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MOTHERHOOD OUT OF ORDER
There was a cartoon that portrayed a three-year-old, freckle-faced boy in a hallway. His pajamas are unsnapped, his diaperís bagging, and heís got a little teddy bear dangling in his hand. He is standing in front of his mother and fatherís bedroom door, which is shut. On the door is a little sign written by a weary mother: "Closed for Business. Motherhood Out of Order."
(From a sermon by J. Jeffrey Smead, Mothers Are Extra Special - With Humor, 5/13/2012)
One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one."
The Lord turned & said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart. She is to have a lap that will disappear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on black coffee & leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands."
"Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "thatís impossible." "Itís not the six pairs of hands that bother me." said the Lord, "Itís the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, `What are you kids doing in there?í she already knows what theyíre doing in there."
"She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just goofed & communicate love & understanding without saying a word."
"Thatís too much." said the angel, "You canít put that much in one model. Why donít you rest for a while & resume your creating tomorrow?"
"No, I canít," said the Lord. "Iím close to creating someone very much like myself. Iíve already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick - who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger - & who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower."
Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely & said, "Sheís too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "Youíd be surprised at how much this mother can do."
"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason & compromise & persuade."
Then the angel reached over & touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldnít put that much in one model." "Thatís not a leak," said the Lord. "Thatís a tear."
"Whatís a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well itís for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "Youíre a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didnít put it there."
Tony Campolo says that his wife is a brilliant woman. She has a PHD & is capable of pursuing a very profitable career. But she elected to stay home with her children when they were young. Her decision didn’t bother her at all except when other women would ask, “What do you do?” She would answer, “I’m a homemaker. I stay home & take care of my children & my husband.” They would usually respond with “Oh” & then ignore her from then on.
So Mrs. Campolo came up with this response when she was asked what she did: “I’m socializing two Homo-sapiens in Judeo-Christian values so they’ll appropriate the eschatological values of utopia. What do you do?” They would often blurt out “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a lawyer” & then wander off with a dazed look in their eyes.
There is no career more noble than that of motherhood at its best.
There are no possibilities greater and in no other sphere does failure bring more serious penalties. To attempt this task unprepared and untrained is tragic, and its results affect generations to come. On the other hand, there is no higher height
To which humanity ...
IN HONOR OF MOTHERíS DAY
Barbara Weiser of Kewanee, Illinois recalls this converstation with her daughter when she was six:
"Mom, there are five things I want to be when I grow up."
"Oh, yeah? What are they?"
"Iím going to be a model, a movie star, a traveler and travel all around the world, and an artist and a singer."
"What about a mom?"
"I donít know... I think thatís too hard for me."
Later that same day, Abbie remarked to me, "Mom, itís too bad you didnít get to become anybody when you grew up."
"But I am somebody," I explained. "Iím your mom! If I werenít a mom then you wouldnít be here right now dreaming of what you want to be someday!"
My young daughter was perceptive about one vital thing. Motherhood is not easy.
SOURCE: Kewanee Star Courier, May 5, 2004.
Erma Bombeck in her book, "Motherhood the second Oldest Profession" writes;
"I have always felt that too much time was given before birth, which is spent learning things like how to breathe in and out with your husband (I had my baby when they gave you a shot in the hip and you didn’t wake up until the child was ready to start school), and not enough time is given to how to mother after the baby is born.
Motherhood is an art. And it is naive to send a mother into the arena for 20 years with a child and expect her to come out on top. Everything is in the child’s favor. He’s little, he’s cute and he can turn tears on and off like a faucet.
There have always been schools for children. They spend anywhere from 12-16 years of their lives in them, around other children who share the experiences of being a child and how to combat it. They’re in an academic atmosphere where they learn how to manipulate parents and get what they want from them. They bind together to form a children’s network, where they pool ideas on how to get the car, how to get bigger allowances, and how to stay home when the parents go on vacation. Their influence is felt around the world. Without contributing a dime, they have more ice cream parlors, recreation centers, playgrounds, and amusement parks than any grownup could ever pull off.
They never pay full price for anything.
How do they do it?
They’re clever and they’re educated.
Some people think mothers should organize and form a union. I think education is the answer. If we only knew what to do and how to do it, we could survive."
Erma goes on to say that she is one of the luckier moms whom came into motherhood with some experience.
"I owned a Yorkshire Terrier for 3 years.
At 10 months, my children could stay and heel. At a year, they could catch a frisbee in their teeth in mid air. At 15 months after weeks of rubbing their noses in it and putting them outside, they were paper trained."
Motherhood Issues A recent poll by Wahara.com finds 79% of mothers list personal, emotional and physical challenges as their hardest. Women know children are time consuming and demanding, but what these women are finding is that children are ALL consuming and ALL demanding. 38% reported sleep deprivation, 36% wrestle with finding time for themselves, and 24% struggle with self esteem issues. Only 38% of mothers sited skills-based issues as challenges. (Wahara.com 5/6/05)
A University of Minnesota study on Motherhood released this week said moms should get $131,000 a year for what they do! When you add together all the different jobs they do it becomes obvious how valuable mothers are in our lives. Some reports say mothers do 17 different jobs while raising their children: Here are some examples: psychologist, social worker, doctor, nurse, executive chef, teacher, police officer, judge, counselor, manager, dish washer, maid, financial manager, etc. One researcher stated, "Of course, no one can place a value on th...
Motherhood carries a steep price tag, mostly in lost wages and benefits, says Ann Crittenden in The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued. She estimates that the "mommy tax" exceeds $1 million for many college-educated women, not including other compensation, such as retirement savings. ďWhat is needed is across-the-board recognitionóin the workplace, in the family, in the law, and in social policyóthat some-one has to do the necessary work of raising children and sustaining families, and that the reward for such vital work should not be professional marginalization, a loss of status, and an increased risk of poverty," she writes. (The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued, Crittenden)
Motherhood In Newsweekís Jane Bryant Quinn notes ďa rising proportion of young women appear to be choosing motherhood over career.Ē Her theory on why,Ē Itís one of prosperityís side effects.Ē A booming economy has driven up young menís wages, making a second income a choice rather than necessity for more households. (Adweek 7/17/00)