Have we decided to live the lesser law?


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Although I see how the shifting message raises an eyebrow (including my own), a couple things that come to my mind:

- As far as Pres. Johnson's choices - we don't know how many hours she was working every day. Not all lawyers work 80+ hours a week. Maybe she even cut her hours while her kids were young. Not defending or questioning, just sharing a thought.

- Different people need different messages. This talk could help assuage the guilt some moms feel who need to work but know the counsel that's been given to stay home (some seem to ignore the fact that the leaders have been clear about exceptions). On the other hand, some years ago I was in a facebook group of which most of whom were LDS. Over time, it became apparent that one particular woman was using the counsel that the wife stays home with the kids to excuse herself from helping to meet the basic needs of the family (her husband had lost his job, the Church was covering expenses, she admitted that her homeschooled daughter would do better going to regular school, etc).

- Will some men and women use this talk to justify their stance? Most likely and that would be unfortunate because I'm aware of some consequences to the mom working/going to school while kids are still home. To me, the message should be more along the lines of "As long as you are paying your own way in life (with honest endeavors and moderation in lifestyle), there's more to life than earning money. We're here to raise a family and serve others, not live extravagantly or make companies rich to our own detriment (ie high stress level which leads to impatience, health issues, etc)." [Not a perfect summary but you get the idea and for context, I know someone who works too much even though they're quite comfortable. All this work affects their health and the family.]

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On 5/4/2024 at 9:06 AM, Maverick said:

It's not just a mixed message these days, it's a different message altogether. The message used to be that mothers should stay home with the kids and not go to work, unless it was absolutely necessary. Now the message is that it's perfectly fine to be a career woman and a mother at the same time. 

I'm not sure if that is a bad thing.

We have to remember that we have an advantage today that makes it more feasible to make parenting a priority while still being able to do something professionally.

Bandwidth.

My wife, for example, is perfectly capable of setting up things for the kids to do regarding our homeschool curriculum., then finish up some household chores, and then do work online or make a few phone calls or send some emails and text for work.  I don't see a problem with this.

If she still makes herself available for the kids and she is able to do other work as a profession, why is that a bad thing?

And for so many who don't see public school as the menace that it is, they could work in an office part-time and still not neglect the kids.

Why is this a bad thing?

That said, I don't think it is optimal in 90% of the cases.  But it can be done in most cases while still maintaining at least a minimally acceptable level of nurturing of the children.

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From Mikbone:

"As for enjoying working outside the home.  I can’t understand it at all.  I work with many over educated men and women.  I have way more stimulating conversations with my children.  If me or any of the people that I work with won the lottery, we would quit our jobs overnight." 

I had a friend who worked for a workaholic.  His boss always encouraged him through subtle gestures and hints to work a little longer.  I asked him why he didn't just stay a little more to get on his boss' good side.

He said-"when I'm retired sitting on my front porch I don't think I'll be looking back on the hours I spent at the office."

He'll be looking at family times, church service with family and friends etc.

Why women even want careers is a mystery to me.  I have a great profession that puts me in the upper 1% of all income earners.  Frankly there is no pleasure in it, other than I am pretty much able to indulge in my hobbies..  I really try to minimize time at the office.  Fortunately, my wife has never worked outside the home.  In the early years of our marriage it was at times difficult because I wasn't earning that much.  But in the long run, it has been a blessing.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

He said-"when I'm retired sitting on my front porch I don't think I'll be looking back on the hours I spent at the office."

He'll be looking at family times, church service with family and friends etc.

I think I disagree, or at least, I find it incomplete.  While I definitely treasure the experiences bonding with my kids, I will also certainly look back on my career and think favorably of the highlights and lowlights, as well as the anecdotes from work.

This does not in any way diminish my experiences bonding with my children.  Just this past weekend, my younger daughter and I went to run a lot of errands.  The little things we did and said will be a cherished memory.  We bonded during that entire day.  And we will always remember that day. While I find my work life fulfilling, I treasure my time with my kids.

A few months ago, my daughter said something that I'm having trouble processing.  When she found out what my salary was, she told me,"I didn't know how amazing a father you are."  I thanked her.  But I didn't know what brought this on.  She had never made such an expression of praise to me before.  When she explained what she was talking about, it was mostly about providing for the family.  But she also realized it was because I work a LOT of overtime.

