PLEASANT GROVE, UTAH
Growing up, Breanne Bolingbroke Meline always wanted to be a mother. She fondly remembers that her own mom would play “I Want to Be a Mother,” a song by Janeen Brady, a children’s music composer and lyricist, and she and her sisters would sing and dance to this song. As they did, young Breanne dreamed of the day she would become a mother.
“I love being a mother. I can’t think of anything I love more than being a mother, next to my husband and the gospel,” said Sister Meline, a member of the Battle Creek 3rd Ward in the Pleasant Grove Utah East Stake. She was named as the 2014 Young Mother of the Year in Utah. She and her husband, Preston Meline, have seven children, the oldest of whom is currently serving in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.
Sister Meline said her seven children constantly are teaching her about the Savior, Jesus Christ. “My favorite thing about being a mother is understanding Christlike love more deeply. The more and more you understand the depth [and] the different layers of it, [there] is so much joy that can come from being a good mother.”
The gospel, she said, has been instrumental in raising her family.
“I would not be where I am without the gospel. It’s so interwoven. Everything I do is based on gospel principles. It’s completely influenced [my family] in great ways.”
Brother and Sister Meline strive to teach their children about the gospel and encourage them to always be learning and ask questions.
“[We] talk with them about it and teach them,” said Sister Meline. “I’m still learning. I’m always teaching them of not being afraid to ask questions about it. We give them the chance to think things through.”
As she teaches her children, they also teach her lessons. One of the biggest lessons they have taught her is to “laugh at yourself — they laugh way more than I did as a child.”
Additionally, her seven children have helped her to develop her parenting philosophy.
“In a nutshell, you have to parent with love and patience,” she said. “You have to have unconditional love.”
Her children, she said, also teach her to have an eternal perspective. “Forgiveness is a real principle and eternity is beautiful. The perspective of knowing that we’ll all be together forever [strengthens us].”
Sister Meline hopes to be able to teach mothers — and fathers — of the powerful influence they can have on their children and to leave them with a message of encouragement.
“Mothers and fathers have such a huge influence,” she said. “Don’t ever give up. You’re doing better than you think you are. Keep putting one foot in front of another.”