Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, or Not!

Happy Mother's Day, or Not!

I've known a few Mother's Days. Nothing like finally getting to church on Mother's Day after being up since 4:30 AM to nurse the baby, change the toddler, get him dressed, change the baby, feed the toddler. Figure out something to put into the oven for after church, and yes, my husband was helping too.

Then in church the sermon starts with, "Motherhood is woman's highest calling."
"Bah Humbug" was my response in those days, while a wiggly toddler refused to sit still on my lap. From that point on, I tuned out. Verbal bouquets just didn't cut it.

Don't tell me this is the be all and end all of my life.My value is not summed up in reproductive capability. I did not turn in my brains in exchange for the baby. I never felt more invisible in that traditional church than during those years with my kids crawling on and off my lap. No one seemed to remember I had a life and interests before kids, and that I would pick up where I left off again in what seemed then to be the far future.

Watch out for those churches that insist that motherhood is the only true biblical role for women. The same churches will also put you safely into the children's ministry where you won't threaten the "men's work." Your voice is not welcomed. Your advice is not sought. What place do the women without children have in the church if motherhood is the epitome of womanhood? Are they forever excluded from "true womanhood?"

Why is the wisdom learned during those child-rearing years not used to inform the decision-making process? So much about living- both joys and sorrows- are learned in motherhood. If motherhood is truly valued, then the wisdom acquired should be welcome at the board tables and from the pulpit. These stories are at least as valuable as sermon illustrations from sports and war.

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