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When You Have It All, Kids Get Nothing

Narrator: Life has it’s challenges.

Actress 1: Every morning I bring my son to school and I rush off to a breakfast meeting. By the time I come home, he’s asleep.

Narrator: But there’s one thing that helps you keep it together.

Actor (husband of actress): You have no idea how proud I am of you.

Narrator: From the writer of Sex in the City, having it all means not having to do it alone.

Actress 2 (friend of Actress 1): You are an extraordinary person.

Narrator: Brooke Shields in Lipstick Jungle premiers Thursday, ten, nine central on NBC.

****

This commercial promoting another, insipid television show, filled to the brim with self-centered adults made we want to gag.

The spot shows one quick shot of the mom (played by actress Brooke Shields) with her son on her lap and at dinner, the rest are of her at work, her getting nasty with her (presumed) husband, her out with friends, her doing her thing.

Yea, she never sees her kid. But she’s extraordinary and her man is proud.

No, she’s not doing it alone. Her son is.

When will our society see that children do not exist so that we can, finally, have it all? Maybe parents are supposed to exist so that children can have all they need.

Thumbs down to Shields and the whole crew. Golly, I expected so much more from the producers of such fine family entertainment.

{ 90 comments… add one }

  • Alison Moore Smith February 17, 2008, 11:38 am

    A second commercial for the same show said:

    Narrator: Women take on many roles. Three best friends who prove you can have it all ?most of the time.

    Actress 1: I’ve never seen her act like this!

    Daughter: You can’t pick and choose when you want to be the good mother. It’s really phony.

    Husband: It’s [unintelligible] teen. Get used to it.

    ****

    Wow. At least one of the characters in the show has some brains.

  • davidson February 17, 2008, 12:49 pm

    Yup. Kids shouldn’t be a side effect.

  • missbrown February 17, 2008, 1:24 pm

    Oh, I totally agree! I would think the producers of Sex and the City would make a tv show full of family values! :wink:

    I’d love to see a new show that promotes motherhood! I won’t be holding my breath, though… :shamed:

  • facethemusic February 17, 2008, 2:03 pm

    Yeah, I’ve seen those commercials too– the show looks pretty stupid if you ask me. And if I remember correctly, (unless I’m thinking of a different commercial for a different show, but I don’t think so) there are other female characters who’s main contribution seems to be providing sleezy scenes of sleeping around.

  • Ray February 17, 2008, 7:19 pm

    Signs of the times. Signs of the times.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 17, 2008, 7:43 pm

    Yea, Tracy. That’s the one. You know do what you want, but when kids are in the middle–or when shows present adults doing “whatever they want” with kids in the middle–it ticks me off.

  • facethemusic February 17, 2008, 9:49 pm

    What’s really sad to me, is seeing the attitude happen even among Church members. Not so much the “trying to have it all” part, but choosing to work (when it isn’t necessary) over choosing to stay home with the children.
    I walked into Relief Society late a couple weeks ago– I’d been helping the YW prepare to sing in Sacrament meeting. When I went into RS, they were in the middle of a big, rather heated discussion, on one side, anyway. From what I was able to gather– the lesson was based on Sis. Beck’s talk and the important role of mothers, and they fell into the working vs. non-working mom debate.
    As I was coming in, a sister (who’s never married and never had children) was saying that society has convinced many women that in order to be “fulfilled” she needs to work outside the home. One of the younger, more newly married sisters was in quite a tizzy, speaking in a rather snotty, hostile tone, saying that women are different, they arent’ all the “type” to stay home. She talked about an LDS friend of hers who CAN’T stay home with the kids, she NEEDS to work. Other sisters immediately chimed in with compassion for sisters who NEED to work, but then she clarified that her friend doesn’t need to work for financial reasons, but rather, needed to work for “sanity” reason. She loves her kids but she just CAN’T stay home with them, it’s not “who she is” and she couldn’t be a good mother if she had to be home with her kids all day.
    I was biting my tongue the whole time– the sister speaking was clearly already on the defensive, speaking in rather angered, frustrated, snotty tones, feeling like she had to defend her friend, and I figured if I said anything it would just upset her even more and I didn’t feel like RS was the place to debate the issue.
    Obviously, we ARE all different. Some are more inclined to WANT to stay home, and others are more inclined to WANT to work outside the home. The important thing, is what Heavenly Father wants, what His prophets have counseled us to do, and for us to bring OUR will in alignment with His, even if it’s contrary to our nature.
    What Heavenly Father wants was made very clear in President Benson’s “To The Mothers In Zion” talk, much of which was quotes from President Kimball. Personally, even at 19, I LOVED that talk. Even when I was going to college, I expected that I wouldn’t work outside the home once I had children. And I was planning to start my family the second I got married. All I ever REALLY wanted was to get married and be a mother. So it was EASY for me, and I knew that. But I had a couple friends for whom the talk was a bitter pill to swallow. They wanted careers. They’d talked often about their hopes and plans, so I knew it would be a much harder road for them.
    Since then, there have been several addresses that have only served to reinforce the one that President Benson gave. And I know that some women still struggle between the yearning they feel to pursue careers outside the home, and the knowledge they have of what God would rather have them do. Many of them stay home anyway, post-poning their personal quests for after their children are older– or working on them a little at time while their kids are growing. And I think they’re incredible.
    What really makes me sad though is to hear someone say “I couldn’t be a good mother if I had to stay home with my kids”. That, to me, is just so self-defeatist.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 17, 2008, 10:38 pm

    Amen. I think I’ve already gone on and on in my writing about have desperately I wanted to have a career OUTSIDE the home.

    So what? God said otherwise. Change of plans.

    Like you said, it’s not about what we feel like. It’s about doing the right thing–sometimes in spite of what we feel.

  • jennycherie February 17, 2008, 10:48 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicOne of the younger, more newly married sisters was in quite a tizzy, speaking in a rather snotty, hostile tone, saying that women are different, they arent’ all the “type” to stay home. . . . she clarified that her friend doesn’t need to work for financial reasons, but rather, needed to work for “sanity” reason. She loves her kids but she just CAN’T stay home with them, it’s not “who she is” and she couldn’t be a good mother if she had to be home with her kids all day.

    ah yes, that was *quite* the discussion! Definitely one where it seemed there the only choice was to stir up more contention or keep the mouth shut. Actually, the teacher did manage to tone it down eventually by saying that the lesson really wasn’t to be about working vs. not working outside the home but about families but the discussion really bugged me. I think we have to be careful though to not allow these ideas {I CAN’T stay home because I wouldn’t be a good mother if I were at home with my kids all day} to become to widely accepted in our church. It is clearly against what our prophets and RS leaders have taught for years (and have not stopped teaching yet!). The idea that anyone CAN’T stay home, that they’d be a BETTER mom while working, is ludicrous. When I quit my first teaching job before our first child was born, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I loved my job and my co-workers (particularly the principal at that school) were VERY upset with me for leaving. It was a school that was going through one Spanish teacher/year and they were desperate for someone, ANYone to just stick around for a while! And honestly, I was never very good at being a homemaker. So many of the things a happy homemaker “should” do are things that I strongly dislike or really stink at! But as I muddled through, I learned over and over and over why it was so important for me to be at home.

    Sadly, I can’t be at home right now. And it is overwhelming. I can’t seem to get my feet firmly under me to establish a solid routine or to figure out how to really balance work and family. I feel an obligation to do a good job at work and yet, I don’t want the work to take over my time at home too. And yet, part of the benefit of my job is that I CAN do some of my work at home. . . I feel constantly torn. i am certain my house is never going to have more than one room at a time clean ever again. My husband and I have accepted that this is what must be for now–one quick look at the budget confirms that any time I doubt–but it gets under my skin to hear sisters with plenty of money talk about working to maintain their sanity. Believe me, I know what it is like to lose one’s sanity and I know what is like to want a career, but I also know how important it is to have our priorities in line with what the Lord has directed. Maybe I could talk to Sister X’s friend and she could give me her salary (since she isn’t working for the money anyway) and I could stay home and she could keep working and use my financial need as her reason! Would that work?

  • Alison Moore Smith February 17, 2008, 11:47 pm

    jennycherie, I think you’re onto something. LOVED your post.

  • davidson February 17, 2008, 11:51 pm

    Yup, it would work, if we were all a little closer to “completion”! It’s called the United Order, I think?

    Dear ladies. I have heard more heartache and grief over this subject than just about any subject in the church. I think Jesus’ solution was for us just to STOP LOOKING AROUND at what other people are doing, or not doing, and instead look straight forward at Him. Peripheral vision isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We CAN’T know the whole story, what went into their reasons for working or not working, what inspiration they’ve had for their own families. Until we are omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, we won’t be able to fully understand the decisions of others. We keep trying to, though, don’t we. We want to UNDERSTAND why another LDS woman does what she does, because it would help us think through our own decisions! But that can be harmful to us, because we will never understand it all. At least not here.

    I’ve told this before. It’s kind of an obscure story that meant a lot to me when I found it, so I think about it often. Peter was so jealous toward the disciple whom Jesus loved. It just about consumed him. He knew about John’s request to stay on the earth to be of further service instead of tasting death, and I think he felt a little left out, a little less special to the Lord. The apostles were constantly bickering about who would be greatest in the kingdom of God. The Savior prophesied to Peter about the manner in which he, Peter, would die, and Peter turned accusingly toward John. Feeling perhaps that John was to be more blessed, he asked the Savior bitterly, “Lord, and what shall this man do?”, referring to John. (I sure wish I could have heard the Savior’s tone of voice; it would mean a lot to me.) Jesus answered, “If I will that he tarry till I come, WHAT IS THAT TO THEE? Follow thou me.” Same thing in the parable about the workers, some who came early and some who came late to work, but all received the same wage at the end of the day. Same thing in the story about the disgruntled “other” brother in the parable of the prodigal son, he who had been obedient the entire time while his brother played. Something in us wants to cry out, “Unfair!” We’ve got to quit caring, in a way, about whether or not the whole thing is fair, and be very, very grateful that it ISN’T. If it were fair, we’d all get what we deserved instead of what we hope to have. I am convinced of that. If He who was most abused by the poor choices we make can offer the benefit of the doubt to other people, couldn’t we quietly offer it to each other? I think He said “come unto me” instead of “come unto them” for a reason. We’ve got to quit focusing on “them,” in my opinion, and look to Him. It is the only way we can keep from letting bitterness and misunderstanding build in our hearts about the choices others make.

    I deal with it all the time. My neighbor told me just this weekend that I was so “lucky” to get to stay home with my children. I almost gagged, and then I heard it in my head, “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” I know, and Heavenly Father knows, that no “luck” was involved. It was the choice we made, which was what we thought was best for our family. It doesn’t guarantee that we aren’t crowded, struggling financially and seriously in debt, and doing without in a lot of ways. Prayer confirmed that I was to stay home and raise my children. We deal daily with the blessings and consequences of our choice.

    It’s so funny to me. People come up to me all the time and start explaining to me why they don’t have more children, or why the wife in their family has gone to work, as if they think I’m passing silent judgment on them because I chose otherwise. It makes me very uncomfortable. Nothing could be more wrong. In truth, I look at them with love and pity and think in my heart, “You don’t have to explain it to me. I know you have agonized over this decision. I respect you and honor your choice. I know you are working it out with the Lord.” That’s what I want to say, but I usually just say, “You’re okay.” That’s all they needed to hear anyway, to be assured that they were acceptable. If their ACTIONS aren’t, the Lord will deal with that. The leaders will lead.

    Jenn, I’m sorry you had that uncomfortable situation today. You’re doing good.

    An Education Week speaker said once, “The greatest miracle of all would be if the Saints would learn to love the Saints.” It would be a good world, wouldn’t it.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 18, 2008, 12:10 am

    FWIW, the article isn’t about judging individuals in specific circumstances. It’s about our culture perpetuating the idea that children are merely another trophy on the shelf and that our OWN accomplishments reign supreme…at their expense.

    The church has taught us very specifically about how we should care for our children. We can discuss those principles and also contrast them to what they world teaches.

  • jennycherie February 18, 2008, 4:42 am

    Posted By: Alison Moore SmithWe can discuss those principles and also contrast them to what they world teaches.

    absolutely, I think what I found disturbing what to find more of “the world” creeping into our lessons. We must teach true principles of the gospel in church. The church makes it clear that there are some families where it will be necessary for the mom to work and we are certainly not ever to be looking around pointing fingers, but it is important that we teach the truth in our lessons.

    Posted By: davidsonJesus answered, “If I will that he tarry till I come, WHAT IS THAT TO THEE? Follow thou me.”

    that sounds like a great FHE lesson! Thanks for sharing that davidson! I think we all (meaning in our family where we are struggling with kiddos bickering and also with bickering between adult siblings in our extended family) need that lesson.

  • facethemusic February 18, 2008, 9:44 am

    I think Jesus’ solution was for us just to STOP LOOKING AROUND at what other people are doing, or not doing, and instead look straight forward at Him.

    I missed the first part of the class- so I can’t say what was happening before I got there.
    But this situation seemed to me more of a “self-defense” kind of thing, even when there wasn’t anyone “looking around” at what other people are doing. It sounded like the lesson was just teaching the doctrine, and someone didn’t really LIKE the doctrine.
    When I walked in a sister was saying that society makes sisters feel like they have to work in order to really be “worth something”. That’s not pointing a finger at anyone, or judging anyone, it’s simply stating a fact– a fact that has been talked about in general conference addresses.
    It seemed to me that the judging was more on the part of the sister who was taking offense.
    Assuming that people who DON’T work are judging her friend. As you pointed out in your post, people feel like they have to defend themselves, EVEN WHEN no one is pointing a finger at them.
    I think the sensitivity was born out of an aversion to the doctrine, not someone pointing a finger, or looking around and judging them.
    We have SEVERAL moms in our ward who work. I’d bet that HALF of them do. I’m one of them! I don’t think anyone was judging anyone for working. I never felt judged, or that anyone was looking around and pointing fingers.

  • kiar February 18, 2008, 11:33 am

    It has taken me 8.5 years and 4 kids to realize that my place is at home. I had to go to work when my oldest was 4 months old, and again when my second was born, at 6 weeks. with my third, I was attending school from the time he was 16 days old. I then started a full time job when he was 1.5. I thought that I had to work, and indeed our budget reflected that need. I didn’t think much of the fact that my boys had to go to a daycare provider for one day a week, cause the rest of the time, they were home with me, or daddy. My daughter was in school, and all was great. But then, my usually sweet little girl was coming home belligerant, and disrespectful. I thought, hmm, just a stage, no worries. I loved my job, working in a Labour and delivery ward of our local hospital. I had a dream of going to nursing school, and was learning all I could about becoming a great nurse. The women I worked with were the salt of the earth, each one with different talents, and all with a wonderful God-given light. They encouraged me to learn as much as I could, and were always looking for ways to help me. When I got pregnant with my 4th baby, they were there every step of the way, holding my hand when I puked on duty, making me get off my feet, and sit down, when they saw I was getting exhausted. All the time, they were encouraging me to make sure I was doing what was right for my family. After I had the baby, I was asked when I would be coming back… constantly. (they were all happy that I was staying home, they just wanted me to come back) When I first went off, I thought I would be back at 6 weeks post-partum. But then, with my husband in the academy, it turned into a few months. It has now turned into never! I have had a lot of time to think, and wonder if my going back was what was the best for my children. I have prayed and pondered, and searched my heart. Heavenly Father has found a way to make it feasible for me to stay home. It will take moving to a smaller home, and cutting back drastically on spending, but it is what is best for my family. obviously, not everyone can just move, or go down to one income. but everyone can remember that their children don’t need fancy toys, the latest fashions, or cellphones, they need parents, who are there to listen, to discipline, and to care. It took me 8.5 years to figure this out. some are lucky enough to figure it out sooner. some will come to this realization later or even never. But I do have a question for those who “go to work to regain their sanity, and to get away from their kids” : why have kids at all if you want to get away from them so bad???

