Years back, when "Sarah," a friend of mine, had no children of her own, she
expressed frustration to me one day about what she called "The Mommy Club"
in her ward. She felt she was ignored by most women her age who had children
because she did not.
This was difficult for her in many ways. First, she wanted to be a mother
herself, but it had not happened yet. Secondly, she had a very different lifestyle
than the young stay-at-home mothers in her ward; she was pursuing her
career and had a strict time schedule in which she could attend extra church
meetings or do her visiting teaching. She could not always participate in the
social activities these young mothers arranged.
The Mommy Club, as she termed it, all seemed to be friendly one with another;
and why not? If they were anything like the young mothers in my ward, they
chatted in the mother's lounge while nursing babies, they arranged for
playdates for their preschoolers, they swapped stories of potty-training capers
and how to handle sleeping problems and colicky babies.
"Jessica," another friend of mine, had also tried to conceive without success for
many years. This was a constant source of heartache and challenge for her and
her husband as well. However, I really admired the way she handled it.
She was well known and loved in the ward. She and her husband could often
be found helping others in a myriad of ways -- going the extra mile for the
families they home taught (I know -- we were one of the them!), taking time off
work to go to girls camp, allowing relatives who were struggling financially to
live with them for a significant period of time.
They were heavily involved with the lives of their nieces and nephews -- among
other things, they would host an annual Halloween party at their house for all
their siblings and their children, with games and music, and all go trick-or-treating together.
I don't think mothers ever intentionally set out to alienate non-mothers. I think
they are so blamed busy they don't notice those who are outside the
experiences they are having.
Jessica would help her sister with her children whenever it was possible for her
to do so. Sarah really didn't feel she had the time for that. Subsequently,
Jessica was involved in mothering experiences, though on a smaller scale than
"the mom" would be. Still, it made her receptive to conversations about
As her friend, and a mom, I felt comfortable being honest and open with
Jessica -- confiding in her the difficulties I faced as a working mom. I knew
that, as my friend, even though our experiences differed, she cared about me,
and that was way more important to me, and to her, than whether we were
It is a credit to her that when I told her my own doubts and struggles about
motherhood that she listened to me -- she never told me to just be happy I had
children; she recognized that blessed with children or not, we all have trials.
Our friendship, which started when she was childless, has continued to grow.
Now our 4-year-old sons have a weekly playdate.
Our family is blessed with an aunt and uncle like Jessica and her husband as
well. My brother and his wife have yet to be blessed with children, but they are
absolutely wonderful with mine. They remember all their birthdays, bring their
tiny poodle over to be mauled by my children, and offer to babysit when we are
in a pinch.
My childless sister-in-law is unquestionably in my Mommy Club. I would trust
her with my children's lives; I confide in her my mothering horror stories and I
will listen if she wants to cry on my shoulder that she doesn't have any of her
Maybe Mommy Clubs are somewhat inevitable -- all young mothers need
desperately to feel the support, ask the advice, and get the help of other
women. Mothering is a near impossible task to accomplish alone. However, the
ticket for entrance need not be labor pains -- it need only be love for our fellow
sisters in Zion.
Emily S. Jorgensen is an independent music teacher in the Provo/Orem, Utah, area. She is an
active adjudicator and lecturer across the Wasatch front. She has held several positions in the
Utah Music Teachers Association. She has three children and is expecting her fourth soon.
Emily grew up in Tacoma, Washington, earning her International Baccalaureate diploma in high
school. She was awarded a Trustees Scholarship at BYU, and was graduated from BYU with a
Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Masters of Arts in Elementary Music Education.
She taught group piano classes at BYU, and has operated a private studio for 16 years, where she
has taught private and group music lessons for ages 2 through adult.
Emily currently serves as Primary president in her LDS ward, and is still married to her high school