Friday, July 06, 2007

The Importance of Motherhood

I will not even begin to say that I agree with everything Chesterton had to say about women and motherhood in his book What's Wrong with the World, but I certainly appreciate this (rather famous) quote of his:

How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.

There is much I disagree with in his essay, but I appreciate the fact that he saw women as the center -- the hub -- of family life. I like the thought that it is my vocation to raise these precious children entrusted to us. [I think my husband would do a fantastic job as well, if he had been called upon to do it; however, the task is mine, and Lord willing I will do it by His grace to the best of my ability.]

I am honored and awed by the fact that *I* am the one who sets the tone of my home. I am the one who creates a cozy, warm, inviting environment. I am the one who teaches them their first prayers, how to share, how to get dressed and make beds, how to interact with others, how to read, how to butter toast and make a cake. I am the one who has been privileged to introduce them to the wonderful world of bugs, birds, and flowers. I have taught them songs, hand games, and how to tie shoes.

I have potty trained five children successfully.

I am awed and humbled by the fact that they will forever remember MY way of doing things as "the right way" -- the right way to cook spaghetti, fold towels, or decorate a house. Everything I do is imprinting itself upon the souls of my children, and they will carry that with them for the rest of their lives.

I am deeply grateful for all my husband does. He is a FANTASTIC dad and cares and plays with them in ways that are beyond me. He does everything a father should do for his children, and then some. I am not belittling his role in the least; in fact, everyone who knows me and my family knows that we think Daddy hung the moon and the stars! And yet, when others comment on how well-behaved our children are, he is quick to say, "Thank you. I really think the compliment goes to my wife, because she is with them all day and they learn so much from her."

I am grateful, awed, and humbled by the task that God has given all Moms. May we live lives worthy of our calling!

h/t to Ignatius Insight Scoop


Beth said...

What a great post! You always give me good things to think about. It's a big responsibility, isn't it?

Amy said...

Beautiful post!

I remember reading somewhere about John (the apostle) recognizing that it MUST have been Jesus who left the tomb on his own accord because of how the covering was folded in the tomb... as if Jesus had a certain "way" of doing things. The essay hinted that he probably learned that "way" from His mother. That always struck me as so awe inspiring. :)