When I was younger, I didn't want to have kids. I had all sorts of grandiose schemes involving me changing the world. As much as I valued the role of mothers, I wanted to do something more, I wanted to make a difference...I wanted to be great. Once I had children, all previous plans and amibitions changed in the blink of an eye. When I held my baby in my arms for the first time and looked into his tiny face, everything changed, I changed. It's funny because everything I thought was so important, wasn't really that important any more. My plans metamorphed and evolved into something perhaps less earthshattering, but infinitely more important. To be entrusted with the care and keeping of precious lives...what greater ambition could I have?
It offends me when society belittles the role of motherhood. It offends me that the greatest endeavor that we have the privilege to undertake is treated as an unwanted chore or burden. Being a mother is not a death sentence, or even a jail sentence, it's a sacred calling to be treated with the utmost care. There is no greater blessing or joy than parenthood. There is nothing more important than raising children to be good people, no pursuit more deserving than teaching our children values of honesty, integrity and kindness.
I don't make judgements on women who choose not to have children, although I think it's sad that they will never have the opportunity to experience the joy of motherhood. I do, however, make judgements on those who are granted the gift of children and then abuse and neglect that gift. Being religious as I am, I firmly believe that we will be held accountable for the manner in which we honor our obligations. Even if I weren't religious, I would still believe that nothing is more important than our responsibility to the lives in our care. It's incredible that the argument was ever attempted that there's something more important than the care of our children. What could possibly match the value of innocent lives? What could be more deserving of time and attention than the hearts and minds of our children?
Thirteen years ago, staring into that tiny, wrinkled face, my plans changed...but in some ways they didn't. I WAS going to be something truly great and I WAS going to make a difference. I was going to make a difference in the lives of my children and I was going to be a great mom. I was going to proudly undertake the noble calling of motherhood.