Thursday, October 12, 2006

Parenting, The Mothership

okay, let me start by saying that anyone who knows me well enough knows that my husband is a close to perfect as they come. my friend's husbands have declared it illegal for their wives to compare them to him. seriously. and all this isn't just hot stinky boasty air. i am saying all this more as a disclaimer than anything else. i.e. love my husband to death, wouldn't change him for the world. that being said...

the thing i have discovered since i first became pregnant... actually even BEFORE that is that just about every thing about parenting is driven (in most cases) by the mother. (the thought occurs to me as i type this whether it has anything to do with the fact that we are the physical vessels by which our offspring enter the world *shrug*) the very act of becoming pregnant usually requires some change in behavior (conscious or unconscious) on the mother-to-be's part. (stop taking/forget to take the pill, removal of an IUD, not requiring the partner to wear a barrier device.. that sort of thing). men don't up and decide to change their diets or health habits when we get pregnant (they don't need to.) then there's the breastfeeding - yes they support and do what they can, but if you nurse exclusively, you'd better believe that's all mom. what can he do?

so the intentional mother is constantly seeking information and analyzing whether things are okay and if not what can she do to help improve it. we are concerned about our children's nutrition, we are concerned about their development, we are concerned about their sleep habits, about their health, their education, we are concerned about their bowel movements!!! and yes, i am not denying that fathers are concerned too. but not the way we are. i rarely meet a mother who is NOT the captain of the Parenting Ship. and if she has a good husband, he makes a good first officer. i have a fantastic husband who makes the perfect first officer but i know that cian sawyer is the captain.

i read everything about what to expect or what to do about discipline, nutrition, education blah blah blah. i say this is what should happen here, there etc etc. for the better part of her life, i was the one deciding what the child would wear (though to be fair to my dear husband, he did try but i usually changed it due to inappropriateness (for weather or occasion usually)).

and these are true for just about every family i know! but this is because men are the hunters. they love their kids but this is not their deal. and they try very hard to make it so but this is not their deal. daddies are the ones who show up to play, support mom when and where he can and to show his kids that he loves them no matter what.

we are, after all, our children's first experience of god. and if we don't show them unconditional love and acceptance, how will they translate this to the deity? and it is my opinion that fathers have a critical role where this is concerned.

you may or may not agree with me but i am inviting comments. i would love a discussion. (esp. if you disagree!)

i might have more to say, but ryan is persistent and i must go!

silence | clarity | peace

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