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8 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I say toss the Procrustean bed. Life is hard enough without crippling ourselves by shutting out options in an attempt to make our families some platonic ideal of 50s Americana. Many might go with the traditional model of dad working while mom takes care of the kids. It is traditional because it works a lot of the time and if it does that is great. Trying to tell people trying to smash their family into a model that they both dislike is a recipe for misery. I imagine most of us have done something we find horribly tedious or miserable because we were "supposed to". Then later we realized it was unnecessary and masochistic and God didn't smile on it anyways.

I agree wholeheartedly. The question is, do the Church and its leaders agree? Or, perhaps even more important, what does God think?

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21 minutes ago, Calm said:

I am watching a historic Chinese drama and all the wives and concubines are trying to kill off or discredit the others’ children. Then there is the issue of unfavored wives/concubines being more or less treated as servants, starved, etc.  Not saying this is standard, just that many cultures wives do not cooperate, but compete. 

Absolutely. It’s often a battle for resources for themselves and their own offspring. Of course there are also some success stories but there’s usually a lot of competitive behavior. Of course.  

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On 6/9/2021 at 1:52 PM, MiserereNobis said:
On 6/9/2021 at 1:05 PM, bluebell said:

putting a child into daycare for the majority of their day is something that should be done out of necessity,

Like public school? :P 

As a teacher, one of the few positive effects of covid shutting down schools was that many people gained a better appreciation of teachers, even if it was just from the fact that we watched their kids while they worked ;) 

I love how the quarantine helped parents, 1 out of 10 in fact, decide to homeschool their kids after learning more about what and how thier kids were being taught

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

I am watching a historic Chinese drama and all the wives and concubines are trying to kill off or discredit the others’ children. Then there is the issue of unfavored wives/concubines being more or less treated as servants, starved, etc.  Not saying this is standard, just that many cultures wives do not cooperate, but compete. 

It actually is fairly standard. Historically most people with multiple wives were those wealthy and/or politically powerful enough that wives and/or concubines had a vested interest in making sure their children got their share or all of it. Dynastic politics are nasty. You get other dynamics when you look at polygyny in a less wealthy context but it is still naturally prone to very serious problems.

13 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Here’s a worm for you:  Outside of Tanzania, polygyny consistently seems to have an adverse effect on children’s mortality. But hey! It’s free babysitting! 

Of course it does. Polygyny setups often make it easier to kill your rival’s babies. You have to take the bad with the good. Or the good with the bad. I forget how it goes.

I am not suggesting my great great grandfather’s marriages are some ideal. I was pointing out how sometimes odd setups work for some people and decided to use a plural marriage example because I like throwing bombs into discussions because it is not boring. I am not suggesting plural marriage is the answer to our current problems. If you know anything about the polyamorous people out there then…..yeah, they are almost uniformly clown shows made up of depressed and broken people who are somehow also on fire. It makes for good dark comedy. Think Three Stooges doing their hijinks with chainsaws. Plenty of schadenfreude until you realize that there are kids trying to survive in these tire fires.

Edited by The Nehor
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12 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I agree wholeheartedly. The question is, do the Church and its leaders agree? Or, perhaps even more important, what does God think?

To the former I would ask who cares? As to what God thinks that is really between the people and God. They need to seek his will. I can say that I strongly believe that many of the more ‘eccentric’ marriage setups I have seen were found with God’s help.

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13 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

As a woman who has raised her children and half those years being a sahm and half not, my anecdotal experience is plenty of judgement that suggests some see earning as a sin.  
And if I had a dollar for every time people said to my husband, “it’s so great that you let mustard pursue her dreams” well then perhaps neither of us would have any reason to work again. 

I find it more weird that it is a ‘let her’ pursue her dreams instead of some kind of joint decision. I am not suggesting that it was true in your case but that it is assumed to be true is kind of messed up.

This kind of thinking is why a lot of marriages are not living up to the “equal partners” bit of the Family Proclamation. One of the strangest scenes I ever witnessed was my mom calling up some of her friends planning to take them waterskiing in my parents’ boat. I could tell almost all of them asked if they had to bring their husband or if my dad would be there as if that was important. I am grateful my mother thought that that was kind of silly and brushed it off lightly.

