Thursday, October 1, 2009

What a mess

I want to interrupt my babymoon to share some of the thoughts and discussions we've had around here this past week and a half. It has been a very special time for us as a family getting to know this new little person, moving and adjusting to fit him into our family. He has been held almost constantly by someone, what more could he want really, but to be fed and held and loved by his very own family? I've questioned several times what would happen to him if he were headed to daycare in another four and a half weeks? He wouldn't be the center of anybody's universe anymore, certainly wouldn't be, couldn't be, held like he is now. I'm not disparaging anybody who cares for other's children, as a matter of fact my sister was a daycare provider for years. The children in her care were well taken care of and really got attached to her. But the point I'm trying to make is that nobody will ever love your children like you should, I'm not sure that comes completely by instinct though. Paul directs the older women to teach the younger women to " their children". I'm afraid that our society screams something quite different to women and families today, something that sounds a lot like "being a full time Mother is a waste of your time and talents, you were made for higher things, you just aren't cut out to be a stay at home Mother, I love my children but..." And, more unfortunate still, the "Church" is affirming the message; witness the church run daycare centers. What message does that send? The reasoning goes: they're going to put them in daycare anyway, it's better that the children are here where we can teach them about Jesus. Um, okay, so where does thinking lead? People will abuse their children anyway, better to be abused in "Church"? Men are going to cheat on their wives, it's better that the "Church" helps them cheat in a good environment? Pornography is a fact of life, it's better if the "Church" supplies it and can then control it?

I'm not sure that I qualify as one of the older women but I'd like to encourage you to delve into the Word and see what God says about children. After all, it matters little what I say if it doesn't line up with what God says. Families are being made a shipwreck, the Church is rendered ineffective, and society crumbles when we don't take God's plan seriously enough to apply it. I don't believe anything supersedes God's directive for Mother's to mother their children, not any career, not any "ministry", not anything. There is no higher calling for a women but to be allowed the privilege of training and discipling the children God has given you.

While in the hospital I had lots of conversations with the nurses and the midwife about many topics but I was astounded by the amount of anti-child comments that were made to me. Unloving and ungracious comments to even think much less to voice to someone who was in effect a complete stranger. They were speaking of their own children (teenage daughters were really singled out though) as a hassle, a trial, the ultimate low point in parenting. How would you feel if that's how you were viewed? And we wonder why they grow up and seem to be drifting, anchorless, confused and angry. I'd question a lot too. If we don't view the "least of these" as He does, we can't start claiming promises and expect everything to turn out like we want it to. It has to worth the effort to us to get the reward. Kelly has some thought provoking things to say on this same topic, I also recommend A Full Quiver by Rick Hess.


  1. Amen, Paris!! Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. I too have been astonished at how anti-child many people are, even "Christian" people. . .actually, most of the anti-child comments I've received have been from people I have at one time attended church with, such as "how can you stand to be at home with them all day long?" and "You need to get out more. It's not healthy for you to be with your kids so much" (!) etc. etc. I LOVE being home with my children, sure there are times when I'm not happy with them but thank God I can be there to help them realize their wrongdoing and punish it in a scriptural manner instead of having someone else put them in "time out" or look the other way. I hear horror stories about day care all the time. My husband calls them "child prisons". :)

    Your little man is so adorable. I love those cheeks! Enjoy your sweet new one!

  2. Oh my goodness -- you have just put into words my feelings exactly. That's why I'm trying like crazy to care for my baby by myself, even if I'm still having to work to make ends meet. I don't mind the occasional babysitter, but I loathe the idea of daycare. I know some mothers simply may not have the luxury of caring for their own children during the day, but I sure wish all mothers had that available to them.

    Sarah's right -- he's adorable!! Love the cheeks too!

  3. Amy, I applaud the sacrifices you and your DH are making to keep Victoria at home with her Mommy where she belongs! :-)


  4. As Sarah said, Amen! Well said! While you may not qualify in age--though I'm pretty sure you're older than Sarah, Amy and myself--you certainly qualify in maturity to teach and encourage us younger women! :)

  5. Wonderful post, Paris. I long for the day when I can stay at home. Hubby and I won't try for children until that happens. I think women need to read the word and do as God has clearly told us. Your baby is gorgeous, by the way. I'm glad you had a safe birth.

  6. I stayed at home to raise my kids and went to work only when I absolutely had to...and that work was taking care of other people's children, (no more than three at a time) so that I knew what was going on with my own. I couldn't see the point in leaving my child with a stranger to earn enough money to pay that person and have a couple hundred dollars left over to help out the budget. Not worth that paltry sum to hand my kids over to goodness knows who.

    Then again, somebody handed theirs over to me. They've been doing it for nearly 30 years now. My kids are grown, out of the house, and I still do this for a living. I enjoyed teaching preschool for ten years, part time.

    But it's being with a specific few special kids that I love. I loved staying home with my kids. And now I still do! And I get paid for what I used to do for free!

    I do understand about the 'older women' teaching the younger women. There's been some new studies about bonding that reveal that older women are generally much more able to quickly bond with a child than a younger one. Especially one not genetically related. My employer/best friend told me that she did not fall in love with her two babies for many months. I couldn't believe it when I heard it, for I had fallen in love with them the second I met them. As though they were my own. And if something ever happened to the parents, I could raise and love any one of these kids as my own, not a question or thought about it.

    This old as ages wisdom of the older teaching the younger could possibly apply to grandmothers. They've been through it all, know what to expect and can be a calming and understanding influence to a younger and frightened/nervous/overworked new mother.

    The girls I take care of I adore as though they were my own. I will probably not get 'real' grandchildren. Neither of my children are particularly enchanted by kids. If you aren't in love with them, I don't think you should have them. And if you don't get your own grandkids...I say, adopt somebody elses. Just as rewarding.

    These two girls are my adopted grandchildren and I will be in their lives till the day I die. Their 'real' grandparents they will never really know well, being in a foreign country. I need them and they need me.

    I think with age, wisdom and patience grows...and that might be why kids love their grandparents so much. They are just easier when together!

    I wouldn't trade my staying home with my kids for anything in the world, nor with the others I have raised for their parents, who have provided me with income and love in equal measure. It's been the greatest gift I have ever received, and God put me here to do it.

  7. A huge AMEN, Paris!

    And, what a beautiful little baby. :0)

    Dear Sarah Jane,

    What a blessing that your dear husband believes as do you. For sure the Lord raised up women to bear children and to raise them according to the gospel. I love the Lord so much and am very thankful that I was able to stay home until my little guy was nine. Would that I could have continued, but alas, that’s another story. Blessings to you, Sarah Jane.

    My most fond memories of motherhood were when my wee ones were small. Oh, what joy, pleasure, and love of the Lord they bring into your home. Praise the Lord for the little children, and is it no wonder why we are to become like them. I have loved all of my children at all of their ages and am thankful that the Lord gave me that love for them. Nonetheless, “bring unto me the little children.”

    Blessings to you Robin, for taking in others little ones. That is not an easy chore to do. They are very blessed by you, I am sure.

    Dear Ladies,

    Being a mother is the greatest calling that can ever be bestowed by our Heavenly Father. I feel so fortunate that I was able to partake in this blessing, especially at a time when “the hearts of the mothers turn from their children”. This is only a paraphrase of a scripture that I’m thinking about. The time when “the love of a mother waxes cold”. It’s a sad day indeed. What a blessing it is to commune with such ladies as yourselves and for you, Mrs. G, for allowing into your home.

    Blessings and Happy Day to you all!

  8. We personally know Rick and Jan Hess. They are wonderful people with a wonderful family. Nancy