So as went Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for the presidency . . .
I’m one of the children of the past that can speak for myself on both sides of the feminism issue. For the first seven years of my life, my mother was a stay-at-home mother who would oversee my school lessons, bake cookies, fix dinner every night and made sure water actually touched my body when I was sent in to take a bath. She was able to be there for every little school performance and made costumes even when I only had a two-minute walk in part in the school play. After-school rehearsals were not a major problem as dinner would just be a little bit late. Fast food was not an option.
Then one afternoon when I was in the last few weeks of third grade, my Dad was the one who picked me up from school. I asked where Mom was and he said she was at work. That was the first I had heard about this. We went home, I sort of did my homework, did not study my times tables, and waited until eight o’clock that night for dinner.
My mother was working as the parish secretary and housekeeper/cook for the pastor. His meals came first and she made enough so there was usually a meal for us when she finally got home. The smell of dinner simmering on the stove no longer happened at our house.
Now, her working was considered the best of all possible situations as the church office was through our backyard and across the busy highway. It seemed a good deal longer to me. My grades went down from straight A’s and there wasn’t always time in the morning to make sure I washed or my mother remembered to brush my hair. She worked seven days a week because she enjoyed her work and the grownup company. I definitely came in second to the job. Whenever I felt sick, instead of ‘poor baby’, it was an anxious, “Are you sure you aren’t well enough to go to school?”
Fast forward to me with my first born. My mother was still working for the same pastor but slowing down and I was asked to help out with a paycheck. I was assured I could take the baby to work and see to his needs at the job. The church was 45 minutes away but it sounded as ideal as was possible since we needed the money and the pastor was a long-time friend.
The long-time friend, however, went into thoroughly boss mode and he kept alluding to his plans that when the baby was old enough for school, the pastor could get him in the Catholic school and I could work full-time. Uh, what? I casually mentioned that would be difficult especially if we had more children. Father looked taken aback and said, “Don’t you have enough on your plate as it is?” Uh, WHAT? The fact was that I was already pregnant with baby number two but hadn’t mentioned it yet.
GK Chesterton’s quote was so right. Bosses are bosses, no matter their vocation and my time was his time no matter what time I was needed and everything else came in second. I wondered how to gracefully resign from the job. The money wasn’t worth it when there were times when my baby had to cry so the boss would get his project done. Crying babies didn’t seem to phase him. I credit God with sending me a clear sign about what to do. I was getting ready to get on the road to work, one morning, morning sickness (second baby) in check and toddler ready to go. Our elderly car refused to work. I looked at my husband, walked to the phone and called the pastor and told him the car was dead and I couldn’t come in to work. In fact, I said, with a second baby in the works, I thought it was time I turned in my resignation. And I never looked back!
I almost made the same mistake my mother did only I had my child right there to see what trying to divide my time was doing to him. The employer was making me a slave to his work needs and felt a kindliness that he allowed the baby to even be there.
I went back to being a totally stay-at-home mother from then on and still am today even though the children are grown up and my youngest is self-sufficient even though she enjoys staying at home for the time being. I’m back to being a ‘slave’ to my husband which is the best possible job in the world. I no longer have to struggle with the bad math of being a full-time mother with a full-time job because, in the long run, it just doesn’t add up.
We need to really mark our calendars, mothers of the world! Why settle for just one day when every time zone seems to celebrate on another day. I say we draw on our ancestry and lay claim to a few more Mother’s Days for ourselves!
Given my antecedents, it looks like I should demand not only a US Mother’s Day but the one in the UK as my father’s ancestors immigrated from there which would give me a celebration on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. I’m claiming Canada as my husband’s ancestors come from there as he should go along with the traditions they hold, right. Sure it falls on the same day as the US Mother’s Day but I think I would accept double the flowers and candy. My background is German so that fills in the first Sunday in May for special treatment. And, red hair usually indicates some Scottish and/or Irish heritage so double the celebrations on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
People in the neighborhood where I grew up looked askance at my mother. Why? She was the only working mother. She didn’t, however, demand recognition or proclaim any kind of independence . . . We needed a second income to survive and pay bills so she found a job and quietly went to work every morning.
She continued in the same job for over thirty-five years keeping herself far, far away from the growing keening of women suddenly discovering they needed to find themselves and heading for the healing side effects of jobs and the rite of passage into becoming superior to men.
