In Happy Ways: Prophecy, Stereotypes, and Mormon Mommy Blogs

Image credit: Jen Clothing
Image credit: Jen Clothing

Late, late Saturday night I was listening to my daily scripture reading and working on a fairly rudimentary painting of Lehi’s Tree of Life for my Sunday morning Primary Sharing Time (imagine a cross between a truffula tree and the burning bush with dots of sparkly nail polish) when my sister emailed me this article from Salon.com: Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs.

I was blown away. It never occurred to me that anyone outside Mormon Mommy-dom was obsessing over the details of those blogs. I mean, sure C Jane is pretty funny and often poignant. And NieNie made it on Oprah. (You go, girl! I’m not sure if I’m talking to NieNie or Oprah there.) A few years back I even read a quote in Newsweek from Feminist Mormon Housewives. Who knew Mormon Mommies were gracing not only the pages of Salon.com but also Jezebel and Vogue? Heck, an old friend of mine from high school just had her cookbook released nationwide, through Shadow Mountain, and it’s got “Mormon Moms” in the title.

Is it possible that Mormon Mommies actually have some cultural capital?

My first thought was that this is the fulfillment of prophecy. Remember this quotation from Spencer W. Kimball?

My dear sisters, may I suggest to you something that has not been said before or at least in quite this way. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different–in happy ways–from the women of the world. “¦ Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.

It would seem that Mormon Mommy bloggers are fulfilling this prophecy in ways no one ever anticipated. The ubiquitous love of vintage dresses, excellence in cupcake making, and a proclivity for cutesy cards and furniture reupholstering has propelled these women to the forefront and given them an interesting, and probably unforeseen, chance to introduce the world to Mormons.

For me, though, the article at Salon.com is reason to celebrate but also begs a question: will Mormon Mommy bloggers, and as an extension, Mormon women, ever be seen as something more than a stereotype? It seems that to the wider world the nuanced expressions of Mormon women are reduced into two camps: the bright, simple, happy mom who loves Jesus, loves her husband, and loves her cupcakes and the somewhat disaffected, itching-for-change woman who isn’t sure why she’s a Mormon at all. But the world of Mormon women is so much more than that. What about the divorced Mormon woman who still bakes cupcakes for fun? What about single women of the Church who are making waves in their professions? What about the woman who loves Jesus and itches for change? (And, if you are like me you are wondering, “What about those of us who don’t wear vintage dresses?!?!”) Where are those blogs?

Just because we bake cupcakes doesn’t mean we’re simple. And just because we don’t bake cupcakes doesn’t mean we’re not good Mormon women.

It seems like the narrative of the Mormon women within Mormon-dom has only recently opened up to models other than those two stereotypes. Segullah, Mormon Mommy Wars and probably a lot of other blogs that I haven’t ever heard of are expanding the definition of what a Mormon woman can be and how she can best fulfill her covenants. We are just starting to work our way out of self-limiting molds. Let’s hope we find a way to avoid being pushed back into them by the rest of the world. Being different in happy ways means just that: being different and happy. Not being stereotyped.

How about you all? Any of you closet Mormon mommy blog readers? What stereotypes of Mormon women do you see in the bloggernacle and Mormon literature? What are your favorite representations of Mormon women?

34 thoughts on “In Happy Ways: Prophecy, Stereotypes, and Mormon Mommy Blogs”

  1. (I’m trying to think of a way to express my thoughts without sounding whiny, or bitter, or disaffected, etc. Okay. Here goes…)

    I am a Mormon woman. I stayed home with my two children until they were both in school full-time. I have been a Relief Society president two times and a Young Women’s president one time. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because I believe that the Book of Mormon is scripture, that President Monson is a prophet like Moses was a prophet, God’s priesthood has been restored, and the temple ceremonies have sealing power. I am devoted to missionary work.

    I am also a National Merit scholar with a masters degree who works full-time as a college counselor for at-risk youth. I am passionate about racial equality and being “my brother’s keeper.”

    When I am at church, I have the sinking feeling that I do not belong to the same religion as the other LDS members. I yearn for pure worship of Jesus Christ. I crave real person-to-person connection with my fellow saints. My heart and mind want to learn about Jesus, about Father’s will. And when I associate with other believers, I want to be able to be able to explore the meanings of life, the universe, and everything in a Gospel context.

