I recently read the following:
I am totally convinced that once a woman has borne a child, she owes that child herself more than anything else in the first five years of his life…
I fear that raising emotion-starved and love-starved children can produce calloused, robotized adults—people who follow the group in straight lines and do exactly what everyone else is doing, because someone has said it is time.
I fear for the working mother who is deluded to believe that some kind, patient woman will tend to her child’s emotional needs until she can take over, that someone else will see that her child discovers he is unique, until she can pick him up at the end of the day—when she is perhaps so tired that the best he can hope to hear is, “It’s time to go to bed.”
I fear for the future of the child whose hunger for love and recognition must be satisfied in large groups. I beg mothers to wake up, to experience the precious dawning of their child’s life with him. Evening comes quickly—but the evening may be too late.” Rita Chapman of Dallas, Texas as quoted in Blueprints for Living
As I read these words my first thoughts were, “Wow! That’s strong medicine!” But hearing the news, and observing the heartbreak that is taking place in homes and families, I think that we all need a dose of strong medicine. We may not like it, but if it helps to heal, we should do all we can to make appropriate change.
One of the speakers at church this past Sunday paid tribute to her mother. Because her father was diagnosed at an early age with an extremely debilitating disease, her mother stepped up to not only provide the income, but she chose to work a night job so that she could be at home with her children when they needed her presence and watchful care. This little family was far from affluent. In fact financially they were considered poor. But I know six of the children who grew up under the watchful eye of that mother. They are well-adjusted, good, fun, talented, hard-working individuals and they adore their mother and each other. What a blessing one selfless woman can be in the lives of her children. What a blessing her choices have been to the community where her children choose to settle.
Unfortunately, we are seeing mothers have to choose between their children and a myriad of interests, activities, and opportunities that promote their own fun, pride, and sense of fulfillment. Our society is experiencing the results of children whose lives and care have been put on the back burner of their mother’s priorities… Years ago my son brought this poem home from school. I have never forgotten its message. It has helped me determine where to spend my time, and where to give my heart.
She laughs my laughter
Sheds my tears
Returns my love,
Fears my fears.
She lives my joys,
Cares my cares,
And all my hopes and dreams she shares.