  • Alison Moore Smith February 18, 2008, 11:39 am

    I think the idea that Tracy brought up is a really important one to address. More and more I have heard the “excuse” of leaving kids in day care is that the MOM cannot possibly stand to be oppressed at home.

    IMO this is not only bunk, it’s dangerous bunk. And I say that as someone who used to see being at home the same way. It is OUR job, as disciples to say, “The prophet said _______. How do I modify my life to obey that counsel.”

    That might mean figuring out HOW you learn to be patient and content without working. It might mean learning to use your skills and expertise while at home. It might mean finding new things that give you personal fulfillment. It might mean sucking it up and being a good mom even when you think being at the office would be more fun.

    Frankly, there are SO MANY WAYS to be fulfilled and provide self-improvement opportunities, that the idea of “I have to work to really be me” seems, to me, to speak more of a lack of creativity, intelligence, flexibility, and reasonable thought than to any real need.

    Go ahead and smack me for that, but I think it’s true.

  • kiar February 18, 2008, 11:41 am

    Yeah Alison!!!!!!!!

  • davidson February 18, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Why would anyone want to smack you for that, Alison? It’s true. Following the prophet requires sacrifice and adjustment of personal attitudes and a determination to bloom where you are planted, as you have done. The scriptures call it being “willing to submit”, and it is often found in conjunction with stories about the Savior. My thought is that it’s good to be loving and supportive of people while they come to this realization themselves–that becoming satisfied with your life is all about attitude and less about circumstances. If you try to force that concept on them, they become defensive and less apt to listen to the Spirit on that matter. This may seem too simplistic, but it appears to me that our job, if we really care about people, is to provide love and acceptance. Not love and acceptance of every action they take, but love and acceptance of the good inherit in them. When a person is in an environment of loving acceptance, they are in an atmosphere that promotes learning. Sooner or later, learning provides internalized motivation to change, and change brings about the desired effect, which they come to on their own. If a loving approach doesn’t help them, certainly a condemning approach won’t. I have experimented with my children on this one and have done a lot of learning the hard way.

    I probably never told you this, Kiar, but I have a lot of love and respect for labor and delivery nurses. Angels in scrubs. They helped me through 12 of the most difficult experiences in my life. I also have a lot of respect for you for making the decision you’ve made for your family and being willing to make the best of it. Good for you. Your children are lucky–well, blessed!–to have you. Thanks for sharing your perspective with us.

  • Naismith February 18, 2008, 1:35 pm

    More and more I have heard the “excuse” of leaving kids in day care….

    But let’s debunk the myth that mom being employed = leaving kids in day care, or vice versa. When I was employed, my preschoolers spent less time in day care than they did when I was at home fulltime, and our family is hardly unique.

    Yes, I returned to paid employment when my children were 3, 5, and 7 years old. I worked 50 hours one week of the month, and 10-16 hours the other weeks. BUT. I did some of the work at home, and some with my children along in the car, and the rest at night when my husband watched the kids. They were rarely in commercial day care.

    Some years later, we had two more children, and I was at home fulltime. BUT. I regularly put the babies in daycare in order to attend something at an older child’s school, or have a 1-on-1 date with an older child, or to attend a work-function with my husband, or because I had to leave town for a week to help with aging parents.

    I’ve known women who pat themselves on the back for being “righteous” mothers “at home”, but really they drop the kids in the nursery at the gym for hours each day, or spend hours on the phone talking to friends (instead of concentrating on the kids), or directing a school play, or blogging. Yet somehow they are supposed to be “better” than the employed mom, because they are “not working”? I am not condemning those women for how they spend their time; it’s up to each of us to prayerfully decide how to spend the hours we are granted each day. I am just questioning whether their choices are indeed “better” than their sisters who spend the same amount of time working at a paid job.

    I personally wonder if one of the reasons that church leaders have not specifically addressed the issue of moms working outside the home in recent decades is that they understand that merely having mom at home is no guarantee of good parenting. I didn’t think Pres. Beck’s talk was as much about “not working” as it was really focussing on your children, irregardless of employment status.

    I didn’t see the TV show preview because I gave up watching television in order to work at my career on a part-time basis. We all make different choices, and I trust that others are also using guidance from prayer and their patriarchal blessings to guide them, so I don’t have any interest in judging others.

  • Oregonian February 18, 2008, 1:49 pm

    Your post is just as judgmental as any here. To come in here and spout only to claim “oh, but I’m not judgmental” is just dumb.

    Naismith I don’t know you but you seem just like a troll to me. You only post here when your mad. I havent ever seen a nice post from you but maybe I missed it.

    How often do you argue with people at feminist housewives or is it just here you are so bothered?

  • facethemusic February 18, 2008, 3:52 pm

    I’ve known women who pat themselves on the back for being “righteous” mothers “at home”, but really they drop the kids in the nursery at the gym for hours each day, or spend hours on the phone talking to friends (instead of concentrating on the kids), or directing a school play, or blogging. Yet somehow they are supposed to be “better” than the employed mom, because they are “not working”?

    Naismith, this is the faulty assumption that the prophetic counsel to stay at home with the children means you can’t do ANYTHING else, but sit with them all day, in the same room, reading to them, playing games and doing nothing other than being initimately involved in everything they’re doing. Certainly there are “stay at home” moms who are grossly neglectful of their children.
    But being a stay at home mom does not mean that anything that you do that isn’t directly “concentrating on the kids” is at all the same as being gone all day with the kids being babysat by someone else.
    I work part time right now while they kids are at school– but when I was home with them I didn’t have them all glued to my hip all day. Today is a holiday so we’re all home– but when I WAS staying home all day, those days were VERY MUCH like today. Like– right now– I’m on the computer, obviously. My son is watching a special on the History channel about the Presidents, and my daughters are right behind me, playing paper dolls on the floor. I played paper dolls with them for a little bit, my son has been popping in and out of the computer room, telling me tidbits from the show he’s watching:
    TRIVIA: Did you guys know that both Thomas Jefferson AND John Adams died on JULY 4, 1826– on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?

    Earlier this morning we all folded a couple loads of laundry, I helped my youngest organize her the clothes in her dresser. We had breakfast together, the girls made lunch for a Faith In God requirement and we all ate lunch together.
    I’ve done a couple loads of laundry, washed the dishes, made a big batch of mashed potatoes to take to a friends house for dinner and a joint FHE, and I also prepared the lesson. Earlier this afternoon we went to go see Enchanted at the dollar theatre. On the way home, my youngest asked about the Sun. How far away it is- if there are other Suns and other planets with people on them– if they look like us– if we’ll ever get to see them– if we all go the same heaven or do they have their own?
    I spent about an hour on phone calls today with the Stake YW presidency– trying to organize any last minute details for a devotional and dance this Saturday, and I’ve been on the internet for about as long.
    All day long, I’ve been busy doing things here and there but I’ve been HERE. When they need me I’m HERE. I’m here even when they DON’T need me. Sometimes I’m “concentrating on the kids”– but alot of the time I’m not– I’m doing laundry, or working on an FHE lesson, or washing dishes, or chatting on the phone, or typing a response for this group. But I’m here, and they KNOW I’m here.
    The counsel to stay home with children was not a prison sentence, demanding that every second be devoted to one on one time with the children.

  • missbrown February 18, 2008, 4:00 pm

    facethemusic, I loved your post! You sound like an amazing mom! :)

  • kiar February 18, 2008, 5:28 pm

    I don’t recall anyone posting about stay-at-home moms being better than working moms. I do believe the origional reason behind the posting was to call to attention the need to be there for our kids, whether we are at home or in the workforce. I don’t think I am any better than my friends who work in order to sustain thier families. Nor do I think I am superior in any way.
    Facethemusic is completly right. just because we are home, does not require us to be prisoners of our children 24/7. There is no law that says “thou shalt never attend an event without your children in tow”

  • jennycherie February 18, 2008, 6:15 pm

    a whisper just to you:

    OUch! Naismith, I didn’t read anything negative in your comment at all. I thought it was another important perspective. Perhaps Oregonian just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

  • Naismith February 18, 2008, 6:43 pm

    Naismith I don’t know you but you seem just like a troll to me.

    If I was a troll, I would register under another another screen name. I use this same screen name for every Mormon blog on which I comment.

    You only post here when your mad.

    No, I post here when I think I have a different perspective to offer to the conversation.

  • Naismith February 18, 2008, 7:14 pm

    Facethemusic, I very much appreciated your description of your day. It was very similar to ours, although we did yard work today instead of laundry. I think you pointed out how an employed mom’s life may not be so very different from that of a mom at home. I may be on a conference call for an hour instead of YW, but it is not radically different as far as the impact on the children (I put it on mute except when I need to talk, and use a headset, so that I can greet them when they come home from school, answer questions, etc.).

    But being a stay at home mom does not mean that anything that you do that isn’t directly “concentrating on the kids” is at all the same as being gone all day with the kids being babysat by someone else.

    I guess I’m not as convinced as you are. I don’t see a huge dichotomy, but more of a continuum. Sure, the magnitude of the time away might make a difference, if it was a consistent pattern. But nowadays, many employed parents can work out flextime schedules, or part-time schedules, or telecommuting schedules that allow them to be there as well. And of course, as Elder Holland mentioned in the recent leadership broadcast, dads are much more involved in childcare nowadays. One of my daughters’ employers offers five years of parental leave; her husband also works for the same organization. This means they could have two children, have a parent at home with them through the youngest in first grade, and still keep their careers.

    When they need me I’m HERE.

    I don’t have a problem if they need me and I’m gone, but dad or grandma are HERE to meet those needs. To me, the important thing is that their needs are met. I likely won’t watch the television show referenced in the original essay, but it talks about getting help from others, and if extended family are caring for the child, I don’t see that as “kids getting nothing.”

  • Lisa February 18, 2008, 7:18 pm

    Posted By: NaismithBut let’s debunk the myth that mom being employed = leaving kids in day care, or vice versa. When I was employed, my preschoolers spent less time in day care than they did when I was at home fulltime, and our family is hardly unique.

    Naismith, I realize we all come from different walks of life, but this comment caught me by surprise. It seems like an anomaly to me….and VERY unique. I have been a stay-at-home mother, and a working full time mother, and a part-time working mother at different points in life, so have my own mother, many friends and family members….and NEVER were the children in daycare more than when Mom was working outside the home. Maybe it is happening more now????

    Posted By: kiarHeavenly Father has found a way to make it feasible for me to stay home. It will take moving to a smaller home, and cutting back drastically on spending, but it is what is best for my family. obviously, not everyone can just move, or go down to one income. but everyone can remember that their children don’t need fancy toys, the latest fashions, or cellphones, they need parents, who are there to listen, to discipline, and to care.

    YAY!!!! I could’ve typed that exact post 10 years ago. We did exactly that, so I could be home full-time. So worth it IMO!!:bigsmile:

  • agardner February 18, 2008, 8:22 pm

    I can’t judge other people’s decisions, but I can share my own experience with this.

    While I wouldn’t say I have to work to keep my sanity, I DO think I function better when I’m working full time, or at least I have in the past. When I worked full time when dh was in grad school, my house was always clean (we were rarely in it!), my meals were always planned out (because they had to be) and I genuinely spent time with my kids when we were together because I knew it would just be a few hours until I had to say goodbye and hit the office again. I did have a great situation in that my dh and I were able to overlap schedules enough so that our kids only had to be in daycare for a few hours a day, but that also meant that dh and I never saw each other, which was tough. Also, my primary daycare provider was my sister and that made it SO much easier to leave when I had to, knowing that someone was loving them and teaching them.

    When I was able to stay home full time, I fell into some of the habits that have been mentioned here. It was harder to keep the house clean (because we were living in it now!), easier to put off meal planning and preparation (so many other things to do!) and for me (not saying this is the same with everyone) easier to become distracted with other things (internet, reading, talking on the phone, etc.) and sometimes I’d find myself at the end of the day wondering if I’d really done anything very meaningful with my children.

    I’m not saying at all that this is how it is with other people, but just that FOR ME, this was something I really had to work on. I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to be home with my kids, but honestly a lot of the time I pined for my old office-going life where I was receiving recognition and praise, and my life was more “ordered” (i.e. scheduled). I had to learn more self-discipline in order to focus on what really mattered in being a stay-at-home mom. For me, that part of life is not really second nature. I didn’t marry until nearly 27 and didn’t have children until 28 so I was very used to having a different lifestyle than full-time motherhood dictated. But now, I pray always that I can hang onto that because it has become such a rewarding thing.

    Presently, finances dictate that I work outside the home part-time. Although it doesn’t pay as much as I might make doing something else, I have chosen to substitute teach so that I can choose my own schedule, be there when my kids get home from school, and be there for any special activities that they may have. For now, at this point in my life, this works for us. In the future, when the children are a little older, maybe it will be time to enter the workforce again (although I doubt I’ll do that full time until they are completely out of the house).

    I guess my point is that each of us comes from a different background, with different attitudes and talents in regards to child-rearing. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t all be aiming for the ultimate goal, which to me is raising a righteous posterity and building an eternal family.

    BTW, I too saw the previews for this TV show and thought it looked like something not to waste my time on. It seems like the media especially is pushing the idea that you have to “do it all” to be successful.

  • Ray February 18, 2008, 8:27 pm

    Naismith, correct me if I’m wrong, but what you write makes it sound like you are a “work-at-home” mom. That’s a stay-at-home mom – at least by every definition I’ve ever heard taught at church in the multiple decades I’ve been hearing it.

    Am I missing something here?

  • Ray February 18, 2008, 8:32 pm

    BTW, I am firmly in the “do what you need to do to make it work optimally, knowing that the ideal is to spend as much time as possible with your kids” camp. Michelle works full-time outside the home right now, largely because of my failed business a while ago and the upcoming costs of missions.

    I just don’t like it when people automatically assume that they can’t be home – that they MUST work outside the home – for completely self-centered reasons.

  • facethemusic February 18, 2008, 9:36 pm

    I guess I’m not as convinced as you are.

    The prophets are. That’s good enough for me.

    I

  • davidson February 18, 2008, 10:58 pm

    Agardner: “When I was able to stay home full time, I fell into some of the habits that have been mentioned here. It was harder to keep the house clean (because we were living in it now!), easier to put off meal planning and preparation (so many other things to do!) and for me (not saying this is the same with everyone) easier to become distracted with other things (internet, reading, talking on the phone, etc.) and sometimes I’d find myself at the end of the day wondering if I’d really done anything very meaningful with my children.”

    Just can’t tell you how valuable I think this paragraph is. It reveals doing something VERY meaningful with your kids. They are learning, by being home with you, that houses get messy, and everyone is responsible to help with the upkeep. They are learning that mothers are people, and they sometimes have so many other things to do that meal planning and preparation isn’t going to happen unless everyone pitches in. When they see their mothers making friends on the internet, reading, and talking on the phone, they also learn that mothers are people and deserve the same respect they want for themselves, that mothers love to serve their families but also have lives outside of that constant service. That, in my opinion, is one of the best things you can teach children, especially girls. Teach them that their own needs matter by showing them that YOUR needs matter. We don’t want to be respected more or less than they; we want to be respected equally. Teach them that you respect them, and you expect to be respected in return. That is crucial, and they need to have opportunities to practice it at home. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I’m chatting with my friends on the internet, just like you do. When I’m done, we’ll talk.”