    But those Mormon mommy blogs confirm my saddest suspicion – that for some, the Mormon church is a club where one can find similarly-minded, thin, apparently upper-middle class (at least), fertile, creative, trendy-temple-married-in-red-shoes friends. And for many, the Mormon church is a place to feel unconnected from this club. I sense that for many of my fellow Saints, the LDS church is a talisman that protects their children from the evils of youth rebellion or apostasy.

    I have never felt as alone as I do at church.

  2. I’m a male LDS fiction writer, and I would say that at least 75% of LDS fiction is produced by women. The majority of them are the mothers of multiple children,some of them have full-time jobs, and yet they still manage to turn out great, publishable stories year after year. They also do some great blogging. I’ve really come to admire these ladies as I’ve become a part of the community.

    http://michaelknudsenauthor.com

  3. Just since this post is likely to bring some people here to AMV that haven’t posted before:

    1. If you must be anonymous, fine. But we encourage that people own their opinions around here.

    2. This gets messy because this post falls right in to that middle category where doctrine, sociology, demographics, culture and personal experience meet, but as much as possible, I’d like commenters to focus on the cultural dynamics and implications of the Mormon mommy blog phenomena and how it is received by non-LDS.

    I post this not to invalidate your experiences, anonymous. Not at all. I believe what you say and find it very interesting and am glad that you do what you do and are the Mormon you are.

    But I will also add that Mormon mommy blogs often take in a wide range of experiences and attitudes — sometimes within the same blog.

    I also am sorry that you aren’t finding like-minded LDS. I have been fortunate to live in several wards where there are many members who don’t fit the mold you describe above (and, of course, the more I get to know other LDS, the more I realize that so many of us don’t fit the mold).

    To answer Laura’s questions (in part):

    I sometimes read the Mormon mommy blogs mentioned in the Salon article. I religiously read Mormon Mommy Wars and Segullah and sometimes read Feminist Mormon Housewives.

    I have mixed feelings about the shiny happy stereotype because I do think that it just becomes another stereotype for us to fight. Mormons are much more complicated and have more interesting things to say than the conventional wisdom and condescension and/or vitriol that we get from the media types who write about us.

    On the other hand, I do think it is possible to be happy. Like, actually happy (which so much of modern art and culture seems to disallow). And that there is real value (both therapeutic and to society) in taking care of your kids and spouse and using creativity and home-craft and shop-craft in doing that.

    My favorite representations of women are in the work of Angela Hallstrom and Margaret Young and some of the short stories (generally by Mormon women writers) that have appeared in Irreantum and in the pages of Segullah and on the Segullah blog and some of the other bloggernacle blogs.

  4. Wm–sorry for blurring the lines with this post. I wondered about putting in the stuff from Pres. Kimball. Maybe that was a misstep but it was honestly the first thing that came to my mind!

    I also want to be clear that I am not against the happy Mormon mommies and their blogging. I am a stay at home mom who has quite honestly found a lot of joy in raising my kids, supporting my husband, and figuring out the domestic arts. I’m glad there are women out there blogging about this kind of stuff and I’m glad they are getting attention for their efforts.

    I just wish that the experiences of other Mormon women would receive equal amounts of attention.

    Anon–I think we all go through times when we feel more or less connected with our wards. For years I really struggled with fitting in at Church but, like you, as my testimony of the Savior deepened it wasn’t as big an issue. You sound like a fascinating individual; I would encourage you to try your hand at some creative nonfiction. I bet they would love your stuff over at Seguallah!

    Michael– I too really respect these women. Kathryn Soper, Tristi Pinkston, and the many other female writers who somehow manage to raise a quiverful of children and write fabulous books boggle my mind! Like I said before I’m glad for the success these women experience–I’m just hoping that we can keep broadening and deepening the types of women represented in our literary efforts.

  5. I regularly read Feminist Mormon Housewives, and Segullah, but can’t think of any other Mormon Mommy blogs that I consistently keep up with.

    What stereotypes of Mormon women do I see in Mormon literature? Well, I’ve read about a shelf-ful of Mormon literature, which is not even close to everything that is out there by a long shot, but the picture of the Mormon woman that I see is one that is … I’m not sure what the word is that I’m looking for. Normal and average and mostly successful? Most of the women are thin and beautiful — in fact, I’m trying to think of a Mormon heroine who isn’t. Samantha Shade by Kerry Blair might have a few extra pounds, but that’s about it. I don’t see anybody who has merely “average” looks, or a dumpy figure, who has learning disabilities, or any mental health issues, or anything like that. Okay, I know that people want upbeat, successful heroines. But even the kids of these heroines are pretty close to perfect! None of them are autistic, have learning difficulties, speech problems, ADD, or anything else. If church is mentioned in the books, the heroines fit in seamlessly, and never feel excluded for any reason. Or so it seems to me. Like I said, I’m not widely read in the LDS Lit scene, so these are just my impressions from the twenty or so books I’ve read so far.