It was surprising to me because none of my kids are materialistic.  And my girls certainly aren't gold-diggers or spoiled.  I rarely get them any special gifts other than the traditional times (birthday, Christmas, etc.).  And she has never asked for special gifts.  She works very hard to get the money she does.

But she was very willing to forgive my lack of time with the family when she found out what my salary was.  I found that to be very interesting.

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Sometimes I think that just because I grew up in a different era – I grew up on a different planet.  I grew up in Provo, Utah, two blocks from the BYU campus.  I would say half our yard was garden and fruit trees.  We raised rabbits and chickens for meat.  We hunted and fished for additional meat.  My mother never worked outside the home but the work she did at home was a lot.   I considered that both my parents were workaholics.  I would say that less the 10% of what we ate or wore was bought in a store.  Mom ran everything associated with our home.  The only clothing we bought was our Sunday clothing and our work overalls – mom made everything else.  We had a washing machine with a roller winger.   Stuff was hung on a clothesline to dry.  Laundry was a lot of work.  In the winter clothing would freeze and we would bring it in and by the time it thawed – it was dry.  Anything nice had to be ironed.

I thought we were poor because by the time I was eight I was expected to earn money to purchase my stuff and pay for my part of family vacations.  Doing chores at home did not count – I had to earn money from a job.  Picking fruit was a good summer job along with yard work for neighbors and shoveling snow where we could find it.  At age 10 dad would hire us to work at his apartments or office buildings.  I did not know anything about mechanics until I purchased a car for $50 and had to rebuild it.  We got up about 4:00 am to deliver paper routes, work at the welfare farm, shovel snow, fish or hunt or whatever.  Going to school was like party resting time.

I firmly believe that anyone that does not have a profession (man, woman or especially teenager) better be working towards one.  Stay at home mom can be a profession – but not much of one if all one has is one or two children (unless one or more is severely handicap).   There are too many conveniences in modern living.  Do kids now days even know how to wash and dry dishes?  Or cook anything from scratch?   I honestly believe a single person can have a full-time job and own a home and take care of it and their yard all by themselves and still have time to play.  I do not believe that a mom can be efficient in our modern-day society in this day and age when all the kids are in school without an additional something to keep them gainfully occupied.  Home schooling can help if they are professional about it.

I hate to sound unhappy about things, but many mothers cannot even manage their household.  As a result, their children are next to useless.  When I was called as a scoutmaster (back when the Church was into boy scouts) I would have boys come on their first campout having never even made their own beds.  Teaching such kids to do anything useful while camping was quite difficult, but we figured it out.  However, it was interesting to me that such parents were the most likely to complain about how their “children” were being treated.  Just as a side note – it has been almost 40 years but I still have many of my scouts visit and tell me that scouting was an important part of their lives (though some are no longer church active). I believe this is one of the primary reasons many kids come home early from church missions.  This is also a reason that I believe military obligation should be mandatory.  My wife would start early with our newborns.  She would sit with our kids as soon as they could sit – she would sit with them in our front room teaching them how to behave at church (or anywhere in public – including on airplanes).  She taught them that anything other than behaving was not going to work out well for them.

I strongly believe that too many in our society have a sedate (lazy) lifestyle and that is a major problem for so many reasons.

 

The Traveler

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I'm late to the conversation; however, this is another one of those items that I find difficult. I brought up a similar conversation regarding keeping the Sabbath day holy and recent general authorities who played professional sports. The Church taught in seminary about the BYU player who turned down a professional career in football because he was taught by his parents to keep the Sabbath day holy. As it turns out, he should have played professional sports.

This is one of those items in our day where the scripture seems to be loud and clear, "It is better to obey, than to sacrifice." Yet, it seems as though in some lives they are still lifted up even though they sacrificed rather than obeyed.  This is one of the conundrums I don't understand.

"Let God prevail..." means to let God prevail. It means to obey rather than to sacrifice. I can empathize with any mother who obeyed (put off a career) rather than sacrifice (kept career) and did not experience the same financial stability. So, I have a hard time reading a comment that talks about letting God prevail when their choices clearly showed they did not let God prevail, they merely kept doing what they wanted to do. I can think of many homes right now who did obey, who did sacrifice, and how I have watched them struggle financially. Now, it seems like their struggles were vain. They should have sacrificed, rather than obeyed (and at least obeyed in all other aspects) so they could enjoy more financial freedom.