    This might get booed and hissed. I’m a big advocate of meeting children’s basic needs and giving them wings to fly, of letting them have lots and lots and lots of unstructured time and expecting them to find useful and creative ways to fill it. I am there, but I am not on their Constant Entertainment Committee. We DO spend time together. We pray together every morning and night. We read scriptures every evening. We eat dinners as a family. We have family home evenings. We cook and sew together. They play outside a lot. They know they can talk to me about ANYTHING, and they know I am there to help them solve a REAL problem; the smaller things are theirs to deal with on their own. I stay out of neighborhood fights, even with the mothers, (unless there is blood. :peace:) I drive them everywhere. We go to their activities. We work together. But having nine children made it impossible to spend very much time doing nonessential things with them one on one. They have thrived under that healthy dose of ignoring. I tend to think, and it is just my opinion, that “hover mothers” do more harm than good. (And just so you know, I am not insinuating that anyone here is a hover mother.) My house is not a daycare, with activities planned for their benefit every hour of every day. Experiencing the discomfort of boredom can teach them that making plans and carrying them out is their responsibility, and they become wonderfully autonomous. They also know that I love them and I am fairly available. Just another viewpoint.
    :bigsmile:

  • Naismith February 19, 2008, 5:27 am

    ….and NEVER were the children in daycare more than when Mom was working outside the home. Maybe it is happening more now????

    I think that there are many, many different ways to raise children and each of us have to consider what is best for us, and I don’t think we should make assumptions about other lifestyles. My daughter is currently in graduate school, with a heavy teaching load and trying to write her dissertation. She has a two-year-old, who was breastfed for 20 months and has never been in commercial daycare. What works for them is for dad to handle the homefront, doing paid work only at night or on days when mom can do her work at home.

    In my current ward, many of the 4-year-olds of moms at home are enrolled in half-day preschool, for the educational value and so that mom can focus on the younger kids. In my ward in South America, school started at age 3, so they wouldn’t have been preschoolers.

    I explained why we needed daycare, although I left off that when I was pregnant with #5, I was often so sick/drugged that I couldn’t care for #4.

  • Naismith February 19, 2008, 6:44 am

    Naismith, correct me if I’m wrong, but what you write makes it sound like you are a “work-at-home” mom. That’s a stay-at-home mom – at least by every definition I’ve ever heard taught at church in the multiple decades I’ve been hearing it.

    I’m not sure it matters. I think there are lots of different ways to raise up a righteous posterity, which I hope was my point. Altogether, I worked fulltime for two 2 years; I have been home fulltime without a paid job (but doing some occasional freelance assignments) for 12 years; I was in school for 7 years. And 11 years (including the last 9) when I have been employed as a part-time professional. We’ve always prayed about what we should be doing at any point in time, and I honestly don’t think that I was closer to my children or a better mother when I was at home fulltime than when I have been employed.

    From the time I joined the church, I had intended to be at home fulltime; it was through prayer that I was lead to seek a paid job when my then-youngest was 3.

    In recent years, since my youngest started kindergarten, my usual pattern is to go into the office every day while the kids are at school, then be home with them in the afternoon. But I have to make sure the work is done, so that might mean being on the computer some nights, whatever. The upside of this is that I am home most afternoons after school; the downside is that I am always working. We always take two computers on vacation, and I remember doing a graph in a hotel in Palm Springs, CA in my swimsuit, and making phone calls from the Cincinnati Zoo, Disneyworld, etc.

    Also, the annual conference for my national professional organization happens to be in May, so I invariably miss someone’s concert or graduation. I don’t feel guilty, because their dad and other family are there. I also had a year around 2004 when I had to go into the office just about every Saturday to get some reports written; dad handled things at home those mornings. And there is a recurring theme here, that my children have spent more time with their dad than they might have if I had been at home fulltime, which I see as a positive.

    I don’t think my kids were “getting nothing” because I chose to put career first on those occasions.

    Despite the stereotype that is reportedly in this television show, I am not sure that the world in general really views that hyperdrive existence as ideal.

    Recent research shows that most mothers consider part-time employment to be optimal. So really, providing more flexible workplace situations is what is needed for women to “have it all.” Of course the biggest barrier to all this is health insurance. In our USAmerican system, healthcare is linked to the workplace and often only full-timers qualify, and it is a deterrent to entrepreneurship. Think about that in the upcoming election.

    I think it’s wonderful that there are so many options for raising a family nowadays. I appreciate the stories that have been shared. I’m just not willing to condemn other lifestyles as “kids getting nothing.”

  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2008, 9:25 am

    First I want to address the implication that because some some stay-at-home moms are self-absorbed and unavailable, that somehow defends leaving the home altogether. To me, that’s like saying it’s OK to ignore the Word of Wisdom because Mormons eat too much sugar.

    Noting that NOT working outside the home, all by itself, doesn’t make a good mother is kind of a “duh” moment, I think.

    Posted By: Naismith I think there are lots of different ways to raise up a righteous posterity, which I hope was my point.

    This is a more complicated issue. On the surface, I’d say you’re right–specifically when speaking about either (a) whether or not the kids TURN OUT to be “a righteous posterity” or (b) whether prophetic counsel allows flexibility.

    (A) I know great, faithful kids whose parents were abusive and neglectful to the point of being incarcerated. Technically, then, we could call that “one way to raise a righteous posterity.” After all, it worked.

    (B) We have general counsel, but not extremely specific counsel on raising children.

    On a secular note, I also think you are right. If I remove my personal religion from the picture, I think the most important thing is that the children are cared for by the family–although for myself I’d say that would mean the actual parents almost exclusively–not grandparents, siblings, or other relatives. I don’t so much PERSONALLY care if it’s the mom or dad, as long as one of them is available.

    So, here’s my problem. Even today, our church leaders have been pretty specific about mother’s roles. Even recently, we are still taught that children are the mother’s primary responsibility.

    By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.

    The Family: A Proclamation to the World

    Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God 21 and true happiness. One of Satan ?s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. This is an attack at the very heart of God ?s plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support. Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, nor can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home.

    This morning President Hinckley spoke of the importance of a mother in the home. Study his message…

    Of course, as a woman you can do exceptionally well in the workplace, but is that the best use of your divinely appointed talents and feminine traits? As a husband, don ?t encourage your wife to go to work to help in your divinely appointed responsibility of providing resources for the family, if you can possibly avoid it. As the prophets have counseled, to the extent possible with the help of the Lord, as parents, work together to keep Mother in the home.

    Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness”

    Some years ago President Benson delivered a message to the women of the Church. He encouraged them to leave their employment and give their individual time to their children. I sustain the position which he took…The greatest job that any mother will ever do will be in nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. None other can adequately take her place.

    Gordon B. Hinckley, “Women of the Church”

    In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated. For instance, more than once in these general conferences, you have heard our prophet say that he would quote a preceding prophet and would therefore be a second witness and sometimes even a third. Each of us who has listened has heard President Kimball give counsel on the importance of a mother in the home and then heard President Benson quote him, and we have heard President Hinckley quote them both.

    Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel”

    If Mother is working outside of the home, see if there are ways to change that, even a little.

    Boyd K, Packer, “Do Not Fear”

    I won’t even go back for Benson’s myriad quotes.

    You can wiggle all around that if you like, but I think the pronouncements we’ve had over decades leave little doubt about what this means. And I don’t think “It really doesn’t matter who works or how you work it out as long as you figure out a good arrangement” is a reasonable approximation.

    Now, are these merely cultural artifacts? Are these ideas outdated? Are they really only in place because the GAs are all old guys who are from a different era? Will the church, eventually, “catch up” to the world we live in? Will the pronouncements change and recognize women as capable providers and men equally good at nurturing?

    You tell me.

    Brigham Young was very specific about how LDS women should dress. Nothing like that is required now. The church standard has evolved.

    But does that evolution mean that those who were given that specific counsel would have been justified in ignoring it?

    Again, you tell me.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2008, 9:28 am

    FWIW, I saw the commercial for the series watching a DVRed educational program, with my kids, while on the treadmill. No kidding.

  • Lisa February 19, 2008, 12:54 pm

    Posted By: Naismith

    ….and NEVER were the children in daycare more than when Mom was working outside the home. Maybe it is happening more now????

    I think that there are many, many different ways to raise children and each of us have to consider what is best for us, and I don’t think we should make assumptions about other lifestyles.

    I can see I was not very clear in my response. I am sorry for not wording my response better!.:wink: I very much agree that each of us must consider what is best for us. I was not making any assumptions about other’s choices. Here is my experience: I have worked full-time for 12 years some of which was when my oldest was small. When I worked full-time I had a 50+ hour per week job + a commute. This took me out of my home 60 or more hours per week. My husband also worked full-time. Our daughter therefore was in daycare (not commercial, just with extended family or trusted ward members) for approximately 30-40 hours per week. When I quit working outside the home and was home full-time—no matter how busy I was, my daughter never spent 30-40 hours under someone else’s care. My friends and family member’s experiences are similar. That is the angle I was coming at it from–someone who had heavily used daycare. When you stated that many people used daycare more when they were home full-time, it simply surprised me based on my own experiences.

    I think this will always be somewhat of a hot-button issue. I remember when I was working, I felt out-of sorts and somewhat judged by stay-at-home Moms in my ward. I wholly concede it may well have been my own guilt that I wanted to be at home at that time. My own mother worked, and her reasoning may seem selfish or ill-placed to some….but she felt her marriage was better because of it, and you know what??? It is. I have mixed feelings about all this because I have done it every way imagineable. I sincerely think most Moms are really trying their best to wear a whole lotta hats these days and do their best in their own situation.

    I personally have a testimony of being home full-time with my kids. We worked very hard, and sacrificed a lot for me to do so. This is what WE were directed to do in our circumstances, and I am so grateful I can. But I empathize, sympathize and completely understand what it is like to be a working Mom because , I’ve been there.
    I hope this is a little more clear. I’m sorry for the lengthy post!!:smile:

  • Lisa February 19, 2008, 1:10 pm

    BTW…absolutely LOVED your post, davidson.

    Thanks for those awesome quotes, Alison….a few you posted are the very ones that were my personal kick in the pants to leave full-time employment!:wink:

  • Michelle D February 19, 2008, 1:57 pm

    Davidson, I also loved what you wrote. I strive to be that kind of mother, though there’s still a lot of room for improvement for me and my kids! I often thought I was a “hover” parent, until we took our oldest to college 1.5 years ago, and a parent orientation meeting addressed “helicopter parents.” My answers to the questionnaire surprised me — I am NOT a hover parent! Yay!

    I have seen the previews for this show, and they don’t look good or uplifting or positive — by ANY definition!

    Now I am off to bed, so I can be a “good” parent (ie: spend time with the kids) before I go to work later tonight!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 19, 2008, 5:18 pm

    Another thing that occurs in almost any “sensitive” discussion (try teaching YW about dating/boys, etc. for about two weeks t to learn this) is a beard fallacy kind of argument.

    Prophet says stay home if you can.

    But it doesn’t hurt if you go out on a date night, right? And it doesn’t hurt if you work out every day,right? And it doesn’t hurt if you to out on your anniversary, right? And it doesn’t hurt if you go to Education Week, right? And it doesn’t hurt if you go to RS, right? And it doesn’t hurt if you go to meetings for your calling, right? And it doesn’t hurt to go to PTA meeting, right?

    The fallacy occurs when you show that incremental movement doesn’t create a significant difference from the previous position and so conclude that this means that the movement is always inconsequential. But, as I said, its a fallacy.

  • spande2 February 20, 2008, 10:01 am

    Can you run that by me again?

  • Naismith February 20, 2008, 1:11 pm

    You tell me.

    I’m not interested in “telling you.” I trust that you and your husband have gone through the same process of prayer and seeking personal guidance that my family has gone through, to come up with the answer of how to raise your children.

    Even recently, we are still taught that children are the mother’s primary responsibility.

    Yes, we have. I sustain that inspired document. But being responsible doesn’t necessarily mean “doing it yourself,” as we were recently taught in the Worldwide Leadership Training when Elder Oaks said:

    Fathers should make sure that family home evenings are held. Sometimes that ?s best done by delegating to a mother the planning; she may be a lot better at it than the father. But the Lord holds the father responsible.

    I feel very good about the choices our family has made about the way we raise our children. I am not saying our particular modus operandi would work for anyone else. I don’t get inspiration for other folks.

    Now, are these merely cultural artifacts? Are these ideas outdated? Are they really only in place because the GAs are all old guys who are from a different era?

    I think that the general principles are eternal, and our leaders will absolutely continue to teach them until and after Christ returns. As you quoted Elder Scott,

    One of Satan ?s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home.

    I think this is critical. Although I have been employed during part of the time I was a mom, I have not demeaned the role of wife and mother in the home. I have encouraged my local middle school to include full-time parenting in career day, I have written numerous articles for my local and campus newspaper about the value of parents at home, I have lobbied for political changes that would help parents at home (e.g., a full IRA for homemakers, back when that was not allowed). In my professional life, I am positive about what I learned in my years at home, which has influenced my graduate school mentors and employers to be more welcoming to mothers returning after years at home and younger colleagues to consider being at home full-time when they have their children. I think the church will always be a bold voice, because we have to provide an alternative to the world for people to consider.

    But along with the eternal principles, I think there has been change in the specifics of the counsel we have received from leaders. In 2003, President Hinckley addressed the Young Women and said,

    I became acquainted with my very cheerful and expert nurse. She is the kind of woman of whom you girls could dream. When she was young she decided she wished to be a nurse. She received the necessary education to qualify for the highest rank in the field. She worked at her vocation and became expert at it. She decided she wanted to serve a mission and did so. She married. She has three children. She works now as little or as much as she wishes. There is such a demand for people with her skills that she can do almost anything she pleases. She serves in the Church. She has a good marriage. She has a good life. She is the kind of woman of whom you might dream as you look to the future.

    So here is an employed mom, being pointed to as an example for the Young Women of the church by the prophet.

    I also think part of the change is because we are a worldwide church, and they dynamics are different in other places. I’m sure one reason this is not such a black-or-white issue to me is that I was baptized in Europe (where new moms routinely get a year’s maternity leave and a “full-time job” means fewer hours and more vacation) and have lived in South America (where most small businesses have a playpen behind the counter, because moms often bring their babies along to work). I expect we will continue to see lots of talks on the importance of being involved parents, less specifics about maternal employment (which has been the trend; in the last decade we got more general conference talks on pornography than on moms “not working”).

    I see you also quoted Elder Packer’s excellent talk:

    If Mother is working outside of the home, see if there are ways to change that, even a little.

    But let’s please finish that paragraph:

    But analyze carefully and be prayerful (see D&C 9:8 ?9). Then expect to have inspiration, which is revelation (see D&C 8:2 ?3). Expect intervention from power from beyond the veil to help you move, in due time, to what is best for your family.

