Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Girl Gone Postal or a Generous Feminity...Thoughts on Motherhood

Okay. Let out that breath you've been holding. Here it is. Here are some of the thoughts that have been swimming around my head that I discussed in A Generous Femininity: Why I Am A Traditional/Progressive Woman in a Post Modern, Post Evangelical, Post Feminist, Post Cereal World (I think the title of that post was longer than the post itself!)

I am sick to death of the "Mommy Wars" and would like to move beyond them. Neither the blessings of traditional motherhood or the important gains of feminism are wrong or mutually exclusive. I consider myself a stay at home mom and a working mom. Impossible to reconcile? Not at all. I actually feel like I am living the best of both worlds.

I have the advantage of a husband who thinks that as a mom I should put the kids first, and works hard and creatively so that I can keep my primary time focus on them. However, he also sees that God has called me to ministry and is my #1 supporter and arranges his work schedule so that when I need to work out of the house, he is the primary caregiver, homeschool teacher and all around fun dad to our kids. As parents we want our family to be healthy, close and adventurous--that is why we homeschool. For others this might seem like too much of a sacrifice of time or lost income, but when your family is the top priority, then the rest is secondary. Consider the lillies of the field...they neither labor nor spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

I worked part-time through all of my pregnancies, either because I was in seminary full-time or caring for my other children full-time, and never took a lengthy maternity leave. I also, however, nursed my children for at least a year and simply brought my infant along for whatever work commitments I had. I know that this is an unusual situation, but it shouldn't be. Why can't a nursing mother bring her child along with her wherever she goes--even to work! This all makes me sound like a hippie-chick, which I actually am not. My nursing babies were very content as long as they were with me. Colicky babies may be different, but fortunately we didn't have any.

I know that this made some people wonder about me because I was hard to categorize. Staying at home with the baby--that people understand. Leaving the baby home with others--that people understand. But to do both? You get lots of quizzical looks, until people get used to it. But why not? Why not set a course for your family that is unique and faithful to who you are called to be? Why fill cultural or subcultural expectations just to belong? Why not carve out your own niche and not worry about the naysayers?

My next rant will be on marriage, I think...

Micah Girl

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