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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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Infertility: The Real War On Motherhood

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(c) Can Stock Photo
I am sure people who see me with my four young children in the grocery store would never imagine I struggled with infertility for over ten years. Sometimes they make comments like, “Wow, you have your hands full!” I probably surprise them with my huge smile when I reply “I know.” They don’t understand that not having my hands full was my biggest sorrow.

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Who Do You Tell About Infertility?: Studio 5

Julie Hanks joined Studio 5 today to discuss the upside and downside of sharing your infertility with others. Sharing can be extremely beneficial in terms of support but can also lead to hurtful, unsolicited advice.

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