    That’s exactly what my family has done. I was in graduate school when President Benson gave his TO THE MOTHERS IN ZION fireside. We thought it was a great talk, and has greatly influenced many of the things we’ve done with our children; I would not have stayed up to be there when kids got home from dates and activities without that talk. But he did include cautions about mothers being employed outside the home, so I prayerfully considered if I should drop out of graduate school. The response I got was, “So I arranged all these different miracles for you to be able to get this degree, which I need you to have so that you’ll be ready to serve me later, and you want to drop out so that you can appear righteous in the eyes of your neighbors?” It was very humbling. Because, yes, there had been so many miracles, that took my breathe away when I realized how a prompting to do something years earlier was leading up to that day; at the time I started graduate school, I was absolutely certain that I was where I needed to be at that point in time. I was also sure that the Lord wanted me to learn those skills for his purposes, so I accepted my success as a gift rather than a reason for pride, and I’m not surprised to have had various church assignments since that used the expertise I learned then.

    And so when I look at other families, I tend to assume that, like us, they had prayerfully considered the counsel of church leaders and are choosing the path that is best for their particular family, and I don’t feel a need or right to declare that their kids “get nothing.” I wince when others are judged, because I know what it feels like. There are moms who tell me they couldn ?t imagine having the outside commitments that I do. So fine, they should do what is best for their family, just as I have done. And I couldn’t imagine having the outside commitments that others do, but it’s their lives.

    There was a woman in my stake who felt impressed to get a full-time job when her children were still little, even though they didn’t need the money. I don ?t know if sisters in her ward figured that her kids were getting nothing, ? but the sad reality was that just a few months later, her husband died very unexpectedly. It was a horrible loss, but at least they didn’t have to worry about income or health insurance in the months that followed. The Lord had provided for her family by easing the transition, even though she might have appeared to be ignoring the prophets ? to some.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 11:28 am

    Run what by you again?

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 12:31 pm

    Posted By: NaismithI’m not interested in “telling you.” I trust that you and your husband have gone through the same process of prayer and seeking personal guidance that my family has gone through, to come up with the answer of how to raise your children.

    Then I “trust” that our leaders will not give any more counsel on child-rearing since we are all, obviously, already following personal revelation on the matter.

    But being responsible doesn’t necessarily mean “doing it yourself,”

    While pointing out that no one has claimed that mothers SHOULD do it alone, I suggest that declaring the children are the primary responsibility of the mother means SOMETHING. And “parents share everything equally in child-rearing and/or both mom and dad work it out however they feel like” isn’t a reasonable approximation. And I don’t think “the mom should be the one to find a really great nanny” is either. What DO you think it means?

    I hardly think declaring (per your example) that fathers should be responsible for FHE changes the fact that we’ve been counseled to try to stay home with our children.

    I feel very good about the choices our family has made about the way we raise our children. I am not saying our particular modus operandi would work for anyone else. I don’t get inspiration for other folks.

    Naismith, this isn’t about YOU, it’s about counsel and principle. We have been counseled to do what we can to stay home, very specifically. We have been taught that mothers are primarily responsible for the care and nurture of children. I can’t help that and, frankly, would have preferred it had been otherwise. I would have preferred to feel “free” to go to work and to figure out how to make that work for our children and family. I would have preferred to have more flexible, less gender-specific pronouncements that left me more clear options. But my preference isn’t the issue.

    If you feel that YOU are an exception to this counsel, then so be it. Obviously I can’t speak to that. But that doesn’t change the counsel or modify it or alter it or disprove it.

    I can, however, speak to the fact that a huge percentage of LDS women (I’ve heard over 50%) now think they are exceptions. Is this the general rule with exceptions?

    I can speak to what our counsel has been.

    I can speak to how most people can follow the counsel, if they are willing to.

    I can also speak to the fact that when I decided to stay home, we lived well below the poverty level, my husband was in graduate school, and we made great sacrifices–while lots of my friends who made double or more what we did said they “couldn’t afford” to stay home. No, they couldn’t–at least not with the cars, the furniture,the clothes and the homes they had.

    One of the things I did to “afford” to stay home was to babysit a one-year old neighbor boy while his mom worked. EVERY DAY when she picked him up, she said, “Oh, you are so lucky. I wish I could afford to stay home like you do.” Every day.

    We drove a 1979 Dasher. They drove a Jeep Cherokee AND a Honda Accord.

    We had the $99 Jenny Linn crib with home sewn (and I do NOT sew) bedding and a used dresser. They had high end, cherry wood, nursery suite with a canopy crib and gorgeous designer bedding.

    We had hand-sewn pillows on the floor and then, finally, bought foam (no frame) “couches” from Ernst Home Center. They got rid of their “old” living room set (that I thought was gorgeous) to buy a new set from a regular furniture store.

    We ate ramen and hot dogs. They ate regular food and went to restaurants regularly.

    We bought clothes at Pic-n-Save and Fashion Gal and an outlet that sold defects. They bought name brand clothes.

    We were very good friends. I didn’t begrudge their success and I didn’t make try to decide if she was “wrong” to be working. But do NOT come home every day in your nice, new car that runs reliably, wearing your fancy clothes and tell me how LUCKY I am to be able to “afford” to stay home.

    It wasn’t luck.

    Although I have been employed during part of the time I was a mom, I have not demeaned the role of wife and mother in the home.

    I believe you do if you promote the idea that ignoring specific counsel is OK as long as it seems to be worked out reasonably. Frankly, I can’t tell what your position really is as you seem to be mostly defending your own choices. The article wasn’t about your choices.

    So here is an employed mom, being pointed to as an example for the Young Women of the church by the prophet.

    And you think this is an example of the prophet saying women should get jobs? When he says she can work “as little or as much as she likes” what might that mean? And I think in most cases you get back to the beard fallacy on this one.

    I also think part of the change is because we are a worldwide church, and they dynamics are different in other places… I expect we will continue to see lots of talks on the importance of being involved parents, less specifics about maternal employment

    I expect as much as well. In fact, I’m expecting that my children will be openly given more options from authoritative sources. But honestly, I expect lots of things and that doesn’t remove me from my obligation to follow current counsel, whatever the future might bring. And, not being psychic (or prophetic), I’m going to stick with current counsel as the guide rather than speculation…or hope.

    in the last decade we got more general conference talks on pornography than on moms “not working”

    And this is BECAUSE it’s not important for moms to be home with kids? Or maybe because the internet has caused a crisis?

    But let’s please finish that paragraph:

    Yes, but let’s use the WHOLE paragraph:

    Put your homes in order. If Mother is working outside of the home, see if there are ways to change that, even a little. It may be very difficult to change at the present time. But analyze carefully and be prayerful. Then expect to have inspiration, which is revelation. Expect intervention from power from beyond the veil to help you move, in due time, to what is best for your family.

    I think the most reasonable reading of this is that bringing mother home (even though is might be a difficult adjustment) IS the movement he’s saying is “best for your family”–and God will help you do it. Note that he said if mother is working, try to CHANGE that and expect divine help to MOVE–after some time–to what is best. That doesn’t imply that the “change” and “move” will leave you where you started–with mother still working as much.

    It doesn’t say, “try to change the fact that mom is working unless you decide it’s best not to.”

    I wince when others are judged, because I know what it feels like.

    Naismith, you can only wince when others are judged, if you are judging someone yourself. If judgment is wrong then it can’t be restricted to only those who “judge” mothers who work. And if it’s OK for you to judge, then others should be allowed the same privilege.

    Again, it’s not about you and it’s not about particular individuals. It’s about a principle we have been taught. It’s about a culture that perpetuates the attitude that it’s OK to never see your kids as long as your are fulfilled and successful. It’s about how we do our best to follow counsel–and support it in our culture–as opposed to finding reasons to be exceptions.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 12:44 pm

    Someone asked me privately to explain my beard fallacy post in more detail. Here’s quick shot at it. Let me know if it helps.

    The Continuum Fallacy (also called the Fallacy of the Beard, Fallacy of the Haystack, etc. (It’s really different from the Slipper Slope fallacy, although some confuse them)) says:

    A differs from Z by a continuum of insignificant changes, and there is no non-arbitrary place at which a sharp line between the two can be drawn. Therefore, there is really no difference between A and Z.

    For example:

    If a man has 1 hair on his chin, is it a beard? No.
    If he has 20 hairs on his chin, is it a beard? No.
    If he has 10,000? Yes.

    So, somewhere between 20 and 10,000 it becomes a beard. Exactly WHERE does it become a beard? The choice is arbitrary. So the fallacy occurs when we say, “Since the number is arbitrary, then there is NO point at which it becomes a beard and so beards do not exists.”

    In the context of working, the idea is that:

    Well, it’s OK to leave your kids for three hours at nursery in church, so it must be OK to leave your kids in a nursery for three hours. It’s OK to go on date night with your husband, so it must be OK to leave your kids with a baby sitter for four hours. Why is it NOT OK to get a job and leave them in the care of others?

    You can keep going with that ad infinitum. You can say that it’s arbitrary to say exactly how many hours you can leave your kids and it’s arbitrary to say what you can be doing while your kids are gone. Therefore, you disallow any statements about how long to leave your kids or where you can go without them by showing that there is no difference between working and not working (as far as the kids are concerned).

    Of course, none of us work under such a requirement in real life continuums (that are in almost everything we do). We aren’t immobilized by the arbitrary nature of decision-making, but they come up debate frequently.

    For example, what about the two earring thing? Why two? Would three REALLY be life-altering? (Someday I’ll blog about my GD class and the earring debate. I had to remove three earrings when the prophet gave that talk.) What abut bedtimes? If bedtime is 10:00 then would 10:01 be any different? 10:02? 10:03? So 4:30 isn’t any different from 10:00?

    But the fact remains that our leaders HAVE asked us to try to stay home, to not work outside the home, specifically. Even though that exact line is arbitrary. Until that changes (which I welcome, with qualifiers that protect our children), that IS our counsel and what we should work toward.

  • missbrown February 21, 2008, 12:48 pm

    :cheer::clap::swingin: Alison, I thought about this thread the whole time I was in the shower this morning (which means I probably spend too much time in the shower). EVERY point I was thinking needs to be made, you said it! I, too, have noticed that the “exception” is now the “norm”. I KNOW some moms have to work, but how many now are hiding behind that “everyone has to do what is best for her family and for me that means working”. There are NOT that many women who MUST work. We, too, made sacrifices so I could stay home with our babies. A friend of my husband called us “the poorest people he knows”. I took that as a compliment.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 12:53 pm

    Thanks, missbrown. And I’m glad to know you are so squeaky clean!

    P.S. You can argue the same thing about “nothing.” There is no point at which kids get “nothing” because the incremental changes are insignificant.

  • jennycherie February 21, 2008, 2:48 pm

    Posted By: Alison Moore SmithWould three REALLY be life-altering? (Someday I’ll blog about my GD class and the earring debate. I had to remove three earrings when the prophet gave that talk.)

    Allison, I would sincerely love to read about this! Giving up my extra earrings after I joined the church was SO hard!
    It sounds so silly and vain and minuscule but I really loved my earrings. I had 3 in each ear. . . and for good reason–the first set of holes was uneven. . . the second set was even with each other which highlighted how uneven the first set of holes was. . . so when I go the third set of holes, I got one in between the two holes that were far apart and one above the two holes that were very close together, leaving me with three, lovely, even holes in each ear. And then I got baptized. . . end of earring heaven.

    Posted By: Alison Moore Smith
    Well, it’s OK to leave your kids for three hours at nursery in church, so it must be OK to leave your kids in a nursery for three hours. It’s OK to go on date night with your husband, so it must be OK to leave your kids with a baby sitter for four hours. Why is it NOT OK to get a job and leave them in the care of others?

    okay, I understand the beard fallacy now. I admit, I didn’t get it before. I think that what I noticed is that I have heard many people use the argument that some SAHMs are forever leaving their kiddos with someone else so it’s no different than working. . . BUT, even if a SAHM DOES do this, I don’t think it’s the norm or the ideal. PLUS, what I personally find frustrating in my current situation, is that all of those reasons (doctor’s appointments, visiting teaching, 1-on-1 time with a kid or a date with my husband, or a work function) that one needs a babysitter don’t suddenly go away just because you start working full time. . . but now I’m away from kids all day AND I still occasionally have to leave my kids for doctor’s appointments or visiting teaching or 1-on-1 time with a child or a date with my husband, etc. AND we still have school and church activities (we’ve eliminated everything else) that eat up our family time as well. It’s hard to imagine a child ever being in daycare (whether it is commercial daycare or not) LESS with a working mother.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 6:03 pm

    Posted By: jennycherieAllison, I would sincerely love to read about this! Giving up my extra earrings after I joined the church was SO hard!

    Isn’t that funny? There I had been SO sure that if the prophet asked me leave my home and risk the lives of my whole family by crossing the planes, I’d do it in a second. But GIVE UP AN EARRING???!! Never!

  • Naismith February 21, 2008, 6:30 pm

    We have been counseled to do what we can to stay home, very specifically.

    You say that like it should be obvious, but I have to tell you that it is NOT obvious to many members of the church. Remember that many of us are (60%) are converts to the faith. I understand that is stressed in the Young Women manuals, but I never was part of Young Women, and when I was interviewed for baptism and they made clear my responsibilities as a member (e.g., attending RS meeting), they did not say anything about moms being home. When I returned stateside, it was to BYU. One of my neighbors was a couple with two cute little toddler girls. Both of the parents were in law school. The mom explained that she had studied for the LSAT with her husband just to coach and goad him into getting a better score, and she’d taken the test to give closure to those months of study. She had no intention of going to law school, certainly not while the girls were so small, and hadn’t applied anywhere. But BYU contacted her, and a female faculty member (herself the mother of young children), convinced her that law was a great career to have time for family. They both went to law school, staggering schedules so the girls weren’t in daycare, and one or another of the grandmothers came during finals week to help. So if having mom at home is so imperative, what is the “Lord’s University” doing seducing this young mother away from her home? (And teaching converts false principles in the process?)

    Then when we graduated and moved into a family ward, our bishop’s wife was a full professor at the local U and mom of 5-6 children. They had a maid who had been with the family for years and years, and of course with academe her schedule was flexible. She was an amazing mom and bishop’s wife, and a great role model for the student families (or so I thought at the time. Now I realize she must have been a Bad Influence).

    So I am sorry, I did not get the memo that moms were supposed to stay home. I did totally get the message that raising families is the most important thing we do, we are responsible to teach them the gospel, etc. I had great role models of women were at home fulltime; a fulltime mom spoke at a forum assembly while I was at BYU. But I also had role models of women who were combining mothering and profession.

    Of course when women are taught of their role and the importance of teaching their children, a lot of women (including me, for some seasons of my life) are going to choose to be at home fulltime, just to have the focus. But I never got the impression it was as mandatory as you seem to present it.

    For the first 10 years I was in the church, I never heard a General Conference talk or anything from a church leader stating that mothers SHOULD be home. And I never heard an employed mom criticized for “not following the prophet.”

    I never heard anything “very specific” until Pres. Benson’s North American Fireside. And then, like I said, I prayerfully accepted his counsel.

    You say it is not about me, but I do get testy when people think it is okay to criticize employed moms, just as I’ve taken it a bit personally when people criticize Mormons, as they have in recent months.

    I can’t help that and, frankly, would have preferred it had been otherwise. I would have preferred to feel “free” to go to work and to figure out how to make that work for our children and family. I would have preferred to have more flexible, less gender-specific pronouncements that left me more clear options. But my preference isn’t the issue.

    Okay, I’m very confused by this. If having you at home full-time is the best thing for your family (which you seem to think it is at this point in time), and you are going to prayerfully do what the Lord wants for your particular situation, then won’t you choose to be at home full-time, anyway?

    So I don’t see what difference it would make, at all.

