<written April ‘09 & posted on Mothers' Day 2009>
I’m not even going to apologize for this!
I’ve written lots about the value of motherhood, and of female qualities – & about patriarchy.
The thing that breaks my heart the most about patriarchy is that so many women have swallowed it so deep, they embody it now, essentially, and quite without knowing it, that they completely undervalue the wonderful female qualities of nurturing.
A lot of women these days seem to view motherhood as unimportant – “disposable,” even.
I think they are missing the boat entirely.
Raising children – doing it well & doing it joyfully – is the most rewarding job there is!
We often hear that many men realize too late – in their 50’s, perhaps – that they “missed the boat” where their children are concerned. They missed their childhood & growing-up years & the opportunity to develop close relationships with them.
I’ve also heard of women movie stars/celebrities who’ve expressed the same regret. They missed their children’s childhood because they were “too busy” – too busy doing so-called “important” things.
In my books, nothing-nothing-nothing trumps the joy – challenges – & rewards – of motherhood. These are endless & lifelong & they cannot be bought – or retrieved, either, if the opportunity is missed.
(Of course, too, our denigration of “women’s work” & our trashing of the Earth are not a “coincidence” – these are deeply intertwined.)
Let’s stop missing the boat, shall we? About motherhood – parenthood – & about the care of our own utterly irreplaceable mother – Mother Earth.
p.s. & if we choose not to (or cannot) have children of our own, let us remember the words of Amma Chi (1),
“The essence of motherhood is not restricted to women who have given birth; it is a principle inherent in both women and men. It is an attitude of the mind. It is love – and that love is the very breath of life. No one would say, ‘I will breathe only when I am with my family and friends; I won’t breathe in front of my enemies.’ Similarly, for those in whom motherhood has awakened, love and compassion for everyone are as much a part of their being as breathing.”
p.p.s. Since writing this, I've come across a quite lovely book about motherhood called Surrendering to Motherhood - Losing Your Mind, Finding Your Soul, by Iris Krasnow. A very honest & well-written account of the struggle to have & be it all, as a woman - & the joys of at last surrendering to motherhood... Wish I'd written it!!
(1) Also known as Amma, H.H. Mata Amritanandamayi & Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.