors are fellow church members, you will regret this come Sunday.
- Crying and blushing about how much your calling frustrates you to your bishop. You can’t take it back and you will not get released. And he will begin talking to you like you’re a baby, which you’re not. Really!
- Stealing roses from a neighborhood house. If not your conscience, the neighbors from the ward or the pincher bugs will get you.
- Biting your spouse, not because you’re kinky, but because you’re angry. Biting your children, not because you’re playing, but because you’re angry. Contention is of the devil.
- Calling your BYU students “suckers” in an email. Some might laugh, but some will copy and paste it in your teacher evaluations.
- Eating chips in bed. Even if you put a rag underneath your chin to catch the crumbs, the crumbs will find a way . . . onto your spouse. Who will notice during prayer time.
- Telling your children that they need to share their drinks with you because you think you might die if they don’t. When they don’t share, and you don’t die, well, they won’t believe you anymore. And then they won’t believe your testimony in times of crisis.