Why Ann stayed home

The language may seem antiquated or even oppressive — and certainly, Mormonism’s vocal feminist community has pushed back against such teachings — but many LDS women find their faith’s emphasis on motherhood empowering. Mormonism holds that families sealed in temples will be bound together “for time and all eternity” — a doctrine that places parenting in higher esteem than any secular accomplishments.

“There really is no greater career than that of a mother,” said Kathryn Skaggs, whose blog is called “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman.” “For me, knowing that, the work I’ve been engaged with as a stay-at-home mom over the last 30 plus years, has given me the greatest joy and fulfillment I could ever imagine. I can’t think of any career outside of the home that could ever have compared.”

Haglund said this determined focus on motherhood has built within Mormonism a mom-friendly infrastructure that allows families without the Romneys’ car-elevator-level wealth to manage to survive on a single income.