This is the type of post that causes any person who has been obeying rather than sacrificing to feel/think, "Have I had everything wrong?" Why keep the commandment if the commandment is subjective? If I can merely converse with God to do what I want, why have the commandment/counsel in the first place?

I remember reading articles talking about the seductiveness of two incomes, and how two incomes will only make it harder for a woman to stay at home without entering the workforce if her husband doesn't have a high paying job. This sister increased that likelyhood. Making it harder for others to follow the counsel, and now she is in a leading position counseling mothers to be mothers, while she put a career ahead of being a mother.

These are tough situations. These are times where the scriptures specifying "Do not judge" come into play also. It seems as though the idea from President Nelson regarding having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is more real than ever.

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7 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

The Church taught in seminary about the BYU player who turned down a professional career in football because he was taught by his parents to keep the Sabbath day holy. As it turns out, he should have played professional sports.

Sounds like Eli Herring.

https://www.deseret.com/2015/4/29/20563855/20-years-later-blessed-herring-believes-he-made-right-decision-not-to-play-in-nfl/

From the above interview you can see he had no regrets.  

I was on the BYU track and field team with him back in the early ‘90s.  He was a heck of a good shot putter too.  

And his eating prowess was awe-inspiring.

Doing the right thing always pays off.

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1 hour ago, Anddenex said:

I'm late to the conversation; however, this is another one of those items that I find difficult. I brought up a similar conversation regarding keeping the Sabbath day holy and recent general authorities who played professional sports. The Church taught in seminary about the BYU player who turned down a professional career in football because he was taught by his parents to keep the Sabbath day holy. As it turns out, he should have played professional sports.

This is one of those items in our day where the scripture seems to be loud and clear, "It is better to obey, than to sacrifice." Yet, it seems as though in some lives they are still lifted up even though they sacrificed rather than obeyed.  This is one of the conundrums I don't understand.

"Let God prevail..." means to let God prevail. It means to obey rather than to sacrifice. I can empathize with any mother who obeyed (put off a career) rather than sacrifice (kept career) and did not experience the same financial stability. So, I have a hard time reading a comment that talks about letting God prevail when their choices clearly showed they did not let God prevail, they merely kept doing what they wanted to do. I can think of many homes right now who did obey, who did sacrifice, and how I have watched them struggle financially. Now, it seems like their struggles were vain. They should have sacrificed, rather than obeyed (and at least obeyed in all other aspects) so they could enjoy more financial freedom.

This is the type of post that causes any person who has been obeying rather than sacrificing to feel/think, "Have I had everything wrong?" Why keep the commandment if the commandment is subjective? If I can merely converse with God to do what I want, why have the commandment/counsel in the first place?

I remember reading articles talking about the seductiveness of two incomes, and how two incomes will only make it harder for a woman to stay at home without entering the workforce if her husband doesn't have a high paying job. This sister increased that likelyhood. Making it harder for others to follow the counsel, and now she is in a leading position counseling mothers to be mothers, while she put a career ahead of being a mother.

These are tough situations. These are times where the scriptures specifying "Do not judge" come into play also. It seems as though the idea from President Nelson regarding having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is more real than ever.

That is certainly food for thought.

I believe what this evokes is: "If there are exceptions to the rule, why can't I be the exception because I think I can be?"

And many of the posts here expressing concern are basically asking the same thing.

That's a good question.  How do we know?

Edited by Carborendum
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26 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

That is certainly food for thought.

I believe what this evokes is: "If there are exceptions to the rule, why can't I be the exception because I think I can be?"

And many of the posts here expressing concern are basically asking the same thing.

That's a good question.  How do we know?

Behold the Lamb of God

Jeffrey Holland April 2019

“Furthermore, there will be others who unavoidably find their ox in the mire on a Sabbath morning. However, to this latter group we say an occasional tardiness is understandable, but if the ox is in the mire every Sunday, then we strongly recommend that you sell the ox or fill the mire.”

