We’ve all heard the term “mommy wars.” Originating in the 1980s, it refers to the negative cultural experience of mothers being pitted against each other based on their different lifestyle choices. While there are many aspects of motherhood that could be included under the umbrella concept of mommy wars (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, etc.), the most significant dichotomy is that of working moms versus stay-at-home moms. But this framing is no longer relevant, as it doesn’t reflect the creativity and real lives of so many women who have a variety of experiences. Here are some steps to change the way we think about motherhood and end the mommy wars for good!
Women expect a lot of themselves: a strong marriage, healthy children, time to pursue personal goals and interests, etc. These are wonderful aspirations, but we also need to “get real” or risk burning out.
Physical and emotional burnout is a real problem, particularly in our community. LDS Living recently conducted a survey in which they found that 95% (of 1900 individuals surveyed) reported that they had experienced burnout (specifically in a religious/ spiritual sense). This is an epidemic that is affecting many of us, and clearly, something has to change. Here are 5 steps to prevent and avoid burnout:
Last week AspiringMormonWomen.org published my essay “Healing Aspirational Shame.” Since then, I have been received many comments, messages, and responses to the article expressing appreciation for giving a label to the thoughts and feelings surrounding the incongruity between women’s aspirations and the messages from LDS leaders about women’s roles. I am curious to know more about the stories of other LDS women and continue to define and “unpack” this cultural experience or ‘aspirational shame.” So, if this article resonates with you, please me for a free online discussion group next week (Wed is still available, Tues pm group is full). See details below…
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It’s no secret that there are some very specific myths in Mormon culture. These can range from our family size (15 kids and counting!) to our vocabulary (“oh, my heck!”), and even to our food (green jello, anyone?). While certainly not all (or even most) Mormons embody these stereotypes, most of us can have a good laugh at them from time to time.
Other myths concerning our faith, however, are not as funny or lighthearted, During my years as a clinical therapist, I’ve witnessed how faulty spiritual equations can cause some Latter-day Saints great emotional pain and rob them of happiness and peace. These ideas are often not out in the open, but are instead internalized beliefs that can distort our thought patterns and our emotions. Here are 3 common spiritual myths:
From the time that we were young, we as Latter-day Saints have intrinsically understood that the most important thing we can do as Christians is to love one another. When Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, he explained that the first and second great commandments are to “love the Lord with all thy heart…” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37,39). We also know that charity is the “pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47). From these and other scriptural passages, many interpret and use the term Christ-like to refer to words and behavior that are always loving. In Mormon culture, a common belief is that if we’re genuinely trying to be loving, like Jesus, we are always kind, happy, and positive.
As part of my dissertation study I created a model of family transformation to help families move from a dominator systems based on ranking and domination, to a partnership organization that values cooperation, caring, connection, collaboration, celebration of all contributions, compassion, conscious language usage, and creativity. Based on Riane Eisler’s Cultural Transformation Theory, my Partnership Model of Family Organization offers a path for families to shift to a more nurturing and supportive system.
Bringing Partnership Home: A Model of Family Transformation
Free Access: Read and download the full article here http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/ijps/vol2/iss1/4/
My friend and trusted colleague Michelle Farris, LMFT offers the guest post with great advice for divorcing couples about how to manage your own pain, end the blame cycle, and minimize the negative impact of divorce on your children.
What about the kids? Every divorce parent worries about what divorce will do to their kids. It may keep you up at night obsessing over how you could prevent your children from experiencing such pain. As a clinical counselor, I want you to know that there is something you can do. It may sound like an impossible task, especially if the pain is still fresh. You might be thinking that I don’t understand. Based on my own experience, believe me I get it. I know firsthand the importance of creating a positive connection with an ex. We worked hard to lessen the impact by keeping communication open and eventually transformed our divorce into a working friendship. As a result, a harmonious (and yes, divorced) family unit was born. And my son loves it.