I read a recent Salon.com article about a non-LDS woman who finds herself obsessed with Mormon Mommy-type blogs. Now, although I am both Mormon and a Mommy, and though I blog, this blog is not really a Mormon Mommy type blog (though I do sort of have one). I'm not really sure what type of blog this is, to be honest. I suppose, like the title suggests, it documents my spiritual and emotional life, the things I think about and struggle with on an internal level.

I don't know that most of what I blog about here are strictly "happy" things. They are faithful and hopeful, I hope, but not particularly "happy".

In reading the comments, I noted that an overwhelming number of the comments treated the Mormon Mommy blogs as fake. Whether they supposed they were commercial or evangelical efforts, the general consensus seemed to be that "Mormon women cannot be as happy as they seem, so they are being deceptive. Deception is for a reason, therefore they must be getting something out of this." Plenty of people cited the old Utah Women Take Antidepressants study, many others delighted in highlighting the "dark side" that must exist.

Of course there is some filtering when it comes to blogs. Whatever the main focus of the blog, not everything in a blogger's life ends up online. But these women have chosen to highlight the things that bring them joy. Very few of them sound to me like their "faking it until they make it" online. They genuinely seem to find things to be happy about. Of course, it is possible that if they were suffer some life-altering disaster, such as divorce or losing a child, that the walls would come tumbling down, but as NieNie has demonstrated, this isn't necessarily the case.

I think this is the key. Too often, we expect to be happy when certain conditions are met. But I believe that true happiness is generally unconditional. It is a choice. I've had a really hard time in my life the past several years. And yet, there are many things that have brought me immense joy. Some of those things I remember to chronicle in my "mommy blog", but some of them are just for me. Some of these things are things that others might not expect me to find joy in, given my circumstances, such as the doctrine of eternal families, having occasional alone time, watching my children grow.

True, I could look at the lives of some of these women and be jealous. To be honest, sometimes I am. The husband/provider, wife/caretaker dichotomy is something I worked really hard for, believed in, and lost. But though I mourn that loss for myself, I can also find joy in the evidence that it can work, and I find so much joy in the wonderful blessings I do still have.

So I don't think that happiness is a myth. I just don't think it is what some people think it is. And maybe that's why so many are "obsessed" with Mormon Mommy blogs. They sense something beyond the surface of reupholstering chairs, photographing children in pumpkin patches, and keeping a spotless house. Something that has nothing to do with lifestyle.

They sense the reality of happiness.
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