    But I suppose that if you had a dumpy, ugly heroine who suffered from depression and OCD, and had “difficult” kids as well, nobody would want to read that story …

    I think the word I’m looking for is close to “escapist.” The heroines I’ve encountered are not quite Mary Sue, but they’re good enough to be escapist.

    I would like to read some works by Angela Hallstrom and Margaret Young and other non-mainstream LDS writers who write for the LDS audience.

  6. Two thoughts:

    1) I agree that most LDS women are more complex than both sterotypes Laura mentioned. That being said, is the author sure those blogs don’t exist? If they don’t why not get a group of women together and start a more nuanced, non-sterotypical blog?

    2) I find it interesting that Mormon women seem to worry about how they’re percieved by other LDS women and the world. (Read: Are they the sterotypical Mormon woman or not.) I bring it up because while reading this blog I was wondering why Mormon men don’t seem to care about whether they come off as the typical Mormon Man. Don’t misunderstand my observation. This isn’t a dig at the author or other Mormon women who think about this from time to time. It’s something I’m honestly wondering about. Is the reason for this due to the difference between the sexes? Is it a cultural thing? Or am I out in left field and most Mormon men worry about this just as much as Mormon women do?

  7. @Melanie — Isn’t that why most people read — to escape from reality for a short while? Same with video games, TV, and the movies. That’s why you don’t see “dumpy, ugly heroine who suffered from depression and OCD”. People want to escape.

  8. No worries, Laura. I like the approach you’ve taken with this post. I just wanted to head a few things off at the past.

  9. I think what Mormon men worry about is not so much if they come across as typical, but as if they are successful enough in terms of providing for their family and magnifying their priesthood. This has a direct impact on Mormon arts in that, creating and consuming art can interfere with the standard answers for how you go about doing those two things. This shows up in some of the fiction, for sure (see Doug Thayer’s work), but it also definitely shows up in much of the discourse around Mormons and art.

  10. Melanie–I think you are right that very few people want to read works that aren’t escapist. But I don’t necessarily think that a dumpy woman with problem kids needs to be depressing. I genuinely believe a skilled author could make a character like that worth reading. This is a male example but Jens Thorsen from Todd Robert Peterson’s _Rift_ is pretty dumpy but also pretty lovable. That book is a great read.

  11. Abel– Yes! Blogs of atypical LDS women exist. I read them and I like to think that I write one of them (www.butnotunhappy.blogspot.com). Through my blog I’ve actually made contacts with a handful of other Mommy bloggers that aren’t the steretype and I’ve put them on my blogroll. My sister is a fairly atypical LDS blogger (www.thegreatfitnessexperiment.blogspot.com). And certainly many, many more are out there.

    I would say that several of the blogs I mentioned in the post–Segullah, Mormon Mommy Wars–are groups of women seeking to promote that nuanced Mormon Mommy experience. I”m curious as to why they don’t get as much press as the stereotyped Mormon mommy.

    As for whether or not men run into the same problem, well, I know a lot of guys who think that blogging (and other social media like Facebook) are mostly a chick thing. So maybe some of why you don’t see men worrying about it is simply because men don’t engage with it as often. Also, I’d say Wm is spot on with men’s worries about cultural perception centering on different things. I think there are probably cultural forces at work that encourage women to engage in more self monitoring. In the culture at large women’s choices about everything from what they wear to what they eat to what they read are seen as culturally charged.

  12. Oh, Melanie, this just occurred to me: the Twilight books definitely star a dumpy heroine. Bella is pretty good looking in the movies but in the books she really isn’t supposed to be. . . don’t know if you’ve read those but in some ways Bella works outside the standard Mormon female stereotype. I wouldn’t say Twilight is on par with the reading experience of Rift, but if you’re looking for dumpy and moody Bella is certainly a heroine worth exploring.

  13. I very rarely read the Mormon Mommy blogs. I don’t read anybody else’s mommy blogs at all. Regardless the cultural subtext and Dr. Laura, “I am my kids’ mom” is not my identity. Period.

    I run a business.

    I don’t cook.

    I don’t bake.

    I don’t clean.

    I’m a hermit.

