May 9, 2007

By Melbo

I realized the other day that there are only two things worse than trying to calm your screaming baby. One is watching someone else try to calm him. (How could they possible know him or what is needs are better than his mom?) The only thing worse than that is watching them shut him up. Grrr…

Motherhood also has its fringe benefits… like automatic admission to “The Club.” Let me explain. When I moved into my Ward about a year and a half ago I tried befriending a married young mom around my age on several occasions, but to no avail. I even told her once she looked like Jennifer Garner (which should’ve won me BFF status right then and there). Then just a couple weeks ago, she passed me in the hall during Sunday school (as I was on my way to the mothers room again), and instead of giving me the usual half smile, she flipped a U-ie and showered me with compliments on my haircut and my post-baby figure, all while offering plenty of breastfeeding advice. Still stunned on the drive home, I relayed the conversation to my husband. He explained to me that I had entered “The Club”- the mommy-only-social-group. He was right. I hadn’t thought about “The Club” at all since my pre-utero days. I never felt like my status had changed, but now I’m apparently in a new league of women. I’m a mom now and I get to gossip in the secret room behind the toilets, lounging on the couches and drinking virgin daiquiris. (B.Y.O.V.D.)

My all access club pass might be short-lived though. After having my baby and taking a few months of maternity leave, I started working again full time a few weeks ago. Many of my LDS mom friends don’t work. They stay home to foster their children and relish their independence, something that I look forward to doing someday. They also go to playgroup and enrichment activities and their card-making-clubs together. I usually skipped those things anyway, but now that it’s not my choice to skip them I feel like I’m being kicked out of “The Club” prematurely. (Plus I feel lame that my excuse is always “I have to work”… I wish I had a cool reason to bail like my son is in the Baby Olympics or auditioning for a movie or something).

Most LDS moms I know aren’t as cliquey as I’m putting on (only some are). I also have a lot of friends that set a pretty high bar with how they help charities and reach out to the community at large. All of us moms lead difficult, busy lives but we all have at least two things in common. We cherish our children and we could talk about tummy time forever.

Becoming a mother has changed my outlook on mothers (it’s actually changed my outlook on everything, but especially mothers). An example of my new attitude relates to my job. I’m a massage therapist and when I was 8 months pregnant I attended a course on how to massage clients with cancer. I took the course to squash my assumptions that massage could spread cancer or in someway bring it back from remission. The funny thing is, we learned about all the risks first, so the more I learned on the topic the more nervous I got. I remember telling my instructor that I had reservations in my own ability to care for someone so fragile, and it was comparable to the anticipation I felt with caring for my unborn child. I had questions like how would I ever know what to do and what was the right move? I recognized that in both cases I just needed to be a mother. My conception of a mother is someone who nurtures, protects, listens, and loves (my mom in a nutshell). I think some of these traits come with the territory of motherhood. While I’m not always sure quite how to fulfill my child’s (or client’s) needs, I know that instinctually I want to fulfill them. And in my view, that’s what being a mom is all about.



  1. Guess this means I have to get you a Mother’s Day gift this year, huh?

  2. I was home in Utah visiting family last week and I was incredibly impressed by my little sisters tolerance for noise and jumping around and being bumped and being climbed on by her three children … and she is so very pregnant with her fourth! Mothers, how do they do it? Even though my neices and nephews are incredibly cute I had to take a time out!

    They are lucky to have you in the club, thank goodness for the haircut ;)!

  3. I think you moms have all the reason in the world to be proud, considering the stuff you go through from pregnancy to birth to childraising. My hat’s off to you ladies.

  4. That “Mormons” documentary said that Mormon women work outside of the home at the same percentage of non-Mormons. I thought that was SO interesting. The working mothers club must still be underground…Working Mormon mothers, unite!

  5. I can’t think of anything worse than being an active LDS women, in her late 20s, with no children. You just can’t make friends with people your own age with children. They think you have purposely put off children and judge you accordingly. Sometimes I feel like I can’t attend church until I have a baby. There is very much a Club, and with it a sense of superiority and self-righteousness. It is a terrible thing to be a LDS woman who can’t have children. I know that a testimony should rest on more than social acceptance at the local ward, but truly is hard to keep believing when you feel friendless.

  6. It sucks that people can be so cliquey, especially in the church. Some women in the church definitely have a superiority complex when it comes to having children and others I think become socially retarded and hide behind them, making every conversation about babies (I kind of feel like I do that sometimes although I try really hard not to). Some wards are better than others, though. It just further proves the old adage – that we are imperfect members of a perfect church. Lord help us.

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