In the interest of fairness I equally find it weird when a husband makes the comment that his wife will “let him” do something. If you have to watch the kids or need to spend time with your family that is fine. Framing it as ‘mom’ not letting you come out to play is self-infantilizing.

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17 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

In the interest of fairness I equally find it weird when a husband makes the comment that his wife will “let him” do something. If you have to watch the kids or need to spend time with your family that is fine. Framing it as ‘mom’ not letting you come out to play is self-infantilizing.

After my husband had his motorcycle accident that punctured his lung and broke a rib, everyone was asking me if I would let him keep riding. 
 

That was weird. I told them what I told him, just make sure your insurance is paid up. 

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5 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Anthropologist don’t recognize polyamory as a valid reproductive strategy. Chimpanzees are promiscuous but even they have strict rules of conduct. 😊

I have read anthropologists that disagree. There are some cultures that have very “out there” beliefs and traditions about sexuality. The Mosuo generally know who the father of the child is but it is not culturally of much importance. In the majority of Amazonian tribal cultures there was a belief in partible paternity where each of a woman’s lovers contributed to any children born and a child thus had multiple fathers. Biologically false but culturally useful.

If they are saying it is not a valid reproductive strategy in modern culture I agree completely.

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14 hours ago, katherine the great said:

If I were God, I would think: I like it when my children do their best. And use their brains. 

If I were God, I would agree with you. But I am not God, and you are not God, so I wonder what God would say. I'd like to think that I have a good enough relationship with God that I can understand what He seems to be telling me, but I guess I'm just not sure. Another part of me would like to believe that the Q15 knows something about what God believes and attempted to explain it in The Proclamation, but I find The Proclamation vague enough that it isn't clear to me what God thinks. Perhaps The Proclamation really means that each couple should decide for themselves -- which is what you seem to believe and what I believe -- but, if that is what God thinks, then can we toss the language in the Proclamation and simply say something like, "Parents are responsible to provide, protect, and nurture their children. How parents divide or collaborate on those responsibilities is up to the individual couples."?

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I have read anthropologists that disagree. There are some cultures that have very “out there” beliefs and traditions about sexuality. The Mosuo generally know who the father of the child is but it is not culturally of much importance. In the majority of Amazonian tribal cultures there was a belief in partible paternity where each of a woman’s lovers contributed to any children born and a child thus had multiple fathers. Biologically false but culturally useful.

If they are saying it is not a valid reproductive strategy in modern culture I agree completely.

We do understand that some cultures accept forms of “ polyandry” (rare but valid) but true polyamory (everyone doing it with everyone) is not a recognizable or sustainable strategy. 

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

To the former I would ask who cares? As to what God thinks that is really between the people and God.

I should not presume to speak for the OP, but it often seems to me that this is perhaps the heart of this whole discussion. I would agree with you that couples should not care what the brethren think about how they choose to fill their parental responsibilities. But many in the Church believe that they should care, maybe because they believe that the brethren speak for God in this (and other issues).

I might go farther and say that this is a big part of my own faith crisis -- understanding when to care what the brethren think and when to disregard them in favor of my own sense of right and wrong. I don't, yet, have good answers.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

After my husband had his motorcycle accident that punctured his lung and broke a rib, everyone was asking me if I would let him keep riding. 
 

That was weird. I told them what I told him, just make sure your insurance is paid up. 

You’re a nicer wife than I am. My DH wanted to go up in an experimental aircraft his buddy built and the answer was no. (I don’t remember if I said the word or just gave him “the look”.)

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28 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

You’re a nicer wife than I am. My DH wanted to go up in an experimental aircraft his buddy built and the answer was no. (I don’t remember if I said the word or just gave him “the look”.)

Our kids are adults; while it wouldn’t be pleasant, my son’s family would take my daughter and me in.  He has to sacrifice so much for the family he wasn’t expecting when we hooked up and I so know the loss of dreams, I am not going to take away something he finds joy in. 
 

He has chosen not to use the bike to commute anymore as that is what caused it, driver not paying attention, stopped suddenly and took a wide right turn in front of him forcing him to move into the gravel and lay the bike down. He might have come out of it with just bruises if he hadn’t been wearing a messenger bag with his laptop. It made a big bump to land on in just the wrong stop. 
 

Experimental aircraft...nah.  I would be giving the look as well.  Though a paraglider or something tried and true with a relatively safe record after training, I would not put up a fight. 
 