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Posted (edited)

It’s a strange dynamic.

I mean, if every once in a while I get a hankering to have a cappuccino, I can’t get a temple recommend unless I lie about it.  But it’s just a cappuccino.

On the other hand mothers with young children working outside the home (when they don’t have to) seems like a problem - to me at least.  But totally OK to get a temple recommend…  And ok to receive one of the premier callings in the church with significant media exposure.

What really got my attention about Camille Johnson’s women’s conference talk was that she shared something that, on its face, appears to be contrary to known prior counsel.

And then she highlighted that specific portion of her talk and shared it on facebook under the official title of the church.  (Which I perceived as a bit of nose-thumbing).

I took President’s Oaks response as a clarifying stop-gap message reinforcing motherhood and life long learning while ignoring the work outside the home focus of the OP.

 

I want to hope that it was just an innocent blunder on her part.  But the fact that she has been the general primary president previously as well as a successful attorney suggests that she knew what she was doing.

 

BTW, never had a cappuccino.

Edited by mikbone
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2 hours ago, mikbone said:

Sounds like Eli Herring.

https://www.deseret.com/2015/4/29/20563855/20-years-later-blessed-herring-believes-he-made-right-decision-not-to-play-in-nfl/

From the above interview you can see he had no regrets.  

I was on the BYU track and field team with him back in the early ‘90s.  He was a heck of a good shot putter too.  

And his eating prowess was awe-inspiring.

Doing the right thing always pays off.

Yep, this is him. I would have loved to have seen him as a general authority. One who obeyed rather than sacrificed.

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I know that every general conference talk has to be proofed by a doctrine committee and if the speaker goes off script that the written talk is accepted instead of the verbal ad lib (even if moved upon by the spirit).

I’m not sure when this practice began, but it obviously was not functioning during the Brigham Young era.

I doubt that the women’s conference talks were reviewed by committee.  And assume that facebook is not an ‘Official’ church news outlet despite the appearance.

Please inform me of my error if you know better.

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I've thought about this and I'm leaning toward the idea that it is not about right v wrong, or correct v incorrect. Neither is it about obeying or disobeying.  It is really about "are you able to do this?"

  • For most women, the answer is "No, you will definitely neglect your family." 
  • For others, the answer is,"yes, but you're really just making your life harder.  And you'll eventually have to choose between your career or your family.  Are you sure you're going to be willing to give up your career when that eventuality occurs?" 
  • For a very few, the answer is "yes... but... be sure you continue to make family the priority in your life.  Don't lose sight of what is most precious."

The reason why this last is so uncommon is the reason women go to work v. why men go to work.

Women go to work to gain status or to feel "fulfilled." Unless they have to, they don't go to work to support the family.  Thus single mothers are part of the "have to go to work" group.  They do it because they need to support the family.

Men go to work first and foremost because we need to support our family.  It has been the husbandly and fatherly role since pre-historic times.  It always will be so.  Take that away from the man and he feels emasculated.  If we can't support our family, it destroys us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Do we want fulfillment and status?  Absolutely.  Of course we do. But it is not the primary purpose of a man's profession.  And it is much less common for a man to lose sight of this.

  • Ask 100 men who make the median salary: Would you clean sewers for $100k/yr?  99 of them would say "Yes, absolutely!"
  • Ask 100 women the same question.  1 of them might accept.

So, unless you're the one woman who would accept, chances are that your claim that you "need" to work outside the home is a false one.

To bring it back to the beginning...  Sis Johnson didn't seem to need to go to work to support the family.  But she seemed to be the 1/1000 who can do it all and continue to make family the priority in her life.

The danger here is so many women who cannot do so will look at her example and think, "Why can't I do that?"

Answer: Because you're only in it for yourself and you're not willing to sacrifice what you need to do in order to make family a priority.

CONDITION: It is a LOT easier for a career woman to make family a priority if she works part-time or has a home-based business.  And lawyering is one of those professions where you can do that (depending on the type of law she practices).  So, if you have a profession that allows you to be with your children, then great.  Just be sure to make them the priority, not your career.

Edited by Carborendum
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The Lord commands us to Obey...

The Lord blesses us for our obedience...

But he also blesses us when we strive to obey...  I am very grateful for this last bit because I pretty much never perfectly get the first one.

