From the Backlist: Work/Life/Family Balance

working momThis week I interviewed and was hired for my dream job. It’s still so new and I feel a little in shock. From my initial application, through each set of interviews, I shared the experience with my Exponent bloggers and I received amazing words of encouragement and support.  Now that I’m transitioning from over a decade of SAHMotherhood, I’ve turned to them for advice on how to balance my work, life, and family.  I’d also asked them about how important it is to live near your work. As I will be working from home but traveling a lot, we are considering potentially moving near my husband’s.

Here are some samples of suggestions from bloggers on how to make full-time employment easier for family life.

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Survey for Carol Lynn Pearson


Dear Readers, 
I’ve been working with my friend and respected Mormon poet, author, and playwright, Carol Lynn Pearson on a survey to gauge how people really feel about the idea of polygamy in the next life based on today’s temple sealing practices. We are trying to get a sense of the salience of this issue among our friends and family. 
Please take 5 min to complete this survey and send it to anyone who is affiliated with Mormonism.
From Carol Lynn–
ETERNAL POLYGAMY AND SEALING INEQUALITY OF LDS WOMEN AND MEN—A SURVEY. Carol Lynn is sponsoring a survey to gather information on beliefs and opinions of Mormons (and former Mormons), male and female, on this important subject. Please take the survey at and please pass this request on to your friends and contacts. The survey closes on March 31, 2014. Thanks!
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Sacrament Meeting Talk on Faith . . . Crises

One of my local feminist friends was asked to speak on Faith in church a few weeks ago. She turned it into a talk about faith crises and used her own experiences as well as those of her friends to help illustrate the points. To support her, I attended the meeting and was so proud to see her deliver this talk to a group of fairly wealthy, white, suburban Mormons. While it seemed like some of them (particularly the man grumbling behind me) were not in agreement, Christine has since received much positive feedback, including having her talk quoted by someone else the next week! Our local AZ WAVE group met and discussed the impact of speaking our truth in church meetings and it was a really positive experience. We even thought about joining each other in wards to provide back up and support.  I’ve considered sending it to my bishop and telling him that I’d be willing to give a talk if I could give THIS talk. I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I do.  -JessawhyIMG_4337

Guest Post by Christine Leavitt

Our Journey for the Fruits of Faith – January 26, 2014

I was asked to speak about the topic of faith.  When contemplating this topic, the following three thoughts came to my mind concerning faith which I would like to discuss:

  1. Faith is a journey, and everyone has a unique faith journey in which their faith will change and develop throughout their lifetime

  2. Faith is a principle of action and loyalty to that which one chooses to have faith in

  3. Faith is hope, not knowledge

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Birth Series Intro- New Year’s Baby

New-Year-Baby-PicWhen I tell someone my birthday is January 1st, I get one of two responses.

A. “How exciting! You’re a New Year’s baby! Did you get money or gifts?”

B. “How sad for your parents! They just missed the tax break!”

The answer to A is, “No. I was the 23rd baby born in Provo, UT.”  and  my response to B is, “Yes, it was sad. They were so disappointed.” (With their firstborn child? Nope.)

I also get comments about how difficult it must be having a birthday near Christmas. It’s not actually that bad. My parents were dilligent about making sure I still got my party every other year and presents as much as the other kids.  In fact, I really love my birthday. The whole neighborhood, state, country, world is celebrating my birthday! And just because it marks a new start, a new year. That’s what birthdays are all about. Marking one year as passed and the next year as starting fresh.

In honor of a fresh start and the birth of a new year, we Exponent Perma-bloggers and guests are beginning a series on Birth and Rebirth.

Our lovely Spunky has organized a schedule of posts surrounding different aspects of this beautiful concept, including  childbirth, surrogacy, birth of the blog, and baptism as rebirth.

When I asked Spunky about  how the idea to start a Birth series began, she reminded me that our death series from a few years ago, required a balance.

So as you enjoy this series, remember that childbirth does not happen for every woman.  But stories about birth are important for us to hear and share. Think, too, about major events in your life that felt like a rebirth. These events may be a marriage, divorce, career change, illness, or other events that helped you see life through new eyes.  Enjoy the start of the new year and join with us as we consider the beginning of the cycle of life.

When I wondered what I could contribute to this series, Spunky asked me to write a bit about the birth of LDS WAVE.


Birth of LDS WAVE

Last week I did a podcast with fMh Lisa where she asked me about the birth of WAVE. For me, creating WAVE was a natural progression of Mormon Feminists conversations about troubling LDS church policies and doctrine.  In March of 2010, I wrote a blog post here called, “Mormon Feminist Activism” where I asked questions about our duty as Mormon Feminists to move beyond sharing our stories and begin to work toward change.

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Mormon Women Bare

Despite the inconvenience of an 8 AM Sunstone session this past July, my friend Katrina Barker Anderson delivered a compelling and beautiful presentation about her recent art project, Mormon Women Bare.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out!


The website features a description of the project and a gallery of images of women who have been photographed completely naked.  These women are of varied shapes and sizes, some post pregnancy, with stretch marks and sagging breasts.

The images show the true nature of her subjects, just living in their skin.  These women are brave and vulnerable, just living in bodies that are not perfect.  In her project description, Katrina explains that modesty culture has become suffocating and because “images can be very powerful tools for change,” she wants this project to help change the way Mormon women and men think of the female body.  Because, “the more we see something, the more normal and less taboo it becomes.” It’s a powerful message and a dramatic foil to the increased modesty rhetoric from the LDS church.

I was excited to learn that Katrina’s work has been praised by international publications, but so far is largely unnoticed in her Utah community.

This Op-Ed in the Salt Lake Tribune speaks to the modesty culture which Katrina is trying expose.  

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