Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mother's Day Musings

I wrote this on Facebook today and it made my mother comment on how she misses my blog posts.  That's awesome because she was about the only one reading them, but I'll go ahead and post this here.

I had to look up Ann Lamont's blast on Mother's Day. Ouch.

Although I'm not entirely in disagreement, especially the part of ushering in whiny kids, a husband and a mother into a restaurant (overly crowded). It's taken many years to let go of my expectations for this holiday. They could never be fulfilled. Yet daily, my kids completely overwhelm me with their awesomeness. I don't own that, I overtly practice giving them the space for them to become themselves. I am happy to witness it.

My journey into motherhood began with many failed attempts at pregnancy only to learn I was infertile. This was devastating, especially having been raised in a culture in which women's most esteemed role was in becoming a mother. It left me without purpose, empty and broken. I persevered, determined to live out my purpose, and fortunately, fertility treatments worked. Left behind were all those women for whom it did not. Were their lives any less meaningful? It called into question the entire foundation I had constructed my beliefs, especially when learning I was having a girl. I could not justify raising her in such a patriarchal environment when I could not stand it myself. She would never believe that her purpose would be so limited.

I agreed with Ann Lamont when she says, "... Mother’s Day celebrates a huge lie about the value of women: that mothers are superior beings, that they have done more with their lives and chosen a more difficult path."

Parenting is a wonderful experience. However, I can't imagine it is the only thing that can offer a person a sense of fulfillment and opportunities at unconditional love. I cannot speak for my sister who never became a parent, but I see the lives she's touched as a daycare provider in the children that keep coming back to her to thank her. I don't think Hallmark created the daycare provider day to go back and thank the most awesome woman who opened her home to you. To think, not just two or three, she's loved hundreds.

My other sister is at the edge of the world rebuilding a life beyond mothering. She writes frequently of building joyful, meaningful relationships. She has touched the lives of thousands.

Daily, I am surrounded by mothers as we share our homeschool journey. We encourage and support one another because raising kids is hard work and not always fulfilling. The more I share with these other mothers, the more grounded I feel. It's like working in a really tough job, but having awesome associates and a supportive boss (kind of like my last year at MCI before having my first kid).

Parenting is awesome. But there is a reason why people who have children have a lesser degree of happiness (I'll try to find the reference). There is a whole lot more worry, sleepless nights, stress, and simply monotonous work (laundry anyone?).

There are plenty of other jobs in our society that are essential and worthy.

On Mother's Day, I don't want to go out to eat (because yes, Ann, I'm on a diet, well sort of, I'm juicing). Nor will I make a big deal whether my kids make me something special or not. I want to go for a long walk by the lake with my husband who has been out of town all week, play video games with my kids, and sit around and knit while binge watching something good on Netflix. In other words, we'll do what we typically do on a Sunday.

Happy day.