This means if I am striving to follow Gods commands on how my family should be run.  And I am studying and praying and pondering... and then faithful try to do according to the guidance the Lord has given me... and I get it wrong... I still get the blessings.  This is absolutely wonderful given how much I fail (and we all fail)

What I can't not be doing is a wink, wink, nod, nod, of course I strove for the answers and this is what the Lord told me to do. When I really did not, because that might fool people but it does not fool the Lord.

Now when hearing about other peoples attempts to strive to obey the commands, I can of course doubt them when they say its what the Lord told them to do.  But If I am striving the follow the Lords commands that would have to include Righteous Judgements, the Golden Rule, and Charity.  Then I need to keep said doubts to myself...  Or at least limit them to those I have stewardship over.

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On 5/7/2024 at 6:46 AM, Carborendum said:

I'm not sure if that is a bad thing.

We have to remember that we have an advantage today that makes it more feasible to make parenting a priority while still being able to do something professionally.

Bandwidth.

My wife, for example, is perfectly capable of setting up things for the kids to do regarding our homeschool curriculum., then finish up some household chores, and then do work online or make a few phone calls or send some emails and text for work.  I don't see a problem with this.

If she still makes herself available for the kids and she is able to do other work as a profession, why is that a bad thing?

And for so many who don't see public school as the menace that it is, they could work in an office part-time and still not neglect the kids.

Why is this a bad thing?

That said, I don't think it is optimal in 90% of the cases.  But it can be done in most cases while still maintaining at least a minimally acceptable level of nurturing of the children.

I think there's a big difference between what you are describing and a mothers who are also "career women" who work full-time as professionals out of ambition, the desire for a high standard of living, or both. The church currently teaches that it's completely fine to be a "career woman" and a mother at the same time, which is the exact opposite of what was previously taught. 

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27 minutes ago, Maverick said:

I think there's a big difference between what you are describing and a mothers who are also "career women" who work full-time as professionals out of ambition, the desire for a high standard of living, or both.

I guess you're right.

I was just taking an aside to address the old adage: "No one ever said at the end of their lives that they wish they'd spent more time at the office."

I'm just not sure that is true.  Being at the office means that you're providing for your family.  And if you do that well enough at the standard 40 hrs/wk, then great.  If you need to do overtime to make the mortgage payment, then that's what a man ought to do.  Losing the house because you wanted to make every function your kids go to is not a balance of priorities.

(But... I'm speaking as the father/husband.  I agree that there are different priorities for the wife/mother).

27 minutes ago, Maverick said:

The church currently teaches that it's completely fine to be a "career woman" and a mother at the same time, which is the exact opposite of what was previously taught. 

I'm not so sure of that.  That is not what I'm hearing from General Conference.

The post Sis. Johnson made on a Facebook page is not "what the Church teaches."  

Pres Oaks responded that he was happy to hear that she prioritized her role as a mother.  That was not a statement that "it is perfectly ok to be a career woman and a mother at the same time."  It was praise for a particular behavior which she seemed to espouse.  It's called being diplomatic while correcting her at the same time.

In the screenshot provided, I didn't read a single word from Pres Oaks praising her for being a career woman.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.mother.ly/news/2023-state-of-motherhood-survey/

The above link is to Motherly's 2023 State of Motherhood Survey Report.  Some interesting findings:

This year finds mothers increasingly stressed about finances, yet a lack of access to affordable childcare keeps many mothers out of the workforce. The key to getting mothers, who also do the majority of childcare and household management, back into the workforce? Flexibility, Motherly’s survey reveals. Importantly, mental health concerns continue to climb, now registering as a top worry. More mothers report they have sought mental health services in the past year than in the year prior.

The Great Resignation continues for mothers

This year finds more survey respondents clocking in as stay-at-home parents than past years at 25%, compared to 15% in 2022. Eighteen percent (18%) of mothers in our sample changed jobs or left the workforce in the past year, and the top reasons cited are staying at home with children (28%) and lack of childcare (15%).

“America is in a childcare crisis and the data shows it’s driving moms from the workforce and threatening the economic security of our families. It’s time for us to reimagine our workplace cultures around the realities of motherhood and invest in the structural supports moms need to work and have kids.”

