Thursday, December 29, 2011

From my website...

I'm still working on the website (an LDS-based family-friendly workplace resource), and it's taking forever. Right now, I'm aiming for a launch date of April. I plan to have the writing part finished in January or February, but there's still lots of work to do after I finish all the writing and linking. A short list: find a board of directors (any volunteers?), get a logo, get tax-exempt status, write press releases, set up a newsletter, set up donation capability, make a budget, get personal stories from people, get input from others, recruit people in other states...did I miss anything?
Anyway, here's an excerpt from the "culture wars" section. Be warned, it's got an LDS slant to it, just in case you don't go for that sort of thing. I don't want it to be obnoxiously preachy, though, so if I cross the line there, please do tell. Here goes:

"LDS women face many dilemmas as they make decisions about work and family. Religious beliefs aside, there are already plenty of conflicting messages from society about how women should behave and what women should do. Most mothers are well acquainted with the guilt that seems to come wrapped up with the baby blankets.

Everyone seems to have an opinion--from television role models to parenting experts to politicians. Since reality doesn't match what they see or what they hear, women develop their own ideal, depending less on media or parental models and more on themselves. But with little experience from their parents and contradicting expectations from society, women have no practical way to check whether or not they're "measuring up". They just do the best they can and hope they get it right.

Within the LDS Church, things can be confusing, too. Many LDS women grew up hearing about the importance of motherhood and the value of mothers being home. Many of them had dreams of marriage and children and home life, and waited to find someone who could help make it possible. Others had dreams beyond family life, such as education and career ambitions. But when life threw a few surprises their way, many women didn't know how to reconcile their situations with what they had been taught. Some didn't marry. Others didn't have children, and some became divorced. Some women's husbands lost their jobs unexpectedly and others just simply couldn't afford the mortgage and groceries on one income. Some expected to lose themselves in the joy of raising their children and were surprised at how much they missed being sharing their talents and abilities with the world. And some women stayed home and loved it.

There are nearly as many situations as there are women, and that's what makes these decisions difficult. And when it seems like everyone has an idea about what women should do, it quickly becomes apparent that no single person can possibly meet all these expectations.

Before a woman is a mother or a wife, before she faces her loads of laundry or punches in for the day, before she fills any role or responsibility that she either chooses or is given, she is first and foremost a daughter of God. She is a person with unique gifts, whose value lies in who she is, and not merely what she can do for others. As she finds solutions and asks for guidance, she can find the best uses for her talents within her particular situation, whether that's in the workplace, the home, the community, the Church, or some combination of these. It's easier to face criticism (whether it comes from others or from within) when she knows that her direction comes from above."

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