In Praise of Motherhood

The battle of the sexes is never-ending, even here at RedState. On Thursday, as our editorial team discussed coverage for Mother’s Day weekend, the discussion began thusly: “Since three of the five of us are mothers….” We noted how cool it is that our editorial team is “majority mom,” and (tongue-in-cheek) that “girls rule, boys drool.” To which one of the testosterone-dominant members of the editorial team replied, “Yeah, but can you turn your brain off at will, detach emotion from any given situation, and pee standing up? The defense rests.”

Of course, the estrogen-filled birthing persons couldn’t let that stand, seeing that we always have to have the last word. One of us then said:

“Can you form and grow a complete human being in your own body, nourishing it to full life, and then birth it in the most intense pain you’ll ever know and then go back to your life as if you didn’t just host an alien lifeform in your womb for 10 months?”

Followed up with:

“And actually LOVE that alien lifeform after it gave you all that pain?”

The patriarchy then blah-blah-blahed something about being able to drive without killing people, which we ignored.

I was reminded, though, how much I love being a mom and how incredibly blessed I am to have had the opportunity to grow three humans in my body and raise them to adulthood (my youngest turns 18 in just a few weeks). I love my career and am grateful for the success I’ve had, but no professional accomplishment compares to whatever I accomplish as a mother and grandmother. No professional accomplishment means a thing if I can’t share it with my children. Motherhood is the most challenging and physically demanding job there is, and it’s crazy how when one reflects on the journey it’s the good times that first come to mind, not the challenges.

Our conversation also reminded me of a piece I wrote way back in March 2012, when I had just started blogging, on International Women’s Day. I’m reprinting it here with some slight modifications, and hope you enjoy it.

“Today I am so grateful that I am a woman who was born in the United States at the time I was born. I have the opportunity to freely express myself as a woman (and own the consequences). Yes, there are multiple ways in which the Feminist/ERA movement has harmed my generation, but today I’m about gratitude.

“Gratitude that because I am a woman I can be a mom. I loved the feeling of growing a human being inside my body, feeling the child kick and move and sit on my ribs. I loved knowing this person before birth – feeling a connection that only intensified in that second they were placed on my belly after birth. I love that as a woman my body is soft and snuggly – not manly – to provide a comforting hug.

The author and her granddaughter.

I love creating a peaceful home for my boys. Call me crazy, but most of the time I even love the laundry and cooking and cleaning that goes with it.  It’s how I show my love.  I love that the people I have the most fun with are the ones that I gave birth to. 

The author and her children.

“I love that as they grow up, when something bad or good or funny happens they want to tell ME.

“I love that as a woman I have a quiet strength – I don’t have to stomp and scream to make a point.  A confident woman can assess a situation and quietly affect change. I enjoy that mystical thing called woman’s intuition.  I am concerned with feelings and flowers, and love jewelry and high heels. I like pretty dresses and handbags and everything girly.

“I also have a career, pay my own bills – don’t rely on a man for anything material at all. Someday I would love to be in a relationship where we are equals, with a man who appreciates and celebrates my femininity.  Until then, I’m secure and happy with myself as a woman and don’t look to a man to give me worth.

“So, in honor of International Women’s Day I say thank you to God for letting me be born in a time and place where my confident voice would not get me killed.  Thank You for allowing me to be a mother – a way to fully express myself as a woman and influence the next generation.”