I am glad . . . that I kept alive my own ambitions
even when it would have been much easier to become "a
home-loving heart who had no thought beyond her children."
—Nellie McClung, 1931
As mothers were so busy, they had little time to be publicly
active. Still, many women took leading roles in their
communities through their churches and local women’s clubs.
They advertised and prepared food for festivities, such as
Thanksgiving and Dominion Day. They lobbied local councils
to improve classroom conditions and provide basic
healthcare services to their communities. In some cases, the
women even took these responsibilities upon themselves.
Through these activities, women acquired and practiced the
leadership and organizational skills they would later use to
fight for province-wide causes, including prohibition and
For the most part, mothers remained committed to their
own families. As well as providing for their basic needs,
women raised their children to be hard-working,
responsible adults, who would contribute to society. Many
women testified to the reward of spending time with their
children and watching them grow up. As Henrietta Muir
Edwards said, "Motherhood is one of the greatest of God's