    I stay up until the wee hours of the morning and I don’t get out of bed until 9 or 10, if I’m lucky.

    I chew the missionaries out for imposing on my work time because they think it’s okay for them to drop by my house during regular work hours, or call up and expect me to drop everything to take them somewhere–because since I’m home, I MUST not have anything on my schedule.

    I don’t feel any particular need for female companionship and/or sisterhood because I relate far better to men, though I do have female friends.

    None of the RS activities have any bearing on my life or interests at all, so I don’t go. (That’s not a complaint; just a fact.) Now, in my mom’s ward, the Primary President conducts RS activities on bow hunting, field dressing carcasses, and the proper handling and cleaning of your guns. *happy sigh* I crash those parties.

    No, I don’t feel I have anything in common with what little I’ve read of the Mormon Mommy blogs. There are even a couple of them that are diametrically opposed to my personal philosophies, even, so I actively avoid them so as to keep my BP from going through the roof.

    Thing is, the Mormon women I know all struggle with something, be it children with disabilities or ones who are difficult, who have health problems, who have marriage problems, who are lonely and also feel disenfranchised (widowhood, divorce, never-married, infertile), who constantly compare themselves to the ONE woman in my ward who fulfills the stereotype to the nth detail and feel like failures. (If she has struggles with ANYTHING, I don’t know what they are. Nobody does.)

    I have female friends at church, don’t get me wrong. We laugh together, we cry together, we have HISTORY together. They “get” me because we’ve all been through some rough stuff together. They appreciate me because I’ll say what everybody else is thinking but won’t dare say.

    In case my comment comes off as harsh, I don’t mean it to. My only point is that, from what I’ve read of them, I have NOTHING in common with these women (and some days, that includes faith) and thus, they are irrelevant to me as a woman, as a mother, and as a Mormon. They’re a faint blip on my radar.

  14. This is fascinating! I hadn’t thought about this, the wide influence Mormon bloggers can have. I think, as the Salon article points out, Mormon bloggers tend to put up the picture perfect aspect of things, not the nitty-gritty details. Even when people such as this author recognizes this, they still don’t have a full/realistic/accurate view of what Mormon and Mormon-Mommy life is like, and then as you said, we end up with stereotypes. I appreciate the number of blogs popping up, simply because the more there are, the more rounded view readers can have of life as a Mormon. On this blog in particular, I’ve appreciated the way you support traditional, often-condemned-as-simple-and-naive Mormon values in such an intelligent, rounded and non-stereotypical way. Thank you for that.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  15. I’m curious as to why they don’t get as much press as the stereotyped Mormon mommy.

    Probably because you can’t get nuance if you don’t understand (or are just beginning to learn) the prevailing culture/stereotype to begin with.

    As for Mormon women in fiction, none of the ones *I* write are stereotypical.

  16. Thanks, Sarah. We try

    —-

    One of the things I like about the crafty stuff in relation to Mormon Mommy Blogs is that I have this secret hope that us Mormons can all become crunchy cons. With our hardscrabble pioneer roots, and DIY-sensibilities (even if they sometimes come from the same place and are glossy as the hipsters), and emphasis on family and education and self-reliance it seems like a good fit. Mormon culture seems inherently crunchy to me. I like to see my co-religionists embracing the crunch.

  17. Probably because you can’t get nuance if you don’t understand (or are just beginning to learn) the prevailing culture/stereotype to begin with.

    And aren’t all that interested in trying to get the nuance because the stereotype suits your purposes well enough.

  18. And aren’t all that interested in trying to get the nuance because the stereotype suits your purposes well enough.

    Yes. The world already defines us and those definitions have stuck. If we know the world is looking, perhaps WE should be the ones defining us in such a way as to make it stick.

  19. @Laura — I read your blog on occasion and don’t consider it a typical Molly Mormon blog. I’ll check out some of the other links on your blogroll.

    @WM — When it comes to men, I think you nailed it. Thanks!

  20. I read Cjane and sometimes Nie, but none of the other blogs she mentioned. I have also thought of the President Kimball quote in the context of Mormon mommy blogging.

    But it’s true, that I’m not like those bloggers. I have no design or fashion sense whatsoever. I don’t craft. I don’t know all the up and coming artists in my hometown. I wonder what it will take for people to see Mormon women as nuanced, different, varied. Because while I think it’s great that the Salon writer is getting to know Mormon women better, she’s getting to know the small subset of us who blog in a way that appeals to her. But there are many more of us, and we’re not all the same.

