~ JR Miller, Christian author
Have you figured out yet that our culture denigrates motherhood? Oh, to be sure and despite the tragedy of abortion-on-demand, celebrity “baby bumps” are glorified and wanted pregnancies are cheered. But once the little bundles arrive, it’s very often a different story.
At every turn, people feel justified in chiding women who leave paying jobs to stay home with their children – “Don’t you want to do something fulfilling instead?” – or worse: “You’re not a contributing member of society anymore.” And we’re inundated almost from the moment a child is eligible for outside daycare – usually at just six weeks of age – with assertions that we “need” to start letting the “experts” care for our children…in order to “do it right.”
Now, I’m absolutely not criticizing women who work outside the home because of real financial need. I also know that the hearts of some women who do have outside jobs are still with their children in the way JR Miller, above, describes.
But for too many, the invaluable role we play as future-shapers has been all but lost in the fog of feminism that’s been foisted upon us in the last 100 years. So we’ve been convinced that our mothering is ancillary because – after all, “experts” can do it for us.
Thus, Carrie hangs her head while mumbling that she's "just" an at-home mom, and braces for the almost inevitable onslaught of criticism. And Peg might say, “I’m a teacher. Oh, and I have three kids,” instead of “I’m a mother who substitute teaches.” Or Sue asserts, “I’m a psychologist and have two boys,” when she might really want to say, “I’m a mother, and I do counseling work, too.”
I don’t think mothering should engulf any woman’s whole identity – truthfully, our first answer when asked about ourselves should be “I’m a cherished child of God.” But I also think it’s time we begin swimming against the cultural tide and insist upon the recognition once again of what JR Miller understood – and what we who’ve ever welcomed children into our families know in our heart of hearts.
|Tina Hollenbeck blogs about Christian discipleship, homeschooling, parenting, and cultural issues at Being Made New and serves as the staff writer for Celebrate Kids, Inc. and the “Mothering Moments” columnist for her church’s women’s ministry newsletter. She homeschools two precious daughters and waits with anticipation the day she can see her oldest, who has been living in the arms of Jesus since being lost to a second-trimester miscarriage. She has been married for over 20 years and cherishes the rich, undeserved grace God has bestowed on her.|