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.