Living and trying to raise kids in mormon-dominated state


#1

Hello. I posted on another thread, but have been struggling since I moved to Utah to “fit in”. It is about a 60/40 split so they say that there are 60% mormons and 40% non-mormons. I highly disagree, but who cares.

I try my best to break down the mormon cliques in my new neighborhood. They really take care of their own and I have become good friends with a girl that lives just around the corner that is mormon and doesn’t care what religion I am. She invites to a lot of mormon things and I’m highly appreciative. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the women that are a little more “accepting” that I’m not mormon, but I still feel like an outcast and still feel like I’m constantly being judged. There are some women in the neighborhood who don’t even talk to me… they stay in their own little cliques and don’t go outside those cliques. Mostly, I worry about my kids growing up here and the fact that all of the children in the wards (church) play together but my kids don’t because they aren’t LDS. I worry they will be outcasts and be judged. I hear a lot of that around here and it just plain isn’t fair. I can’t be a baby, I have to suck it up.

I have no family here (duh, who would want to move here)… and won’t be able to move for another 3 years because my husband owns a restaurant. I’m just curious if there’s anybody in Utah that belongs to these boards and if so how did you overcome barriers?

Thank you for listening and for your response.


#2

I think I would have a really hard time there too. I had a friend whose husband was being transferred to SLC and they investigated this fairly thoroughly. She settled on Park City as it had a lot less of the mormon-domination. They are Catholics and have lived there for about two years and are pretty happy.


#3

I too heard this. Even my non-catholic friend talked herself and her DH out of moving there for this very reason. She heard she would be out-cast from PTA etc. I see again, this is true, and my prayers are with you momma. Big hugs, must be soooooooooo hard.
:hug3:


#4

Would seem important to be deeply involved in Parish life. Remember - our Parish is to be a family!


#5

Welcome to Utah! What do you think of this crazy weather???:rolleyes:

It can be difficult to be a non Mormon in Utah but like a previous poster said, get involved with your Parish. In high school all my golf buddies were LDS and I never felt like I fit in so I started volunteering with the Diocesan Youth Ministry program and I’ve made a lot Catholic friends. If you have kids I highly recommend you send them to Youth events the diocese has throughout the year as it will help them make Catholic friends. And remember that not all Mormons are that bad. My best friend is a returned missionary and he’s pretty normal.


#6

I apologize if I came off wrong or mistated - I did not mean to say that all mormons are mean or rude or not kind. I live in a 50/50 neighborhood, where about 50% of the neighbors embrace us and are kind and get us involved in stuff and others don’t. I am kind to everyone and went around and introduced myself to others as soon as we moved in. We have non-practicicing catholics behind us and a family up the street that are christian fellowship. I love being involved in their church and doing stuff with the mom’s, etc, but I don’t want to make that a habit. The mom’s group at my church is not very accommadating in my view and I can see how the LDS people stick together because they have so many activities and are so involved in each others lives. I wish our church up north would have more activities for children - everything is sending your kids here or there and it cost money a lot of the times. We are a single parent income and stretch our dollar each month… Why can’t we just have church activities at the church and be involved more and do stuff that is just free and fun? Just venting I guess.

I guess all I can do is continue to be open to them, to always be kind to our neighbors and pray that the 3 years we have left here will go by faster than I can say, “Texas here I come”.

Thanks for listening.

Edited to say: Park City is a blast and I would LOVE to live there because it is VERY liberal and my type of living… however my husband’s restaurant is located north of slc, and it’s not even an option for us to live in Park City. If I wasn’t married, and had to live in Utah, Park City would be my choice FOR SURE. :slight_smile:


#7

I’d suggest you get to know the DRE at your Parish. They may be just waiting for you to come in and assist in setting up some things for young children and the parents who love them :slight_smile:


#8

What is the DRE? Director of Recreational Events? Sorry, I’ve never really been involved in social activities at a parish because I’ve worked full-time until a few months ago.

I think it’s very good advice, I need to get involved at our church more-

Thanks.


#9

I’m just praying for you because I noticed you’ve just moved to a new area that’s difficult to figure out and you have a brand new baby! Plus two others!

As far as your kids growing up there - they are young and in three years they’ll still be rather little. I would think if you could rely on your parish they’d be okay faith wise. It’s you that will have a long three years!


#10

Director of Religious Education :slight_smile:

They will be running CCD (Sunday School) and will have a pulse on what goes on for kids. There may be VBS (Vacation Bible School) getting ready now.


#11

I hope this doesn’t sound like I am not a neighborly person, but I would be careful being open to them. Friendly and neighborly, yes, but not open to them. They are mormon and you are not. Many mormons would love nothing more than for you to be open to them.

I have struggled with my sister and her husband along with their children being mormon for many years. I know very well about the clicques, and how they shun non-mormons. I live in Chandler, AZ which is populated with lots of mormons. My daughter has invited two girls over from her class who are mormon for play dates. They have never come back. This is common, once the parents figure out you are not mormon, and even worse once they find out you are Catholic. They shun the non-practicing mormon kids even worse.

I would look at this as a great learning experience for your children. Teach them to love their neighbors no matter what. Teach them to turn the other cheek. They will be stronger as a result.


#12

This might not be much of a help or comfort, but… What you are describing about the cliques, and folks that don’t talk to you sounds a lot like my part of town. The largely Catholic population rarely speak to or open up to me or my wife and kids, although we are also Catholic. The mode of thinking in the area seems to be to stick with those whom you’ve known your whole life, and don’t worry about meeting new people… I find that in many cases, it’s not religious differences that keep people closed off from one another. Instead, people are just plain rude or not welcoming, regardless of religious views. Try not to take offense at those who ignore you. It’s very possible they just don’t care to meet anyone new, not that they don’t want to associate with you because of your religion.

