Children

The first thing that came to mind when I read the reading prompts for this week (C and D) were children. I know it is neither fashionable nor very empowered to identify mostly as a mother, but I am neither fashionable nor very empowered. 🙂 There are a lot of aspects to my life and spirituality, but for years now the most important thing has been being a mother.
"Empress cary yale" by Onbekend - http://www.tarot.org.il/Cary%20Yale/. Licensed under Publiek domein via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Empress_cary_yale.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Empress_cary_yale.jpgMy mother in law is into tarot. I’m not really, but the card that always turns up on the rare occasion I had her do my cards is the Empress, which is of course very much a motherly archetype. I’m too down to earth to be a mystic, but becoming a mother has been a mystical experience for me. That does not mean I did not find it hard at first. I had my children early in life, and my son (the eldest) was not planned for. I was very immature, had never taken anything very seriously in life but I wanted to do this the right way. The immense responsibility of shaping someone’s early life and memories straightened me out. I could no longer linger in depression or laziness. Taking care of two small children taught me something about the joy of giving. You gladly offer all you have on the altar of life, and the joy comes back to you in new and unexpected ways.
My children are half way to adulthood now and my relationship with them is changing, especially with my son. He will be going to secondary education next year and I already notice that he is becoming increasingly critical of us. That is only natural. I do not want to be one of those mums who complains about their children no longer being babies. He still very much needs us to be in his life, only the relationship changes from being primarily being a caretaker to being a role model (however unwelcome at times).
Although I am at peace with them growing up, I have been struggling with the desire to have more children. It has opened my eyes to the pain of never being able to have children at all. The desire to give life to yet another unknown being has been very strong the last year, probably because my body knows today would still be the right time. But there are other things to consider. My husband is more practical and considers things like university fees and rooms in the house. Another serious objection is overpopulation. There are too many people on the planet, and we have not managed to live in harmony with the rest of the living world yet. Already we worry what our children’s future will be like….. He is totally right of course, rationally I agree with him. There is only room for two children in our life, if we want to do it the right way. But it does mean I will have to find other ways of expressing my motherhood, as it is such an integral part of who I am. That process has already started. I have been working on a book the last year, which is also mothering and nurturing something new (and almost as hard 🙂 ) I love to garden, and have my pets around me. My motherhood calls me to widen my care now. It calls me to compassion and understanding for a larger sphere of people and creatures. It calls me to care for the environment, to do small things myself and support bigger initiatives. I am very curious where this calling will bring me.

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2 thoughts on “Children

  1. I had my children rather young, too, and I also value motherhood. I went all-in and homeschooled and otherwise saw to the quality of their education/learning lifestyle. I consider raising my children well to be one of my main life’s purposes. That is now broadening into a community role for me, too, as my kids get older and prepare to leave the nest. 🙂 I think empowered motherhood is one of the most powerful forms of activism, so who cares about fashionable? 🙂 You are empowered if you can say you don’t care what society finds fashionable. Fashion is fickle, and we have important work to do.

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    1. Home schooling, that is even more intense. It is not an option here: you would have to prove that there aren’t any schools to cater to your religious needs. I think I would probably have home schooled my children in primary school, if it was an accepted thing to do. I’m not quite sure about secondary education though. I agree with you on empowerment: what could be more empowered than following your instincts and convictions against the mainstream?

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