Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Messages For LDS Moms

I love moms. All moms. Stay-at-home moms. Working moms. Used-to-work-but-now-retired moms. Young moms. Experienced moms. Grandmoms. Future moms. Moms with one kid. Moms with a half a dozen kids. Aunts, cousins and friends who aren’t actual birth-giving moms but act like moms anyway. Moms are rock stars.

I'm a working mom, and I've taken some heat for that choice. I’ve talked to other working moms, and they agree that "working mom status" isn't always met with approval. The heat seems to be more intense for LDS working women. Perhaps we’re just a sensitive bunch, but I don’t think so. Working moms tend to develop thick skins at the office. It comes with the territory.

(Career women may get more outward applause and praise than our stay-at-home counterparts, but we also get more rejection and criticism. It’s one thing to have your kid pull a funny face at the chicken casserole you’ve prepared all afternoon. It’s a completely different thing to have your boss deny the proposal you’ve been working on for weeks.)

Back on topic. (My mind tends to wander…happens in your 40s. I blame it on too much Duran Duran in the 80s.)

I was driving with my girls to a Girl Scout activity during the Saturday morning session of the April 2011 LDS General Conference when I heard Elder Quentin L. Cook say:

"...we should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters [women] are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people's circumstances."

Elder Cook continued, "I would hope that Latter-day Saints would be at the forefront in creating an environment in the workplace that is more receptive and accomodating to both women and men in their reponsibilities as parents."

I kept looking for the remote to push the rewind button. (Doesn’t exist on the car radio, by the way.) As an LDS working mom who blogs about finding work-life balance, this was practically an endorsement! (As a marketing professional, I'm compelled to add a disclaimer that no endorsement is expressed or implied.)

So it's official. Elder Cook is my new favorite general authority. Can we have favorites? Maybe he’s my unofficial favorite. I’ll just sustain him twice next time General Conference comes around.


ajwhet10 said...

Many thanks for this one Diana. It's pretty incredible how "sure" someone can be about another person's negative motives, situation, and deep-down guilt. I have been bitten by this numerous times (haven't we all?) but have also had big reason to regret harsh judgments that I have made. Goal: accept and accommodate differences. Period. :)

Meili said...

Yes! I agree on all counts, except the Duran Duran. In the '80s, I was still listening to my mom's classical music. We moms just need to support each other and stop judging! And by the way, I am always looking for the rewind button in the car too.

annie valentine said...

I could not agree more. Frankly, whether or not a woman needs to work, we should all have a place to retain some independence and keep our skills sharp. It keeps us sane and ensures that once the kids are gone, we're left with more than an old stained apron.

TravAndAimee said...

Have I ever told you how much I LOVE your blog!?! I had to reread this post today after a strongly worded email was sent to me about this very topic. I get tired of it and really appreciate your strength and witty posts about what it's like to be a working mom in SAHM community!

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and must say I'm grateful. The decision to work was not made lightly and, frankly, is not what I would choose if circumstances allowed something different.

I live in a ward with mostly stay-at-home moms. I admit I am envious sometimes that they are home with their kids. I believe, that's why the social rejection stings just a little more.

Women have it rough in this world. Our contributions are under valued and we are already so hard on ourselves. We really need to heed Elder Quentin's council and not judge. And, I would add, do our best to love and support one another. Being a mom is a thankless job and, sometimes, it's only other women who give us the compassion and strength we need to take on the world for another day.

Jen said...

Elder Cook is my favorite too! He has said so many things that resonate with me. He understands the real world.

I work full-time in a corporate job and we are fortunate that my husband stays home full-time with our one-year old son.

Working in a corporate job, plus getting married in my mid-30's, definitely makes me unique in my ward.

Leah Davidson said...

Thank you. Thank you! I have always worked and sat in so many relief society lessons feeling such guilt. " I love my children too" is what I've always wanted to say! My kids are still my priority despite my circumstances:)

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