“The Sweet Moments Keep Me Going” Says North Dakota Young Mother of the Year
Contributed By Abby Jennings, Church News staff writer
- Anneli Osmond was the oldest of seven children, so she learned early that she had a strong desire to be a mother.
- She has realized that the Lord helps her by giving her sweet moments during motherhood to make up for the tough times.
- Anneli at first wasn’t comfortable being considered Young Mother of the Year but has learned that it’s not about being the best mom, but rather about honoring motherhood everywhere.
“Being a mom is tough. I rarely feel like I have everything balanced and complete, and too often I go to bed thinking I was unsuccessful at a lot of ‘mom stuff,’ but [the Lord] blesses me with sweet moments that keep me going.” —Anneli Osmond, North Dakota’s State Young Mother of the Year
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA
Anneli Osmond grew up the oldest of seven children in Rigby, Idaho. The desire to be a mom came from helping her parents with her younger brothers and sisters. “I wasn’t in a hurry because of all the babysitting I did, but I always wanted to be a full-time mom,” she said.
Her parents, Mark and Shelly Peterson, have always been inspirations to her. “My beautiful mom has inspired me in every way. Anything I do well is because of her example and love.”
As a young adult, she was able to travel to Ecuador and China. Those trips had a big impact on the rest of her life. A defining moment was when she was sightseeing. “I heard a young man next to me tell someone he was searching for truth. I remember wishing that I had a Book of Mormon with me and that I knew how to share it,” she said. Three months later, she was at the missionary training center in Provo, Utah, ready to leave for a mission in Edinburgh, Scotland.
After completing her mission, she went to Brigham Young University. She soon met up with a friend she met when she was in the MTC, Steve Osmond, son of Wayne and Kathy Osmond. It wasn’t long before the two began dating. In 2000, they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Then a year later, Sister Osmond graduated with a degree in audiology and speech language pathology.
Studying to be a dentist, her husband’s education path took them to Nebraska, Idaho, and finally to Richmond, Virginia, where he studied endodontics. He was very busy with school and Church callings, and sometimes Sister Osmond was left to entertain their three children alone in this unfamiliar city. “I remember thinking, if I want to have friends, have fun, and make memories with my children, then I can’t wait for Steve to come with us. I need to be brave and adventurous and get out of the house, even if I get lost trying. So I pushed my little ones out the door almost every day.”
After leaving Virginia they moved to Provo, Utah, where her husband joined an endodontic practice. Two years later, they felt strongly that they needed to be somewhere else. “We prayed together and told Heavenly Father we were willing to go anywhere. Within a couple of months, we were moving to Bismarck. We absolutely love North Dakota.”
Now with four children ages 6 to 13, Sister Osmond is especially grateful for the gospel to guide her in the journey through motherhood. “I know that the Lord helps me get through every single day. Being a mom is tough. I rarely feel like I have everything balanced and complete, and too often I go to bed thinking I was unsuccessful at a lot of ‘mom stuff,’ but He blesses me with sweet moments that keep me going,” she said.
She enjoys seeing the love her children have for each other and is grateful that they get along so well. “We have to tell them to stop being so silly and happy more than we have to tell them to stop arguing. They are really good to each other and rarely do they not get along; it’s the truth, and Heavenly Father sent them that way,” she said.
Earlier this year, American Mothers Inc. named Sister Osmond the North Dakota Young Mother of the Year. She was grateful to be inducted into an organization that praises motherhood. “Joining American Mothers and being called Young Mother of the Year wasn’t comfortable to do. I almost didn’t move forward with it because I know I am not the best mom … but it’s not the title of ‘best mom.’ It’s an honor for motherhood and the difference moms can make at home, in the community, and in the world. I will always be willing to stand for motherhood and pay tribute to all hard-working moms out there,” she said.