I wasn’t gentle in explaining the pros and cons of his choice. He knows if he gets paralyzed or something that requires a caregiver beyond very minimal stuff (he couldn’t even rely on me for meals), he will likely have to go into an institution because we would have to hire someone to care for him and that likely would be too expensive for home care.  
 

He takes an afternoon for his road trips. Sometimes overnight if he has buddies.  Thankfully it is something I don’t have anxiety about as my dad commuted on one after the gas crunch in the 70s and then when retired, he and Mom traveled all over by cycle. He never had a bad accident (he wore a bright orange jumpsuit to protect clothing and make sure everyone could see him while commuting).

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, katherine the great said:

We do understand that some cultures accept forms of “ polyandry” (rare but valid) but true polyamory (everyone doing it with everyone) is not a recognizable or sustainable strategy. 

Oh.....crap. I guess I better trash my plans for my debased sex cult. Welp, it was fun while it lasted.

3 hours ago, MrShorty said:

I should not presume to speak for the OP, but it often seems to me that this is perhaps the heart of this whole discussion. I would agree with you that couples should not care what the brethren think about how they choose to fill their parental responsibilities. But many in the Church believe that they should care, maybe because they believe that the brethren speak for God in this (and other issues).

I might go farther and say that this is a big part of my own faith crisis -- understanding when to care what the brethren think and when to disregard them in favor of my own sense of right and wrong. I don't, yet, have good answers.

They do speak for God on issues. If you are sure you are going against the Brethren's counsel than I would reconsider. There are some general guidelines and they are important. However if counsel has not been decisively given on a point worrying about what they might think seems counterproductive. I don't mean digging through the Journal of Discourses and finding that an apostle of that era ventured an opinion right after Brigham Young explained the best way to bake bread.

If the general rules do not prohibit feel free to experiment.

Edited by The Nehor
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2021 at 6:34 PM, katherine the great said:

I hope so. I fell into the trap of working from home to supplement my husband’s income during the first ten years of our marriage. I can’t think of anything more difficult than being a full-time mother while trying to work from home (while the kids are trashing the house as you work).  It was the absolute worst thing for our marriage and for my mental health.

There's already a lack of boundary lines for mothering, typically. I can see how adding work to that simultaneously can be very damaging. I saw this Humans of New York post yesterday. I thought she made important points about how boundaries in her work have been good for her personal well-being:

Quote

“My late husband had a quote he’d say at the end of all his podcast episodes: ‘Dream those dreams. Then live those dreams.’ He never seemed to mention that he could only live those dreams because his wife was at home with the kids. I never intended to have so many children. I was a womanist before I knew what the word meant. I was president of the student council. I skipped three grades in math. I went to Barnard. But my boyfriend and I became pregnant when we were young. We made the choice to get married, and after that it became this whole different chapter: cooking, cleaning, homework, dance, soccer. We raised four wonderful children together. And I enjoyed so much of it. But sometimes it could seem like everything I did was connected to another person. My husband tried in his own way. He understood the importance of presence. And he did learn to cook three good dishes. But at the end of the day— his projects always took precedence. Because he was ‘dreaming those dreams.’ His schedule was the ‘inflexible’ one. There might be discussions, or arguments, but all he had to do was say ‘business’—and that was the end of it. I did have my tricks for claiming my time. I never just exercised— I took classes. My Zumba class was at 7 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was on paper. So he had no choice— he had to be home. I also did a lot of private tutoring. Sometimes I’d do it with a baby strapped to my chest, but at least I was putting those math skills to work. But I always wanted something more. I wanted a physical space to call my own. So when my children got a little older, and this storefront became available near my house, I teamed up with some friends and we took the leap. The bakery opened on my birthday. And it gave me the best present of all— a place I had to be. Something inflexible. Like a permanent Zumba class. And there was nothing to discuss, because at the end of the day—it was business. I remember the day we opened-- there was a moment when my husband tried to walk back into the kitchen. But I stopped him. Because only employees were allowed in the back. This was not his space. And it wasn’t our space. It was my space.”

Those "inflexible" times and spaces are the boundary lines that mothering often lacks. We don't get to clock out. It takes care and planning to create a family rhythm where we can to tend to our own needs, and if we want better balance.

