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Mama, Feeling Obsolete? Is Motherhood unnecessary since we reached Equality?

Updated on May 12, 2016

Mama at work

Mom enjoying her daughter at work
Mom enjoying her daughter at work | Source

It is easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken people – paraphrased from S.T. Cathy, James Dobson, Frederick Douglas and Jack Levine “Learning to fly” essay.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat bread in idleness & Her children rose up and called her blessed; her husband also, and he praised her. Many daughters have done valiantly, but thou dost excel them all. Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but the woman that fears the LORD shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31: 27 - 31 [1]

21st Century Beauty Only Skin Deep?
21st Century Beauty Only Skin Deep? | Source

Motherhood - Producers & Builders of Our Communities

I have been a mama for close to 20 years and been the recipient of mothering for about 50 years and I have seen & felt the social climate change regarding moms and motherhood. With bewilderment I’ve observed the trickling effect of the postmodern freedom movement which has become a tsunami of neo-classical liberalism (all driven by sex, drugs & media) leading to “equality” of the sexes. We seem to believe we are equal in our “mother” and “father” hood too apparently, those strictly different terminologies & characteristics of the raising up of the next generation of mothers and fathers is now equalized by the laws of the land. I am not advocating going back to strict gender bias and traditions but there is something to be said for reviewing & restructuring our present course of action because we have more negative fallout than expected: more world-wide poverty* than ever before.

Unfortunately, we were, are and ever will be creatures of habit where we tend to absorb the new changes rather than fight against them, even when we know we are heading for destruction (that’s called normalcy bias). Case in point: the number of people who are struggling with addictive behavior or habits in early childhood that have been “allowed” to become “normal” lifestyles[2]. Believe it or not, I was a kid too, once upon a time. I was subject to popular opinion and peer pressure to go ahead “just do it” or “you’ll look great doing it” or “it’ll empower you”. My least favorite punch lines I have learned to be weary of: “it’s just a little lie” & “everyone’s doing it”.[3] Now as an adult woman, wife and mother I still get subjected to the peer pressure but of a different kind but this time it involves more than just me it involves my children and by extension other’s children and that by the ripple effect affects our communities where we live.

If I can describe our present predicament with this illustration: moms (and dads) are driving on American roadways where all the traffic rules were established and everybody seemed to understand them. If you messed up you got a ticket, your insurance premium might go up or if you screwed up big time you could be facing jail-time, your license suspended etc., we understood all that. Then all of sudden we were subjected to new traffic rules. We were required to give right-of-way to left-driving motor vehicles, yield and perform evasive maneuvers for obviously confused jay-walkers who thought they were vehicles too… [4] The American rules (which were closely aligned with Biblical rules) have changed almost 180 degrees and we are heading for gridlock and complete breakdown of our commonsense way of life. For now we are admonished: not to worry (and not to fight), this is normal and that these changes are really solutions to our previous problems and that everything is just fine and these new rules are to bring equality and fairness to everyone….

Motherhood and community building can be compared to gardening. You start off with a dream of a future of good things but in order to bring it to fruition you need to plan and act. You sow, water, fertilize, weed, prune and harvest (reap & repeat) - often times it is back, heart and spirit-breaking work but it will be good and yield good things (fruit) for you and your community. Your mothering is good work and it is not comparable to the work the father does. It is complimentary, supportive but different work - not equal work of fatherhood. If it was equal work we should get equal remuneration (note: all that unpaid mothering would equal to: $ 122 K [ in 2009 - http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/mothers-pay). Motherhood has always been and continue to be a "service" oriented type of job/livelyhood - the value of this type of service is invaluable and will always be subject to economic & cultural discrimination and norms. So with a stroke of a pen or a change of a mindset they can make our motherhood feel obsolete and valueless.

Normalcy Bias Requirements: Remain Blind, Deaf and Dumb
Normalcy Bias Requirements: Remain Blind, Deaf and Dumb | Source

20th Century Motherhood – the silent yet essential partner in community building.

Mothers at the turn of the century had to cover up body parts, bumps & areas (i.e., whole legs, bellies, brains or mouth and in some cases everything) that might hint at the female human being[5]yet perform Amazonian feats of strength, skill and flexibility. Women were generally the silent partner & keeper of the home/homestead[6]: which meant she was the builder & maintainer, mom, wife, babysitter, teacher/disciplinarian (kids were taught at home), farmer (for food), cook (for nourishment), seamstress, psychologist/nurse, ambassador etc. just to name a few but mostly unpaid jobs (some moms even had home-businesses). Mom’s in those days had to contend with the pioneering lifestyles and the “wilderness” which came in the shape of horses, bears, lions, crocodiles, snakes and other wild creatures and plants & trees, outlaws and weather that was either an enemy or a friend.[7] But you understood clearly who & what your enemy looked like and that they wanted to destroy your family and community; and that friends were there to care, uphold & strengthen your family and you theirs (that’s what community is and does).

