Monday, May 31, 2010

Mommy Profile: Jane Clayson Johnson

I mentioned earlier in my blogging that I had a difficult time making the transition of working mom to stay at home mom. This is the woman who inspired me to take the leap and every time I question my decision I listen to her talk called "I am a Mother." She is incredible and I love her story.

In 1990, Jane earned a Journalism degree from BYU and began her career working for KSL where she earned an Emmy for her work while reporting on American doctors who travel to China to assist disabled Chinese children. From there she went on to work at ABC on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, covering the OJ Simpson trial and the Presidential campaigns. She then went to CBS working with Bryant Gumbel, covering stories such as the Millennium, President Bush's inauguration, and the September 11th attacks. Her life was incredible, and she was about to be promoted to CBS evening news. Then, she made a decision: She left the world of journalism to become a mother.

“My life before was exciting and intellectually stimulating and stressful and overwhelming and sometimes all of those things all at once. I loved what I did,” she said:
“I left one wonderful thing for another incredibly wonderful thing.”

“Sometimes,” she said, “The challenges of mothering, the daily physical and emotional exhaustion and occasional self-doubts causes us to devalue what we do and to devalue it in the eyes of our children.”

She admits that once in awhile while she is on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor and looks up to the television to see one of her old friends doing a high-profile interview, she has a pang, but it is far overshadowed by the sense of satisfaction she has.

My favorite quote from Jane is: “The day-in-and-day-out of daily mothering is invisible, because so much of what we do doesn’t last, and we do it within the walls of our own home where it is not noticed. I traded in fancy lunches and fancy restaurants for something better. Still, there is no one to tap me or any mother on the back and say, ‘terrific diaper change.’ There’s no praise or recognition for the day in and day out of mothering. It is the little things that make the difference in our children long term. Because you can’t measure those things, mothers are sort of relegated to be considered as high-end babysitters. That’s not true. Mothering is the work of the ages. It is the most important thing that we could be doing."

You can read all about Jane's experience, and read quotes and antidotes from others in her book I am a Mother.


  1. That is an inspiring story of motherhood! Love the last quote, I have been struggling lately and it helped put things back in perspective, thanks!

  2. This is a great reminder for all of us. Did you remember that it was Jane Clayson that told Karen her favorite play (beside Les Mes) she had ever seen was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in London. This recommendation was coming from someone who had seen countless shows in NY too. That was why I was dying to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

  3. Lisa, EVERY time I struggle I watch her address at the BYU womens conference and it lifts me up every time. She is incredible!