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3 hours ago, Maidservant said:

As if a woman's home were the four walls of a suburban rectangle box with grass on the ground outside.

The earth is my home and I can and will do whatever I need to do to make it a paradise for my children: run for office, work in social justice, be an artist, homeschool, move off grid, get a medical degree: whatever I needed to do that was best for my children by showing them the full potential of my talents and by making the world a better place.

As if women haven't been working as seamstresses and laundresses and maids and and and and and forever and ever and ever.

We are in a very specific historical moment that gives pressures for specific things: 9-5 workdays, public school, Disneyland vacays. I mean, families used to clear land together and plant crops and build their house themselves. None of this is God (or Satan). It's just how things are going historically.

I mean, we could move to the jungle and have our kids go with us while we go spear for boar so they can get practice for boar-spearing. Is God fine with this?

My dil would go absolutely screaming crazy if she couldn't work all day long as a nurse, about 4 days a week. She needs it. Sometimes she has her son on her days off, sometimes my son has their son on his days off, sometimes he is at daycare "school" which he thrives in, and one day a week he does Grandma. And they all gather together as a family in the evenings. When he was smaller, my daughter, his auntie, was his full time nanny.

Right now I just have one teen son at home. He is in school full time. Later this year he will be driving and working and so should I be home while he is gone so much? He needs to see me make decisions about how to use personal and family time: the time we spend together on outings and in the evening to just talk, the housework we both do (or not), the creative projects he watches me bring to fruition, the commitments I make to engage in the community even if it means to be gone from him for a few hours in a day. With me, even with raising kids, there was never "stay at home". There was: let's see what we can do today outside the home. I don't know why I would ever want to be inside four walls most of the time for any reason.

The way people work and earn money is changing. For example, people earn money online more often now and that's just going to grow, I think. Is it okay if women make money online while the baby is napping? It's not just all going to the office and coming home with dinner laid out.

I love the concept of the earth being our home and also the validation that mothers can need regular time in their lives away from caretaking their children.

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On 6/14/2021 at 11:48 AM, Calm said:

After my husband had his motorcycle accident that punctured his lung and broke a rib, everyone was asking me if I would let him keep riding. 
 

That was weird. I told them what I told him, just make sure your insurance is paid up. 

I don't know why this made me laugh, but it did!! 

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On 6/9/2021 at 10:57 AM, pogi said:

The new Primary President, Camille N. Johnson, is the first career woman ever called to that position.  She worked as an attorney for 30 years.  Is a career woman presiding over the Primary organization in our church representative of a larger change in culture and feelings towards working mother's in the church? 

The following quotes are what seem to me to be good examples of the historical message of the church:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/03/working-double-time-the-working-mothers-dilemma?lang=eng

Even thought this article was intended to soften judgment towards working mothers, in many ways, it seems to reinforce it for mothers who don't need to work to help provide the basic necessities.  From these quotes you can see that it was insinuated that working as a mother should only be done when it is an absolute necessity, when it is impossible to provide the basic fundamentals, or when you are widowed or divorced - when the circumstances are "beyond their control."  

What are your thoughts, are things changing?  Does the Proclamation on the Family jive with a mother who is working out of pure professional interest, or to provide "extras" rather than out of necessity?  Does this signify a change in leadership thinking?

I admit I’m joining this discussion late, but I nevertheless desire to weigh in. 
 

President Ezra Taft Benson emphasized the ideal of having the mother be free to stay at home and focus on the rearing of children (he ruffled some feathers thereby). 
 

President Howard W. Hunter, who only served as Church president for a short time, didn’t say anything that I recall on the subject. 

President Gordon B. Hinckley, alluding to inquiries that had been received, said that couples should “do the best they can” to follow the prior teaching on the matter. That doesn’t strike me as a repudiation of President Benson’s teaching. 
 

I’m unaware of anything that has been said since then by President Thomas S. Monson or President Russell M. Nelson that would materially alter what either President Benson or President Hinckley said on the subject. This tells me that Latter-day Saints still should earnestly try to follow the teaching of those past Church presidents where circumstances allow for it. 
 

Admittedly, I’ve not thoroughly examined this thread and I might thus have missed something, but I’m open to any later citations that might be offered that are more definitive than conjectural or subjective Kremlin-watching of the Church administration in the nature of the OP.  

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