Blending motherhood and working: Moms work by choice — and also out of necessity

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  • Brody A Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 3, 2015 2:41 p.m.

    Oh, the perks of being a middle child. They even had to photoshop me in! And not mentioned once. I am a recluse.

    To address everyone here directly, the purpose of this article has two faces: first, to stir up emotion from people by recognizing that some among us don't have the luxury of being well off. Second, this article takes that statement and twists it to suit an agenda: genderinequality. Which does not exist in the United States. It hasn't since 1920. As someone stated earlier, World War Two took just as many women in the workforce as it did men. Some women even flew in the Army Air Corps, something unheard of back then. Sure, prejudice exists, but that's why we have brains. We tune out what we don't like and we tune into what matters to us.

    In summary, take everything you hear with a huge brick of salt until you conduct your own research.

  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    June 28, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    The big story is that this story was the lead story in a Sunday Deseret News! It is clear that the Church is clearing some of the old weeds of tradition here. It is laying the groundwork for a reappraisal of the situation of working moms in LDS doctrine on the family.

    It may take 10-20 years to get past the old ways of thinking, but the Church is trying to help the situation with articles like these . . . God can call a mother to work. He did it in the early Church (e.g., Ellis Shipp) and he is doing it now, when technology has made it easier to be a good mother and a good employee both. It is time to loose the voice and talents of LDS mothers on the community, national, and world stage--and this is an important step in that direction!

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    June 27, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    I work and I am grateful for my choices and opportunities. If I again had to choose between cleaning my toilet and finishing my medical degree, I would choose to clean less or hire someone to do it for me every time. My opportunities came by following revelation, were blessed by my Father in Heaven and I feel incredibly fulfilled doing what I do. I really love being a mother and I think my family benefits from having a happy, well-adjusted, not guilty mom at home. My husband and I split time with childcare for his education and to gain job skills. It's a juggle, but I don't see most LDS families doing this. Maybe that's why some women in the church are so incredibly judgmental and frequently unhappy when they are forced to work or when another woman who works needs some help. To me these critical women seem unfulfilled. I love my life and I wouldn't change it for the world. Not everyone has this blessing, but I also see that most people aren't willing to sacrifice, listen to revelation or work as hard as I have for a life they love.

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    June 27, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    It's sad that LDS women judge other women based on a few experiences they have had with a few women. I think part of this is cultural. Women of color have for many years worked outside the home without praise, support or the hand-outs and supposed selfishness that some think they see. My mother worked and taught me, along with my father who had his own legal practice and frequently took us to court or the law library with him, that everyone's job in the family is to work hard AND be a homemaker. My sisters and I are all well educated, self-sufficient and imperfect. Not that much different in terms of the imperfection I see in kids whose moms stayed at home. When it comes to selfishness and a whining lack of self-sufficiency, I can tell you there is a big difference. When my stay-at-home mom older sister had to divorce, she went back to school for her masters, then PhD and is now a professor at 43. She didn't whine or feel guilty or hate that she had to work. She and her sons are now thriving, she had no other choice.

  • Opi Spanish Fork, UT
    June 26, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    For me, as a stay-at-home mom, I can tell you that I struggle. It is hard for me to give up a job that pays me for my efforts, both monetarily and with praise, for a toddler that screams and whines at me all day. It's hard for me to see women who work outside the home because it "fulfills" them more than being a mom does when I am giving every ounce of effort I have to trying to enjoy being home all day. In some ways I feel that it is working and someday I hope to say that being home with children is truly what I desire. The proclamation to the WORLD is that "mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children" - that means everyone. I think that if being at home (given that it is financially possible) isn't already what we naturally want, we can work at it and change our desires.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    June 26, 2011 2:28 p.m.

    I was a stay at home mom for 18 years. Our circumstances changed and now I work part time - (and we are wise with our expenses).