    Even if you believed as I do, that maternal employment is a minor detail and what really matters is raising a righteous posterity, then wouldn’t you still be at home full-time? If you were (as I am) following the guidance of the spirit as to what you should be doing to raise your family at this point in time?

  • ChanJo February 21, 2008, 6:32 pm

    This got me thinking about actual commandments compared to what we start thinking the commandment is. Like when people say that coffee is bad and coffee has caffeine and so everything with caffeine must be bad.

    The prophet didn’t say to never have anyone else ever watch your kids, he said don’t work outside the home and try to change to not work outside the home. So it’s doesn’t make sense to say that if you kids don’t go to daycare that it’s OK to work outside the home or if you don’t watch tv its ok to work outside the home or i’ve worked it out some other way so that its ok for me to work outside the home. Its still not following what the prophet said.

    Reading the thread, I guess that’s what Allison meant about the word of wisdom and sugar.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 6:46 pm

    I never heard anything “very specific” until Pres. Benson’s North American Fireside.

    Is this the same as “To Mothers in Zion”? If so, neither did I. That’s what threw me for a loop. I was three months pregnant with my first child, about six months from graduating from college–with a decade-long plan to get my master’s degree and then work full-time. And when I left the Marriott Center my head was spinning. I was SO mad. If this was such a big stinking deal, I would thought it would have come up before.

    Why didn’t it? I don’t know. I suspect that it came up WHEN our leaders noticed it was an issue among members of the church and not before.

    BTW, this isn’t the first time that you’ve called it his “North American Fireside.” Do you do so to imply that it only applies to US members? or North American members?

    You say it is not about me, but I do get testy when people think it is okay to criticize employed moms, just as I’ve taken it a bit personally when people criticize Mormons, as they have in recent months.

    Then I’m sure you can understand why I get testy when people think it’s OK to criticize those who are discussing prophetic counsel and how to apply it.

    Okay, I’m very confused by this. If having you at home full-time is the best thing for your family (which you seem to think it is at this point in time), and you are going to prayerfully do what the Lord wants for your particular situation, then won’t you choose to be at home full-time, anyway?

    Why don’t we respond to this as we would any church policy change. If I said, “Wow, living in Bermuda it would have been much more comfortable not to wear garments from my ankles to my knees while pregnant. Sure wish that policy change had occurred when I was having kids!!”

    Would your response be, “I’m very confused by this. If wearing garments is the best thing for you (which you seem to think it is at this point in time), and you are going to prayerfully do what the Lord wants for your particular situation, then won’t you choose to wear those garments, anyway?”

  • ChanJo February 21, 2008, 6:51 pm

    Naisith even though I wasn’t really agreeing with you, I liked how you wrote your thoughts until this.

    ____Okay, I’m very confused by this. If having you at home full-time is the best thing for your family (which you seem to think it is at this point in time), and you are going to prayerfully do what the Lord wants for your particular situation, then won’t you choose to be at home full-time, anyway?____

    That just doesn’t seem like an honest question to me. Thats like saying someone who is black “well if you were following Gods plan you wouldn’t have wanted to go to the temple before 1978 anyway.” President Kimball said he wanted black to get the priesthood for years before God said it was ok. Was he not following the spirit?

    If the church changes a position to give us more option than we had before then we can follow the prophet and still take advantage of them when before we could only do them by saying we are an exception to the rule.

  • Naismith February 21, 2008, 8:14 pm

    Why don’t we respond to this as we would any church policy change. If I said, “Wow, living in Bermuda it would have been much more comfortable not to wear garments from my ankles to my knees while pregnant. Sure wish that policy change had occurred when I was having kids!!”

    Okay, this is how you and I see things very differently. You really think this is church policy? I do not. To me, “policy” is the official stance of the church, laid out in the Handbook in black and white.

    We have doctrines, which include things like the nature of the godhead. We have policy, such as blacks having the priesthood. We have practices, such as whether we pay ward budget and how long meetings are. We have folklore, such as wearing white shirts while passing the sacrament.

    I don’t see the encouragement of moms to be at home as church policy. Last time I had a calling that required me to have a handbook, there was no such mention of that issue. Is there now?

    Yes, there have been some talks in various venues about the importance of moms at home. But there have also been talks about men not spending too much time involved with their work. In my family, we take all such counsel seriously. A few years ago, such a talk prompted us to consider with great concern my husband’s extensive work-related travel schedule. But rather than him quitting his job (which some families might have decided as a result of that talk), we decided to travel with him more often. So that year we spent over 4 weeks together as a family, traveling around various states and countries, and ever since have tried to accompany him whenever possible.

    If you see this as “church policy,” then I can understand why we disagree. I didn’t see it as “church policy.” I saw it as counsel for each of us to prayerfully consider, which I did. And which is why I don’t consider myself an exception or wiggling or hiding or anything.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2008, 8:42 pm

    Actually, Naismith, I’ve written entire chapters about the distinction between doctrine, policy, and practice. I called the last class “tradition,” but I like your “folklore” better.

    OTOH, I have a different opinion on the classification themselves. I would not call budget or meeting length practice, but rather policy. They are written down and specifically listed. And, sad as it makes me, wearing white shirts while passing the sacrament isn’t folklore. There is an authoritative pronouncement about it–if I remember correctly, from Joseph Fielding Smith. But the idea that those NOT passing the sacrament must wear white shirts is, at most, tradition.

    I think you probably already know that “moms stay at home” is not in the handbook. But Benson’s talk was published by the church. I suppose we can debate what makes policy, but I’m not sure “in the handbook” is a good standard. The temple ceremony isn’t in either handbook. I guess we can pretty much discount all the conference issues from now on. Well, until they get into the handbook.

    Still, yes, I do make a distinction between direct, specific, prophetic counsel (“mothers come home”) in an authoritative setting and a suggestion that you might want to consider if it feels right.

    Yes, there have been some talks in various venues about the importance of moms at home. But there have also been talks about men not spending too much time involved with their work.

    So? I’m unsure how one negates the other. I’m also really unsure how “men not spending too much time involved with their work” could mean “men quit you jobs now.” But, I’m silly that way.

  • ChanJo February 21, 2008, 8:56 pm

    Naisith I dont want to sound rude to you, but I think its really clear that the prophets for about two decades have said we should try to stay home. I dont think it matter if its doctrine or policy or whatever you want to call it, thats what they told us was Gods will for us. Whatever you want to say about it you _do_ think teh counsel doesnt apply to you or doesnt fit you or at least you think your an exception to it.

    If you want to say that counsel is just an idea to think about then I think your wrong. I think the prophets speaking is our modern scripture, not just a suggestion.

  • facethemusic February 21, 2008, 9:48 pm

    Okay, this is how you and I see things very differently. You really think this is church policy? I do not. To me, “policy” is the official stance of the church, laid out in the Handbook in black and white.
    We have doctrines, which include things like the nature of the godhead. We have policy, such as blacks having the priesthood. We have practices, such as whether we pay ward budget and how long meetings are. We have folklore, such as wearing white shirts while passing the sacrament.

    Yes, that IS the difference. I think this is one of those things where we asked to do as counseled, without having to be “commanded” to do it, without it having to be “written in stone” so to speak.

    Some will listen to what the prophets teach and say to themselves, “If the prophet teaches over and over again that mothers should be home with their children, then because I know he speaks for the Lord, I’ll stay home with my children, even if that wasn’t what I planned for myself”

    Others will say, “unless or until the Church makes an official policy stating that mothers should stay home with their children and then “canonizes” it in the handbook, I will continue to work.”

    The same thing goes with many of the church’s teachings. Holding Family Home Evening, for example is not a “commandment”. But the Lord, through his prophets have told us over and over again how important it is to do so. So people will either choose to do it and obey that counsel, as though it WAS a command, because they so strongly believe in the counsel, or more importantly really, because they so strongly believe in the inspiration and authority of the prophets who speak that counsel.

    For clarification, the white shirt thing isn’t folklore. The handbook does state that white shirts should be worn, it just states that it shouldn’t be “required”, that Bishoprics shouldn’t DISALLOW someone to pass the Sacrament just because they aren’t wearing a white shirt. But it DOES say that the appropriate dress for passing the Sacrament is white shirts and ties. (A pair of pants is always good, too. :) So this is yet another example. Some will wear white shirts because it’s what they’ve been told is the appropriate thing to do, because it’s been addressed in conferences, etc and others will wear whatever color shirt they want, even though they’ve been told they should wear white, because if it isn’t “required” then they don’t see it as very important. Sort of a “well, we don’t HAVE to wear white shirts, it isn’t REQUIRED or COMMANDED, so it must not be that big of a deal”.

    Ezra Taft Benson gave a great talk on this very subject during general conference- about how we should follow prophetic counsel, even though they don’t state them as “commandments” or “requirements”.

    He started with this scripture: For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward….
    For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
    But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned. ? (D&C 58:26-29.)

    He then went on to say:

    “Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods. The methods and procedures are usually developed through study and prayer and by living so that we can obtain and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Less spiritually advanced people, such as those in the days of Moses, had to be commanded in many things. Today those spiritually alert look at the objectives, check the guidelines laid down by the Lord and his prophets, and then prayerfully act without having to be commanded in all things. ? This attitude prepares men for godhood.

    Often, because of circumstances, the Lord, through revelation to his prophets or through inspired programs designed by faithful members which later become adopted on a church-wide basis, will give to all the membership a righteous means to help accomplish the objective; for instance, any member of the Church a century ago who studied church doctrine would have known that he had the prime responsibility to see that his children had spiritualized family recreation and were taught in the home lessons in character building and gospel principles. But some did not do it.

    Then, in 1915 President Joseph F. Smith introduced, church-wide, the weekly home evening program ? with promised blessings to all who faithfully adopted it. Many refused and lost the promised blessings. (At the October conference, 1947, I referred to that promise in a talk on the Family Home Evening.) Today we have the home evening manual and other helps. Yet some still refuse to bring up their children in righteousness.

    But there are some today who complain that the home evening manual should have been issued years ago. If this is true then the Lord will hold his servants accountable; but no one can say that from the inception of the Church to the present day the Lord through his Spirit to the individual members and through his spokesmen, the prophets, has not given us the objectives and plenty of guidelines and counsel. The fact that some of us have not done much about it even when it is spelled out in detail is not the Lord ?s fault. “

    Then he used food storage as another example. We have not been “commanded” to have food storage. And even though that has been the counsel for decades, some still don’t do it– they don’t think it’s really necessary– it’s not like you HAVE to have food storage in order to go the temple. It’s not a church “policy”, it isn’t a requirement.

    All of these things are things that aren’t required. But they ARE the teachings and counsel of the Church and our prophets. The hope of our leaders is that we will obey on that alone. They teach correct principles, and we govern ourselves.

  • davidson February 21, 2008, 11:25 pm

    Naismith, I’ve been quiet because I don’t want to argue, and I don’t trust myself to speak about an issue so important to me without getting defensive. My personal feeling is that we don’t get the witness until AFTER we make the sacrifice. We can’t expect it before that. I have a witness, born of the Spirit and my own effort, that Heavenly Father would have his mothers in Israel stay home. I don’t think it is open to individual interpretation any more than His other directions are. My heart aches. I hope this doesn’t seem too stupid to you. I just want to open my arms wide to you and hug you. I wish I could. I wish you could feel welcome here. I wish you could tear your fence down and join us and help others feel welcome here. We’re on the same side, really. We all want to keep the commandments. We all love our Heavenly Father. We all revere a prophet, and we are at different levels on different gospel “lines.” I love what Goethe said, “Thee lift me, and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.” We have similarities to dwell on, as well as differences. And there is so much more peace in dwelling on the similarities first.

  • Naismith February 22, 2008, 4:34 am

    I have a witness, born of the Spirit and my own effort, that Heavenly Father would have his mothers in Israel stay home.

    Really? I thought only the prophet could receive revelation for the entire church. I don’t think I am entitled to revelation to know what all the other mothers in Israel should be doing; it’s not my stewardship.

    My personal feeling is that we don’t get the witness until AFTER we make the sacrifice. We can’t expect it before that.y personal feeling is that we don’t get the witness until AFTER we make the sacrifice.

    I agree. It’s not just your feeling, of course there have been numerous scriptures and books written on that subject.

    I was at home fulltime for 12 years. (There was another three years when I was home all day with our children, and my husband handled them at night.) So I made the sacrifice, and had a firm testimony that I was doing what the Lord would have me do.

    I never got a witness about what all the other mothers in Israel should be doing. Of course, I never thought to ask, since it wasn’t my stewardship.

    But even if it was true, that you are entitled to know what all the other mothers are supposed to be doing, do you also think it entitles you to declare that when moms are employed “their children get nothing,” and the parents in such families “don’t have a brain”?

    That was my reason for commenting, that we can’t know what goes on in other families and I don’t see what is helped by putting them down like that.

  • Naismith February 22, 2008, 4:55 am

    That just doesn’t seem like an honest question to me. Thats like saying someone who is black “well if you were following Gods plan you wouldn’t have wanted to go to the temple before 1978 anyway.” President Kimball said he wanted black to get the priesthood for years before God said it was ok. Was he not following the spirit?

    If the church changes a position to give us more option than we had before then we can follow the prophet and still take advantage of them when before we could only do them by saying we are an exception to the rule.

    I am not sure that this is the best example, because it was an all-or-nothing rule. Before the OD, blacks couldn’t enter the temple. After the OD, blacks were expected to take part in the temple, serve missions, etc.

    If it is policy for moms to stay home (which I am not sure it is, but let’s just say, for sake of the analysis), then I don’t think the change would be all-or-nothing, that the church is suddenly going to expect moms to be employed.

    An example of a change that went from “no, you can’t” to “it’s up to you” was when members married to unendowed spouses had the opportunity to go to the temple for their own endowment. I have lived in areas with lots of members (of both genders) in this situation. Each of them has prayerfully made the best decision for their own family, and some chose to go and some not to, even though the policy said they could go.

  • Naismith February 22, 2008, 5:24 am

    Is this the same as “To Mothers in Zion”? If so, neither did I. That’s what threw me for a loop. I was three months pregnant with my first child, about six months from graduating from college–with a decade-long plan to get my master’s degree and then work full-time. And when I left the Marriott Center my head was spinning.

    But were you reacting to the words themselves, or to a spiritual witness that this was the right thing for you?

    I am very familiar with the head-spinning feeling in regard to a spiritual witness as to what I should be doing. I felt that way when I kept being prompted to get my degree in a certain area. It was embarrassing because I had little idea what that field was, and had to look it up in the dictionary. I had no desire to get a degree in that field. But it turned out that I met my husband as a result of the curriculum, and from time to time his work has benefitted from my training in that area. But I’ve never held a paid job in that field.

    When I heard President Benson’s talk, I prayed about it, like I said, and I would have been willing to drop out of grad school. The Lord made it very clear that I should continue with my schooling.

  • facethemusic February 22, 2008, 6:03 am

    Really? I thought only the prophet could receive revelation for the entire church. I don’t think I am entitled to revelation to know what all the other mothers in Israel should be doing; it’s not my stewardship.

    It IS only the prophet who receives “revelation for the entire Church”. But that’s how personal revelation about prophetic teaching works. If the prophet says “No tatoos, and only have one pair of earrings” and some don’t understand, or just plain don’t LIKE the counsel, don’t see what the problem is, etc, they may struggle between doing what they WANT to do, and what they are COUNSELED to do. So if in their struggling, they turn to the Lord, then the Lord can reveal to them, “Follow the prophet– he has given wise counsel— no tatoos, and only one pair of earrings.” So that person has just received revelation to VALIDATE what the prophet has taught to the entire church. He didn’t give that person a “revelation for the entire church”. He bore personal witness through the Spirit, that the instruction the PROPHET gave to the entire church is what He (God) wanted.