I lived in Utah myself for a while, and found everyone very welcoming and nice. But, I was young and single, and perhaps was seen as a good candidate for conversion :slight_smile: Things might be different if I return with my wife and 4 kids, attending Catholic church and listening to Catholic radio now!


#13

We live in northern utah…layton/syracuse area and the parish is just not very welcoming. I’ve noticed other nice people that are about our age (mid-30’s), but nobody talks to you- I just don’t get it. Know I understand why mormons are so successful in conversion and are so successful as a religion- they are so involved and have so many acitivies. They all know I’m catholic, we just don’t talk religion AT ALL. I just had a visiting teacher come over and she’s very nice. We didn’t talk religion at all, just sat and chatted about everyday things- life, work, kids’, etc. Maybe they are secretly trying to convert me. It will never happen though. I’ve lived here for 7 years and only had one experiece with a missionary.

I do need to get more involved in my church though. I wish we did the acitivities that the mormons do.

Maybe this saturday I could leave the kids’ with a neighbor and go to mass and talk to somebody there, get some names and get more involved.

Thanks for listening and for all the advice.


#14

Hi! I am from the East Coast and have been in Utah for seven years this April. I have an almost 7 yr old, 3.5 yr old and a baby on the way! I don’t live near you but I wish i did because then I could help you meet some people. I live in Herriman (west of Riverton) so not too far for a get together somewhere in between but I don’t really help with the day to day stuff.

Anyway, when I moved here I was so worried about the things you speak of. I joined a parish, MOPS, and MOMS Club. My husband is not Catholic and doesn’t attend Mass with me. This makes it tough but not impossible. I teach pre K religious ed and am den leader for my son’s cub scout den. These two things help me to meet others in my parish. We have some really close friends that are Catholic. We also have close friends that are Christian non denominational and Lutheran. The Mormons where I live are cliquey but they are friendly to me and the kids. My kids play with theirs sometimes but mainly their best friends are through other things. I just love MOMS Club. It’s gotten me playgroups and some really good friends. It’s an international support organization for SAHM’s. Check out the website: www.momsclub.org to find a chapter near you. Also, MOPS is a big support for me. www.mops.org for a meeting place near you. MOPS is a Christian support group for mothers of preschoolers. They meet twice a month (with childcare) for some spirtual mom time. Another way I met some great friends is through www.matchingmoms.com . You put in your info, including religion, and can be matched with moms that have similar interests and kids the same age as yours. I hope some of this helps. I’d love to email you more too. I know it’s so hard for someone to move here. But with the right friends you’ll grow to love it so much you won’t want to leave. I don’t.

I’m wondering if anyone knows of any parishes offering VBS in the Salt Lake Valley this summer? I really want to send my kids. My friend goes to a non-denominationl church that is having one. I would send them there if I can’t find a Catholic one. Any help is appreciated!

Monica


#15

Once upon a time, there was a man walking along a dirt path of a road when a young man approached him.

The young man asked, “I am a traveler and I am headed to that town behind you. Could you tell me what the people there are like?”

The old man asked, “Well, what were the people like where you came from?”

The young man said, “Well. . .as a matter of fact, not that great. . .I found them to be rude, often boorish, and generally unfriendly. I couldn’t wait to get out of that town and move on.”

The old man said, “I am afraid you will find that town to be the same.”

The old man continued on for awhile when another traveler stumbled upon him and asked, “I am a traveler and I am headed from the town behind you. I was wondering if you could tell me what they were like?”

The old man asked, “Well, what were the people like where you came from?”

The traveler said, “Well, I’ll tell you. The people in the town I lived before were about the nicest you’d ever find. They were neighborly, kind, and there was a real sense of community there. I wouldn’t have left if I really didn’t have to.”

The old man said, “You’ll find the town you are headed to has the exact same kind of people.”


#16

Oh Monica, you are so sweet. I actually have an acquaintance that lives in Herriman. I use to work with her. Her husband was born and raised catholic… kind of fell away from the church got this girl pregnant (that I work with) and they have a 5 or 6 year old son. She wants more than life itself to have her son go to Juan Diego, so she converted to catholicism in order to do so. Good idea I know! :frowning:

I would love to get together somewhere in the middle…like say Sandy or something. You aren’t that far away at all, it’s just that my other friends never want to make the drive anywhere to meet up.

I actually live in a pretty good neighborhood. If I had family a tiny bit closer, I think it would make things a bit easier for me as a SAHM.

Anyway, I will private message you and maybe we could get together.

Thanks for responding-


#17

Funny thing is the town I live in is great. People are friendly, helpful, and courteous. I go South a couple of towns, and man, I am shocked by how rude and self-absorbed people are. They don’t hold open doors. They cut you off in the parking lot. Glad I live where I do.


#18

Yes, Sandy would work too. Or the zoo, aquarium, park day, I’m up for anything. Yes, being a SAHM and not having family near is really tough at times. I’ve noticed my friends become my extended family. I’m blessed to have such great friends to lean on. I’ve also been there for them too. It’s a give and take.

I would LOVE my kids to go to catholic school but it would require me going back to work. I don’t think that is the best decision for such young kids so we’ll wait a bit on that.

We’ll talk soon. I PM’d you my email address so feel free to email me instead of posting here. :slight_smile:

Monica


#19

Hey Monica, I didn’t get your pm, but I’m pm’d you twice.

Did you get my messages? I sent you my email address.


#20

You are lucky if 50% embrace you; I have never lived in a neighborhood with that high of a percentage. It could be worse…

Annie


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