"Nothing will make you as happy or sad, as proud or as tired, as motherhood."
The last ten posts(16-25)focused on some problem-situations: 1)Quality time 2)Sibling rivalry 3)Comparisons and labels 4)Double standards 5)Authority 6)Coping with bullies 7)Self worth 8)Making friends 9)Helping children succeed 10)Nurturing the leader. We shall take a break from these situations, to revert to the mainstream. Later, we shall get back to a few more problem-situations.
Now, we shall invite the main characters in the parenting story - Mum and dad, one at a time - to take center stage.
A mother of 9 attended a series of talks on how people could choose to live better lives. Enthusiastic, she approached her Pastor with her new desire to become a preacher, like him, so that she could persuade others to better their lives. The Pastor listened intently to her and had these encouraging words: "You have everything in your favor and a ready audience - your 9 children". Put differently, the Pastor's advice to her was to focus on making 9 better people of her 9 children.
Just imagine what that would mean! Nine better people forming 9 better families, who in time would give society more better people. Without being a mathematician it is easy to tell that the power of a mother is a geometric progression. The Pastor had a point, certainly.
There can be no fitting or complete description of what a mother can do. A rather amateur attempt follows: She just loves her children and finds a 100 ways to express that love - feeding, cleaning, nursing, caring, understanding, responding positively, encouraging, educating, accepting them as they are, but trying constantly
to shape them into better persons, protecting them from harm at home and outside,
comforting them when they are in trouble, disciplining them with unlimited patience so that they see reason and mend their ways, and loving and respecting their father,
to the edification of her children. The Koran, like the other Holy Books, places on the mother an additional responsibility - to be the religious instructor, in early childhood. An awesome role!
How seriously mothers take their calling was seen in a few examples we quoted in this blog. The American mother who let her broad forehead be used as a mobile billboard,the mother of Thomas Alva Edison, the mother of Jane, the dancer, who taught her daughter to dance through life, and the missionary-mother of the 12 year old girl, astound us with their capacity to love.(These stories appear on the panel alongside the blog.)
What the mother teaches her children must come from her own exemplary life. Three devout Christians were discussing their personal preferences of Bibles. The first said that he read only the Catholic RSV version, the second extolled the qualities of
the King James 1611 version. The third was silent for a time and softly said:"I like my mother's version of the Bible. She lived the Bible in her daily life". This story makes me nostalgic; it reminds me of the God-centered life of my beloved mother, whose memory I hold sacred.
So much has been written on mothers and motherhood, that a well-stocked library could boast of a huge collection of such books. I have not read of a more touching
tribute to motherhood, in published works, than the lines of Thomas Carlyle: "Who is it that loves me and will love me forever with an affection which no chance, no misery, no crime of mine can do away? It is you, my mother."
Motherhood is the fulfillment of womanhood. Why then would women consent to abortion? It is puzzling; but not so when we consider the case of Paula
Carragher, who was given the option of terminating her pregnancy because of complications - her baby had Spinabifida, a defect in the spinal chord - but decided against abortion because of her religious beliefs and strong faith. "I owe everything to that decision, she took 30 years ago", writes England Footballer Jamie
Carragher, in his autobiography.
Since motherhood is so exalted a calling, it is perplexing that some would-be mothers
decide to abort their innocent and defenseless babies. It is not a thing that she can destroy at will, but a God-given life. Perhaps, the very life that could be her shelter and succor in her feeble old age. Say 'no' to abortion!