Reshma Saujani, CEO & Founder of Moms First

Just about half (49%) of moms in our sample rely on outside childcare and 63% are paying for 30+ hours a week of care. While most moms are satisfied with their childcare, 1 in 5 (21%) are not, and the overwhelming reason is cost (69%). Tracking with last year’s results, 67% of moms are spending at least $1,000 a month on childcare, with 18% spending $2,000-$3,000 and 13% spending $3,000 or more (31% in total spending $2,000+ per month). It is not surprising that one-third of moms (33%) using outside childcare report that the cost is “often” or “always” a source of financial stress in the household. In fact, 52% of working moms say the cost of childcare has made them consider leaving the workforce.

8 in 10 mothers worry about a recession and are making preemptive cuts

Eight in 10 (80%) are concerned about a possible recession, 27% are very much concerned, and 71% report they are planning to cut back spending.

Possibly because more women are choosing to become SAHMs than in previous years and more partners have returned to the workplace, we see an uptick across the board on duties like scheduling, errands, cleaning, meal prep and so on among mothers who have partners. Thirty-two percent report sharing responsibilities equally with a partner, down 2% year over year. 

 

ANYWAY...

It looks like Gen Z isnt as that into being a juggling superwoman / mom / high powered executive.  They are looking for a better balance of life and generally would be thrilled to have a real man take care of them so they can be SAHMs...

I don't think that the upcoming generation was the impetous for the General Relief Society President's facebook comments.  It was likely to appease the old guard...

my 2 cents.

 

Edited by mikbone
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On 5/5/2024 at 6:42 PM, mikbone said:

I can’t understand it at all.  I work with many over educated men and women.  I have way more stimulating conversations with my children.

I missed this part. Maybe it’s just the type of friends I have but the conversations I have with them are some of the highlights of my life. I’m very blessed, but I wonder, isn’t that part of friendship?
 

We’re all different but what good is having friends and co workers if you can’t have in depth conversations with them? 

I think all of us stay here because we enjoy the conversations as well. 

Edited by LDSGator
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22 minutes ago, Vort said:

mothers aren't taking care of their own children.

I think it needs to be said that 90% of moms, working or not, are doing their best. Just like 90% of dads too.


Being a parent is brutal work. I’m always pleasantly surprised at how wonderful children are today. I think most parents are knocking it out of the park.    

Edited by LDSGator
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Posted (edited)

So Im getting an education from my 26 y/o daughter who is visiting for the next few days.  

Girl-boss slogan: the 3 Gs - gatekeeping, gaslighting, girl-boss

SAHM: Usual stay at home mom, send kids off to school, do pillaties with the girls, walking the dog, having dinner ready.

Tradwife: Traditional wife.  Practices traditional roles.  Likes to take care of her family and man. Homeschooler.  Enjoys making goldfish from scratch.  essential oils.  Preparing dinner for the family with homemade mozzarella and sourdough bread.

 

My daughter is a working woman hoping to get pregnant and become a tradwife.

 

The pendulum had swung for a good portion of women from Girl-boss to tradwife.

Edited by mikbone
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4 minutes ago, mikbone said:

The pendulum had swung for a good portion of women from Girl-boss to tradwife.

https://unherd.com/2024/05/lauren-southern-the-tradlife-influencer-filled-with-regret/
 

It’s funny you mentioned that, because this has been trending. She’s a former alt-right princess. It turns out for her, the “tradwife” trend is just that. A trend. 
 

I get the feeling her alt-right career is pulling a Tim Ballard and crashing down to Earth. 

Edited by LDSGator
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4 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

https://unherd.com/2024/05/lauren-southern-the-tradlife-influencer-filled-with-regret/
 

It’s funny you mentioned that, because this has been trending. She’s a former alt-right princess. It turns out for her, the “tradwife” trend is just that. A trend. 
 

I get the feeling her alt-right career is pulling a Tim Ballard and crashing down to Earth. 

I think she is an influencer posing as a tradwife.  That dog wont hunt.

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1 minute ago, mikbone said:

I think she is an influencer posing as a tradwife.  That dog wont hunt.

I can’t read her mind, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people get what they think they wanted and find out it’s not all it says it is. 

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