    One more thing: There really is such a thing as a happy marriage and a happy family. Not perfect, never perfect, but generally happy. Many of the Salon commenters did not seem to believe this was possible; they thought it all had to be a lie. As a member of a generally happy family (not perfect, but happy) it’s not a lie. It’s true, and real, and I’m very grateful for it.

  21. I was shocked at the comments to that Salon article. I mean my life is nothing like that either. Trying to juggle a big new business. Kids with health problems and one with some learning difficulties. However I’d never think that it is fake. Sure it’s not the whole picture but then what is? But the number of harsh comments who think it’s all fake, all PR entrapment, or worse was shocking to me. It’s honestly not that out of the realm of possibility.

    To anonymous (1). I think everyone has at one point or an other felt alienated and that everyone else is living a different life. I don’t know if it was age or just experience. But I quickly discovered that not only does everyone have those feelings but that others aren’t nearly as “other” as you might think if you just got to know them.

  22. Sorry that should have read “soon discovered” and not “quickly discovered” because the discovery was anything but quick. I’ve found that everyone has a lot in common and that there is surprising depth in even the most superficial of people if only we try and discover it.

  23. A few random, not-quite-connected thoughts:

    I don’t read many of the ‘design’ or ‘mommy blogs’ simply because that’s not what I’m interested in. I’ve never been interested in design, art, fashion, etc. But I don’t begrudge those who are into that kind of thing. Some people like making the world pretty; some of us just don’t understand the way that works. There was an interesting article somewhere out there musing on reasons why so many Mormons are popping up in the design field, but I can’t find it.

    I will confess that I’ve managed to live in Utah for most of my adult life, but grew up in areas with low percentages of Mormons. The thing is, even in the US, many people out there have no idea what a Mormon is. If they know anything, it’s from the one paragraph in their history book about Brigham Young, polygamy, and/or the exodous west. I think we fail to realize just how little many people know about us, for good or for bad. If happy, shiny, mommy blogs are some people’s main association with Mormonism, I think that’s at least better than complete ignorance or old ideas about things like polygamy, opressed women, or old-fashioned stuff (yes, some people confuse us with the Amish).

    And, finally, I sometimes look at blogs like that and wish that my outlook on life could be that happy. Even though I know that these women do have struggles, they choose to present a side of themselves that is optimistic and positive. I envy that ability; I’m just not like that. I know someone who is a great photographer and a great writer and who writes a blog that is mostly gorgeous photos of happy moments with her kids. I know her personally and I know her life isn’t totally like that, but I’m thankful that she presents the idea that we can choose to see things in that way. I come from a tradition of pessimism and cynicism, and sometimes when I look at blogs like that they encourage me to look at things from a different angle.

  24. Wm–I owe you big time for the crunchy conservative link! I’m already plotting another renegade library trip to see if I can get my hands on a copy.

    MoJo–If there was one commentor I knew we’d get on this post it was you! I think I really appreciate where you are coming from. I used to feel the same way about a lot of things. Events over the last few years have changed my perspective but I’m glad there are women like you out there pushing things and people. To me, MoJo=different and happy.

    BTW, thanks Sarah!

    EmilyM and Clark–I didn’t read the Salon comments; with big sites like that I almost never do since they always make me queasy. I thought that was one of the more interesting points of the article, though–how important and surprising it was to the author that many families are happy (not perfect! but happy) and many marriages work. I think the incredulity in the comments and their suspicion of propaganda probably relates to the fact that many of these blogs fit the stereotype so neatly. I genuinely believe that a more open and nuanced/complicated approach from the bloggers themselves would make a huge difference. But like Wm and MoJo point out, people read what they want to read regardless of what is actually on the page.

    Anonymous–Your comments have stayed with me all day. I hope you don’t feel like any of the responses here were patronizing. Feeling like an outsider is one of the most difficult things in the world. It is especially hard when it happens in a religious setting where unity of heart is so emphasized. Your line about feeling like even the people you worship with don’t believe in the same religion as you has really been occupying my brain–probably because I’ve felt the same thing. I guess I just want to let you know what you said stuck with me.

  25. Foxy J–we were commenting at the same time! I like the point you made about choosing the positive. I scrapbook for that exact reason, even though it isn’t fashionable any more. Getting out pictures of my kids and really looking at them and making them into something that I think is lovely reminds me of the happy times we have as a family. As a gal who is prone to cynicism it’s a fairly important process for me. I think a lot of the those bloggin’ Mommies are doing the same thing.