  • facethemusic February 22, 2008, 6:46 am

    And I just want to add– this whole thing is really about personal testimony.
    Whether it’s staying home with children, having FHE, building food storage, not having tatoos, only having one pair of earrings, wearing white shirts to pass the Sacrament, watching R rated movies, etc, etc, etc, … Sure, the church has made materials for FHE and has done many things to help us build our food storage, (the canneries, publications, etc) But, these are things they’ve done to make it EASIER for us to OBEY the counsel, they still aren’t ‘policies’, they aren’t “required”, they aren’t “commanded”.
    You can go to the temple whether or not you are staying home with children.
    Whether or not you’re having FHE.
    Whether or not you have tatoos.
    Whether or not you have more than one pair of earrings, or other body piercings.
    Whether or not you wear white shirts when passing the sacrament.
    Whether or not you watch R- rated movies.

    And there are others as well.
    Some of these are things that people will resist. They will either follow the counsel, even though it isn’t commanded or made an “official policy written in the handbook” , because they trust the prophet and his guidance, (and thereby eventually GAIN the testimony) OR they will hear the counsel and do otherwise until they have their own personal witness that what the prophet has spoken is what the Lord would have of them, OR until or unless it IS made an “official policy”.
    And the truth is, whether or not someone was brought up in the church or is a convert really doesn’t have much to do with it either. It may have an impact for some but it isn’t the determining factor. There are people who were born and raised in the church who don’t follow these counsels. Then there are people who were just baptised a few years ago who wre raised completely opposite of these teachings, yet who DO follow the counsels. Again, because it’s a matter of personal testimony.
    We had a brother at Church who for YEARS wore a 10 inch rat-tail off the back of his hair.
    He doesn’t have it now– but it took him awhile to finally give it up.
    We still have a brother who wears an earring.
    We have quite a few sisters who have little tatoos on their ankles. (life-long members who just had moments of “rebellion”– and it’s possible they did it BEFORE the counsel was given– but that’s one those things that should have been obvious, anyway, we didn’t really NEED to be told “no tatoos”, right?)
    We also have a couple brothers who don’t wear white shirts.
    I’m sure there are many who watch R rated movies.
    We have a couple sisters who still wear pants to church.

    They are good people with testimonies– they just don’t have it in that one area, at least.
    He teaches us line upon line, and we learn line upon line. We all have our areas where we resist.
    Some are just more obvious than others because they are more outward things.

  • davidson February 22, 2008, 8:31 am

    Thank you, Face.

  • davidson February 22, 2008, 10:23 am

    Naismith, let’s concede this. You may have received direction from the Lord to work outside the home. You may truly be the exception, as there are some, occasionally. My concern is that you are painting a picture of the possibility of a change in doctrine where none exists, encouraging sisters to feel that the Lord is going to change His mind on this matter. I say “doctrine” purposefully. It has always been our Heavenly Father’s design for fathers to provide for their families; that was basic doctrine with Adam and all through the ages. Certainly mothers are to assist–and then we have to look carefully at what “assist” means. It doesn’t mean “replace.” It doesn’t mean to “compete with.”
    It might mean to “contribute”–and there are many ways to contribute, chief of which is to wisely manage the income a husband IS able to provide, to live providently and resourcefully so his income is enough. In my opinion, that’s how we “assist.”

    You are right; President Hinckley encouraged young women to consider training in nursing. He mentioned that they would then be able to work as much or as little as they wanted to–hoping, I’m sure, that they would have the desire to follow the counsel the prophets have given concerning mothers staying home when at all possible. We have always been counseled by him to train our minds and hands to be able to support ourselves if the true need arose. I thought it was interesting that he wasn’t encouraging worthy pursuits in other fields of education. The thought that crossed my mind wasn’t that he was giving the green light to mothers working outside the home; he was highlighting the need for more nursing in the future, more medical knowledge and ability on which to rely. If things go according to prophecy, and I am certain that they will, the last days before the Savior comes will be days of war like none the earth has ever known, days of natural disaster and upheaval and danger. Think about Katrina. It would have been a real bonus to have an excess of women who were trained in the medical field living in that area at that time. I think he was quietly encouraging preparation for the future, as prophets have done all through the ages. No scare tactics, just quiet, steady preparation. We are fools if we think our children’s future will be as safe and sane as our past has been. Although they don’t dwell on it, the Brethren unanimously agree that there are difficult days ahead.

    I’m including this article from the Ensign because I thought it was full of wise and faithful application of the direction we’ve received.

    Derin Head Rodriguez, Mom at Home, ? Ensign, Oct 1989, 13

    The transition from career woman to stay-at-home mother often requires a leap of faith.

    President Ezra Taft Benson has reminded us that the Lord ?s way to rear our children is different from the world ?s way. ? In the beginning, Adam not Eve was instructed to earn the bread by the sweat of his brow. Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother ?s calling is in the home, not in the marketplace. ? (To the Mothers in Zion, pamphlet, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1987, p. 5.)

    He is not the first prophet to urge mothers to stay at home; for years, others have stressed the importance of a mother ?s influence an influence too vital to be left to others.

    President David O. McKay promised, She who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, ? deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God. ? (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, pp. 453 ?54.)

    On numerous occasions, President Spencer W. Kimball urged mothers to come home ? to your children, born and unborn. Wrap the motherly cloak about you and, unembarrassed, help in a major role to create the bodies for the immortal souls who anxiously wait.

    When you have fully complemented your husband in home life and borne the children, growing up full of faith, integrity, responsibility, and goodness, then you have achieved your accomplishment supreme, without peer, and you will be the envy of all through time and eternity. ? (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 327; italics added.)

    Of course, some mothers with children at home must work outside the home as a matter of necessity. Such need our understanding and help and appreciation for all that they do in behalf of their families.

    Following are several accounts of mothers who did have a choice to be at home and how they made the decision to be with their children.

    Lynette: Quality Time ? for Her Children
    Those who know Lynette, a 35-year-old mother of three, considered her a career woman ? whose job as an office manager for a large real estate company was very important to her. Whenever the topic of working mothers would arise, she spoke up defensively, citing her need for intellectual stimulation, association with other educated adults, and the daily reassurance and satisfaction of a job well done.

    Besides, she would add, her two boys loved their sitter she ?d had the same one since her first son had been born and Lynette always made sure she gave her sons quality time. ? Told in her late teens that because of a physical condition she would never be able to have children, Lynette planned to have a career instead. But when marriage and children came, her job was a big part of her life a part she didn ?t want to give up.

    The night Mark told me it had always been one of his goals for me to quit working and be home full-time, I was furious, ? recalls Lynette. ? ?Fine, ? I yelled, ?but what about my goals? ? ?

    But gradually she began to change her mind. Although eight-year-old Greg was behind in his reading, she had little time to help him; TV and the sitter were bigger influences in her children ?s lives than she was; and trying to keep up with everybody ?s schedules made their lives hectic. I didn ?t feel we really had a home it was more like a launching pad where Mark, the kids, and I stopped off on the way to somewhere else, ? Lynette says.

    Still, the decision to quit her job was one of the most difficult she had ever made. Lynette had developed close personal relationships with her colleagues at work, and the many job perks ? she had were hard to give up. Financial matters were also a worry. Mark owned his own business, and his income was erratic.

    In spite of her misgivings, Lynette was surprised how easy the adjustment to being at home full-time was. There is a feeling of absolute relief in being there for my family and away from the stress, competition, and traffic. I do miss getting dressed up, going out to lunch, and being good at my job, but I don ?t miss them enough to go back. Now we have a more organized home.

    Before, I would cry every time I ?d hear a Church leader say I should be home with my children. On February 22, 1987, when President Ezra Taft Benson spoke at a fireside for parents and told mothers to stay home, I felt so guilty and miserable that all I could do was cry.

    ?He doesn ?t understand, ? I thought. ?Things were different when he raised his children. ?

    But when I stayed home, I found out that he does know. I used to feel I was making my kids independent, but now I am making them feel loved. Five-year-old Jared will stop his play and holler through the door, ?Mom, I love you. ? ?I love you, too, Jared, ? I respond, and he ?ll be off again. When the kids are sick, I can be with them. Greg tested it a few times when he called from school to see if I would really come and take him home. Now he knows I ?m here whenever he needs me.

    The ?quality time ? I thought my children were getting was just a rationalization to make me feel better. Kids don ?t care about ?quality time ? as much as they do about having a lot of it. My relationship with Mark has also improved. I ?m a nicer person and more of a calming influence; I have greater peace of mind. ?

    Similar convictions are echoed by many families in vastly differing circumstances. A mother ?s choice to quit a job is difficult at best. Often the decision to work has been prompted by many motivations financial necessity, emotional fulfillment, intellectual stimulation, the desire to provide advantages and opportunities for her family, and the need to help others. Fathers as well as mothers become torn between conflicting forces.

    But for many, the time often comes when, whatever the reasons for continued employment, the reasons for Mom to be home become even more compelling for the well-being of family members including Mom.

    Debbie: Overextended?
    If the transition between employment and full-time motherhood comes easy for some, for others it is painfully difficult. Debbie, thirty-two, was working full-time as a teacher specialist and serving in a Relief Society presidency when she decided to go back to school and get a master ?s degree. She had always placed a high value on education and felt that a graduate degree would further her career goals.

    It was just craziness, ? she admits. Every minute was so full. I remember sitting on the edge of the tub bathing the kids with one hand and studying from a book held in the other. ?

    When health problems forced Debbie to slow down, she had the opportunity to evaluate her priorities. Is this madness spending the rest of my life like this? ? she asked herself. Enough already, ? she and Bruce decided. The family needed someone to keep the home fires burning, ? and that someone would be Debbie.

    So with great reluctance, Debbie, now pregnant, withdrew from the graduate program and quit her job.

    It was a real leap of faith for me, ? she confesses. I sure didn ?t want to do it, but I felt it was the right thing for us. ?

    Debbie ?s adjustment to being at home full-time was difficult. Every morning for months I watched Bruce drive away for work, and then I cried with unhappiness and frustration, ? she recalls. The role of stay-at-home mother was totally foreign to her. But she had always told the new schoolteachers she trained to give themselves a year to feel comfortable with the job; she decided to give herself that same year. Immersing herself in her new job, Debbie talked to women whose homemaking skills she admired, took related classes, and read books on the subject. Gradually things began to change.

    Bruce ?s support was invaluable during Debbie ?s transition. One day baby Julia was sick and Debbie spent the whole day rocking her. When Bruce came home he found a frustrated wife and mother because of so much left undone. He pointed out that that ?s why I decided to stay home, to nurture our children, ? says Debbie. ?How would you feel if Julia had cried all day because you ?d cleaned the house? ? he asked me. He really helped me put things in perspective. ?

    Although the family ?s income was cut substantially when Debbie quit work, they have not noticed a major difference in their standard of living. With extra expenses such as day care at $250 a month per child, a working wardrobe, lunches out, transportation, and fast-food dinners dropped from the budget, the monthly income stretches further than they thought it would.

    Debbie realizes she has had to make changes for her future. It is unrealistic to expect to stay home for several years and then move right back onto the career fast-track. Many of those opportunities are gone, ? she admits honestly. But other opportunities will come. I will have plenty of years after my children are grown to do some of those things. ?

    Peggy: Finances and Faith
    For many, financial matters are the real concern. Although Peggy and Cody knew their family income would be cut by more than half without Peggy ?s paycheck, it was an easy decision for her to quit and stay at home with their three children, ages three, eight, and eleven. Peggy, thirty-four, had begun working as a secretary a year and a half before, when Cody had gone back to school.

    We felt going to work was the right decision at the time, even though it was hard on our family, ? Peggy explained. During the summer they didn ?t want to leave the children alone all day, but they couldn ?t afford a sitter. So on Monday mornings Peggy took the children to her mother ?s house about fifty miles away and often wouldn ?t see them until she picked them up on Friday evening. Though it seemed the only solution, the separations caused a severe strain on parents and children.

    When Cody finished school and found a job, although not as lucrative as they had hoped, Peggy knew the time had come for her to quit. What had already been a tight budget was cut drastically. We didn ?t know how we would make it, but we knew somehow things would work out. ?

    Once before when Cody was between jobs, they had been faced with a choice of paying their tithing or their bills. They knew that obedience to Heavenly Father ?s commandment would take all the funds they had, but Peggy wrote out the check with trembling fingers, and the balance in the checkbook stood near zero. Heavenly Father, ? Peggy prayed, you have told us that if we pay these obligations, you will take care of us. That ?s what we ?ve done, and the rest is up to you. ?

    Two days later, the family received a check that they had expected to be less than $10; the amount was $270. It was enough to carry them through until regular paychecks started coming in again.

    Having relied on the Lord before, Peggy and Cody are willing to do so again. But to them, leaving their temporal welfare in the Lord ?s hands doesn ?t mean sitting on their own. Peggy has started babysitting and teaching piano lessons, and the family has taken on an early-morning paper route.

    We don ?t have money for music lessons, Little League, soccer, and other interests such as horses and travel. We have had to sacrifice, ? Peggy admits. But we have gained so much more than we have lost. ? The conviction in her voice underscores her quiet words. We had such a difficult time before, and we felt like the windows of heaven were closed to us. Now they have been opened, and the blessings are pouring through. ?

    Although giving up a second income may seem almost impossible, those with an eye on the eternal perspective find that the extra paycheck sometimes can cost more than it ?s worth. It is a decision that must be faced uniquely and prayerfully by each family. While one cannot model his course of action on someone else ?s solution, neither can one judge what is right or wrong for anyone else.

    Eileen: Should I Return to Work?
    President Benson ?s counsel to ?be at the crossroads when your children are either coming or going ? (To the Mothers in Zion, p. 5.) is especially important to me, ? Eileen says. When you send teenagers off in the morning, you never know how they ?ll come home. You have to be there for them. ?

    When Eileen married Mike nine years ago, she had three children from a previous marriage. Although Mike was willing to support her children, Eileen felt it was asking too much of him, so she resigned herself to working outside the home. Besides, the independence and earning power she had enjoyed while she was single were hard to let go of completely. But four years later, when Eric was born, Eileen was ready to stay home.

    After a few years, the financial pressures became almost unbearable, and Eileen and Mike decided that perhaps the time had come for Eileen to return to work. She found a position that seemed perfect for her and went for an interview, then was called back for another. Finally, at her third interview on a Friday afternoon, she felt the job was practically hers and was told she would be notified the following Monday.

    On Sunday, Eileen and Mike heard President Benson ?s fireside address urging mothers to stay at home. They listened with tears in their eyes, and it seemed that the prophet of the Lord was speaking just to them.

    When the job offer came the next morning, turning it down was one of the hardest things Eileen ever did. But as she and Mike prayed together, the peace that engulfed them testified that they had made the right decision. Somehow, things would work out.

    I still get out that talk and read it periodically just for the affirmation that always comes, ? says Eileen. When their oldest daughter started college, Eileen began working one day a week as a legal secretary to help meet added expenses, but she staunchly resists the temptation to increase those away-from-home hours.

    I explained to my employer that I couldn ?t work more because I would miss too much ?love time ? with my five-year-old. I described the half hour reserved for us every morning to just cuddle and be close. Now I know that sometime almost every day each of the older kids will need some ?love time, ? too. Even my college freshman says, ?Mom, when I ?m home, I really need you to be there, too. ? ?