21st Century Motherhood – Still Passionate & Vocal Community Builders

Most mamas nowadays have two jobs. [8] They still have the “normal” (unpaid) work of raising a household of children, but they are also expected to blaze another trail in the world of paying work. All for the sake of equality - a term that sounds so benign and unassuming, yet can wreak tremendous damage if not used properly. Common-sense rules of yesteryear are out the window and the boundaries of social acceptance are ever shortening & widening to be as inclusive and non-discriminatory as possible. It is like looking at the tip of an iceberg where the unseen (unknown) is what causes the most harm.

21st Century culture is one driven by sensationalism & emotionalism that is unprecedented. Popular cultural trends run parallel to the frenzy surrounding the Hollywood hoopla, honoring and promoting selfish ambition and significance and "exposing" as much flesh as possible. It is a vicious cycle of highs, lows, disillusionment, heartbreak and causes poverty.[9]

This mama considers herself a friend of yours and therefore she cares, upholds and strengthens the families and community where she lives. So as your friend I’d like to admonish you not to be so quick to get on the equality band-wagon and unknowingly accept the enemy in your family and community who’s acting like a friend. Moms, give yourself permission to be the vocal mother and to act like the head of the household and teach your kids at home what being a friend truly means and how not to be “friends” with the world which is in “wilderness” right now and far from the protective rules found in His Word.[11] I’m sure that if the Creator decided that we women & men were equal to the task of motherhood then He would’ve stopped with Adam, don’t you think?[12]

I have heard it from the mouths of many adult children, men & women alike, that their mama was and is their best friend in this world. So ladies, if you don’t hear or feel the “love” from your loved ones this Mother's Day (or any day for that matter) let me offer my heart-felt thanks, love and respect to all of you moms: do NOT ever feel obsolete or unnecessary - nothing could be further from the truth!

A mom and her family enjoying their outing
A mom and her family enjoying their outing | Source

Footnotes

* Definition of poverty - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poverty

[1] Worldark Magazine Article - Breaking the Code: about breaking restrictive gender norms in Cambodia www.heifer.org/join-the-conversation/magazine/2016/summer/breaking-code.html. & Frederick Douglass – Freed American slave who worked tirelessly to abolish slavery in 1800's; S.T. Cathy – Founded a charity to mentor young men, Founder & CEO of Chick-fil-A; Dr. James Dobson – Focus on the Family Founder & author of many books on the family; Jack Levine from www.4Gen.org wrote an essay titled: Learning to Fly, referencing a caterpillar who built a cocoon and then was “rescued” from its “prison”-like pre-butterfly stage (hood) – he stated that: “Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life if nature allows us to go through our life without any obstacles it could hamper us we could not be as strong as what we could have been. Giving children all they seem to need and trying to protect them from every mishap may not be good for their growth and development allowing others to make mistakes as a way of allowing them to test their abilities to solve problems learning from mistakes as a way of promoting positive alternatives in life… learning to fly”. My revised version of the old proverb: “All Work and No Play makes Jack a Dull Boy” needs to be turned into “All Play and No Work makes Jack a Foo(ish) Boy” & Check out this 21st Century Proverbs 31 mother at: www.BreadBeckers.com or Hearts at Home Author and Mom: jimdaly.focusonthefamily.com/moms-need-friendships/

[2] Research has shown that the earlier a child starts with a bad or addictive habit the worse the addiction/habit is in their adult life info NOPE booklet: www.nopetaskforce.org & http://bit.ly/digital-pornography-addiction

[3] Is this Empowerment or Exploitation? https://beta.theodysseyonline.com/we-shouldnt-equate-nudity-to-empowerment

[4] Our Federal government & Target trying to make us believe that those that “believe” they are a certain gender need to be allowed access to specific gender bathrooms of their choosing (money.cnn.com/2016/04/20/news/companies/target-transgender-bathroom-lgbt/).

[5] http://www.whattoexpect.com/tools/photolist/100-years-of-maternity-fashion

[6] Home = Household which consisted of caring for biological children, “adopted” children, husband/partner, servants/workers, etc.

[7] Pioneering life references: these authors did significant research into Pioneer & Indian cultures – Books: Indian Captive, The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski & The second bend in the river by Ann Rinaldi

[8] Sandberg, Sheryl: Lean In – Women, Work and The Will to Lead - https://www.facebook.com/leanincommunity & End of men by Hannah Rosin

[9] Book: American Girls – Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales & Booklet: Sometimes God Has A Kid’s Face – the stories of America’s Untouchables & Unreachables by Sister Mary Rose McGeady/ Covenant House & Review on the book by Hannah Rosin: www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/books/review/the-end-of-men-by-hanna-rosin.html?_r=0

[10]http://wfla.com/2016/04/12/police-warn-parents-about-drug-laced-candies-snacks/ & http://wbay.com/2016/04/16/police-candy-that-made-kids-sick-in-florida-was-laced-with-thc/ & http://penews.org/features/beaten-prostituted-starved-for-nearly-11-years-she-thanks-god-for-her-life

[11] Genesis 1 – 3; Isaiah 40:8 & Genesis 3:20 – Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20) - biblegateway.com or biblehub.com

Slow Down by Nicole Nordeman

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