Growing up in those years were interesting in observing how women were making their presence known. First, many left their housework and children to do other people’s work and forgot the art of being a happy homemaker and degraded any woman who found satisfaction in caring for their family. And, before the world could acclimate to this reorganization in the female population, the hippy agenda came into play and in order to be truly free females, chastity, God, soap and water often went by the side of the road as younger women experienced ‘freedom’ and discovered how low men came in human classification.
The roaring women grew louder and their voices more shrill and determined with leaders taking the reins and saying they wanted a world where all women would be in the workplace . . . whether they liked it or not. The new breed of the female species sported hairy legs, burned their bras, and threatened any male who forgot himself and held a door open for them.
Next on the evolution of the ‘modern woman’ was the subject of abortion. Working and free association with anyone they chose, caused problems like pregnancy so abortion and birth control were welcomed into their battlefield for freedom.
The Church did not escape unscathed. Suddenly women were at the altar, serving Mass and being put into the position of making decisions that used to belong to the pastor. Family planning was of utmost importance as work and babies don’t always work well and Catholic families decreased drastically. All this brought into play smaller families which didn’t encourage vocations. Females taking over the Readings and Mass serving tends to keep males away lest they do something to go against the ‘free the females’ agenda.
The world is certainly in a mess today and the women still blame the men even though the men have constantly succumbed to their presence in all aspects of life. The children are in day care and after-school activities so Mom can make a difference in the world.
I worked the first two years I was newly married. My job was a challenge and I learned a lot that is still useful, today. It was hard quitting as one gets used to the idea of being needed and appreciated. I found out I was pregnant a couple months after I ‘retired’ and never thought about the work since. And all the women I worked with who told me I had to think of myself, first, and keep working, got lost in the shuffle of major changes in the office and lost their jobs. Employers are not like husbands and children and to be ashamed of putting them first over a pseudo-independence ends up being a dry, empty way to spend one’s life.
My Lord, the baby is dead! Why, my Lord – dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face – it will not see the beauty of Your creation or a flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
“Why, My child, do you ask why? Well, I will tell you why. You see, the child lives. Instead of the winds, he hears the sound of angels singing before my throne. Instead of the beauty that passes, he sees everlasting Beauty – he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so that he, who has the image of his parents imprinted on his face, may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom, and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parent’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow, and called it forth.”
I am humbled before You, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool – forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an eternity.
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.
And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.
And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.
Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
When I was growing up, I remember several very sad Mother’s Days for my mother. My dad not only considered it a commercial holiday but that SHE wasn’t HIS mother so . . . I’m here to tell you that any husband that takes that view of the holiday isn’t appreciating his wife enough either through ignorance or a warped sense of responsibility. I hear this from other mothers all too often and that is hurtful and a shame.
Fine, the husband doesn’t consider it his place to gift his wife with a card or flowers on Mother’s Day. Well, she is still the mother of his children so why isn’t he taking said children out shopping for a few thoughtful goodies for THEIR mother? Besides making his wife feel appreciated, he would be teaching his children a life lesson on respect, kindness and love. And, you have to wonder if the husband hasn’t been enjoying treats and cards on Father’s Day orchestrated by his wife. Something to think about!
Yes, Mother’s Day is a huge day for florists, candy stores, and shops. Just the line up of frantic men with bouquets at Costco reflects that some husbands may forget and then rush to make it up. Yes, the commercial side of our lives makes a bundle on the holiday but there are a lot of mothers in our world. Supply and demand, don’t you know!
Basically, treating your wife as something special every day of the year is a hallmark of an appreciative husband but increasing the love and consideration on this ‘commercial’ holiday is a major culmination of all your appreciation this one Sunday in May. There is no commercial side in the one-to-one gifting to a wife on Mother’s Day. It is also a memory for the children so they remember on their own as they grow older that mothers work hard for them and are thrilled with a bit of thoughtfulness. Think about it . . . What would Jesus do?
”I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life”- Abraham Lincoln
What is a mother? Who shall answer this?
A mother is a font and spring of life,
A mother is a forest in whose heart
Lies hid a secret ancient as the hills,
For men to claim and take its wealth away;
And like the forest shall her wealth renew
And give and give again, that men may life.
Cardinal Spellman: Mary, Mother of Mankind (20th century)