A Few Thoughts on Motherhood
August, 2003 My daughter has asked me to write a few words about "motherhood" because she believes I know a lot about it. True, I have had a large family and been "mothering" a long time. I even remember when there was no such verb as "to mother". It was only a noun. But, then again we are living in the age of computer driven simplicity. Everything has to have a name and if there were no such verb as "to mother" how would we describe such an occupation, job, career, vocation, life's work, etc.?
Women are now Accounting, Lawyering, Policing, Modeling, Nursing, Doctoring, but "Mothering"? I don't know. What are the qualifications? What are the courses required? How does one get a degree? Are there any degree programs? Is there any recognition for a job well done? What are the rewards? What is the bottom-line? How does mothering contribute to society?
Yes, I know these are all rhetorical questions, but it makes one think, does it not? Just because some people have described it as a "thankless" job, does it have to be?
I remember when various European countries were granting children's allowances to encourage women to have more babies. Populations had been so decimated because of war. Countries needed future soldiers. "Cannon fodder"?
There was a time when mothering was an honorable profession. Is the same true for "child care" today? I do not believe so. Is it not one of the lowest paying jobs in the country? Where is the honor?
My active mothering days are over now. I am retired and 'resting on my laurels'. My children are grown and raising children of their own. My sons and daughters have far exceeded my hopes and dreams for them. They have turned out to be very fine people and when I was young and having them that was my aim and ambition for them. I believed with all my heart that the world needed good people and I did my best to achieve that goal; to give back to society good and worthy members.
I had a fantastic partner in my endeavor and that was my husband. Without his help and support and encouragement I never could have done it. At times raising the children was very hard. The work load alone was constant and demanding. The emotional load was sometimes very hard to bear. My husband gave me courage and belief in myself and my faith in God gave me strength, grace, understanding, growth, and appreciation. All of my life I have felt singularly blessed with the family I had. All of our children are very good to us. I feel surrounded by great love and affection.