Tuesday, April 05, 2005

More on Mothers

I've been re-reading my post about mothers and I want to clarify a few things. I tend to be somewhat sarcastic and flippant and I would hate for readers to get the wrong impression based on my remarks. First of all, I want to emphasize that I don't think there's anything wrong with David O. McKay praising his mother. His remarks were obviously sincere, and full of the best feelings possible. It's wonderful that he loved and respected her so much. I would love for my children to feel that way about me, and in fact I feel the same way about my own mother.

My concern comes from my personal observation that this is the only view of motherhood we hear about in a church setting. I think it's more evidence of what is culturally acceptable to us as a people than it is of what mothers are actually like, or even what they should be like. In an effort to praise and respect motherhood and women, we end up with an unrealistic model of what the ideal woman should be like. Problems arise when we compare ourselves to this model. Not one of us is perfect. If we think we are supposed to be perfect, we're going to end up in a self-defeating spiral of shame and guilt about not living up to these expectations.

I get especially concerned when the model is primarily one of self-sacrifice and even self-deprecation. Maybe it's OK to complain when you're husband's spending all his time at work and leaving you entirely responsible for the children (especially if there are ten of them!) Maybe it's OK to assert yourself and ask for your own needs to be met. There's a happy medium somewhere between perfect patience and suffering in silence, and selfish nagging.

Thank you all for your comments. This is something I'll definitely keep thinking about in the future, especially as I make the (terrifying) transition to being a mother myself. I'm sure after I see what it's really like I'll have some different ideas.

1 comment:

  1. I think that you will be a great mother. And I am not just saying that. You are kind and patient and smart and you know how to think.

    I am excited to hear the thoughts you have after the fact.


Give it to me straight!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP