Saturday, September 05, 2009

Motherhood

I remember so clearly the day my daughter was born. I held her in my arms and absolutely could not believe that this little bundle really belonged to me, but she did. She was my daughter, my responsibility, and with her daddy, we would form a unit. The first few days were spent trying to sleep between feedings and recover from the long labor and delivery process, and it was probably three days before my brain clicked into focus. I remember very clearly when it happened. I was changing her diaper in the middle of the night, hoping she'd go back to sleep after her feeding, and the strongest feeling came over me. The mantle of motherhood had been placed on my shoulders. This child had been sent to me by God as a precious gift, and it was my duty to care for her. I knew with every fiber of my being that I was being told by God to do my best by her. I was not to let up on the fulfilling of my duties, but I was to remain absolutely vigilant in her care, her keeping, and her protection.

Since then, I've had three sons, and with each, I've felt the same bestowal of authority, only not as strongly. I think it was felt most strongly the first time because such a charge had never been given to me before, and with the boys, it was a renewal of something I already had. But I have never doubted that these children belong to me, not just physically but in a spiritual sense, and that if I do not do everything in my power to care for them, I will be accountable to my God for that oversight.

This feeling of responsibility has affected me on many different levels. Some have seen me as being overprotective. Some think my decisions are a little strange. Others have questioned my methods. But in each case, I simply tell them that I know I've done what I needed to do for these particular children. I don't force my choices on other people - I'm a firm believer in free agency and the rights we all have to choose our own paths and to explore our own options. But I have made some decisions that are off the beaten path for most people, and that's okay. Their feelings of responsibility are leading them to do different things because every child is different and needs different things, and every parent knows what their own child needs.

This is why I'm looking at our current administration with a great deal of skepticism. Some of the programs that are being discussed will be of great benefit, but others are too rigid and will not allow parents to have the freedom to decide if that will or will not work for their own children. I'm concerned that the things that are currently being passed in as law will effectually bind us up rather than support the freedom we've always enjoyed in this nation. I want to continue to choose what I feel is right for my family.

There are those who support Obama 100% and there are those who believe he's the Anti-Christ. We've certainly seen a lot of division when it comes to the beliefs of the people regarding him. I've always believed that by their fruits ye shall know them, and I'm watching those fruits. I'm watching them very, very carefully.

12 comments:

Monica English said...

Beautiful post. I feel the same way about my parenting choices - not typical or mainstream, but they are where I feel I have been led. I think this was particularly poignant today as two of my boys celebrated birthdays yesterday.

Cheri Chesley said...

The most alarming thing to me in recent years are the steps taken that limit a parent's right and responsibility to choose what is right for their individual child. I resent blanket statements and general rules meant for the better of all children, but that really fit no child. Each child is an individual; they react and respond to the same things differently. Yes, we must watch very carefully.

Terresa said...

I like your thoughts about the mantle of motherhood. And that you never doubted your children belonged to you, not just physically but in a spiritual sense.

Powerful, beautiful words. If more parents in the world felt that (especially in the spiritual sense & that responsibility), the world would be different and better place.

L.T. Elliot said...

My mantle of parenthood is sacred; sacrosanct. I jealously guard that right and I am watching carefully too.

Karen Gowen said...

There has been talk of Obama speaking in the schools this week. My son who's a senior said Jordan School District won't be showing his speech. I'm not sure why, but I am glad of their decision.

He didn't understand it, but I explained to him that it strikes me as odd that a president would choose to speak to school children in this way, without the parents in attendance. Why not speak to them in the evening on national tv, as families? What is he going to say that the parents can't be a part of? I think it sets a dangerous precedent.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm told the speech will be streamed live on the Internet so parents can see it too - but I like your idea of showing it in the evenings so parents and children can discuss it. That makes the most sense to me.

Framed said...

Remembering the birth of my children brought tears to my eyes. What great memories. I have a hard time with people who criticize parenting choices because it is so subjective and personal, unless the choice means neglect or harm. I've seen all types of great parents and the children almost always turn out just great. Way to stand up for your choices and make me feel good about mine.

Shellie said...

I sit in the middle somewhere. Not the answer to every prayer nor the anti-Christ, just someone trying to do what he thinks is best, sometimes I don't agree, sometimes I do. As for parenting, I agree with you 100%. I trust MY kids to think for themselves and to discuss what they see or hear with me; I'm not afraid of a speech.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Very touching and so well put! I'm watching very closely as well.

Brillig said...

Your family's just like mine! One girl and then three boys. I probably knew that at some point, but I hadn't remembered it till now. I love reading about those feelings of first-mother-ness. Beautiful.

berlinwritergirl said...

Thanks for a lovely post. I wish the politicians could understand this. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Why can't it be, some good now, and then take time to think about the other things!

Cindy Beck said...

Enjoyed your musings on when your children were born. Raising children is an awesome responsibility.

As for the current political administration, I suppose time will tell. And in the meantime we should support the causes we feel are just.

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