Several years ago, I came up with an idea for a non-profit group, perhaps more of a movement. I called it Mission for Motherhood. I had this crazy idea that being a mother would be a wonderful experience. That sitting in the kitchen with my children eating freshly baked anything while they told me about their day would be the highlight of mine. This was not how I was raised. I was raised by a feminist hippie. My mother is a wonderful women, intelligent and kind, extremely creative and generous. She just didn't see the value of using these gifts in the home to raise her family. Instead she divorced my father when I was 5. He didn't see why she would want to pursue a university degree and a job when she had two children and a lovely home. The divorce, and lose of daily contact with his children devastated my father. Although my mother had fought against the stereo-type of the mother as caretaker of the children, she won custody in the divorce. After the judge asked me who I wanted to live with (I told him my dad), he told me my mother was more suited to care for my needs during this difficult time. He didn't know what effect his decision would have on my life, or my sister's.
Now that I am married, with two kids, I look to the example my dad set for me. He sacrificed a lot for his family, out of love. He was always there for us, no matter what, eventually moving to be close to us. He did not see his role as a parent as a burden. His family was his greatest joy. He wasn't perfect, he got angry, he yelled, and he cried. I'm so thankful my dad let me see him cry. He also admitted his mistakes, and apologized when he needed to. I want to be the type of parent that he was. I want my children to be proud of me, to want to be like me, to learn from me and to respect me. And so I am on a mission to find out just what is means to be a mom. I think feminism tossed out the baby with the bath water. Feminist obscured everything that was good about being a wife and mother, leaving a generation of young women confused. There is a wonderful post that articulates so much of what I've been feeling. Please read it along with this one that tells such a tragic history of the family through diary entries.
If you feel like you too are on a similar mission, please leave a comment and tell me your story.