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Motherhood: An Essay 1 of 3

Just before I moved away from South Dakota I was asked to speak in church about motherhood. This is what I had to say (in 3 parts):

Several months ago there was an online article that made it's way through the blogging community regarding the fascination non-Mormon women have with what they dub 'Mormon Mommy Blogs.'
As the article spread like wildfire through the very niche it talked about, Mormon Mommy bloggers around the world chuckled in unison.

[To] use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic. ...This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about "work-life balance" and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever. [But], Mormon bloggers make marriage and motherhood seem, well, fun. Easy. Joyful."

Although I'm sure that every LDS mother appreciates leaving an impression of non-problematic, easy mothering... I'm pretty confident that none of us can actually say that's what happens.

A childhood friend of mine recently wrote:

My friend is a Mormon Mommy Blogger. A decidedly joyful one... but maybe not a carefree one.

Elder Holland said in a recent devotional:

One of the greatest injustices we as women do to ourselves is to think that we must seem perfect at all times. Each and every one of us is acutely aware of exactly how IMperfect we are, but none of us is willing to show those imperfections to the outside world. This lack of honesty with one another creates a massive, all consuming void into which many women find themselves trapped.

One popular blogger has monopolized on this 'perfection' phenomenon. She writes: Hey everyone!!! Just a head's up: I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER! life is bliss! How did I get so lucky???? I seriously love my life and have non-stop fun all the time! Maybe we had a teensy... bit of trouble for a sec last week but things are perfect and I have the best life ever and my heart just hurts for people who have problems since I can't imagine what that's even like.”

Clearly there is a lot of elbow-room for a healthy approach to motherhood. One that does not include women bending over backwards in search of that false perfection.


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