A mother who knows that she is doing the best that she can to raise her children has no reason to be ashamed. Not ever! I stayed home with my three children until the youngest went to high school and I am not rich, not a Hollywood star, and I’m not a single mother.I fell in love at first sight with all of my babies and I wanted to stay home with my them. I didn’t want anyone else to teach them about the world except me and my husband. Having my own family was a lifelong dream for me, because I thought it was an impossibility. To punish me, my mother once told me that I would never be able to have children. “When you were born the doctor took one look at your navel(belly button) and told me that you would never have babies,” were her exact words to me when I was around ten years old. To be fair to her, I also need to add that my mother enjoyed her booze. And she was highly inebriated when she made this declaration about my inability to bear young. But it didn’t matter. I was crushed! My whole game plan revolved around growing up and becoming a better mother than she was. I shared this dream in anger with her many times. But how was I going to do that if I couldn’t have children? Exactly! It took me until I was a teenager to start asking myself what kind of doctor looks at a newborn and predicts infertility? And what kind of mother tells her daughter a spiteful, hateful, malicious lie? When it came time for me to ‘get pregnant’ I went in search of obstetricians. I tried many before I finally settled on a doctor who believed in telling it like it is. That’s because I’m the same way: if it has to be told then tell it like it is. I must admit that before I had my first baby I did not like children. All the small children that I’d seen up to that point were ill-mannered; bad behaving; touching-everything-in-sight-and-breaking-it; crying; screaming; whining; talking back to their parents; Brats! And I wanted no part of them. Until someone made this brilliant statement to me: “Your children won’t act like that because you will teach them to behave better.” I fell for that hook, line , and sinker. So I’m pregnant with my first child for six weeks and had no idea because I had a standing monthly appointment to see if I was pregnant and every time the answer was no. I was beginning to believe that maybe my mother had told me the truth after all. And then I found out one day when I least expected it that I was indeed with child. The next morning I had morning sickness. That is how I know that morning sickness is in your head! When they placed my newborn daughter in my arms for the first time it electric, even though the effects of the anesthesia had me asking “Whose baby is this?” Let me say now that I am an educated woman. At that time I had a BA degree in modern foreign languages, but I and my husband wanted me to stay home with our new baby. I had no idea how we would make it on one salary. But we did. Thus, I heard the first word that all three uttered; I was there when they took their first steps, I translated their cries and whimpers and gestures to English so that I could understand what they wanted. Teaching them to speak English so that our world could be better was mission number one. As a result, all three talked at an early age. I was able to see the world anew through their eyes. Eyes of wonder. Eyes not jaded with preconceived notions. Those days were the happiest days of my life. I didn’t have a lot of dresses, shoes, jewelry, or handbags. I couldn’t catch a play on the weekend or jet off to London for a break. Day in and day out I spent time with my children. Occasionally at sports events or school programs,I had those conversations with professional women who thought it was so “cute” that I stayed home with my own children. Those women whose jobs were so important that they could not hold a decent conversation with a non-working mom. Good thing I had a degree. I was able to interject and make some intelligent points once I was allowed to speak in such gatherings. After a while I avoided them altogether. Which brings me to today’s link. Read the following:
You don’t have to be a Hollywood star to want to be there for your child. You don’t even have to make a lot of money. You just have to love your children more than your career. And I realize that there are single moms out there who have to work. But single moms who care do research before they leave their children at a daycare facility. And when they come home at night they spend enough time with their children to let them know that they are loved. Buying them things is not the same as sitting down and talking to them, reading to them, listening to them. Love is an action word. Any mother who loves her children and shows them through her actions has no cause to ever be ashamed because she has to work. And those mothers who prioritize career over mothering have no cause to be ashamed because they’ve made their decisions based on their priorities.
Referring to the choice of accepting your responsibility as a parent to be there when it’s possible to be there for your child is not mother shaming. Prioritizing is a God-given right. To stay home with your children and teach them morals, values, and love is not a false start! It is an excellent beginning for a child who has to grow up and live responsibly in this world. I’m just saying.