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state mother of the year
Monica Godfrey, 2024 Utah Mother of the Year

Monica Godfrey

February 13, 2024

About

Bio

Monica was raised in Ogden, Utah. In high school, she excelled in sports and participated in student government. She was a five-time state champion. Monica went on to attend Weber State University where she majored in Communications and graduated in 1995 as the top graduate in her program. While at WSU, she met her husband, Matthew. They settled in Ogden where they raised five children. During those years, she supported her husband through three campaigns during his 12 years as mayor of Ogden. Monica and her husband served as mission leaders in the Peru Lima from 2016-2019. Four of their children accompanied them. She currently serves as a service missionary for the Ogden Temple Youth Center. Today her three oldest children are married and she has four grandchildren. She enjoys organizing, gardening, hiking, pickleball, and church service; but her absolute favorite is spending time with her family.

Parenting Philosophy

I believe children need sunshine, happiness and time to play. They need nurturing, love, kindness and affection. I also believe they need to hear us say yes more than we say no and they need a firm, guiding hand and restrictions – especially when they’re young. We kept the reigns tight when they were young, then loosened them as they grew. I believe that children need to be sheltered from the atrocities of the world, as much as we can, until they are old enough to cope with those things. I believe that my job as a mother is to teach, love and trust my children. I have high expectations for them and yet my job is not to control them. I hope to teach them correct values then let them be accountable for their decisions. I trust that they will learn from their mistakes, and they’ll figure things out just like I have done. I’m their cheerleader and a listening ear in this process of learning and growing. My desire has been to create a home where my children felt valued and where they felt peace. I wanted my home to be a refuge, where no matter what was happening in their lives or the world, they could feel loved and secure. Because I didn’t have to work outside the home, I took my role as a mother seriously and treated it like my job. I read books on parenting and tried to apply all the good that I gleaned.

Motherhood and Community

My husband was first elected as the full-time mayor of Ogden City when he was 29. I was 25 and we had three children. I supported him through three campaigns and 12 years of service. I helped him knock doors, proofread and wordsmith documents, listened at the end of good days and hard days and made sure our home was a soft place for him to land. He initiated a lot of change during his 12 years which helped revive Ogden into a vibrant city. Change also brings opposition. It was a wonderful time and a difficult time. We met incredible people who volunteered their time and resources for our city. While challenging, this experience was good for our family. Our children learned the importance of voting and to have political awareness. They learned firsthand that political leadership takes sacrifice. I think now, as adults, they appreciate people who are willing to serve. We served as mission leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Peru Lima North Mission. We took three of our teenage children with us. We were mission “parents” to 550 young adults during our three years in Peru! We loved those missionaries like they were our own. Once I held a conference with all our sister missionaries to teach them the importance of motherhood and parenting and encouraged them to value bringing children into the world. While I was devoted to our missionaries and rarely missed the major meetings, I made sure to take time off to take our children to do fun activities. I wanted our missionaries to understand that I was first a mother and second a mission leader. I hoped they would see by my example the importance of spending time with children. Our time in Peru was both wonderful and challenging, like all important endeavors. Our children learned that they could do hard things. They attended an international school and made friends from all over the world and learned to value cultural diversity. They also learned how blessed we are to live in the USA.

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