    For you LDS women - It was interesting, I attended a sealing in the temple last week and the counsel given by the sealer to the young bride was that to be a help-meet to her husband at some point she * may need * to obtain work, just as he (her groom) will need to help care for the kids when he arrives home after work to be her help-meet.

    Let's be kind in our judgments of others and ourselves. Things are not so black and white like I thought when I stayed home.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    June 26, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    As a former stay at home mother, and now a working mother, I found this article to ring true on many levels.
    As women, I feel that we should not judge each other of our choices. What works for one family and their situation does not always work for others, and vice versa. (Working away from home does not fulfill every woman, but neither does staying home.) The point is our community we need to support and lift each other. I am no fan of Hilary Clinton, but when she coined the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" I feel she was spot on.
    Staying at home with children does not always equate to a better life for children, but giving children things does not equate to happiness either. There has to be a proper balance, and every women will struggle to find that balance. The point is that we need to work together as church members and neighbors to build each other up, "judge not" and give a helping hand when needed.

  • jenrmc Fort Worth, TX
    June 26, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    From the article:

    "... We should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people's circumstances. Husbands and wives should prayerfully counsel together, understanding they are accountable to God for their decisions."

    Sally- Your comments are what the majority of LDS working women have heard at one time or another. I find it amazing that someone can so easily pass judgment on another. Women work for many reasons and you don't know or understand anyone's reason and background truly. I would suggest that you evaluate your statements against an admonition to love one another.

    I have had an extremely generous outpouring of support from many of my fellow LDS members. I also experienced invisibility and censure from those who are supposed to love me. Our place in society is to uplift and encourage those we come into contact with during our lives.

    I work because I am a single mom. Prior to this I was a stay at home mom. I know both sides of the fence and I have to tell you that neither one is easy.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 26, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    krunner, I suggest you do a financial analysis over a full year of what you will pay in taxes and other related expenses to working. This will give you a more accurate picture of whether it is worth increasing your income. Plus, you may have student loans to pay off along with the added taxes. I found it didn't pay to work full time when I combined income with my spouse. If I were to add on the payment of school loans, then we would never break even. Part time work may be the way to go. Also, you children may not be able to qualify for Pell grants if your income is too high. Smart financial planning is the way to go!

  • krunner South Jordan, UT
    June 26, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    I am not sure what the point of this article is. I am one of these women who is being forced into the workplace out of necessity. We are barely holding on financially as I work to finish my degree so I can get a better paying job so I can earn more in less time to pay for looming expenditures that we see coming up in the coming years as my children leave for college and missions.

    This article seems to say that all that I have to look forward to is guilt and depression. Ugh! After all of this work for my degree, is there no hope that my five children will be happy? They will only wish that I was home more? Would they rather that our home was in the park or under a bridge?

    So far, we have managed to not be one of the thousands of families whose homes are in forclosure. We won't remain that way if I don't hurry and graduate and get a job.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    June 26, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    Why such a silly article? Women fueled the arms and defense industries in WWII and did just fine. Women work, get educated and do the same jobs as men. Your prejudice is showing. Hope your paper and owners are not those who pay women more for the same work as men.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 26, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    During the years while raising our young family, I can remember the women who worked and bragged about how hard it was to juggle everything. Then, I observed how they were delegating much of what was needed for after school care, transportation needs, extracurricular activities like cub scouts, dancing lessons, etc. to the neighbors. They would say, "well, we are having such a difficult time surviving life, as my visiting teacher, my neighbor, etc. can you please help me out. Or, they would say, I feel so fulfilled, so whole as a person by working. They were never available to give back. Life was all about them and their feel good. They even wanted me to babysit for free. Now that I am older, it is "I could use some help with my elderly parents. You don't go to work everyday, so you will receive so many good blessings in heaven for helping me." I don't listen to the blessing garbage. I have learned how self centered many of these women are, so now I ask what financial arrangements they would like to make for compensation. I need to pay my bills too.