Friday, May 17, 2013

Crafty like a Mormon

Every Tuesday night, while I was young, my mother would to go to a weekly event called 'Home Making'. Home Making Night was when the women's group, referred to as The Relief Society, would meet at the church to learn new crafts and homemaking skills together.

As a female in the Mormon church, you are valued, even though it may never be said aloud, by your homemaking abilities.  My mother always kept her house in pristine order. You never know when the missionaries will knock on your door asking for water, or when your Home Teacher will want to stop by unannounced to check in on your family. Even with four children all spaced within a 5 year period, she kept her home in order.

Growing up in the Young Women's group I learned to crochet, cross stitch, make jam, make taffy, sew and play the piano. I know the importance of having the appropriate amount of food in my pantry at all times and how to store water. I know how to preserve and can my own food, how to mend clothes and I know how to Spring Clean. I've had the knowledge and skills to do all that before I was 14. I gained these skills and practiced them because I wanted to be a good wife and an awesome homemaker.

I remember going with my mom to special Home Making Nights where the ladies in Relief Society were encouraged to bring their female offspring with them to come and learn together. To help build the mother/daughter relationship and to help raise good little peacekeeping homemakers. I loved it. I loved the positive reinforcement and I loved how it made me feel more valuable. I never once thought of it as improving myself as an individual, I always viewed it as upping my value as an eventual wife.

There is a silver lining in this somewhat depressing, sexist cloud. Even though the skills I learned as a Mormon child didn't add value to my proverbial dowry, I have used them to bond with my daughters, to make homemade yummies and needlepoint curse words to send to friends.

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