    Giving up employment for full-time motherhood at home doesn ?t preclude getting involved in other activities. In fact, it often frees a few hours here or there for a mother to spend in church work, community service, political causes, educational pursuits, or other interests or hobbies. Also, many women have income-producing activities whether out of necessity or desire that they can pursue at home or that take them away for only a limited number of hours.

    Diana: No to Parenting by Committee ?
    I used to long to be out in the world working with adults, using my brains and my education, ? says Diana, a 34-year-old mother of five. But one day I realized the flip side of that argument does that mean that only someone without any brains or education is suited to rearing a family? That wasn ?t the kind of person I wanted to raise my children. I wanted them to have the smartest, most educated, most spiritual person I could find. That realization became an incentive for me. I stopped feeling that my skills were being wasted at home and started to make myself worthy of this important calling.

    Besides, I didn ?t want my children to be raised by a committee of sitters, teachers, relatives, older siblings, and parents. Sure, I need help occasionally, but I wanted to be the principal player here. ?

    Making major life-style changes is not easy. The leap of faith required to alter established routines and familiar patterns is scary and uncertain. We rush about, frantically striving to purchase what cannot be bought from the many who claim to have it to sell ignoring the Lord ?s formula for eternal peace and joy.

    But he has promised that he will not abandon us to make these choices alone and that the rewards will follow a display of our faith.

    One afternoon Debbie, the former teacher specialist, was returning from a swimming outing with her children. She realized that if she were still working she would just be getting off work. Then she would have to stop at the grocery store, pick up the kids at the sitter, rush home and fix dinner, clean up the dishes, do the laundry, and try to finish some of the work she ?d brought home. I could feel my stress level rising just thinking about it, ? she states.

    As she glanced at the sunburned children asleep in the backseat of the car and remembered the day ?s fun, a peaceful, contented feeling came over her. She realized much to her own surprise This is the best job I ?ve ever had. ?

  • Alison Moore Smith February 22, 2008, 1:22 pm

    Posted By: NaismithReally? I thought only the prophet could receive revelation for the entire church. I don’t think I am entitled to revelation to know what all the other mothers in Israel should be doing; it’s not my stewardship.

    This is getting to the point of silliness, if you ask me. Yes, God said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But I can only know that his words apply to me. If YOU want to kill someone, I guess that is up to your own guiding voice. I won’t “judge” your behavior. :tongue:

    Naismith, sorry, we have had repeated, authoritative counsel for over two decades that has said we should try to stay home if we can. It’s not fuzzy. It’s not wrapped in obscure language. It wasn’t confined to a particular geographic area. It wasn’t qualified with all sorts of things like “if you feel like it” or “if it fulfills you.” It was only qualified with sincere financial need.

    As I said, if you feel that it doesn’t apply to YOU, specifically, then I will respect YOUR decision for yourself. But the truth is, you do seem intent on declaring YOUR exception to be somehow meaningful for others. It isn’t. The counsel and the standard remain the same. We should try to be at home–even when it’s hard.

    I never got a witness about what all the other mothers in Israel should be doing. Of course, I never thought to ask, since it wasn’t my stewardship.

    Of course it is. You have a right to have a confirmation that what the prophet says is true. And he said all mothers should stay home if they can.

    I am not sure that this is the best example, because it was an all-or-nothing rule.

    No analogy is perfect, but it does show the problem in your statement. The fact is, my personal preference falls outside of our prophetic counsel. (Just as President Kimball’s did.) So, while I wouldn’t mind if God put some more options for working women on the table–so that they could be a viable option–at the current point they are outside my consideration–unless I have an extreme need that makes me an exception. And I’m generally really leery of making myself an exception because I’ve seen how easy it is to allow that to become a habit.

    President Kimball wanted blacks to be open to all the priesthood blessings–even when God said no. So, he obeyed the Lord, continued to pray, and rejoiced when the position changed. Having a person preference that isn’t the same as the Lord’s doesn’t make one unfaithful–unless they choose to follow their own will instead of the Lord’s.

    I started writing some thoughts about this and it got very long and convoluted.

    then I don’t think the change would be all-or-nothing, that the church is suddenly going to expect moms to be employed.

    No, but what they’d say is, there is not longer counsel AGAINST working outside the home. The counsel is now __________. In other words, there are more sanctioned options on the table for you to consider. Like the fact that we can now choose garments that don’t go to then ankle or two-piece.

    Posted By: NaismithBut were you reacting to the words themselves, or to a spiritual witness that this was the right thing foryou?

    The words. I had no clue, until then, that my life plan had some religious significance. It hadn’t been addressed in YW to my recollection. I think it was just assumed that we “got it” in spite of the cultural rhetoric swarming around at the time.

    The Lord made it very clear that I should continue with my schooling.

    While this isn’t exactly employment outside the home, it might be deemed comparable. If we equate them then, in YOUR circumstances, God found you to be an exception to what President Benson had said. So be it. The general counsel still applies to those who aren’t exceptions.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 22, 2008, 1:23 pm

    Naismith, sorry, we have had repeated, authoritative counsel for over two decades that has said we should try to stay home if we can.

    Well over two decades, apparently President Kimball spoke extensively on this subject as well. :shamed: I’ll try to redeem myself by thinking that his words were directed to the adults and I probably missed those talks while I was sneaking into r-rated movies.

  • facethemusic February 22, 2008, 1:47 pm

    I probably missed those talks while I was sneaking into r-rated movies.

    :rolling:he he he…. the gates of hell are beckoning. We’ll pray for your redemption. :tooth:

  • Naismith February 22, 2008, 5:23 pm

    BTW, this isn’t the first time that you’ve called it his “North American Fireside.” Do you do so to imply that it only applies to US members? or North American members?

    It was a North American fireside. I don ?t know why the church leaders chose to deliver that message only to North America, rather than giving it in General Conference to the entire church. But they did make that decision. When I moved to South America a few years later, most of the moms in the ward were employed, and totally guiltless; they thought they were doing the best thing for their children. When I returned stateside, I looked it up and realized that it was indeed a North American fireside.

    A few weeks ago there was a Worldwide Leadership Training about raising a righteous generation. It was taped weeks early to allow translation into many languages for the broadcast, and it did not explicitly mention the importance of moms staying at home. So it may be that different specifics (not different principles) are taught in various parts of the globe.

    …this whole thing is really about personal testimony.

    Or it might not be. It might be about mothers who just follow the crowd, figuring that their choice MUST be right if they do what the prophet said, rather than praying to know if the path they are on is what the Lord will have them do.

    I ?m not saying that ?s the case. Really, I give moms credit for being able to know what is best for their families. But I was at home fulltime for many years WITHOUT IT BEING BECAUSE THE PROPHET SAID SO, simply because I felt it was the best thing for my family at the time. Although from the outside, I looked just as righteous as anyone else.

    I also wonder if it is always a matter of testimony, because I know what a mighty temptation it was to want to fit the mold when the Lord wanted me to do something else. I resisted and did what I was asked, but isn ?t it possible that sometimes people might refuse such promptings in order to appear righteous?

    If you want to say that counsel is just an idea to think about then I think your wrong.

    I think ? about what dinners to cook next week. The process of how to care for my children is something that is much more intense than just thinking about. ? I fast, I pray, I petition on my knees. The most recent time I made the decision to return to the workplace, I fasted about it at least twice. I prayed about it even when the decision was the “acceptable” option to be at home fulltime.

    ? what they’d say is, there is not longer counsel AGAINST working outside the home. The counsel is now __________. In other words, there are more sanctioned options on the table for you to consider.

    Are you sure they would be so explicit? It seems that with a lot of issues, the church just quietly moves the statements over a bit, without announcing a change. Take birth control: I understand that there used to be specific counsel not to use artificial birth control, ? and yet now the policy is that family size, and how that is achieved, is up to the couple and the Lord. So when was there an explicit statement that “there is no longer counsel AGAINST birth control, there are more sanctioned options on the table for you to consider”?

    ?some don’t understand, or just plain don’t LIKE the counsel, don’t see what the problem is, etc, they may struggle between doing what they WANT to do, and what they are COUNSELED to do.

    Okay, I just wanted to clarify that while this might be the case for many people (Alison said that she had WANTED to pursue a career), I didn ?t particular WANT to have a paid job, particularly not when my youngest was 3. I had planned on being at home fulltime at least until she was in kindergarten, and I was angry at the Lord, and wrestled a lot over that one. So my experience has not been of trying a way to do what I want and get away with it. It was in following the promptings, wherever they led.

    The one thing I get out of all this is that I ?m really glad that I didn ?t buy into the prophet said to ? mantra. It ?s made me much more sensitive to others, and more appreciative of the diversity and variety and strength of all the sisters in Relief Society. I am sure I was a much better Relief Society president because I accepted all the moms as trying to do the best for their families rather than assuming they were ignoring the prophet ? if they didn ?t do things a certain way.

    And I ?m so pleased I got to serve y ?all today by allowing you to feel so much more righteous in comparison to me:)

  • davidson February 22, 2008, 7:10 pm

    I am not going to respond to the nasty comment.

    I will quote President Hinckley when he was speaking with Mike Wallace:

    “I wish to say that none of us ever need hesitate to speak up for this Church, for its doctrine, for its people, for its divine organization and divinely given responsibility. It is true. It is the work of God. The only things that can ever embarrass this work are acts of disobedience to its doctrine and standards by those of its membership. That places upon each of us a tremendous responsibility. This work will be judged by what the world sees of our behavior. God give us the will to walk with faith, the discipline to do what is right at all times and in all circumstances, the resolution to make of our lives a declaration of this cause before all who see us.”

    I want you to take note, those who read here. This is a woman who just told us that following the prophet might not be in our best interest, as indicated by her statement: “I’m really glad that I didn’t buy into ‘the prophet said to’ mantra”.

    This, in spite of President Hinckley’s oft-repeated statement that the prophet of God would never lead us astray. He fiercely defended that position.

    Go forward with faith.

  • kiar February 22, 2008, 8:48 pm

    I had a really snotty response all typed out for Naismith, but at the last second decided not to go through with it. I don’t think anyone is going to be able to change her mind. If she is doing what she believes is right for her family, then she can do it. I and many (most) others on this site will continue to just use our faith in the Lord, and follow the prophets counsel. How silly of us!
    And for the record, Naismith, I don’t feel more righteous than you, I just feel sad for you, because you are so insecure in your faith and feelings, that you feel you need to attack those who want to follow the Lords counsel the way they have interpreted it as close as they can. and before you go off on me, saying I must feel more righteous, since I feel sorry for you, many have said that they support you doing what you feel is right for your family, and you continually react by saying they must be judging you. Do you have some nice heavy guilt issues???

  • mollymormon February 22, 2008, 10:40 pm

    What an interesting discussion. I’m very sad that it ended that way for Naismith. Saying you’re more sensitive to others and then throwing out that last comment? OUCH. Dropping hints of your big church calling to prove that you are better? I read this whole thread. All your posts simply came off as defensive. I felt like that this was just discussed mostly as a generalization, not as a judgment. That’s why Alison just kept saying it’s not about YOU. It’s about our CULTURE. None of the stay at home moms were saying how much better they were than anyone else, and yet you assumed they are all judging working moms?

    I’m just truly glad that the prophet HAS made it very clear what moms should be doing. I totally agree with there is a huge “exception” problem. Many women feel they HAVE to work for financial reasons, when what they may really need to do is tighten their budgets. Many women feel they HAVE to work to preserve their sanity, when what they really need to do is learn to become unselfish. I’m not into judging anyone specifically, as I really can’t possibly know anyone’s individual circumstances. Of course most stay-at-home moms need to learn unselfishness and budget-tightening, but what better place to do it than at home?

    I’m really glad that I buy into the “prophet said to” mantra, as the Lord has promised us great blessings if we do. I have no idea how you can possibly argue that this is not church doctrine. It’s been taught in general conference, which is just like scripture. D&C 1:38 – Whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same. I feel saddened that you really don’t believe you need to follow the prophet, and it makes me want to cry, even though I rarely do!

  • mollymormon February 22, 2008, 10:46 pm

    And I just had to post my beard fallacy that we talked about to day, but I didn’t know the name of it. My son turned 7 today, and my other son asked him if it felt different from 6. He said, “Nope, feels just the same.” So I said, “If 7 feels like 6, and 6 feels like 5, 5 feels like 4, (and so on) and 1 feels like a baby, do you still feel like a baby?

  • Ray February 23, 2008, 9:34 pm

    Those who work should not judge those who don’t – and they should not try to convince those who don’t that they should. Those who don’t work should not judge those who do – and they should not try to convince those who do that they should not.

    The general counsel is explicit. The exceptions are explicit. It is up to each person to honor the general counsel highly enough to consider seriously whether or not their situation fits the exceptions – and if there is any way to change their situation to not be an exception in the future.

    Everyone but Naismith, by biggest problem with the tone of your comments is that there is little love that can be felt in too many of them. The Sermon on the Mount speaks directly of not reviling those who revile you. Whenever this type of issue is discussed here, Naismith comes here and gets argumentative. That does not require response in the same vein; arguments are only arguments when there are multiple people arguing. Sometimes ignoring and not responding are the best options.

    Therefore, this comment is done.

  • kiar February 23, 2008, 9:38 pm

    sorry Ray! my bad, I guess I get kinda antsy when I get attacked for doing what I am told! (LOL)

  • spande2 February 24, 2008, 5:09 pm

    I haven’t read the whole thread, but I’ve read a lot. If someone already said what I’m saying, I apologize.

    First, I think what is being argued here is pretty far removed from what Alison was originally talking about. She was talking about the world’s approach to “motherhood” and giving children nothing while we are “doing it all.”

    We are all coming from the “how to raise a righteous posterity” viewpoint. I think there are different ways to raise righteous children. We are not all the same. Our personalities are different. Our needs are different. And our children’s needs are different. Yes, the prophet says we shouldn’t work outside the home. But I think the actual implementation of this counsel may vary and still be correct. What is the difference between working one night a week and quilting or scrapbooking one night a week? Or taking a scuba diving class with your husband? My mom used to teach art classes once or twice a week because it gave her a break and was a creative outlet–she was also paid for it. The decision has to be made prayerfully and carefully, without rationalizations. But none of us can judge how someone else has made that decision. It is literally between them and God.

    My own story: I graduated with a BA after I had been married for a year. At that point, I felt prompted to go on to graduate school. I fought it. I really didn’t want to go. But the promptings continued. I applied and prayed that I wouldn’t be accepted. I was accepted. So I went. I finished all but five classes before I had my first child. I took one class per semester for the next five semesters. Sometimes I had to get babysitters so I could go to class during the day, two days a week, for two hours, sometimes I was able to do individual readings with professors during the evening, so my husband would be home. It took five years, nearly three children and writing a thesis while in the middle of morning sickness, for me to finish. My mom came to my house, from out of state, several times for 10 days at a time and played with the kids while I worked on my thesis. There were times when I wanted to quit, but I kept feeling that I should finish. I will say that I have never felt so high as I did the afternoon I completed my thesis defense. My feet didn’t touch the ground for weeks afterward, because after a lifetime of school hanging over me, I was finished!

    Did I make the wrong decision? I don’t think so. I was following the promptings I had received. I can see points at which I wished I had done things a little differently, but that has happened through out my life.

    Before I had children, I talked with a neighbor who was in school. She had five children at the time. I asked her how she managed. She said that a mentor had told her that if she put her family first while she was at home, she would be blessed to do well in her classes. She did that. I know because I saw it. And she got straight A’s in her classes. After watching her example, I did the same thing. If I remember right, I got mostly A’s, maybe I got all A’s. I know I did much better than I deserved to do, based on how much time I spent studying.

