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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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Our Boundaries, Our Selves

Our Boundaries, Our Selves

“Boundaries can be understood as processes of contact and exchange,
moments of knowing, and movement, and growth.”
Judith V. Jordan

Knowing how to set healthy boundaries is an important part of living a life where you feel honest with yourself because you are able to interact honestly with others.  This isn’t a skill that comes with all of us into life. This isn’t a skill we learn in our formative years either.

We learn it, oftentimes, through experiences of pain and trauma, both emotional and physical.  Because of our experiences, we learn to have boundaries. Because of our experiences, we also gain the tough challenge of doing 3 life-altering things:

  1. Learning to value ourselves;
  2. Actively creating our identity;
  3. Balancing the ways we share our personal space.

Often times we are expected to share our personal space without regard to personal needs because of our roles in life – such as our families, our friends, our occupations or hobbies, our roles as as parents, siblings, spouses, or relatives.

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I’m Not Perfect and That’s Ok! 4 Steps to Overcome Perfectionism

Michael Morgan, AMFTOne of the most common causes of anxiety stems from a belief that one needs to be perfect in order to be accepted by others (or for some, by their God). Those who hold the identity of a “perfectionist” have every reason in the world to do so. It is tied in with their identity and has helped them move forward and try to be a better person. This need to be perfect often comes from some type of a short-coming or difficulty when we are younger—trying to impress an unavailable parent, living in a household with intense conflict, or embarrassing/traumatic moments that was never told to other people because of fear of their rejection.

Perfectionism ultimately comes from a comparison to someone or something (or even one’s self). It is fueled by a fear of rejection! It is a brutal cycle of beating one’s self up and self-loathing. It is also often derived from some internal conflict: knowing that one is not perfect but trying to convince one’s self that he or she has to be.

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