Monday, February 21, 2011

mama monday: mormon blogs

My apologies for last week.  While Andrew and I completed a multi-ring circus week, you may have wondered what happened to my posting schedule.  I had time.  I did.  I just didn't have the inclination or inspiration.  Typical writer mumbo jumbo, but it's true.

Thank the Government of Ontario for Family Day.

So, where were we?  Mormonism?

Andrew sent me an insightful (and witty) article from a few weeks ago entitled: Why I can't stop reading Mormon housewife blogs.  Since my hero in the wife/mom/comic/home decor/writer world is Heather Armstrong, aka: Dooce, who hails from the Church of Latter Day Saints - or LDS (she abdicated membership in her 20s although she still lives in Utah to be close to her family) - I figured I'd read into the popularization of Mormon mom blogs a little.

The author of the article, Emily Matchar, writes like a member of A.A. airing her dirty secret.  "I'm your standard-issue late-20-something childless overeducated atheist feminist," she reasons, "yet I'm completely obsessed with their blogs."

The explanation lies in a kind of backlash against the backlash against motherhood (some might consider it to be anti-feminist, but I think it's hypo-feminist: the right to choose and the respect of your choice).  Here's a quote:
It seems that a lot of popular culture wants to portray marriage and motherhood as demeaning, restrictive or simple, but in the LDS church, motherhood is a very important job, and it's treated with a lot of respect," says Natalie Holbrook, the New York-based author of the popular blog Nat the Fat Rat. "Most of my readers are non-LDS women in their late 20s and early 30s, college educated, many earning secondary degrees on the postgraduate level, and a comment I often get is, 'You are making me want kids, and I've never wanted kids!'
I'm sure feminism never meant to narrow women's freedom - well, widen it in one area for the sake of another - but that's exactly what it did.  Options were made available (educated women, women in the workplace, working moms) but, in our excitement, we may have thrown the baby-making out with the bathwater.

Why is stay-at-home mom preceded with or followed by a disclaimer, apology, or anecdote to cut the tension?

I, for one, am interested to see how feminism (in the true sense of the word) matures through this season. I'm eager to encourage the renewal of freedoms we once had: the freedom to be a wife and mother, the freedom to stay at home to raise children, the freedom to home-make.  I'm supportive of my brilliant and creative friends who are doing the same and using technology to help spread the word, like Melissa B., Ruth, Jess, and Melissa L.

And, in the meanwhile, I'll leave you with a few Mormon blogs to check out. because:
The basic messages expressed in these blogs -- family is wonderful, life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate the small things -- are still lovely. And if they help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, "Right on."


Shawnie said...

This is really intelligent, insightful and open-minded. Enjoy your style.

Rebecca MacIntosh said...

If you like those Mormon Blogs then you'll also like DearCJane and NieNieDialogues. I read that article a few weeks ago and it summed it right up. Though I must say, yours is quite lovely too, even if it isn't Mormon lol ;)

Anonymous said...

We must all realize that the freedom to be a stay at home wife, mother are not actually freedoms at all but rather luxuries. Our society/culture dictates the degree to which mothers/wives can afford to stay home.

But, I applaud those families that can make it work on a single income despite the economy!

beth said...

My mum had the privilege to be e stay-at-home mum and I am so hero.

I am pretty much a homemaker at the minute (uni takes up 6hours a week), but now that Adelaide is nearing the age to be in school...I am rather excited to be a radical full-time social worker, too. Since having Adelaide I have SUCH a heart for children. I want to love on them all! Adelaide inspires me to change the world in that way, but it is diff for everyone, right?

I wouldn't be ashamed to be at home - not one bit. Especially after watching my mum's example. Being a mother and raising up the next generation is the best job in the world! What a wonderful gift!