Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unfortunately, church publications may not be

Evidence: this fascinating article on a woman who leaves the home for the workplace, finds herself drawn more and more to the workplace as it is more fulfilling to her, and eventually realizes she has to quit working because she was "straying so far from my divine role." Thank you, Ensign, for you contribution to the mommy wars. I also find it problematic that the solution allowing her to return to full-time motherhood involves the foreclosure of her business venture and her husband taking on the financial consequences of that failure. But that's probably a whole 'nother post.

While I can empathize, and agree with the idea that we should not allow our outside work to be detrimental to our parenting, I disagree with the idea that enjoying said outside work, and working hard on it, qualifies as straying from our "divine mission as women." I find even the few hours I work every day at being a grad student makes me a happier, and more enthusiastic mom, and I know I'm not the only one who feels the same. Parenting, mothering, is demanding, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and in order to effectively fill that role of parent, of mother, we each need to find and embrace those activities that strengthen us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (and I wonder if I could have structured that sentence to accommodate a few more commas). I can see how this woman would realize she needed to refocus herself on that responsibility, but the jump to "I need to quit working outside the home" doesn't jive for me. Are the temptations of worldly accomplishment, of adult companionship, of responsibilities that don't involve bodily fluids just to much for some women to handle? If that's that case, doesn't that make them just like most men?

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