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How Idealizing Motherhood Hurts Mormon Women

How Idealizing Motherhood Hurts Mormon Women

“All I’ve ever wanted in life is to be a mother,” she sobbed as she slumped over burying her hands in her face. Through her tears she muttered, “My whole life I’ve been taught that being a mother was the most important role. Now, I’m getting so old that I will never be able to have a child. What meaning is there to my life without the role of mother?”

I’ve heard sentiments like this over and over again in my twenty years of clinical psychotherapy work with LDS (Mormon) women. In our efforts to acknowledge and validate the crucial contribution of mothers are we unintentionally sending a message that women who aren’t able to bear or rear children in this life are somehow less valuable to the Church and to God? A deeper understanding of our doctrine reveals that this is not true; we know that “all are alike unto God” (2nd Nephi 26:33) and that an individual’s worth is not dependent on his/her accomplishments (is there not something strange about considering children an accomplishment?).

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Help Your Man Lean In To Fatherhood: Studio 5

 

Therapist Julie Hanks offers advice on how to help your man more involved in parenting. It’s a strategy that could make your whole family happier.


Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” encourages women to step up, take risks, and lead in at work, at school, and in their communities. However, for women with children to seize leadership opportunities requires men to lean in more at home. Whether you’re a mother who is working part-time or full-time outside of the home, or you are a stay-at-home mom, there are things we can do encourage our husband’s to lean in to fatherhood. Not only is an involved father necessary for you to embrace leadership opportunities in the community, research consistently shows that your children will benefit from their father’s involvement in their lives. Here are a few of the ways children benefit from having an involved father:

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