    I’m not saying what I did was right for everyone, but I’m pretty sure it was right for me.

  • davidson February 24, 2008, 11:19 pm

    Good points, Spande. The prophets continue to encourage us to get an education, and I admire your determination to see it through to the end.

  • facethemusic February 25, 2008, 2:38 pm

    What is the difference between working one night a week and quilting or scrapbooking one night a week? Or taking a scuba diving class with your husband? My mom used to teach art classes once or twice a week because it gave her a break and was a creative outlet–she was also paid for it.

    I don’t think there IS a difference, and I don’t think anyone here suggested there was, either.
    But there IS a difference between working one night a week and having a full-time day job, with the kids being cared for and “mothered” by someone else.
    There’s a HUGE difference between being gone an hour or two in the evening once or twice a week (when little kids are with Dad and/or going to bed anyway) and being gone all day.
    I also think there’s a big difference between taking a 2 hour class twice a week and working all day.

  • spande2 February 25, 2008, 5:06 pm

    I agree. I guess my point was that we don’t have to stop being or doing anything else at all, just because we have children.

  • delmar February 25, 2008, 5:27 pm

    Its very, very true that Prophets have cautioned and continuously mentioned that although its recommended that women be home with their children, the same is also true of women being told to have an education and usable vocation. Its the “what if” factor. What if your hubby got laid off? What if your hubby was injured or killed or gets sick and dies? All horrible situations, but with an educated women with a usable vocation that wife and mother can turn around and support her family if necessary.

    Do I support full time working mothers, not necessarily. But I don’t shun them either. What if the mommy is a doctor and makes great money and Dad is the stay at home parent? I don’t see anything wrong with that either. I fully beleive that childcare is one of this societies biggest downfalls. Look what children are doing and becoming1 Its crazy with a little bit of guideance how big the difference can be. Working while children are in school is a totally acceptable idea to me. You have 6 hours or so (5 days per week) to do something you want once all your children are into school full-time. Now if you home-school then thats another story, which I tried and plan on going back to soon. I work from home, but its a very rare thing to bring in some “fun” money as my hubby usually calls it. My money is for me (most of the time) but depending on the situation, sometimes my money has paid the bills when necessary. I finished school and love my “profession” and could fall back into several types of full time positions if necessary…but for now I’m at home and promote my business on the net and work when I get work.

  • delmar February 25, 2008, 5:30 pm

    Oh and I forgot to mention that I don’t really like the fact that it was mentioned that converts have a harder time learning the “rules”.

    Doctrine, commandments, church discussions, scripture study, listening to conference talks, etc is part of all members lives whether you’ve been a member 2 years or 200. Its called making the time to educate yourself.

  • facethemusic February 25, 2008, 7:03 pm

    I guess my point was that we don’t have to stop being or doing anything else at all, just because we have children.

    I totally agree. And that was said a few times throughout the different posts– you might have just missed that part since you were skimming through.

  • facethemusic February 25, 2008, 7:59 pm

    Do I support full time working mothers, not necessarily. But I don’t shun them either.

    No one suggested they should be shunned– did anything said actually come across that way?
    I’m seriously asking– when you read over the posts, did anything anyone say sounded like they should be shunned? Because I’m positive that no one meant ANYTHING of the sort- so if something came across that way, I sincerely apologize to anyone who thought so.

    What if the mommy is a doctor and makes great money and Dad is the stay at home parent? I don’t see anything wrong with that either.

    Well– that’s certainly much BETTER than having a child in daycare, aboslutely, hands down– no question about that.

    But when the prophets say, NOT just to members of the Church, but to the entire EARTH,
    “… By divine design, fathers are.. responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children…” I think there’s a REASON for that position. It’s obviously GOD’s position. That’s what he WANTS us to do. So I think it behooves us to make that happen where possible.
    Surely, if mom is the one who can provide and Dad can’t, either because of sickness or injury, then that’s a no-brainer, and the prophets INCLUDED that in the proclamation. And sometimes there are just temporary financial emergenices that need to be handled.
    But using your example– if mom is a doctor and dad just doesn’t have the same kind of money making power– I don’t think that’s ENOUGH of a reason for mom to be the breadwinner. Again, Dad being the stay at home parent is certainly the better choice than daycare. But the proclamation didn’t say “whoever can make the most money is the one that should work.” It’s said BY DIVINE DESIGN, FATHERS are are responsible to provide the necessities of life.
    That might mean that the family has to live on SIGNIFICANTLY LESS money while the husband works, so that mom is the one to stay home. As brought up earlier, mom could certainly work a couple nights a week to keep up with skills, certification, etc and help provide a little extra finances if necessary- stash money for missions, etc. I know women who do that NOW. They’re with their kids during the day– but they work a couple shifts at night each week to supplement the income or keep up with certification (this is important in the medical field especially).
    My husband has a friend on the police department (not LDS) whose wife has a job in NBICU where she’s able to work ONE 12 hour night shift a week and makes THE SAME MONEY that her husband does in an entire WEEK! (If I remember right, she’s a nurse practitioner??) That’s a DREAM! Sure, she could be working full time and be making a killing. But she really believes in staying home with the kids, so they live on significantly less, and she works ONLY so she can keep up her license. Then when all the kids are in school she can work more hours.
    It can be a big monetary sacrifice, so it’s totally opposite of what the world would say. But if the “bigger money” is only going to provide a bigger house, a nicer car, a child’s fully paid for mission (as wonderful as that would be), then I think the Lord would have us take the lesser pay.
    There are many LDS women who do this. And I think it demonstrates incredible faithfulness.
    Jennycherie did this for years. From day one of their marriage she’s had more “earning power” than her husband. But when they started having children, she stayed home and they lived on much less. It was only recently when they had an emergency need, that she went back to work. And even though she’s working now, she’s only gone during their school hours.

  • delmar February 25, 2008, 9:07 pm

    I didn’t read anything about working moms being shunned and yes I read all the posts. It actually took quite a while. What i mean by being shunned is the initial reaction from LDS SAHM’s towards working LDS moms. I’ve seen it and it can be quite cruel and insensitive. I think we all need to get over the fact that sometimes, moms need to work. I don’t want to but if needed I could and would.

    Any situation where a parent or relative can provide care is much better than a day care or preschool situation. I can personally testify that if I worked full-time, then I WOULD make more than my husband does currently….and probably more than he ever made in the military including our housing pay. I choose to work at home on a part-time basis, because my husband wants and needs to “bring in the bacon”…..and thats how its supposed to be. What I was implying in the doctor situation was a bad example of why a woman might want to work, but you are correct in saying it takes a lot of faithfulness to not take that opportunity.

    I fully support the Family Proclamation and everything our Prophets have spoken about, especially when it concerns women and child rearing. Thats one BIG reason why I stay at home. Honestly out of the past 6 years of being married (to a member) I’ve worked outside the home 5 months. I’ve run my business since 1998 and still do, but like I said its very low key and a stay at home thing. A friend of mine and I sat at home pondering Sis Becks talk from last conference and despite lots of womens negative reactions said that it gives us all something to strive for. All conference talks are also pre-approved so in that respect it was just like a prophet or apostle had given the talk. The recent fireside was great in my eyes and i don’t understand why these talks bring up so much controversy.

  • agardner February 25, 2008, 9:29 pm

    When I was 16 years old, in 1987, I recieved my patriarchal blessing. There was a phrase in there that took us all (meaning my parents and I) back. It said, “You have the ability to successfully combine a career and a family, if you so desire”.

    As we rode home, my mom commented on that because at that time especially (President Benson was the prophet), there was a lot of talk about women staying home.

    As of this point, I haven’t “desired” to have a career. In my early marriage and motherhood, I’ll admit that I really did, but right now I would like nothing more than to be able to stay home and homeschool my kids. Current circumstances dictate that I work part-time (which I do by substitute teaching a few days a week).

    Anyway, I’ve often wondered why that is in my blessing, and phrased the way it was. But I’m content to wait and see, because I don’t want to be in the workforce full time at all at this point. I have no idea what I even want to do with my life yet, lol!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 25, 2008, 10:42 pm

    Posted by: NaismithIt was a North American fireside.

    I’m aware that it was given in a fireside in North America. I was there. But it was never CALLED “The North American Fireside,” except by you, to my knowledge. I did not hear any authoritative source give that qualifier.

    ?and it did not explicitly mention the importance of moms staying at home.

    To the best of my recollection, there were thousands of pieces of prophetic counsel that were not mentioned in the Worldwide Training. I don’t think that fact is meaningful with regard to the wisdom of any of that counsel.

    So it may be that different specifics (not different principles) are taught in various parts of the globe.

    Ah, so prophetic counsel is now a “specific” not a principle. OK. Let me make a note of that.

    Yes, it might. Let’s agree, however, that the counsel for mothers to try to stay home has been given in General Conferences and other worldwide forums as well. And let’s also agree that most of us on this forum DO live in North America.

    It might be about mothers who just follow the crowd, figuring that their choice MUST be right if they do what the prophet said, rather than praying to know if the path they are on is what the Lord will have them do.

    Might be. But since that actually would be a specific judgment about an individual that neither of us is qualified to make, we’ll discard that thought.

    It’s also interesting to think about how general counsel applies. I have a tendency (crowd-following though it might be) to assume general counsel applies to me. Only when there is a compelling reason to think otherwise do I consider that I might be an exception.

    I have not (crowd-following though it might be) fasted and prayed to know if I should take the sacrament from the provided tray or bring my own. Now, if I had some severe immune deficiency disorder, I might.

    I resisted and did what I was asked, but isn ?t it possible that sometimes people might refuse such promptings in order to appear righteous?

    Yes, it is. But that doesn’t change specific, general counsel.

    Posted by: Alison Moore SmithIf you want to say that counsel is just an idea to think about then I think your wrong.

    Posted by: NaismithI think ? about what dinners to cook next week. The process of how to care for my children is something that is much more intense than just thinking about. ?

    I think you misread. Ooops. I mean I fasted and prayed and it was revealed to me that you misread.

    The most recent time I made the decision to return to the workplace, I fasted about it at least twice. I prayed about it even when the decision was the “acceptable” option to be at home fulltime.

    Sincerely, Naismith, I think I have been clear. This isn’t about YOU. As I’ve already said, if you felt you were an exception, so be it. I will never contend with an individual who says such a thing. But saying that you were directed to work does NOT change GENERAL counsel. The general counsel is the same. You simply were an exception to it. That is not meaningful for anyone but you.

    Are you sure they would be so explicit?

    No, I ?m not. Absolutely often things are just allowed to melt into obscurity. Taking the sacrament with the right hand is an example. That is no longer explicitly taught in any current church publication that I can find.

    The principles (er, specifics) about mothers trying to stay home is still brought up often enough to me to feel current.

    So when was there an explicit statement that “there is no longer counsel AGAINST birth control, there are more sanctioned options on the table for you to consider”?

    There was a very explicit change in the wording in the handbook, actually.

    So my experience has not been of trying a way to do what I want and get away with it. It was in following the promptings, wherever they led.

    Again, this isn’t about you. You keep coming back to that and it’s rather baffling. You’ve said that you received specific direction to do something that was contrary to general, prophetic counsel. We understand that. Go for it. More power to you. Mighty applause. Woot woot.

    Now my question is, “So?”

    So, you go and do as you’ve been directed. If you don’t mind, we’re discussing the application of general counsel to the majority who will not be considered exceptions to the general rule.

    I am sure I was a much better Relief Society president because I accepted all the moms as trying to do the best for their families rather than assuming they were ignoring the prophet ? if they didn ?t do things a certain way.

    I have no doubt you were a better Relief Society president than I was. But I would like to clarify a–dare I say–judgment you’ve made. I accepted all the moms I served, too. I never assumed anyone was ignoring the prophet, either, and wouldn’t presume to do so until after I become omniscient. (I’m not holding my breath.) I probably spent more time helping the working moms than those at home.

    It’s simply fallacious to determine that those who believe that members of the church should be quick to follow prophetic counsel and slow to make ourselves exceptions are or do any of the things you imply.

    But I’m glad to hear you are more sensitive and appreciative of diversity than anyone else here. Too bad prophet-followers aren’t part of the acceptable diversity.

  • Ray February 25, 2008, 11:00 pm

    Fwiw, blood pressure pills really are good drugs.

  • mlinford February 25, 2008, 11:03 pm

    blood pressure pills really are good drugs.

    After reading this thread, I could use a dose or two. :)

  • Alison Moore Smith February 25, 2008, 11:05 pm

    I think there are different ways to raise righteous children. We are not all the same. Our personalities are different. Our needs are different. And our children’s needs are different. Yes, the prophet says we shouldn’t work outside the home. But I think the actual implementation of this counsel may vary and still be correct.

    As I said earlier, I do not think this counsel requires a very rigid set of actions. But I do think the that the variety of ways to implement it should be WITHIN the parameters set by the prophet. And those parameters do specify that the MOTHER should try to stay home.

    What is the difference between working one night a week and quilting or scrapbooking one night a week? Or taking a scuba diving class with your husband?

    This is what I was addressing earlier. I think there IS a difference (although you’d never find me scrapbooking!) for the simple reason that the prophet said we should try not to work outside the home.

    The myriad Word of Wisdom debates remind me of this

    Well, God said not to drink coffee, coffee has caffeine, therefore it’s against the WoW to drink cola.

    The prophet said that we shouldn’t work outside the home, but I’m supposed to leave my 3-year-old in nursery for 2 hours every Sunday, and that’s no different from working for two hours, so working for two hours must be OK.

    But none of us can judge how someone else has made that decision. It is literally between them and God.

    Agreed all around, I think. It’s a discussion about specific counsel, not personal revelation.

    I felt prompted to go on to graduate school.

    Well, end of story.

    Do I support full time working mothers, not necessarily. But I don’t shun them either.

    I support the position the prophet has taken. Which is that mothers should try to stay home, but there are exceptions. If you are, great. If you’re not, great, too.

    What if the mommy is a doctor and makes great money and Dad is the stay at home parent? I don’t see anything wrong with that either.

    As I said before, outside of my religion, I don’t either. But with the counsel given specifically to mothers, I would have to say that, outside of couple specifically being directed as an exception to counsel, it should be the mother regardless of the income potential.

    Agardner, I truly love my patriarchal blessing, but I wouldn’t have minded having that little bit thrown in!

  • facethemusic February 26, 2008, 5:46 am

    I didn’t read anything about working moms being shunned and yes I read all the posts. It actually took quite a while.

    Okay–good. I just thought that everyone was trying really hard to be clear in what they were saying, so when I read your post I got worried and thought– “did it really sound that way?”

    What i mean by being shunned is the initial reaction from LDS SAHM’s towards working LDS moms. I’ve seen it and it can be quite cruel and insensitive.

    I’m sure that does happen sometimes– but I’m also pretty sure that it’s not very common. In all the wards I’ve been in, in all the states I’ve been in, I’ve never seen or heard anything cruel toward working moms, or seen any evidence of shunning as an initial reaction. Obviously, there will be the occasional one who might make cruel comments, or who will shun someone just because they work. But I imagine those are people who are pretty nasty overall, anyway– with other things, as well.

    I think we all need to get over the fact that sometimes, moms need to work. I don’t want to but if needed I could and would.

    Yes– I think everyone here agrees with that.

    And Ray– you’re a hoot!

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