  26. FoxyJ,

    I, in turn, like your blog and your comments on other blogs because they aren’t always happy and shiny. Some people choose to be only optimistic and positive on their blog, and that’s their prerogative, but when I’m going through a hard time, I feel less lonely if I know that I’m not alone in that.

    That’s probably why one of my favorite bloggers right now is Tracy M. She’s been through hell in the last year and a half and she writes eloquently about both pain and grace.

  27. I think LDS women think more about how they look because 1) women think more about that in general anyways, and 2) we are poster children for the church.

    Think about the images of FLDS, very few are of men.

    And no one wants to focus on how LDS members are nuanced like everyone else. That’s not interesting.

  28. I was reading a response on another blog that points out that most of the blogs the article links to actually don’t fit her stated description of women who are very young and most of them don’t live in Utah. I think it’s interesting how someone can look at a person’s life that actually does contradict their own stereotypes, and yet still believe them anyways. She puts in a comment about antidepressant use in Utah, but most of the women on these particular blogs don’t live in Utah. I’ve always hated the whole antidepressant/Utah link anyways because it perpetuates the stereotype that Utah=Mormons and that is not the case.

  29. I am an older family man and grew up in Salt Lake City. I now live in the South (Georgia). I get some pleasure out of reading what others think of the Church and its members.

    I have read the comments about this Salon.com article here as well as the article itself and the accompanying comment section.

    I believe where some misunderstanding or frustration comes is when we..or they generalize (i.e – “Enter the Mormon bloggers, with their picture-perfect catalog lives.”)

    And I think are they reading the same blogs as me? For example NieNie’s profile says in part: “I am: Returning from a near-fatal airplane crash, burned 80% of my body, and will have surgeries for the rest of my life. Probably. But I am alive.”

    And later in a blog entry written just before the Salon.com article:
    “but take it from me, I felt really stupid and if my face could show embarrassed, (like it once did) he would for sure know it.”

    There seems to be a disconnect between the generalizations and the reality.

    I’m thankful for the comments made thus far. I am grateful that after so many years I appreciate that I am DIFFERENT from everyone else. I hate sterotypes, generalizations, assumptions partly because I have done all of the above and been a victim to them. And now I hope I have a deeper understanding.

  30. First of all, wow – I wasn’t expecting such a kind shout-out in comment #4. Thank you!

    Second, when I first read the Salon article, what struck me was that the blogger was seeing something in the Mormon blogs that she didn’t often seen in her own life. She talks about being an Atheist, and I believe she perceives us as being happy and shiny because she’s recognizing that we carry with us some knowledge that she doesn’t have. Knowledge of Jesus Christ does make a person happy, and it’s easily recognized by those who don’t have it.

    Third, I notice that some responders are feeling itchy toward the phrase “happy and shiny.” Is there something wrong with being happy and shiny? I sure don’t think so. If someone looks at me and believes that I shine, hey, that’s awesome. I don’t put up a pretense to achieve that compliment, but if someone detects shine in me, I’m all over it.

    Fourth, there’s no reason to feel that we all have to be exactly the same. No one ever said we had to be. Didn’t God make us all unique in the first place? I don’t remember a scripture that says, “you were sent to earth as unique individuals, and you must now spend your whole lives learning how to conform.” He doesn’t want us to conform. He wants us to take our uniqueness and use it to do things that no one else but us can do.

    Yes, lots of random thoughts … but fun to explore. 🙂 Thanks for the great article, and the comments have been fun to read.

  31. The problem I have with Mormon mommy blogs (my blog could fall in this category) is not how they affect readers outside the LDS religion, but how they affect other Mormon mommy bloggers. I don’t want to feel inferior. Anytime we compare someone else’s strengths to our weaknesses, we inevitably come up short.

    I personally think a lot of these bloggers blog about the seemingly “happy and shiny” things in their lives to try to make themselves feel better. I personally prefer the blogs that have a realistic mix of life–some happy, some sad, but all inspiring.

  32. Thank you for this post. It is so true that Mormon Mommy’s are complicated and amazing in all they accomplish.
    I love being a stay at home mom of four boys, a published writer, and an exercise scientist. Wasn’t it Elaine S. Dalton who used to say, “I can do hard things.” Then changed it to, “With God I can do all things.” It’s never going to be easy to be an effective, loving Mom and keep up with everything else we have going, but the Lord makes it possible and most of the time, enjoyable.

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